Reunions are never easy.
The episode begins at Wayne Manor with Bruce taking out his vigilante suit and tossing the mask into the fire. And just the mask.
At a bar, Ivy shows up expecting to find Harvey Bullock, but he’s out sick. So instead, she decides to leave a message in the form of a plant. With their blood, they are the message. And with that, she blows the plant towards the bar patrons.
Sofia and Leslie discuss Mario’s death. For Falcones, Sofia says, it’s about family. But this isn’t about pictures. Sofia tells her that the Narrows hasn’t bent the knee to her yet, so she wants to tax 30 percent of the income coming into and out of the Narrows. That could cause the families to starve, but Sofia doesn’t care. She wants a response by the end of the knee.
Leslie will kiss the ring to keep the face, but Sofia’s request is impossible. Even still, she knows that Leslie will find a way. After all, she never said it was about happy families.
Alfred meets up with Bruce at a bar. Bruce brings up tonight’s Foundation fundraiser, but Alfred cuts the bullshit and asks what Bruce wants. And the answer is help, figuring out Bruce’s destiny. He can’t do it alone. But Alfred refuses, saying Bruce can’t just come back in after what he’s done. Bruce can’t say he’s changed, he has to show that he’s a new man. How? That’s for Bruce to figure out.
Right now, Alfred isn’t Bruce’s friend. He was the butler, and Bruce fired him.
The Riddler taunts Nygma, who is trying to drug the riddle man out of him. And then Nygma sees the letter from Oswald, who wants to apologize and be friends again. The Riddler, though, likes the letter. As for what has two eyes and can’t see? That’s for Ed to figure out.
At the crime scene, Lucius examines and finds that the plants on the victims at the bar are more aggressive than the last ones, indicating that Ivy is using the Lazarus Water to increase the potency of the plants. When Jim arrives, he remembers that Harvey killed Ivy’s father.
So GCPD arrives at Bullock’s place and finds him asleep. Jim tells Harvey that the bar has been attacked. Harvey reminds Jim that he killed Mario Pepper to save Jim, but then Alvarez alerts them to the news report: Ivy’s left a video message to the citizens of Gotham. Humans bring pain to plants. Everyone she’s known has only hurt or betrayed her, and maybe she’s always known what she had to do, but now she has the power.
She’s giving Gotham back to the plants, starting to the people who hurt her. So if you’re one of them, then your time is coming. And Harvey is on that list…
Upon closer inspection of the video message, Jim notices that Ivy is at Sully’s Eatery. He wants Harvey to go the precinct, but he won’t hide since people are dead because of him. However, Harvey isn’t working for Jim. He has contacts in the Narrows, so he’ll find Ivy on his own…after he finds his pants.
Leslie tells Ed that she offered to bend the knee to Sofia, but Sofia’s demands are still absurd. She doesn’t know why Sofia is punishing her, so Ed reminds her that she can’t fight an enemy whose motivations she doesn’t understand.
Following this, Ed addresses a group of…kids, saying that they will receive a complete set of encyclopedias, minus the T, plus $20, in exchange for finding information about why Sofia Falcone wants to destroy Leslie.
GCPD investigate a scene, with Jim and Alvarez leading the squad. Selina is also there and tells Jim that she doesn’t know where Ivy is. She came to try and reason with Ivy, but if she contacts Selina again, Jim wants to know. Then Jim gets a call from Harvey, who has a lead.
He meets Harvey in a warehouse, where the contact may have had information on Ivy attempting to recruit. However, Ivy pops out and Harvey turns on Jim, telling him to drop his weapon.
Riddler notes that Ed is overdoing his dosages. Soon enough, the Riddler will be out and free, but Ed won’t let that happen because he knows that Riddler will kill Leslie. The only way Ed will get rid of the Riddler is to kill himself. Ed finally concedes that the Riddler is smarter than him.
Jim drops his gun as Ivy asks if he believes in fate. She tested her plants on the man who shot her father, but he wasn’t there. Then Harvey found her instead and she realized that Harvey could deliver Jim to her. And Harvey likes the complete surrender of the control. Jim offers to bring Selina so she can help, but Ivy has big plans and lots of people to kill.
Ivy leaves, telling Harvey to kill Jim and then shoot himself. Jim then asks if Ivy’s hair is more auburn or scarlet, thus giving him enough of a distraction to flee. Harvey rails against Jim stealing his job, though Jim reminds Harvey that he got the job because of Essen dying and Barnes going crazy. But then Jim reminds Harvey that he didn’t have the courage to face the officer that he shot.
Eventually, Jim gets the drop on Harvey and knocks him out.
In a scene that ultimately doesn’t go anywhere, Selina finds Bruce waiting for her at the Sirens’ club, but she’s not interested since her priority is finding Ivy. That and she suggests that Bruce should just apologize to Alfred. Whatever Bruce’s problem is, he’ll be solving it on his own.
According to Nygma’s spy kids, Sofia and Jim were carrying out an affair, so it was a power play that failed. Leslie is Sofia’s next step. She considers giving Sofia power over Jim, but Leslie’s job is to protect the people of the Narrows. Nygma finds himself at a loss for words, but then decides to leave.
Over at the precinct, Jim tells the awakened Bullock that Ivy got away, but she told him about her plan involving getting rich and plants. Alvarez tells the two about a dinner at the Wayne Foundation, so he wants the Strike Force assembled…even though they’re fighting plants. Jim wants Harvey there, but he doesn’t trust himself right now. Okay, so Jim tells Harvey to watch the phones.
Harvey admits that he’s spent too long putting this on Jim, but he acknowledges that he has himself to blame.
At the Wayne Foundation dinner, Bruce takes the stage and addresses the crowd, but suddenly finds himself lost for words when Alfred arrives. He goes off-script and acknowledges how proud he was of his parents and how he wanted them to be proud of him. But then he saw them get murdered. He survived because someone in life kept him going. That friend, a teacher, a protector, and above all, a father.
Bruce hopes that this friend can see that and give him another chance. He leaves the stage and goes to Alfred, who still can’t help Bruce until he accepts who he really is. Bruce has seen the darkness inside of him, but Alfred knows that there is a heart that makes Bruce want to help people. His heart is his strength. If he denies the darkness, he denies that. He must own it instead.
And Bruce realizes how stupid he was for reaching out, and with that, he leaves.
Then Ivy takes the stage and her henchmen seal the room. Good thing security at a Wayne Foundation event is so lax.
The Riddler watches as Nygma prepares a noose to hang himself with, so he concedes. He offers a way in which no one has to get hurt, but Ed doesn’t believe him. Instead, Riddler says that Ed can save Lee without killing himself. Okay, so Ed decides to listen.
Back at the dinner, Ivy acknowledges the flowers and addresses one of the men, sensing that he wants more in life. She blows the plant his way.
As Bruce leaves the gala, GCPD arrives on the scene and hear screams from the other side of the door.
Inside, Ivy tells the audience that she’s going to turn this room into the world’s most gorgeous garden. The people just have to take a deep breath. And Alfred volunteers just as he’s quickly knocked out by one of Ivy’s henchmen. But then GCPD enters the scene and the shootout commences. Bruce watches from a distance…
Before Alfred is shot, the lights go out. Bruce, in his costume but without his mask, takes out one of the mooks. He goes to help Alfred, but the butler insists that Bruce help the others. This is who he is.
Bruce takes out another henchmen, but because Jim is trigger happy, he ends up shooting him. Luckily, Bruce had bulletproof armor. He survives and heads upstairs as Jim chases after him. Jim winds up on the roof, but finds his target gone. Get used to that, Jim.
Ivy enters her temporary home and finds Selina waiting for her. Evening didn’t turn out how she expected, naturally, but she did at least get out. But hey, Ivy is a survivor, as Selina taught her. She reveals the last of the Lazarus Water that she stole from Wayne Enterprises, though Selina doesn’t intend to let Ivy use it.
Selina, knowing she’s no here, whips the water out of Ivy’s hand and is ready to throw down. Luckily, Selina is able to get the Lazarus Water and is about to drop it, so Ivy tries to appeal to Selina, asking how she can side with the people who have hurt them. They’re guilty and spew out poison, so Ivy wonders how Selina isn’t choking on that.
But Selina’s just choking on Ivy’s insanity, so Ivy decides to choke her…until she realizes that Selina is pointing a blade at her abdomen. So the two can either kill each other, but this isn’t what Selina wants. She tosses the blade, but is warned by Ivy to not get in her way again.
Sofia arrives to get her answer from Leslie. As expected, Leslie will tell Sofia about crimes Jim has committed that no one else knows about, but Sofia already her own dirt on him. Even still, Leslie knows that Sofia wouldn’t use it. Otherwise, she wouldn’t be making threats in the Narrows. She implores Sofia to take her deal, but Sofia has a better idea.
That’s when one of Sofia’s henchmen snags a gun from underneath the table and kills all of Leslie’s men in the room. But then, who planted the gun?
Turns out that Sofia got help from Sampson of all people, who is being put in charge of the Narrows. She takes a hammer and bashes one of Leslie’s hands over and over again. She then tells the henchmen to toss Leslie onto the streets so all of the Narrows can see their queen.
At the very least, Leslie got to keep both of her hands. If Butch and Tabitha were any indication, sometimes you’re not so lucky.
So Ivy Pepper is still at large. Jim exits the gala and gets a call. He soon rushes to a hospital and finds Leslie in emergency care, but an orderly tells him that Leslie wouldn’t admit who did her harm. Jim already realizes who is responsible, though.
Over at Arkham, it turns out that Ed is signing up to volunteer. Riddler again brings up the riddle about what has two eyes, but can’t see, and yet Ed still can’t bring himself to answer it. But then in enters Oswald, who is overjoyed that Ed came.
But he’s not talking to Ed. He’s talking to the Riddler, and reading the first word of each sentence, Oswald’s message reads ‘Please Bring Ed to Arkham So I Can Set You Free.’ Ed is adamant that he is who he is, and while Leslie might have made Ed strong, Penguin sees the Riddler in him. So, it’s time to get to work.
Back at Wayne Manor, Alfred patches up Bruce, who made it off the roof through the fire escape on a nearby building. He could’ve told Jim who he was, but he couldn’t. Bruce wants to help people, even if that means accepting both the good and bad in him. And he does, as that’s what his parents would have wanted. Alfred agrees, as he’s quite proud of Bruce.
Before Alfred can leave, Bruce offers a ride back to Gotham, but Alfred is home, so that won’t be necessary.
Jim meets back up with Harvey at the precinct, and Bullock congratulates him on getting the job done. But Jim knows that he screwed up, even though he’s captain. He needs Harvey’s help to make this right. He tells him that he knew Sofia hired Professor Pyg, but he covered it up. And now he’s going to take her down.
An aptly named episode, this was. “Reunion” saw the…well, reuniting of several bonds as Ivy’s plan to bring plant-based chaos to the city continues.
I’m still not completely sold on Peyton List as Ivy yet, if just because the show treats her as if this is the same version as the previous two incarnations. Now obviously she is, but when the show tries to connect the dots and tie Ivy pursuing Harvey all the back to him murdering her father in the pilot, I’m mixed. I love the nod to continuity, but don’t feel Mario’s death would be a catalyst for this version of Ivy.
In the grand scheme of things, it’s not as if Mario Pepper’s death was ever a big deal. So while I’m glad the show is acknowledging its history, I just wish that either Ivy had been torn on this from the beginning or that I had a better connection with this take on Ivy.
However, Ivy and Selina’s confrontation was a good scene. Though Ivy ultimately let Selina go, it did go to show that Selina, as always, is a fighter to the end and I liked the reveal that she was willing to stab Ivy in order to stop her. But even though Ivy told Selina to stay out of her way, she has to know that Selina will most likely pry again, so she could have at least scratched her for good measure.
It was inevitable, I feel, that Harvey would make his way back to the precinct, but like Bruce and Alfred, it’s great that the show doesn’t make it easy for Jim. He can’t expect to just walk up to Harvey and thinks will go back to how they used to be. However, now both find themselves in a position of vulnerability and it’s a great show of growth that they both admit to one another where they’ve failed.
Harvey’s had such a huge bug on his shoulder for being bitter at Jim, and now he’s blaming himself for falling under Ivy’s spell. And by episode’s end, Jim readily admits to Harvey how he’s involved with Sofia, how it’s affected him, and now he’s seen what ramifications this has had on Leslie. So hopefully going forward, Jim and Harvey remain on good terms.
Speaking of Leslie, by the way, Gotham definitely will go brutal at times, and while it can be over the top and comical, Sofia smashing Leslie’s hand was just…brutal. And to see every single impact, that’s a level of violence that Gotham touches upon only occasionally. And here, I feel, it works, as it goes to show how far Sofia is willing to go to send a message.
Back to reunions, we have Bruce and Alfred, and again, the show doesn’t make this easy for Bruce. He acted like an ass to Selina and Alfred, so of course his first attempt to make up will be met with resistance. Actions speak louder than words, but at the same time, Bruce going off-script and acknowledging the impact Alfred has had on his life spoke volumes about the love and respect he has for the man.
Going further, he embraces his vigilante side again, knowing about the darkness within, and puts himself in harm’s way to rescue Alfred. It’s a good way to put them back on even ground, bring Alfred back into the fold, and set Bruce back on the right path towards embracing his destiny…minus being shot by Jim, anyway.
As for Ed, I can only imagine what he and Oswald will do together now that they’re reunited in Arkham. And clever Oswald for sending that note not to Ed, but to the Riddler. There are moments when Oswald shows that flash of genius and this definitely felt like one of them, because he knows that the Riddler can’t ignore a good puzzle, but Ed certainly can.
Though I’m also wondering if Oswald intends to introduce Ed to Jerome. That would be an interesting combination. Toss Selina in there and you’ve basically recreated the rogues seen in the 1966 Batman movie, but I’m getting off-topic.
“Reunion” served its job well at reuniting and mending several fractured bonds on Gotham. The nod to continuity was nice, though I still find myself unconvinced on this new take of Ivy. Even still, with Jim and Harvey, Alfred and Bruce, and Oswald and Nygma seeing eye-to-eye again, hopefully things with these pairs move forward for the better.
I think it’s funny how a totally unrelated show adapts a common phrase–“Bend the knee”–from “Game of Thrones” fame! I nearly laughed out loud the first time I heard it in this episode. But wait! They say it at least three times!