A Look at Gotham- Season 2, Episode 10: “Rise of the Villains: The Son of Gotham”

Time for The Son of Gotham, but not Gotham’s watchful, silent protector.

The Son of Gotham- GCPD say farewell to Officer Parks

The episode begins with a man robbing a woman of her purse before he’s yanked by the power of off-screen hands.  Meanwhile, Jim, Barnes, and the rest of the GCPD mourns the loss of Officer Parks.  This may be one of the few times we’ve seen an officer laid to rest, and we’ve already lost the previous Commissioner.  Gotham’s finest and their priorities.

The Son of Gotham- Jim confronts Galavan

Jim then confronts Theo Galavan to let him know that he’ll be attending his hearing tomorrow.  It’s always important to watch the bad guy get put away, if Law and Order: SVU is any indication.  Anyway, Jim asks if Galavan knows the name of Catherine Parks.  He doesn’t.

The Son of Gotham- Jim talks to Leslie about Galavan

We follow Jim as he returns to Leslie’s, soaking wet, to talk more about Parks, who was just 23 years old.  Not on the force that long and she’s already in the ground because Jim didn’t do the only sensible thing.  Flamingo killed four cops and dared Gordon to pull the trigger, but he didn’t.  He had a choice, but Leslie says that he upheld the law instead of becoming a murder.  Parks and her family may not feel the same.

Jim then discusses his visit with Galavan.  He’s less than pleased that for all of Galavan’s murders, he still smiles while locked up.  But tomorrow, Aubrey James will testify that he’d been kidnapped and tortured by Theo Galavan.  As such, he’ll be put away for a long time.  Gordon isn’t convinced, as he didn’t see fear in Galavan’s eyes.  Despite this, Leslie thinks that he did well.  She beckons him to bed, but he refuses.

The Son of Gotham- Father Creole slits a man's throat

Our attempted thief awakens surrounded by Father Creel and other hooded men for the day of reckoning.  The blood of the nine will wash away the sin and Gotham shall be cleansed.  As the man is brought forward, Father Creel pulls out a knife and slits his throat.

The Son of Gotham- Selina and Bruce go over a plan to trick Silver St. Cloud

At school, Bruce and Selina have a plan for Silver St. Cloud.  Selina worries that Silver will see through Bruce since she’s a world class liar.  Even still, Bruce believes that there’s a chance to learn about his parents’ killer.  He’s managed to buy some time because he told Alfred that he has fencing practice after school.  Bruce Wayne apparently practiced fencing in his youth, according to Gotham.  Selina reminds Bruce that the best liars always tell the truth.

The Son of Gotham- Barnes tells Jim to lay off of Galavan

Over at GCPD, Jim barks orders for officers to provide evidence tying Galavan to the murders.  To Bullock’s disappointment, Barnes returns early, despite his injury, and gives Jim a case concerning a dead body down by the port.  Jim wants to stay on Galavan, but Barnes tells Jim that he’s back in the rotation.  He needs a few more days, but Barnes shoots him down.  Also, he still has time to lament Parks’ loss.  She deserved better.

Bullock then receives word from Father Mike regarding the symbol found at the penthouse in the previous episode: apparently it’s from something called the Order of St. Dumas, which used to have an abbey downtown.  The same abbey that the mayor’s office tried to purchase last week.  It’s now a Chinese slap-slap joint, in Bullock’s words.  Despite being told to lay off, Jim decides to pursue this.  He and Bullock head off to get lucky.

The Son of Gotham- Hoods at the bath house

We then cut to a bathhouse where the hooded figures appear with blades at the ready.

The Son of Gotham- Bruce and Silver talk

Bruce tells Silver about Theo’s offer to give the name of Thomas and Martha Wayne’s killer in exchange for selling Bruce’s shares in Wayne Enterprises. .  Due to Theo’s arrest, his assets have been frozen.  Bruce offers to pay for Theo’s defense in exchange for the name.  He doesn’t care what the people are saying about Theo.  His parents were killed due to Thomas investigating Wayne Enterprises.  He tried investigating last season and someone then tried to kill Alfred.

Either he find out what happened to his company or he’s dead.  Silver feels that Theo will be freed, but if the name comes from her, Bruce will know it’s real.  He whispers something to Silver that we don’t hear.  When Silver asks if he meant that, he responds with a kiss.  And since this was whispered, we know it will come up later.  Count on it.

The Son of Gotham- Van watches Bruce

Also, two men watch Bruce from afar in their van.  This would seem more cliché had they been parked in an ice cream truck.

The Son of Gotham- Jim confronts hooded figure escaping from massage parlor

Jim and Bullock arrive at the massage parlor just as women and men flee, some covered in blood.  While Bullock helps the ladies out, Jim fights with a hooded man who Jim manages to stab, but the man remains unharmed.  Jim pursues the man back outside and the attacker drops his knife.  The day of reckoning is at hand, the man says, and Gotham shall be cleansed by the blood of the nine.  Just in case you didn’t catch it the first time.  He then walks backward into traffic and is struck by a truck.

The Son of Gotham- Jim reports to Barnes about the Order of St. Dumas

Later, Jim reports to Barnes.  The women said they saw at least six monks.  He figures that such monks must be a part of this same order of St. Dumas.  These people believe in purification through pain.  They were big in the old days of Gotham, but then vanished about 100 years ago.  Barnes orders Jim to give his evidence to Alvarez, as Barnes already gave him a case.  The woman attacked was a man who was pulled off by a man dressed like a monk.

If Galavan is connected, there’s no telling what he stands to gain.  Right now, Jim needs to find a monk and get him to talk.  This is a line of dialogue on Gotham.  It’s no coincidence that this is happening just as Galavan is about to stand trial, and Barnes still wants Jim to show up to hear James’ testimony.

The Son of Gotham- Van approaches Bruce

Silver leaves a message for Bruce, stating that Theo apparently agreed to the terms and gave a name that Silver can only provide in person.  But as Bruce goes to the curb, the van approaches, revealing a bound and gagged Silver St. Cloud.  No screaming, or the girl dies.  Bruce enters.  He doesn’t seem overly concerned here.  Keep that in mind.

The Son of Gotham- Leslie examines a body while Jim and Bullock go over reports of more deaths

Leslie examines the body.  The thick scars on his palms came from repeated, self-inflicted cuts.  According to Father Mike, the leaders cut themselves and mark the followers with the blood, like a blessing.  Bullock enters with information about two more bodies from the past three days.

Seven down and two to go.  How has no one seen these monks until now?  Well, not everyone keeps an eye out for monks dragging bodies across town.  The woman attacked said that the monk vanished with her attacker, but the alley was a dead end.  This must mean the sewers.  You know what this means.  Yup, more sewer adventures.  Well, at least Jim isn’t tricked down here by Selina this time.  He and Bullock investigate underground.

The Son of Gotham- Leslie speaks with Nygma about Miss Kringle

Back at GCPD, Leslie interrupts Nygma’s phone call to request a toxicology report.  She also asks if he was just talking with Miss Kringle, but Nygma claims that it was his plumber.  It also turns out that Kringle lied about being sick, as people believed.  She left town with Daugherty, despite his abusive nature.  Love is strange, am I right?  The phone rings and Nygma feigns sorrow to get Leslie to leave.  It works.  He answers the phone and Penguin asks about the spicy mustard, which he soon finds.  Well, that was a phone call.

The Son of Gotham- Tommy Flanagan holds Bruce and Silver hostage

Now Bruce and Silver are bound, and the men aren’t taking kindly to Bruce’s threats.  Holding them hostage is a character going by The Knife, played by Tommy Flanagan from Sons of Anarchy.  I’m just gonna call him that going forward.  Bruce and Silver are well outside of the city, so no one can hear them scream.  Like in space or something.

Whenever Bruce talks, Tommy Flanagan hits him, so he should keep quiet.  Flanagan heard that Bruce is thinking of selling his company to Theo Galavan.  That’s not good, but not why Flanagan is here.  Someone has been digging into the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne, but who?

Flanagan know it was Theo’s uncle, so he’s here to learn whatever Galavan told Bruce.  Apparently nothing.  Bruce gets another strike for that.  There are billions at stake here.  Flanagan pulls out a blade and says that he’ll pull one of them into the back, where he’ll start cutting off fingers.  He’s had practice and knows that everyone eventually talks.  Unless they want to wear mittens, someone should talk.

One last time: what does Theo Galavan know?  Silver spills that she didn’t know anything.  She just needed to stall for time.  As Bruce is pulled away, the man tells him that he needs better taste in women.  Indeed.

The Son of Gotham- Jim and Bullock find a body

Just when you think Gotham’s shown her last jewel, she reveals herself like a flower.  This is Bullock’s best metaphor as he and Jim continue lower into the sewers.  Upon hearing a noise, they head further down and find a ritual setup.  Bullock recognizes the body as a muscle for hire.  The finger painting on the man’s forehead matches what the victim at the port had.

A man emerges from behind and Bullock manages to overpower him, all while praying to keep the ceiling from collapsing.  Prayer is powerful.  This man needs an ambulance, but while Bullock goes off to make a call, the man talks of the day of reckoning.

The Son of Gotham- Silver realizes she's been played

Tommy Flanagan reemerges with a newfound respect for boy billionaires.  Think of that what you will.  But Bruce didn’t know anything.  Flanagan didn’t kill him, but the rest is up to Silver.  She maintains that Theo told her nothing and apologizes for her actions, but she soon coughs up the name M. Malone, which Theo told her earlier.

Also, turns out the whole thing was a ruse by Bruce and Selina.  You see, Selina broke into Silver’s apartment and learned about her being sent to distract Bruce.  However, the name Silver said apparently wasn’t real.  Yes, Bruce is right about Theo Galavan, but when he finds out what happened to Silver, she’ll die.  Bruce is more upset that Silver pretended to be his friend.  The things Bruce said to Silver- she believed him.  That was the point.  Silver says that he can’t do this, as it isn’t him.  But that’s just what she thinks, and she’s wrong.

I’d like to believe that Bruce would flip on Selina again or Selina herself is this resourceful, but I don’t, so let’s move on.

The Son of Gotham- Jim speaks with one of the followers

Back in the sewers, Jim pours a drink to the now blindfolded follower while pretending to be a member of the Order.  The man says that he completed his task, so all that remains is the son.  When the man asks for his brother’s blessing, Jim grabs a knife, slashes his palm, and drains it atop the man’s forehead.  The man states that the son of Gotham shall die and the city will be cleansed.  A medic arrives and interrupts the immersion, but Jim heads off to see Barnes.

The Son of Gotham- Alfred confronts Tabitha

Alfred, on a search for Bruce, enters Galavan’s quarters and expects to find him with Silver, but finds Tabitha instead.  He threatens to return of something bad happens to Bruce, but this whole conversation is boring.  Let’s have them fight.  Alfred manages to put up a decent fight, but Tabitha manages to stab him.  Alfred soon heads out and escapes via the most convenient garbage truck.  Well, he falls in after Tabitha gets in one well timed stab throw, but still, convenient garbage truck is convenient.

The Son of Gotham- James testifies

At trial, James is questioned by Harvey Dent because it’s Harvey Dent.  Jim, meanwhile, reports to Bullock about his findings, when James suddenly says that Theo Galavan did not kidnap and torture him.  It was, in fact, Oswald Cobblepot, who hates Theo Galavan enough to have tried to kill him multiple times.  The defense moves that the trial be dismissed and Galavan released at once.  I do not believe the system works this way or, at least, this fast.  Though James is under oath, he reiterates that Oswald Cobblepot made him lie.

In light of this testimony and absence of other evidence, the judge orders Theo Galavan released.  Theo takes a moment to say a few words: he harbors no ill word towards Jim Gordon and the GCPD.  They did their jobs.  Theo asks Jim if they can move forward to fix this city, but Jim responds with a punch to the face.  Now that’s not going to do Jim any favors with the press.  He’s hauled out by two officers who aren’t there to arrest him, but tase him.

The Son of Gotham- Bruce tells Selina that he's unsure about his next move

Bruce and Selina arrive at Wayne Manor.  Thinking that Alfred is out looking for him, Bruce thanks Selina for her help.  So what now?  Bruce hasn’t thought that far ahead yet.  Selina asks what Bruce whispered.  He said that he never met anyone like her- he trusted her with his life.  He felt tied to her in a way that he can’t explain, but wouldn’t ever change.  The best liars always tell the truth.  This was true, but it was not about Silver.  Selina decides that she’ll take one of Bruce’s cars to take to the city.  She says that it’s good for Bruce to change, but don’t change too much.

Well, I’ll give Gotham this: they didn’t try to force Bruce and Selina to kiss.

The Son of Gotham- Gabe tells Penguin that Galavan has been let go

Nygma and Penguin talk, with Nygma telling Oswald to get rid of Kringle’s glasses.  This should be a fairly simple task, but then Gabe arrives to tell Penguin that Galavan has been let go.  Penguin demands to know where he is now.

The Son of Gotham- Theo speaks with Jim

We then cut to Theo speaking with a restrained Jim Gordon.  What a difference a day makes.  Theo has a small window of time, but he knows that Jim has questions.  The Order of St. Dumas has protected Galavan’s family for years- a light in a dark world.  Also, Theo Galavan is a mask.  His name is Dumas and the family built the city out of nothing, but they were erased.  It’s not about revenge, but atonement.

The ground Gotham is built on is poisoned by the wrong done to Theo’s forefathers and he intends to fix that.  It’s insane- guy in robes, chanting prophesies, and blood sacrifice- it sound so….not outside the realm of possibility for this show, really.  And not all the victims are random.  Like the Son of Gotham.  Theo orders Jim released so he can have his best shot.  Jim responds in kind, but Theo easily overtakes him like he’s nothing.  He leaves Jim to be killed, and to make it quick.

The Son of Gotham- Penguin and Gabe save Jim

Given that this is Gotham and Theo is another villain that won’t actually watch the good guy die, we know that Jim won’t die.  Instead of the officers just shooting Jim in the head, they decide to beat him, giving Gabe and Penguin a chance to save his ass.  Luckily, Gabe had people following Galavan. Yup, lucky indeed.  Oswald demands to know where Galavan is.

The Son of Gotham- Theo confronts Bruce Wayne

Theo, in no time at all, makes his way to Wayne Manor for Bruce Wayne’s life.  Which we already knew, but I suppose this is what some call a cliffhanger.  Not really an effective one, even.  Whatever.  Episode over.

So…what did we learn today?  That everything building up to “The Son of Gotham” was more interesting than what we got?  That’s what I glimpsed.

Okay “The Son of Gotham” wasn’t bad, but I didn’t find anything with the monks as memorable as what we got before them, unless you count Jim’s line about wanting to get a monk to talk.  I mean, that’s the equivalent of Stryker telling Wolverine that he’ll make him indestructible, but first, he’ll have to destroy him.

The Son of Gotham- Theo talks about his plans for Gotham

Let’s start with that.  Galavan’s plan has been building to this: freeing the inmates from Arkham, putting himself in a position of power, trying to get Bruce to sell his shares in the company- all to culminate with the arrival of the Order.  They managed to keep the GCPD plenty busy with plenty of action, I’ll give them that.  The Order may not be the greatest threat, but at least they’re proactive in what they do.

The Son of Gotham- Order of St. Dumas

And again, like Eduardo Flamingo, The Order of St. Dumas is such an odd pick that I could see it on Gotham, but I wish they came off as a more menacing threat, like if they’d been working behind the scenes in the series all along- not just since the introduction of Theo Galavan.  But given how we’ve known before that his plan was to kill Bruce Wayne, his big reveal to master Bruce didn’t carry any weight.  Nor did we get any explanation of how Theo got to Wayne Manor as fast as he did.  Plot teleportation it is, then.

The Son of Gotham- Theo has come for Bruce's body

Oh, and was it just a coincidence that Bruce happened to be at Wayne Manor when Theo decided to drop by unannounced?  We’re not told he’d been keeping tabs on him like Gabe somehow managed to do to him, and I doubt he had time to meet with Tabitha after beating Gordon, so what would make him think to look here when he did?  Had Bruce not returned yet, maybe Galavan would have just sat around and practiced his dramatic reveal.

I know I’m not saying much about The Order, despite the amount of bodies they dropped, but it paled in comparison to something like the Maniax wreaking havoc in the city.  It also doesn’t help that Jim and Bullock learn what we as an audience already know, so this feels like chartered territory.

The Son of Gotham- Parks is laid to rest

Side-note, why are we paying so much attention to Parks’ death?  She’d only been introduced one episode prior and didn’t have enough time to have any major significance to the plot or make an impact other than for Gordon to once again wrestle with his conscience.  Hell, Strike Force didn’t get this kind of going away ceremony and they were built up to be the next big thing for the GCPD.  One step further, we never even saw Essen’s burial, so why is Parks afforded this kind of treatment?

The Son of Gotham- Bruce and Selina get Silver

It is so strange that I find anything with Selina Kyle to be the best part of the episode, but her team-up with Bruce held my attention a bit more because it serviced Bruce’s character arc.  He’s not a master manipulator and doesn’t possess the level of deception that Alfred said he lacked.  But Selina is a schemer and was suspicious about Silver from the start, so this sort of half-assed plan that usually falls apart in movies ended up having a payoff this week.

The Son of Gotham- Silver and Selina face off

Gotham already requires suspension of disbelief, but this would require that Silver was essentially willing to die if she didn’t give up information.  Bruce and Selina would have to assume that Silver is gullible enough to fall for this ruse when there’s no way a boy as valuable as Bruce Wayne would be killed in some seedy location outside of town.  And what if Silver didn’t really know anything?  Was Bruce willing to risk her life on Selina’s hunch?

Granted, we don’t know much about Silver to figure out how clever she may be, so I’ll chalk it up to convenience.  But this kind of huge gamble and sneaky planning does fit with Bruce Wayne’s character, even if he didn’t concoct it on his own.  While I detested the Bruce and Selina scenes in the first season, this one I didn’t mind as much since Bruce is still desperate for information and Selina just had a bone to pick with Silver.  Thankfully, Gotham avoided an awkward and forced love triangle.  For now.

The Son of Gotham- Bruce tells Selina what he told Silver

My hope is that Bruce keeps up this idea of wearing a mask and being sneaky to learn information, which he may do as Malone, if Batman lore is any indication.  Also, does this mean the show is ruling out Joe Chill?

The Son of Gotham- Selina is Selina

Side-note, can we get a bead on just what Selina’s arc is supposed to be this season?  If it’s her pining for and watching Bruce from a distance, it’s a retread of what she did for a chunk of the first season.  It was established in the season premiere that she worked for Penguin, but aside from bringing Butch to the Pike family, she hasn’t done much.  I guess it’s a good thing Bruce decided to trust her, given that she previously lied about seeing the man who killed Thomas and Martha Wayne.

“The Son of Gotham” is, like most episodes, mixed to me.  The main storyline wasn’t as intersting as the stuff with Bruce, Selina, and Silver, the brief bits we got with Penguin and Nygma, and Alfred’s fight with Tabitha.  Theo Galavan, through the power of instantaneous movement, is a free man and already set to make his move on Bruce Wayne.  Will the young boy die?  Well, probably not, so let’s see how Gotham tries to play out this false tension.

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