People on Gotham get stitches when they are hit.
The episode begins with Jim racing through Gotham’s alleyways as he evades gunfire from a controlled Edward Nygma. Gordon ultimately manages to flee, but Ed spots a trail of blood. He catches up to Jim in an ambulance and the two engage in a fight with Ed strangling Jim with a cord. Jim soon short circuits Ed with a defibrillator and puts him to sleep.
Penguin and Ed- the dog- arrive home, but Ed realizes that someone may be down in the basement. Indeed, someone is. A mysterious woman helps herself to the treasures and isn’t too bothered when Oswald points a gun at her. In fact, she flips over Oswald and manages to flee. When Oswald opens fire, the woman stops. As for how she knew about this place, she was on a job.
Someone got there first and she followed Oswald back here. Luckily, the woman got the Charlotte diamond that she wanted, as well another diamond that soon detonates. With that, the thief is gone. Who is this mysterious thief? Well, we’ll get to that later.
A bound Ed awakens and learns that he tried to kill Jim, who demands answers on what Walker has planned. Ed doesn’t remember anything once he goes under and maintains that he’s not responsible, but Jim will take Ed with him, as the chip in his head is still evidence.
At the precinct, Alfred catches up with Bruce and asks about Selina, but it didn’t go well. But Bruce is more concerned with how Delta Force has taken over the precinct. People need more medicine, not just guns, after all. Alfred recognizes the unit’s motto- they specialize in assassination, not humanitarian relief.
With that, Bruce asks about the supply shipment since the people are desperate for food and supplies. The unit brushes him off and tells Bruce that they lost sight of Gordon, but Eduardo is looking for him. Jim would come to the precinct unless there’s a reason he can’t. As Alfred and Bruce are escorted in the back, they take out the guards and decide that it’s time to find Jim.
Jim and Ed go to Barbara and fill her in on what’s going on in Ed’s head. More than that, there’s trouble at the GCPD. Barbara needs her people guarding the club, but Jim doesn’t trust Ed, even though Ed maintains that he was used as a pawn. However, Ed wants revenge more than anything else. Hugo Strange was fixing the chip, but it’s possible that it was shorted out.
Then Barbara asks to look at Jim’s neck- it will need stitches. Yes, somehow, Barbara just wants to help. Jim doesn’t trust her, not that he has a reason to, but Barbara wants Jim to trust her. Still, with all that she’s done, he doesn’t know if he’ll trust her.
But Eduardo enters and tells Jim that perhaps he should trust Barbara. First lesson of training is go to a familiar place when the person is in trouble. Eduardo is glad to finally meet Barbara and believes that Jim has lost Ed. Eduardo wants the two to catch up, just like old times, and murdering civilians isn’t a problem for Eduardo, given Gotham City’s criminal element. Jim won’t let Eduardo do that.
Then Ed enters and “acts” like he’s still under Strange’s control until Eduardo tells Ed to stand down. Jim tells Eduardo that if he does, the evidence gest out to the entire country. Eduardo calls Jim’s bluff and tells Ed to kill Jim, but Ed instead tosses his blade at one of the Delta Force members. A shootout ensues with Ed, Barbara, and Jim retreating.
So Penguin meets up with Selina, who tells him that she killed Jeremiah Valeska- confirming the rumors. However, now everyone wants to kill her to make a name for themselves. Penguin offers a deal: she can crash at his place in exchange for her help dealing with the thief that took his diamond. Selina resembles this person, who goes by the name Magpie, played by Sarah Schenkkan.
Selina has no reason to help Oswald after he killed Tabitha, but Tabitha made her bed when she killed Oswald’s mother. Plus, Selina does believe in an eye for an eye. Selina ultimately agrees if she gets to keep the diamond. Obviously, Oswald turns her down, but Selina reminds him that everyone will think it’s okay to steal from Penguin. In that case, deal.
By the way, Selina is eating a cereal called Cocoa Nuts, not Cocoa Puffs. Okay, then. It’s not all that important, but I found that interesting.
Eduardo returns to the precinct and wants more offices searching for Jim. He tells them that it’s time to move to Phase Two. Eduardo addresses the precinct, telling everyone that he’s here on a simple mission. With that, he kills an officer. He has Harvey and the rest of the officers locked up. Also, Secretary Walker is on the radio.
He tells Walker that they’re searching for Ed and Jim, but Walker can’t have Ed in the wind with that chip in his head. Luckily, Walker has an idea that will bring Ed and Jim to them.
Jim brings Barbara and Ed to Bruce, who is skeptical of Barbara’s involvement. Meanwhile, Lucius works on removing the chip from Ed’s head and he successfully to get it out. Lucius examines it for any information on Walker’s plans, and indeed the chip has an audio log to Ed while he was under. It may be able to be traced to the computer where it originated.
Then Jim gets a transmission from Eduardo and reveals that he’s brought an old friend into the precinct: Leslie, who was found on the North side. Jim wants Leslie left out of this, but all criminals are under a death sentence. Eduardo proposes a trade: Leslie for Ed. Jim agrees, but wants to meet Eduardo at Haven. Eduardo ultimately agrees.
Jim figures that Eduardo doesn’t really want Ed- he just wants the chip. Luckily, Bruce has some contacts in the mainland press. To broadcast the information from the chip to the mainland, it would need a transmitter, which Lucius has, and a large antenna, which he does not. Luckily, Jim may have a solution for that.
At the precinct, Leslie tells Harvey that she can’t remember what’s happened to her in the last few months. Eduardo hauls her off.
Jim radios to Bruce and the gang as they lock and load for the trade-off. At the same time, Jim meets Eduardo at Haven. However, there’s no Ed, but Jim has the chip and the proof that Walker and Eduardo are responsible for the destruction at Haven. Jim destroys the chip, though Eduardo figures that Jim made a copy. Also, Jim came unarmed and taunts Eduardo, saying that Eduardo had Ed do his work for him.
He continues, saying Eduardo’s recklessness got people killed. However, those deaths weren’t on Eduardo. Jim tempts Eduardo to kill him, but Eduardo won’t use a gun. He’ll just use brute force.
Selina brings Oswald to Magpie’s home of stolen objects and manage to stop her before she can escape. Magpie recognizes Selina as the famous one who killed Jeremiah, but Oswald is more focused on getting the diamond. However, Magpie tells the two that this is her room where she creates her explosives. The pocket watch she tosses is a dud, but other items may be explosives.
Still incarcerated, Alvarez and Harvey try to come up with an escape plan. Then Ed, disguised in a nuclear suit, tells Delta Force that he’s brought a bomb. Time to play a game. Before Delta Force can leave, Ed tells them that if anyone leaves, the bomb blows. To deactivate the bomb, you have to input a four digit code. So Ed presents a riddle about mice. Yet, the answer to the two-minute challenge is the code.
As Bruce grapples to a rooftop in position, Lucius, Alfred, and Barbara head to the exhaust vans and wait for an opportunity to use the gas. At the same time, Bruce engages a Delta Force member who finds him on the roof.
Jim’s fight with Eduardo continues, with Eduardo telling Jim that the damage at Haven is Jim’s fault. Delta Force almost came in until Jim established Haven. This showed the higher-ups that the criminal element in Gotham City must not be scared. The government was going to send in relief, so Haven had to be destroyed. The innocent were an acceptable loss for the mission.
As Jim punches Eduardo over and over again, another member of Delta Force pries him off and knocks him around. He tells the officers to take Leslie around the back and shoot her. Jim manages to shoot one Delta Force member, but before he can shoot the other, Eduardo gets him with a rod.
Lucius, Alfred, and Barbara await Bruce’s status, but he’s a bit busy. When the guard is knocked out, he opens the box and is instructed by Lucius on how to wire up the transmitter. It’s finally done.
With one minute left, Harvey suddenly knows the answer to the riddle, thanks to his high school zoology class. The mouse that Ed referenced is extinct as of 1959, so the number is zero. One of the members puts in the code and, naturally, nothing happens with the bomb. So everyone open fire on Ed. As he falls to the ground, gas suddenly pours into the precinct.
Regardless of this, it’s nice that Harvey was the one to solve Ed’s game. Good on him.
Back at Haven, Eduardo tells Jim why their comrades didn’t make it: they were taken to the darkest hell on Earth- Pena Dura. No one knew that. It’s where they left to die, but Eduardo survived. Walker found him and pulled him out. More than that, she gave him a purpose: Walker is the killer.
Jim manages to get the upper hand on Eduardo and kick him into a pipe, but before he can process that, he hears two gunshots. Turns out that Leslie killed the officer. I see that all those shooting lessons from Wade Wilson paid off, didn’t they, Vanessa?
Selina and Oswald continue to stew in the Magpie house of stolen goods, with Selina figuring that the diamond is worth something on the mainland and that Oswald has much more. She comes to the conclusion that Oswald is leaving Gotham and wants to know why. Oswald speaks of Alexander the Great and how there was ultimately nothing left to conquer. Oswald has done all he can in Gotham, but there’s nothing left for him.
Surprisingly, Selina wants in. She can’t even walk in the city without someone trying to kill her. She doesn’t want to be the person who killed Jeremiah Valeska- she wants to be herself. She can’t do that in Gotham. Oswald ultimately agrees, with a 10 percent cut instead of 50, so Selina kicks open the door, figuring that Magpie said the explosion was inside the room- not the door. Fair enough.
Jim and Leslie arrive back at the precinct, where Bruce tells Jim that he transmitted the audio logs. No response yet from his contacts, though. Barbara, meanwhile, wants to know where Leslie has been this entire time. Ed won’t wait around to see the reunion, though. He leaves.
Jim tries to fill Leslie in on what happened, as he had hoped she left Gotham. Her last memory was of Jeremiah destroying the bridges, which was three months ago. Before the bridges came down, Leslie was unable to leave the city and she can’t remember why. However, they’re still cut off from the rest of the world. People needed hope, so Jim put on a brave face. But as Leslie knows, Jim is just a cop. Now, though, he’s lost.
Leslie will try to put the pieces together again if the two can work together, starting with Leslie’s memory. She remembers seeing Ed at the Narrows and the two then fought. The two then stabbed each other, following this they ended up at a hospital.
Over at the destroyed Haven, as someone approaches Eduardo, they’re shot and killed. Out of the darkness approaches a mysterious woman who turns out to be none other than Theresa Walker herself, played by Jaime Murray, who tells him that the press has the recordings of what she said to Edward Nygma. She assures Eduardo that he won’t die, as there’s much more to do. Hugo Strange will have him fixed up in no time.
As she places a breathing mask on him, Eduardo calls out Jim Gordon. However, Ed was never alone. There was a second operative.
Speaking of, Leslie grabs a blade and attacks Jim. However, he’s able to knock her out.
Over in the Dark Zone, Alfred, sensing something is amiss, grabs his gun. Before he can do anything, though, Jeremiah manages to get the drop on him and knocks him out. Luckily, Alfred will be of good use to Jeremiah.
So Magpie ended up in one Oswald’s booby trap. Despite the buckshot already in her body, Oswald then shoots and kills Magpie, as a reminder to Selina of what happens when someone tries to steal from him. Good to know, I guess.
Harvey and Jim talk about the chip that Leslie must have in her brain, courtesy of Walker. Leslie finally awakens and wonders what’s wrong with her, but then Barbara enters to drop some earth-shattering news from the good time she and Jim had the other night: she’s pregnant.
Barbara, your timing sucks. Also, “the other night” and you’re already pregnant? How much time has actually passed?!
Anyway, Alfred is brought to Wayne Manor and is surprised to see that Jeremiah is alive. Jeremiah would like Alfred to tidy up Wayne Manor and while he could explain how he found a way off the island, now is not the time for questions. That comes later. Right now, today is the big day.
It’s strange. Despite how much did happen in this episode, “13 Stitches” felt a bit slower compared to other outings this season. A lot happened, yes, but there wasn’t anything dynamic about it that made the episode stand out, despite how well Ben McKenzie did behind the camera again.
That said, we do get a sense of Walker’s grander plan here. She’s using certain individuals like Ed and Leslie as pawns because hey, she’s the architect here. Why should she dirty her own hands? Like she told Eduardo, she hoped to accomplish this without stepping foot in Gotham City. Though that begs the question of how she entered the city in the first place.
Were it via helicopter, like in the premiere, surely someone would’ve noticed or heard it. But then, it’s not necessary to learn that. Perhaps she was hiding within one of the zones in Gotham all along. Either way, it’s nice to finally see her in-person and get a taste of the destruction she has planned. It remains to be seen how much she can accomplish, given how the outside world knows about her plans.
Though that’s one aspect of the episode I did enjoy: seeing Jim work with the likes of Bruce, Ed, and Barbara in order to transmit the message. While Ed and Barbara normally would have no real reason to work with Jim, they do all want the same thing, so it’s nice to see them all come together and unite against a common enemy.
Having said that, I would like to have spent more time at the GCPD under Eduardo’s rule, but again, by virtue of this being a shorter season, I imagine there wasn’t enough time. But seeing him take over the precinct by force and imprison the officers made me curious to see how he would execute justice. He comes off like a more extreme version of Barnes, but more willing to kill instead of just get rid of corrupt elements.
Like his introduction, I’m fine just getting a taste of the hell that Eduardo endured. It’s enough to help show what distinguishes from Gordon and what set him on the violent path he’s on now. With that mask that Walker gave him, now it’s just a matter of time before he officially becomes this show’s version of Bane.
I’m happy to see Leslie finally back in the fold. Since we’ve seen how Hugo Strange’s operation affects Ed, it’s good that we don’t have to retread familiar territory and have Leslie do several things out of character before realizing that something is off. Rather, we jump right into her trying to kill Jim. Good on the show for quickly bringing her up to speed, given how Jim has seen this familiar behavior in Ed already.
As for Barbara’s announcement, I don’t know what’s worse: her timing or that Jim actually decided to know her that night. Anyway, one thing I do like is her continued attempt to prove to Jim that he can trust her. I mean, dropping the pregnancy bombshell is a surefire way to get them talking, but still, Jim has every reason to still be suspicious of her. Despite her occasional help, there are still lingering trust issues.
Penguin and Selina make for an odd pair, but I understand why he would go to her. It’s nice that Selina was affected by Tabitha’s death, but as Oswald pointed out, she believes in getting even just as much as he does. So yeah, Tabitha pretty much sealed her fate when she killed Oswald’s mother. While the two obviously aren’t as in-sync as Oswald is with Ed, I liked seeing them pal around.
Plus, it was interesting to see them both talk about leaving Gotham, with Selina in particular trying to escape her reputation now that she’s “killed” Jeremiah. Word sure spreads fast through Gotham City, doesn’t it?
Sticking with this portion of the episode, Magpie was a fun, if not short-lived, antagonist. Like Eduardo Flamingo, she’s one of those odd, C-list level Batman villains who makes sense in a show like Gotham. Though if Selina is aware of her, then I’m guessing Magpie has been around in the city for awhile, right? Or did she rise up when the bridges fell?
Whatever. It’s the final season. Not like I should be pressed about continuity or anything at this point.
But then we’ve got Jeremiah. Just what does he have in store for Alfred? We still haven’t seen who he was talking to last time we saw him in Wayne Manor, but whatever he has next will no doubt be a major nightmare for Bruce Wayne. We’ll find out what that nightmare is when we return to Gotham next week. See you then.