Would you look at that? Just last week I complained that this season of ‘Gotham’ has turned the Bruce Wayne character into a lovesick dope. The very next episode, the show course-corrects and rectifies that problem. It’s as if the writers are listening to me!
(Yes, of course I realize that this episode was actually written and filmed months ago. Still, it’s interesting that the writers came to the same realization about the direction of that storyline just as it started to become problematic.)
Silver Tongued Devil
Despite Alfred chastising him about being incapable of the level of deception required to get any information out of Galavan’s niece Silver, Bruce sets his mind to doing exactly that. He enlists the help of Selina, who is also skeptical that he can pull it off.
Bruce meets Silver at school and offers to pay for her uncle’s legal defense in exchange for the name of his parents’ killer. As Selina spies on them from nearby, he also whispers something into Silver’s ear and kisses her. The kid’s got some game!
As he walks away, a pair of gnarly thugs in a van appear to be stalking Bruce.
The next day, Silver tells Bruce that her uncle has agreed to the deal. They arrange to meet after school. Bruce sneaks away from Alfred to meet her again. However, the van drives up and the thugs order him to get in. They’ve kidnapped Silver and threaten to kill her if Bruce doesn’t comply. Reluctantly, he does.
The lead kidnapper, a flamboyant Irish gangster named Tom, brings both kids to an empty building in the middle of nowhere. He says they can scream all they want and nobody will hear them. Tom implies that he works for the man who killed Bruce’s parents, and he doesn’t like that Galavan has been digging into the case. He demands to know what Galavan told Bruce, and won’t accept the answer that Bruce doesn’t know anything. After getting nowhere, he threatens to cut off Bruce’s fingers if he doesn’t talk and then drags the boy out of the room. Silver watches in horror.
Tom returns later, carrying a bloody knife. He says he’s impressed with how long the boy held out, and believes now that he doesn’t know anything. He then turns his attention toward Silver. The girl breaks her innocent victim act and spits out angry threats at him, but finally gives up the name “M. Malone.” She insists that’s as much as she knows.
Bruce re-enters the room, with Selina behind him. The whole thing has been a ruse. He paid the Tom guy to stage the kidnapping and torture to trick Silver into talking. She turns defiant and claims that she just made up the name, but Bruce is confident that he really broke her.
What Bruce doesn’t realize is that Alfred has gone looking for him. He searches Galavan’s recently-destroyed penthouse and encounters Tabitha there. They have a pretty brutal fight, until Alfred is injured and has to flee the building and hop a ride on a garbage truck.
The episode opens with a random woman on the street being saved from a mugging by an unseen vigilante. Soon enough, we learn that the rescuer was one of those weird monks connected to Galavan. A group of them slash the mugger’s throat, reciting the line, “The day of reckoning is at hand.”
After attending the funeral of the rookie who died last week, Jim Gordon visits Galavan in jail to glower at him and demand information about his plans. Galavan is as smug as ever. He’s not worried at all about his upcoming grand jury hearing. Clearly, he knows something that Jim doesn’t.
Jim returns to work at the police precinct determined to continue digging into the Galavan case, but Capt. Barnes pulls him off it. With Galavan arrested, he considers the matter closed and orders Jim to investigate a murder at the city docks. The victim’s throat was slashed. What neither of them realizes is that these cases are connected.
The monks next invade a “rub & tug” massage parlor in broad daylight. Jim is nearby when it happens and runs in to stop them. He has a big fight with one of the monks and stabs the guy, who doesn’t even flinch at the injury. Ultimately, Jim corners him and the monk throws himself in front of an oncoming truck to avoid capture.
The monk’s body is covered in scars that mark him as a penitent (a nutjob who cuts and burns himself to prove his religious devotion) connected to the Order of St. Dumas. Jim starts to see how this links back to Galavan.
Jim and Harvey follow a trail to clues into the city sewers, where they discover an altar with a new victim’s body draped over it. Another monk attacks them, and Jim beats him unconscious. When he awakes, Jim has blindfolded him and pretends to be a fellow monk in order to trick him into spilling some information. The monk repeats the chant “The Son of Gotham shall die” before the ruse unravels and he realizes that Jim is a cop.
The next day, former mayor James (Richard Kind) testifies at Galavan’s grand jury hearing. He recants all previous testimony and claims he had been abducted by the Penguin, who coerced him into pinning the crime on Galavan. With no other evidence against him (the case was always incredibly flimsy and should never have resulted in an arrest), the judge tosses the case and releases Galavan. Jim throws a fit in the courtroom and punches Galavan.
A couple of crooked cops haul Jim out of the courthouse and taze him. Jim wakes up later at the city docks, strapped to a girder or something. Galavan pulls a full-on Talking Killer routine and explains that his real name is Dumas and he’s exacting revenge for his family. Jim yells at him a lot, and Galavan orders him released so they can fight. He thoroughly kicks Jim’s ass and tells his men to kill him as he leaves, but Penguin swoops in to save him. He’s not so much interested in helping his friend Jim, as much as he just wants to know where Galavan is so he can get his own revenge.
As Bruce Wayne returns home looking for Alfred, he finds Galavan waiting there for him with a big-ass knife. He says he’s going to sacrifice the Son of Gotham.
This episode is a big improvement over the last one (which, honestly, I didn’t dislike). The Bruce Wayne storyline is especially satisfying. Even though it’s not in the slightest bit surprising that Galavan would get out of jail, I like how that storyline’s shaping up as well.
Next Monday is the show’s Fall Finale, and I expect it has something exciting planned for that.