Time to get to the bottom of Ed’s behavior and meet an old friend of Jim’s. This is “Pena Dura.”
The episode begins with Jim and Harvey interrupting an arms dealer in the middle of watching a movie. This man sold the RPG that took out Haven, so the two want to know who bought it. However, Jim and Harvey are largely outnumbered. Just as the man demands to know how Jim found out about the RPG, other officers swoop in from above. The man gets the drop on Jim, but he’s soon shot and killed.
Who fired the shot? Delta Force, led by Eduardo Dorrance, played by Shane West. He orders Delta Force to stand down as he catches up with his old pal, Jim Gordon Jim, saying that he wanted to pay him back. Delta Force is here to eliminate all criminal threats by sweeping the city clean. They look over the arms dealer’s ledger and Jim finds the name of Edward Nygma as buying two RPGs.
Harvey will set up command with the GCPD, but Bullock tells Jim that he’d prefer to be in the streets. However, Jim knows that Harvey is the best cop he knows. If things go south with Nygma, Harvey will need to take over.
Bruce arrives at the precinct, where Alfred tells him that there’s a lead in the Haven bombing. But Bruce is distracted he can’t find Selina and he’s looked all over the Green Zone. After what happened to Jeremiah, both realize that something is off about Selina, but Alfred believes that Jeremiah deserved to die. Bruce, though, says that Jeremiah made Selina a murder, just as Ra’s did to Bruce.
Bruce isn’t a murderer, but Selina is. She did what she did with open eyes. Bruce still believes that there’s some good in Selina, as he goes off to find her.
Riddler goes over past recordings, but he gets nowhere. He tells himself that he’s not a murderer…except for Kringle and Dougherty. But those people in Haven? How could Riddler do that? What matters is that it was Ed who did this, not Riddler. Right?
Jim and Eduardo arrive, but Riddler wants to prove his innocence, especially to Jim. After all, Ed reminds Jim that he’s only hurt people who hurt him first. He didn’t now a single person in Haven, though. Eduardo is ready to act, but Jim prefers to bring Ed in so he can stand trial. Ed pulls a book, turns out that he’s fitted the room with pressure sensitive explosives. Riddler has a device that monitors his heartbeat.
If it goes up or down by 10, boom. Riddler will take his chances on the run. He heads off, with Jim believing that Ed isn’t bluffing. So Jim just has to save Eduardo’s life one more time. Since pulling a book sprung the booby trap, Jim has to figure out what puzzle Ed wants him to solve.
So Jim navigates the room while trying to avoid certain spots on the floor. He safely makes it over to the bookshelf and tries to find the book that Ed pulled. He happens upon a chess book and considers how a knight moves in the game. After some thought, he manages to pull a book that deactivates the bombs. Jim radios Harvey to tell him that Nygma is wanted for murder and the attack on Haven.
Bruce heads to Barbara’s club as everyone celebrates Selina killing Jeremiah Valeska. Nobody is happier than Selina, who is drinking to her heart’s content. She’s certainly of age, right?
Nygma slips away as the word is put out on the radio that he is the one responsible for the bombing at Haven. Oh, and he’s identified by what he’s wearing, so he’ll be easy to spot.
Penguin, meanwhile, send some bullets to gang members when he receives a message that Edward Nygma is responsible for killing the people at Haven. This news deeply bothers Oswald, but we’ll get back to that in a minute.
As Riddler avoids the crowd, he’s soon knocked out. Over at the precinct, Eduardo and Jim are updated on Nygma’s whereabouts. Eduardo then asks Jim about Scarecrow. Taking him down would be a big win, but the officers will need gas masks to safely navigate Crane’s territory.
Ed awakens in an unfamiliar location with a random woman and her two sons ready to carry out his execution. Riddler does get some nasty shocks, but this is just a taste. This woman is seeking revenge for her dog, Jojo, who was killed in Haven. Riddler laughs, saying that this is a joke. After all, 300 people died in Haven. But this woman doesn’t care about the people. She just cares about her dog.
But Riddler isn’t fazed. In fact, he finds it funny. After all, as he says, dogs can’t smile. For that, he receives more shocks and he gets another flashback of Penguin tell him that he’s going to fix him. Anyway, the torture continues as Riddler keeps having flashbacks of Oswald telling Ed that he’s going to fix him. The car torture stops, as Ed says aloud that the fuel line is clogged. The people get the smart idea to unclog the line.
When they do, gasoline starts leaking from underneath the car. As Riddler “begs” for another jolt, sparks go flying and the car quickly goes up in flames. The one son manages to escape, but his legs are burned to a crisp. Ed uses this opportunity to escape.
Penguin is informed about Nygma’s whereabouts, saying that the first one who finds him gets to live. As Oswald returns to his desk and talks to his dog, he realizes that one of his guns is missing. Whoever took it must’ve escaped through the vent, but this was just a distraction. Turns out it was just Ed, who wants to know if Oswald’s dog was really named after him.
How the hell did he get there so fast?
After receiving word from Harper, Bullock informs Eduardo and Jim that Nygma is going to City Hall to meet with Penguin. Given that Penguin has stockpiled a ton of ammunition, Jim figures that the officers need to bring shock and awe to Oswald. Jim allows Harvey to go along with Eduardo.
Over at the Sirens’ Club, Bruce tells a slightly sloshed Selina that this behavior is unlike her. However, Selina tells Bruce that when his parents died, she was in that alley on the fire escape. She watched that man shoot Bruce’s parents, but she did nothing. She didn’t call for help or scream for the guy to stop. Bruce tells Selina that it wasn’t her fault, but Selina tells Bruce that not her, but he was the scared kid.
As far as Selina is concerned, they’re not the same. She wasn’t going to risk her life for someone else because she didn’t care. That’s who she was and that’s who she is.
Riddler demands do know why Penguin made him kill those people. He tells Oswald about waking up in random places, but now he realizes that this was all Oswald’s doing. But this is the cruelest of all. However, Oswald has no idea what Ed is talking about. But what does “I will fix you” mean? Oswald said it on the night that the bridges blew. Oswald saved Ed’s life that night.
Ed was stabbed and then Penguin paid Hugo Strange. Oswald believes that Strange is responsible for what’s happening to Ed. After all, Oswald wouldn’t let Ed die. He needs Ed. He’s much more useful to Oswald than Butch was, after all. If Oswald wanted Ed to suffer, he wouldn’t do it in a backhanded way. If they’re at odds again, Ed will know that Oswald is his enemy. Oswald says this as he presses himself to the gun.
He promises Ed this as a friend. Riddler relents. However, Ed promises that if such a day comes, he will stab Oswald in the heart. But if Hugo Strange did something, it means that Ed isn’t responsible for Haven. Before the two can consider Strange’s location, the building rumbles. GCPD is on the way, so Oswald slips off.
Harvey, Eduardo, and Delta Force arrive and confront Oswald. Harvey doesn’t want Oswald’s territory- just Edward Nygma. Oswald wants the officers out, but Harvey calls Oswald’s bluff. As the officers lower their guns, Harvey tells Oswald that he doesn’t need to call Jim. He dares Oswald to count before blowing the officers away. When Oswald finally does count to just one, all of the henchmen are shot and killed.
Turns out that Nygma has been brought to the Sirens’ club by Leila and another of the League ladies. Nygma needs information from Barbara, even though she’d much rather carve his face into a puzzle. Ed isn’t worried, though. With all the plotting that he’s done in the past, he reminds Barbara that he’s never done anything like shoot a rocket into a building full of innocent people. Barbara knows this. There’s more going on here.
He tells her that when the bridges were blown, Oswald took Ed to Hugo Strange, who can apparently control him. Even if this was true, who would force him to do this? Furthermore, who is working for Strange? Information is Barbara’s forte. If she helps Ed, he will provide her with the best intel she’s ever had. Barbara doesn’t know where Strange is, but she has information that he can use. Naturally.
Oswald is brought into the GCPD, and asks for the room so he can talk to Jim without Eduardo present. He then tells Jim that Ed is a patsy. Puzzles and games, that’s Ed’s style, but not killing hundreds of people. Jim realizes that Oswald is right, so who could set him up? Eduardo won’t go for Oswald going free, but Jim is in charge. Things are changing in Gotham. Even if Oswald walks, the army will come for him.
Oswald will take his chances. Does Jim want Ed or not? As Jim reports to Eduardo about Ed’s location, Eduardo looks into the room and sees that Oswald is gone.
We finally return to Hugo Strange, who is brought a new subject in the form of Edward Nygma. Ed demands to know how Hugo took control of his alter ego, but Strange doesn’t follow. After all, Edward Nygma is also the Riddler. He demands to know why Hugo made him kill all of those people in Haven. Hugo admits that when he sewed up the wound, he put a chip inside Ed’s brain.
This allows him to be controlled remotely. But Hugo doesn’t control him- someone else does. He’ll write it down, so that way he can say that he never told Ed. Damn semantics, you know. But then Hugo sprays Ed, knocking him out. Hugo is surprised that Ed is aware that of being controlled, so now Hugo needs to look under the hood. With that, he grabs a blade.
Back at the precinct, Bruce looks for Jim and finds Harvey instead, with Harvey telling him that the army has finally decided to help. He asks Bruce is alright, and Bruce confesses that he’s seeing people lose their will to do good. Harvey has wondered if they’ll get out of this, but when he feels that way, he looks through case files and gets to work. He used to hate this work, but now it keeps him going.
Why? Because the little things matter, even if no one notices or cares. Just as Harvey asks Bruce for some coffee, master Wayne is gone.
So Hugo prepares to operate on Ed’s brain to reboot the chip. The sound will be unpleasant.
Back at City Hall, Oswald goes to a hidden compartment in the ground and descends the staircase into a darkened room. He tells Ed that it’s time for a change of scenery.
Hugo Strange informs Ed that he’s rebooted him, but then the GCPD arrive. Jim orders Hugo to awaken Ed, so he does. Ed awakens with a scream and tells Jim that someone has been controlling him this entire time. A contract came along and Hugo Strange developed a tool. Where did the contract come from?
Turns out it was Eduardo, as he activates a device that freezes Ed still. As Delta Force takes Hugo, Eduardo tells Jim that a person by the name of Walker was responsible for this. She wants Jim to kill Ed as proof of loyalty before she can move forward with the rest of the plan. After all, Ed is a cop killer. Jim wants to know if Walker is responsible for what happened to Haven, but Eduardo points his gun at Jim.
Jim can kill Ed or Eduardo kills Jim. So what is Jim’s answer? He drops his gun and goes on to quickly punch Eduardo before he flees. However, Eduardo still has Nygma. He reactivates Ed and tells him to go find and kill Jim.
We finally return to the Dark Zone, where Ecco awakens Jeremiah. Luckily, he was wearing armor that Ecco prepared. He believes that the bullet in Ecco is making her sentimental, so she needs to give it a little shake. She does, as any good Ecco would. Jeremiah had to let Selina stab him at least once.
Plus, he needed Bruce and Selina to think that he was dead. Also, Ecco has good news. There’s major progress on the tunnel.
It turns out that the tunnel has led them right into Wayne Manor. They’re brought to witness the results of the doctor’s results, and he’s managed to perfectly recreate..who? Well, we’ll find out in two weeks.
So after being largely in the background for so long, Ed’s condition takes front and center in this week’s episode. Like any good mystery or riddle, there’s been a lot of intrigue revolving Ed’s condition. Why has he been waking up in random places and what has he done? Well, after the reveal of him blowing up Haven, this episode devotes the bulk of its time to answering those questions.
Again, a consequence of this being the final season is that things have to move fast. So moments like Jim reuniting with Eduardo are nice, but they’re brief so we can keep the story going. As such, Jim’s history with Eduardo isn’t as important as it probably could’ve been. But then, this episode wasn’t about that, despite what we know will become of Shane West’s character soon.
But back to Ed. One thing I enjoyed about this episode is how informed it is about its continuity and history. Yes, Ed is an oddball who loves games and puzzles. In all of his encounters with the likes of Jim, Oswald, and Barbara, though, they know based on prior encounters that he is no mass murderer. This isn’t Nygma out to save his own ass. He truly has no idea why he would blow up Haven.
True to the show’s history, the characters also realize and accept that yes, Ed would not blow up Haven because that’s not his style. Also, like previous episodes, Oswald is one step ahead when he quickly concludes that Hugo Strange had something to do with Ed’s behavior.
The entire scene between Oswald and Ed was a great moment that showed how deeply Oswald cares for Ed as a friend. More so than he did for others like Butch. There’s genuine concern and fear on Oswald’s face when he learns about the possibility that Ed was responsible for killing so many people at Haven. That hurts him because the two have such a close knit bond, even if they aren’t on the same side at the moment.
It reminded me how much I’m going to miss both Cory Michael Smith and Robin Lord Taylor in these roles. Gotham has fully fleshed out these characters and both Ed and Oswald have come a long way from being, respectively, the lab geek at the GCPD and Fish Mooney’s umbrella boy. Oswald may be a killer, but he has a certain level of honor.
I’m glad that Oswald is the one who pieces this together. He convinces Jim that Ed is being set up, and Hugo Strange’s involvement is what sends Ed to Barbara, who ultimately leads him to Hugo himself. This chain of events plays out well, even if Ed somehow managed to get away from that crazy family and arrived at City Hall in record time.
Side-note, why is Barbara suddenly this arbiter of information?
Whatever. We learn about the larger implications of Hugo Strange’s work when Eduardo reveals that this Walker person is responsible for Ed’s behavior. We have another figure pulling the strings, which puts Jim in a predicament. Despite his past friendship with Eduardo, he won’t bring himself to kill Ed because he knows that Ed is innocent. But now Jim will have to keep the peace and deal with Eduardo as well.
Sticking with the GCPD for a moment, another great scene in this episode was Harvey’s talk with Bruce. Bullock has had a lot of involvement this season and this is another testament to how the show has developed its characters, not to mention the great job Donal Logue continues to do in this role. What was once a corrupt officer who didn’t mind bending the rules, Harvey now finds solace in doing case work.
As he tells Bruce, it’s the little things that matter the most. You do them because they need to be done, not because you’re looking for recognition. I love that. As much good as the GCPD does, they still receive crap from the citizens who feel that they’re not doing enough. But as far as Harvey is concerned, as long as they’re doing something, that is what keeps them going.
That might be why Bruce continues to try and bring Selina to the light. Despite Alfred telling him that he can’t save everybody, he hopes to find some form of good in Selina. She may say that she won’t risk her life for someone else because she doesn’t care, but Selina has proven that, when the time calls for it, she’ll be there for Bruce. Again, it’s a way of her maintaining this tough exterior.
It’s a nice callback to when she found Bruce acting outside of his normal behavior in “Pieces of a Broken Mirror,” even if not an intentional nod. But at the same time, it was a nice acknowledgement of her presence on the night that Bruce’s life changed forever. The question aside of why Selina didn’t go back for proof that Jeremiah is truly dead, right now she’s literally drunk with power. She’s in for a big surprise.
Of course no one truly believed that Jeremiah was dead. He’s not in the episode long, but he didn’t need to be. As he told Ecco, he merely needed Selina and Bruce to think he was dead. All things considered, the plan worked, even if Ecco got a bit sentimental with suggesting that Jeremiah wear armor. But just what is Jeremiah up to now?
He and Ecco are very clearly in Wayne Manor at the end of the episode, so what could they have in store for Bruce? We’ll find out when Gotham returns in two weeks. See you then.