Indeed, Nothing is Shocking in Gotham City anymore. Not even a ventriloquist and his dummy.
The episode begins at the Sirens’ club as Barbara tells two men to up their information, but they have some Black Market intel for her. For that, the two men can split a drink. The two are joined by a friend of theirs- this friend asks about the past and what they did to the girl.
Before Barbara can interrupt this conversation, the third man slashes at the two men and leaves them to bleed on the club floor.
Over at the hospital, Bruce and Alfred speak with a patient who heard rumors about something underneath the building. People started going missing, including her husband, who wanted to look for them. So the two went searching, but it was too dark and she didn’t see what attacked them. When she woke up, her husband was gone. Now she pleads for Bruce to find her husband and daughter.
Bruce assures her that he and Alfred will help. He talks with the butler about whether they should talk with Jim, but he’s got his hands full. If they’re going to do this, they’ll have to do it on their own.
Barbara brings Harvey and Jim to the club and wants them to dispose of the bodies. When they’re revealed, Harvey recognizes the men as Boggs and Louis- cops who joined before Jim arrived on the force. The man was referred to as Dix- Harvey’s old partner that we last saw in “Spirit of the Goat.” But he wasn’t in a wheelchair, as he’s been paralyzed. Jim wonders if Dix is even still in Gotham after the bridges blew.
Harvey is certain that this wasn’t his old partner, but they still need to check it out. Jim, meanwhile, wants to talk with Barbara about their future child, as he believes she should think about what kind of person she wants to be, since it’s a chance for her to start anew. However, Barbara likes who she is. Well, I suppose someone has to, Barbara.
Riddler’s work is interrupted by the arrival of Penguin, who was due hours ago. He’s late because he had to get lunch- and he met Dale. Riddler doesn’t want the plan exposed, but Oswald assures Ed that Dale is trustworthy. Ed knows that someone is watching them, but Oswald is more focused on getting muscle for the two of them.
As for the submarine, it’s coming along just fine. Ed has had some trouble with the sonar, but he’ll figure it out. After all, he figures everything out…because he’s the only one working. Penguin did his part by stealing everything valuable, but it’s more like Oswald’s goon stole it.
Then someone arrives and it turns out to be, of all people, Mr. Penn. Oswald is surprised to see Penn alive and well, but also livid that Penn is only coming to him now. But he wouldn’t let Penn come. Who is “he?” Well, Penn opens his suitcase and reveals his dummy, Mr. Scarface.
Not a puppet or a doll, but a dummy. It’s important to make a distinction, you know.
Elsewhere, Harvey and Jim arrive at Dix’s apartment and are greeted by a gunshot. Dix lets them in, saying that he can’t be too careful, but he wasn’t expecting Harvey. Jim notices the suitcase and asks if Dix plans on traveling, and then asks where he was last night. As well as whether he’ll have an alibi, but Dix knows about the deaths of Boggs and Louis. He would confess if he’d done it.
In the shoes of the detectives, Dix would be suspicious, but he’d also be worried that he’s next. Jim asks what the connection is, but Dix just worked with them. That’s it. Harvey explains that they worked a case, but that’s when Harvey was a rookie cop. A woman killed her cop- it was an open and shut case. If Boggs and Louis recognized the killer, it’s not unlikely that Dix could’ve done this.
Then there’s another knock at the door, and it turns out to be someone wearing Dix’s face as a mask. Harvey promptly rips it off.
Underground, Bruce and Alfred explore the tunnels and wonder about the effects of Jeremiah’s toxins. The two happen upon a severed arm that’s riddled with bite marks.
Over at the precinct, Harper and Jim bring Harvey and Dix a file from their old days. Victoria Cartwright, the woman who killed her husband, was eventually convicted based on the daughter’s statement. However, Harvey believes that the killer is the same person that Hugo Strange hired to imitate Jim. More than that, he believes that this is a dead end.
Jim then benches Harvey, so it looks like Gordon and Harper will handle the case.
Penn, now wanting to be referred by his first name, Arthur, tells Oswald that Mr. Scarface is very persuasive- he made Arthur tell him about his treasure. Oswald thinks that Penn needs to rest before resuming his duties, but then Scarface starts talking. Riddler threatens to get rid of the two himself, but Scarface orders Arthur to get to work. So Arthur takes out a gun and shoots Dale.
Damn it, Dale had just two days left before retirement.
As Harvey and Dix wonder if the Cartwright girl said something, Harvey asks Dix how he’s been doing since the bridges fell. Dix is confident that the Cartwright girl is dead- she apparently died at Arkham Asylum, based on what one inmate said.
Jim, Harper, and another officer arrive at an abandoned home and start exploring. The third, unnamed officer explores upstairs and happens upon some masks when he hears a noise. He heads into another room and is promptly knocked out by a masked figure. The woman places her hand on the officer’s face and is able to transfer his face onto hers.
Harper and Gordon then head for an attic and realize that someone has been living there. The third officer arrives and tells the two that no one else is in the home. However, just as Jim notices the body, he punches the officer, thus revealing her real face.
She’s brought to the precinct and refuses to reveal her face, even when Jim threatens to rip it off of her. She tells him that she’s nobody, not Jane Cartwright, even though she was in her childhood home. Jim wants Jane to talk to her, and he knows about her time in institutions until she ended up in Arkham. Then, one day, she vanished.
Jane tells Jim that nothing happened to her. As for Jane, though, she was taken from Arkham and experimented on by Hugo Strange. The Professor was obsessed with the power to change, just like a chameleon. He wanted humans to have their powers, so Strange made it so Jane could change her appearance with a single touch. When she touches, she sheds her skin and takes on a new face.
More than that, she remembers who she touched. Jane Cartwright is dead. She died in Arkham. This woman, born out of that, is Jane Doe, played by Sarah Pidgeon. As for the murder of the cops, Jane Doe tells Jim to just talk to Harvey. As Jim leaves, though, Jane Doe manages to free herself from her handcuffs.
But we’ll get to that later. Back underground, Alfred and Bruce hear a growl in the tunnels, but the battery on Bruce’s flashlight goes low. A man rushes out of the darkness and warns Bruce and Alfred that someone is coming. Upon hearing the growl again, the frightened man shrinks back, while Bruce and Alfred brace themselves for an attack.
Out of the darkness, a beast strikes and drags the man further and further into the tunnels.
Scarface and Arthur demand that Oswald and Ed hand over the heaters. Penn finally explains to Oswald that after he was shot at Haven, he woke up in the GCPD morgue, alone. He patched his wounds and crawled out, then hid in a store that turned out to be an abandoned magic shop. That’s where Mr. Scarface found him, and Scarface knows all about how Oswald treated Penn.
Arthur doesn’t want anything, but Mr. Scarface wants Oswald’s treasure, and to be boss. Yes, the dummy wants to be the boss of Gotham. Ed agrees with Scarface, saying that Oswald is opportunistic and says that his loyalty is shaky. He asks Scarface what he’ll do with the treasure. After all, someone will come after him and he can’t get off the island. Yet. Ed then asks how Scarface feels about submarines.
Harvey brings Dix to the GCPD locker room to talk about the bad thing they did, but Dix says that the woman got what she deserved. But did Dix get what he deserved? After all, he made the girl into a murderer. As Harvey takes off his tie, he promises to make sure that Dix never does this again. With that, he begins strangling him.
Barbara arrives to tell Jim about what she heard: the kid is guilty, too. Also, as for what Jim said about Barbara being a known criminal, she wants to know if she’ll be arrested when the government arrives. She figures that Jim would want the baby if that happens, but that’s not the case.
Jim is distracted when Harvey arrives, but Bullock says that he didn’t take Dix anywhere. The two enter the locker room, where Harvey is surprised to find Dix dead on the ground. Jim immediately realizes that Jane Doe must’ve gotten into Harvey’s locker.
Underground, Bruce and Alfred find the stark-raving citizen and combat him, but he puts up one hell of a fight. Alfred starts bashing him over and over again with his flashlight until Bruce pulls him back.
Jim announces to the precinct that they’re on lockdown. Then a wounded Barbara arrives, saying that she’s been attacked. Jim immediately wonders if this is really her, but then another Barbara arrives. As Jim asks Barbara where they first met, Jane Doe grabs the real Barbara and tells the officers to keep back. Eventually, Jane flees with Harvey in hot pursuit.
Oswald is livid that Ed told Scarface and Arthur about the submarine, but Ed figures that this bought them time. He has an idea: Oswald can keep them busy while waiting for Ed’s signal. Finally, Mr. Scarface and Arthur agree that the submarine is a good idea. Also, Ed gets to live because of his smarts, but not Oswald.
Scarface orders Arthur to shoot Oswald, but in Oswald’s defense, he never asked Penn to kill anyone. He wants him to remember all of the time they’ve spent together, but Scarface reminds Oswald that he hoarded food for himself. Oswald admits that he wasn’t a good friend…to Arthur or anyone. It’s why he’s alone. But he saw who Penn was and valued that.
Mr. Scarface calls Oswald a liar and thief, and then Penn starts speaking for himself. He goes through the many things that Oswald put him through, as his puppet, but no more. Then it’s signal time. Ed turns on the sonar and a struggle breaks out between Arthur and Oswald that ends with Penguin shooting and killing Scarface.
Now free, Penn wants to know how he can repay Oswald…but then he’s promptly shot and killed by Ed, who tells Oswald that he accepts him for who he is. It’s why this friendship is great. So they can agree that Penn needed to be stopped. Oswald agrees, saying that they really are meant for each other.
Harvey arrives at the Cartwright home and finds Jane in the attic. He apologizes for letting her down. She’s killed three men already, but it won’t be enough until Harvey is dead. As she raises her gun, she dares Harvey to shoot and kill her, saying he already killed the real girl years ago. Bullock wants to see her true face, but Jane sees no reason to that, since Hugo Strange already destroyed her soul.
Even still, Jane does eventually remove her mask and show her true face. A tearful Jane shows Harvey what was done to her, but Harvey tells her that they can work this out. She’s adamant that this ends with one of them dead, and when she raises her gun, Harvey is forced to shoot and kill her.
Back at the hospital, Bruce and Alfred realize that the man who attacked them may never recover from the damage because of the toxins. Alfred figures that their decisive action saved people’s lives, even without going to Gordon. Still, Bruce feels that there are better ways to find absolution. What happened to Wayne Manor wasn’t Alfred’s fault, and Bruce knows that Alfred has been blaming himself.
Alfred feels like he wasn’t strong enough to fight Tetch and Valeska. As a result, he lost his tie to the past and his home. Alfred promises to never be that weak again, but Bruce says that part of being a family means that they can be strong for each other. Luckily, Bruce had a good teacher to tell him that.
Harvey tells Jim that Victoria Cartwright killed her husband, but she later recanted. The physical evidence wasn’t there, but as a new cop, Harvey leaned on Jane and coerced a statement out of her. Later, he found out that the husband beat the mother and Jane, but he didn’t know until after. Jim mentions that the bartender said the kid was guilty, meaning the young cop.
Harvey knew that something was wrong. He could feel it, and though he said something, he was told to keep quiet and just shut the case. After a while, he stopped feeling it and he went down that path for a long time…until he met Jim. Even though he’s changed, Harvey can’t change the past and he accepts that he made that girl a killer.
While Jim can’t offer Harvey forgiveness, Bullock just needed his partner to know. With that, he leaves the office as the episode comes to a close.
Even though Jim is, more or less, our main protagonist of Gotham, we can’t forget the job that the series has done in developing his partner. What once started out as a corrupt cop who would look the other way, Bullock has gone through a radical change since his introduction and become one of the hardest working officers on the force. But more than that, he gives a damn about his job.
I was surprised at how much this episode felt like a spiritual successor to “Spirit of the Goat” from the first season, which gave us some of Harvey’s backstory and shed a light on his early days as a cop. We follow-up on that here when we learn about how he started off just like Jim, but eventually went down the path we saw him in when the series began.
This arc has led Harvey to some interesting places, but I didn’t expect us to come back to his origin in the final season. It made for a compelling watch as we watched him grapple with the mistakes of the past. Because of how he allowed senior officers to push him around, he ended up creating a killer in the process.
Not that he had committed a crime, but we see how this had been weighing on his conscience. I do like that Harvey wasn’t trying to cover anything up in the episode or come across as shifty. He wasn’t proud of his past actions, but he at least owned up to them here.
At the same time, Jim had every right to bench Harvey since this was a personal case for him. Another thing I liked here is that Jim never seemed like he was going to doubt or second guess Harvey. He had questions for him, but he didn’t put him in holding or take away his badge until the case was solved. For one, that’s not Gordon’s style, but two, again, Harvey was cooperating every step of the way.
It’s unfortunate what happened to Jane Cartwright in the process, but her powers did make for a rather interesting confrontation. Because she could take on another person’s face, you could never be sure if the officers were talking to her or the actual person she was imitating. I would’ve loved even more of that, but I’m not upset that we didn’t.
Plus, I did like the case of the two Barbaras and how quickly Jim was able to come up with a way to find the real one. It felt like a reversal of when Barbara figured out when Clayface had been imitating Jim. Though honestly, you could’ve shot both Barbaras and we’d all be happier.
Barbara isn’t in this episode very much, but at least we’re keeping the conversation going in regards to her baby. After all, it’s only going to become more prevalent as more time passes, even though it still feels rather fast. Also, yeah, nice of Barbara to be confident in who she is, but she is still a far cry from Mother of the Year.
Another surprise? Seeing Penn back. Not just that he lived, but that he crawled out of the GCPD. Seriously, the precinct has worse security than Arkham Asylum. Was everyone just that distracted by what happened at Haven?
Whatever. Anyway, we get both the Ventriloquist and Scarface at once. Along with Jane Doe. At this point, it might be better to guess which members of Batman’s rogues gallery have not been utilized in Gotham. But it was nice to see Penn rail against Oswald for using him. To be fair, Oswald was a dick to Penn. He probably treated him better than others, but that’s not saying much.
Though this allowed Oswald to own up to his faults and admit that his attitude is why he’s alone right now with little to no friends. That struck a chord with Ed, and this hammered home that the two are practically made for one another. Though if I was Ed, I’d probably be a bit more livid if I was doing all the work on the submarine while Oswald did…not as much.
The Bruce and Alfred stuff underground was a nice side story that didn’t add much to the main storyline, but it did provide some follow-up on the aftereffects of Jeremiah’s toxins. Plus, we got a nice conversation later on about how Alfred has been blaming himself for the destruction of Wayne Manor.
Still, as Bruce pointed out, what happened to Wayne Manor wasn’t Alfred’s fault. That could explain why Alfred pushed himself as hard as he did, but he couldn’t be blamed and I’m sure that Bruce never blamed him in the first place. Again, this may not have tied to the main thread, but it was a nice character moment for the two. Plus it’s great just to see Bruce and Alfred working together in the field.
I hesitate to call this a “filler” episode because we do advance some of the ongoing storylines like Oswald and Ed’s escape, as well as the fallout from the toxic chemicals. While Harvey’s past coming back to haunt him didn’t exactly push the reunification plot forward, it was nice to dig back into his history and see what led him down the corrupt path. Plus, we see just how big of an impact a rookie like Jim Gordon had on him.
If anything, I think one of the biggest strengths this episode was the importance of friendship and bonds. Whether it was Jim and Harvey, Oswald and Ed, and the more paternal relationship between Alfred and Bruce, it showed that despite how one half may fall by the wayside, the other is there to help and assure them that they will make it back on the right track.