This week, ‘Gotham’ trots out a Very Special Wedding Event episode and puts its own crazy spin on that time-honored TV tradition.
Episode ‘Tonight’s the Night’ opens with Barbara dreaming about the perfect wedding she had once upon a time planned with Jim. This soon transitions to a nightmare of criminals and psychos heckling her from the church pews. She awakes and finds a box with a gift from Galavan.
Galavan announces that he intends to make a play for control of Wayne Enterprises. To do this, he asks Barbara to keep Jim distracted and away from Bruce Wayne.
At the police station, Jim lays out his case to Captain Barnes about how he believes that newly-elected Mayor Galavan is a criminal mastermind. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have any hard evidence to make an arrest. As they’re talking, Barbara suddenly strolls into the station and surrenders herself.
Jim brings Barbara to an interrogation room to question her. She tells him that she still loves him and cries. Jim, playing along with her delusion, tenderly gives her a kiss while his girlfriend Lee watches from the other side of the false mirror. Awkward! Barbara tells Jim that she wants to show him a big surprise, but she won’t tell him where or what it is. (That would ruin the surprise, duh.) Against Lee’s objections, Jim convinces Barnes to let him follow through with whatever Barbara has planned. Lee fumes. I wouldn’t be surprised if she and Jim break up for a while as an excuse to keep actress Morena Baccarin off camera during the rest of her real-life pregnancy.
Jim and Harvey toss Barbara into the back of a squad car as the Strike Force (recently restocked with a bunch of new recruits) follows behind in an armored vehicle. As they drive, Capt. Barnes radios that he doesn’t like how obvious a trap they’re walking into. He orders Harvey to turn the car around, but Harvey disobeys and keeps going.
No surprise, Barbara indeed leads them into an ambush where the squad car is smashed by a truck and a bunch of armed goons shoot it out with the Strike Force, killing several on both sides. Barbara gets free of the car and drugs Jim.
Jim wakes up sometime later tied to a chair in a church. Barbara struts in wearing a wedding gown and carrying a shotgun. (The wedding dress was Galavan’s gift, in case you didn’t get that.) She then wheels in a bound and gagged Lee as well. She tells Jim that it’s time he followed through on his promise to marry her.
Back at the police station, Capt. Barnes orders a manhunt for Barbara and Jim. He’s furious at Harvey for disobeying him and orders him to go home, but Harvey sticks around anyway and listens to the recordings of Barbara’s interrogation. He picks up on something she mentioned about Gotham Cathedral and realizes that must be where she’s taken Jim.
While taunting Jim and Lee, Barbara offhandedly mentions that former Mayor James is still alive and being held down at the city docks. Lee distracts Barbara long enough for Jim to break free from his chair and wrestle with her for the gun. Barbara tries to run upstairs. They tussle some more until she smashes through one of the church’s stained glass windows and Jim grabs her hand. Barbara tells Jim that she loves him and lets go of his hand, falling to her death.
Except that she’s not dead. Her fall is broken by bushes below. (Why am I reminded of the opening scene of ‘The Other Guys‘?) Barbara survives, but is badly injured. We last see her being wheeled away on a gurney, presumably to a hospital, though I suspect that she’ll probably wind up in that secret Indian Hills facility that the arsonist Firefly was brought to.
With that taken care of, Jim and Harvey head to the docks and rescue Mayor James.
Galavan meets again with Bruce Wayne and tells him that he wants to clean up Wayne Enterprises. To do that, he offers to buy Bruce’s controlling stake in the company. To sweeten the deal, he claims that he has uncovered the identity of the person who murdered Bruce’s parents, which he’ll turn over if Bruce takes the deal. Bruce tells him that he needs to think about it.
Alfred is furious when Bruce tells him about this. He calls what Galavan is doing extortion. Bruce doesn’t disagree, but the thought of getting closure about his parents’ murder (not to mention passing off responsibility for Wayne Enterprises) has undeniable appeal for him.
Bruce vacillates on his decision right up to the last minute, but ultimately doesn’t sign. Galavan is perplexed that his plan could have failed. Just then, Jim storms in to arrest Galavan for the kidnapping of Mayor James. Galavan tosses the file with the information about Bruce’s parents into the roaring fireplace.
In a rather amusing side story, Ed Nygma drives out to the forest to dispose of Miss Kringle’s corpse, which currently resides in a steamer trunk. He sets up a picnic lunch for himself and digs a hole to bury the trunk, only to get interrupted by a nosy hunter. Nygma kills the man quickly, but is very annoyed at the disruption to his lovely afternoon. He grumbles about needing to improvise, and returns to his car to get some tools. As he returns, he discovers that his sandwich is missing. The guy just can’t win!
Nygma spends the rest of the evening hunting for the person who stole his sandwich so that he can tie up one more loose end. Eventually, he comes across a trailer in the woods. As he moves closer to investigate, none other than Penguin bursts out, looking in pretty bad shape from his failed raid on Galavan’s house, and begs for help.
Barbara was an annoying throwaway character in Season 1, and has been vastly more entertaining as a villain this year. I was disappointed for a moment when it looked like she was getting killed off. I’m glad to see that’s not the case.
This seems way too early to wrap up the Galavan storyline, so I’m sure he’ll squirm out of his current predicament. He is the popularly elected mayor, after all. I doubt the charges against him will stick.
Riddler and Penguin teaming up with make an interesting combo. I look forward to seeing where that story goes.