A Look at Gotham- Season 3, Episode 14: “Mad City: The Gentle Art of Making Enemies”

You know the thing about chaos?  It’s fair.  And in Gotham City, the everyday citizens just need a little push to embrace their darker sides, assuming most people in Gotham even have good sides to them.  Point is with Jerome switching off the lights and mass hysteria in the city, it’s a dangerous night to be in Gotham City.  Let’s jump into the winter finale with “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies.”

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The episode begins with the GCPD precinct under attack.  Jim, Harvey, and the rest fight off as many people as they can, but the crazies continue to stream in with no sign of Jerome in sight.

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Penguin and two flunkies arrive at a garage and find an unharmed Nygma.  Oswald is overjoyed to see his friend, but Nygma has other plans, as he quickly guns down Oswald’s two cohorts.  He then shows Isabella’s wrecked car to Oswald and admits that he knows what Oswald did.  Now it’s Nygma’s time for revenge.

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With panic in the streets, Kathryn- remember her?- speaks with an unnamed man named played by James Remar.  Remar’s character has a name, but we’ll get to that later.  The two discuss the current panic in Gotham, with Kathryn noting that the city will bend long before it breaks.  The man believes that the GCPD can fix this mess, and Kathryn notes that this faith in Gordon could be dangerous.

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Back at the GCPD, power is still out and there’s no word on Jerome’s location.  Mobs have taken over the city and now ordinary citizens have taken Jerome’s words to heart. This would be a good time to have a leader calm things down, but Mayor Cobblepot is currently missing.

However, Jim figures that if Jerome is taken down since he’s the symbol, the public might calm down.  The task now is finding out what he wants since he wanted to plunge the city into darkness.  Jim goes to find Leslie.

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Nygma secures Oswald to Isabella’s car and tells him all about his plan, including stealing the remains of Oswald’s father- which now rest in a dumpster.  Oswald forgives Nygma, saying that killing him isn’t the way, and soon confesses to killing Isabella.  Hell, he thinks Nygma should thank him.  Ed counters that he could’ve been happy, but Oswald is certain that Ed would have eventually killed Isabella, just as he did with Miss Kringle.

After, Ed would’ve hated himself, but then Oswald admits that he did it for love.  Ed doesn’t believe that.  To him, love is about sacrifice and putting someone else’s needs before your own, and Ed believes that Oswald would sacrifice anyone to save himself.

Nygma then shows off his death trap, which looks more to the point than the one he had in Batman Forever.  Suspended above Oswald is a cauldron of acid that’s being held in place by a chain.  Once the ice block melts, the chain will loosen and the acid tips. Oswald pleads for his life, saying that his love for Ed proves that he can change, but Ed believes these are the words of a desperate man about to die.

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Back at GCPD, when Jim asks Leslie if Jerome said anything vital, Leslie responds that Jerome did say that he wanted his face back…and that he asked if Leslie was still with Jim, so of course Leslie brought up how Jim killed Mario.  When Leslie is done being an ass, she eventually admits that Jerome didn’t tell tell her his plan, but he did remember that the last thing he planned to do before he died was kill Bruce Wayne.

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As if on cue, we cut to Wayne Manor, where Alfred and Bruce get a phone call.  Before Alfred can answer, he senses someone else in the room and is knocked out before he can stop Jerome and his cronies from entering the room.  They start trashing the place and Jerome soon gets his hand on and smashes the owl figurine.

Jerome tells Bruce that he’s here to kill him.  Bruce remembers the night that Jerome took over the benefit.  He’s not afraid, though- just disappointed.  After Jerome comes back to life and makes this spectacle, killing Bruce in Wayne Manor when few will see it lacks flair. This isn’t some regular kid.  Bruce Wayne’s death should mean something, damn it!

So yeah, maybe Jerome should have an audience.  Jerome figures that Bruce is stalling to buy time, but he does agree that it’s time to take this murder show on the road. Jerome knows the perfect spot.  He takes Bruce with him, but Alfred is to remain at the manor.

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Back at the death trap, Oswald’s life hangs in the balance and acid drips between his legs when a lone officer enters the area.  Oswald pleads for help, but the officer demands to know what Oswald did.  Since there’s no time for an explanation, the officer cuts through Oswald’s ropes and frees him just in time as the acid spills over and eats through the car.

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Back at Wayne Manor, Alfred taunts and distracts the henchmen long enough for Jim to enter so he and Alfred can overtake them.  Alfred then tells Jim that Jerome has taken Bruce hostage.

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Where at?  Some theme park from hell that is apparently the one spot in Gotham City that still has power, despite Jerome cutting the power, but whatever.  Jerome’s goons put Gotham’s citizens in the games and royally screw with them.  Jerome beckons Bruce for some fun before the main event.

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At GCPD, Jim and Alfred discuss Bruce’s situation when Bullock enters and tells them that Jerome and his followers have taken over a few places over town, including the Boardwalk Circus.  And remember that Jerome was raised in a circus.  The three head off with a strike force set to meet them at the location.

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Back at the circus, Jerome isn’t a fan of Bruce’s new paint job, so he fixes it by stabbing one of the clowns and smearing fresh blood on Bruce’s face.

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Oswald returns to the manor and finds Butch and Tabitha waiting to finish him.  They were instructed by Barbara to not kill Oswald, but Butch doesn’t see Barbara as his boss. Penguin taunts Butch, saying that his days of being someone in Gotham are over.

But Tabitha reminds Oswald of when she put a knife in Gertrude’s back.  Penguin had a chance to get revenge by killing Tabitha, but didn’t, so he shouldn’t try to turn her and Butch against each other.  The two take him hostage.

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Back at the carnival, Bruce asks Jerome if there’s a plan to this madness, but Jerome insists that the people don’t want a plan- just an excuse to do terrible things.  All they need is a little push.  Bruce is confident that a few maniacs won’t hold the city hostage forever, and that’s true, but Jerome’s point the average people in Gotham City have shown their true colors now that the lights are out.  That’s the point.

Bruce is confident that there are good people in Gotham, but Jerome believes otherwise. In his mind, Gotham has no heroes.  Before Jerome can go through with the dunking game, Bruce pushes him.  He’s ready to fight, but Jerome just pushes the button and drops the man into into the vat of piranhas.

As Jerome staples his face, he then his staple gun on Bruce, who soon buckles under the pain.  Time for the main event.  At the same time, Jim, Harvey, and Alfred arrive at the carnival with backup still two minutes due to the riots. The three soon head in.

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Under the big tent, Headmaster Jerome is ready to begin the show when he silences one goon in particular for being too loud.  He congratulates his followers on successfully bringing chaos to Gotham City and thanks them by presenting Bruce Wayne himself. As Gotham’s billionaire playboy is brought out, Jerome begins loading a cannon with a cannonball and sharp objects.  Of course.

As Jerome loads the cannon, Bruce manages to pull one of the staples out of his arm and uses it to loosen the handcuffs.  As Jim, Alfred, Bullock, and the rest of GCPD arrive, Bruce drops one of the staples, but he makes use of another one and escapes just before the cannonball fires.

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At the nightclub, Oswald is brought before Barbara and deconstructs her entire plan to turn Nygma against him and destroy everything that Oswald created, all ending with his death.  And now that Barbara has what she wants, there’s no need for Nygma.  As for Oswald’s options: he can either help Barbara find Ed and live or stay quiet and die.

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As Bruce escapes into a hall of mirrors, Jerome follows him.  Bruce steps out and admits that he wanted Jerome to follow him.  It’s time for Jerome to pay.

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Barbara orders Oswald to call Nygma and say that he’s alive now that Ed knows Oswald isn’t the head of the underworld anymore.  Oswald won’t give up Nygma to save himself. He thinks back to Ed’s words about selflessness.  Sure, Oswald should want Nygma dead, as Ed betrayed him, but Oswald now doesn’t even know if he ever loved Nygma. Ed just happened to see Oswald as no one else had since his mother.

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But Oswald killed Isabella because he wouldn’t share him.  Oswald should’ve been ready to sacrifice his happiness for Ed’s, so he’s now ready to die.  It’s so insane that even Ed can’t believe it, as he soon enters the scene.  Oswald now sees that Barbara and Ed were in this together because Ed wanted to take what Oswald believed, not just what he had.

He wanted Oswald to die knowing he was incapable of loving another person, but since Oswald has just proven that he can, Ed is unsure how to proceed from here.

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Back in the hall of mirrors, Jerome sets his gun down and beckons Bruce to come. Bruce, believing that Alfred has been killed, is ready to do what’s right.  He tackles Jerome from behind- not Jerome’s favorite move- and punches Jerome over and over, but Jerome just laughs and taunts Bruce to keep letting out his anger.  Before Bruce can deliver a killing blow, he looks at the mirrors and sees what he’s about to become.

He leaves Jerome and heads outside to reunite with Alfred.  When Jerome stumbles out of the mirror hall, Jim takes the opportunity to punch off Jerome’s face.

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The next day, word of Jerome’s arrest has spread and the streets of Gotham are quiet again.  Once Jerome’s is reattached, he’ll be sent back to Arkham.  Harvey offers to buy Jim breakfast while Leslie takes her leave.

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While Alfred stitches up Bruce, Bruce tells Alfred how he feared for Alfred’s life.  Alfred, though, is proud of the man Bruce has become, but Bruce admits that he almost killed Jerome.  Yes, he controlled his anger, but after all the pain that Jerome caused, the idea of killing him felt right to Bruce.  Hell, it felt like justice.

Alfred tells Bruce that there’s a fine line between justice and vengeance, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one.  Tonight, Bruce didn’t cross that line.  That’s the first rule of Alfred’s training.  Bruce is unsure what he’ll do with this training, but Alfred says that if Bruce is to continue, he’ll need rules that he must never break.  And what is the first rule that comes to Bruce’s mind?  He will never kill.

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If anything, Kathryn is at least pleased with the recent turn of events.  Gotham could have been lost for good, but soon, the Court will act and the Bruce clone will be called upon. The clone is unsure how he’ll help, but he’s just a part of the plan.  Things could go wrong if he refuses, but no one refuses the Court.  No one.

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Jim pours himself a drink when he gets a surprise visit from the man speaking with Kathryn, who we can now identify Uncle Frank Gordon.

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At the docks, Nygma holds Oswald at gunpoint.  Oswald pleads for his life yet again, saying that murder will change Nygma.  While Nygma has killed before, this murder will be the death of someone that Nygma loves, even though Nygma is adamant that he doesn’t love Oswald.  The point is that Oswald still killed Isabella, so Nygma still wants Oswald to suffer, and there’s no way to talk out of this.

Oswald reminds Nygma that when they met, Nygma was just a loser working at the GCPD.  Oswald is the one who created Edward Nygma and he sees Ed for who he is and can still become.  It seems like Oswald is getting through to Ed, but Nygma admits that he still loved Isabella.  And since Oswald killed her, he must suffer, so Nygma fires.  Before Oswald can react to the bullet in his stomach, Nygma pushes him into the water.

So here we are at the oddly timed Gotham winter finale and it was a good one.  Granted, a lot of that has to do with Jerome managing to elevate an episode, even if I think he leans too much on Ledger’s performance.  To the show and Monaghan’s credit, Jerome does come a bit into his own here and he begins to feel like his own incarnation instead of one that falls heavily on what’s come before.

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There are shades of Joker plans here, whether it’s putting on a spectacle at a carnival, taunting his enemy to kill him and lose himself in a blind rage, or throwing a city into chaos. Gotham is a campy show, but when it goes dark, it does so very well when it hits the mark.  This is one of those times, as you have the city plunged into darkness, all citizens in danger, and mass chaos in the streets.  Should make for a good watch.

And that’s a downside of this finale: we don’t get the human element or see how ordinary citizens are affected by this darkness or Jerome’s words.  We know that mobs have taken over the city and people have bought into Jerome’s message, but only because we’re told.  If need be, a quick snippet or montage of seeing how regular folks have been impacted would have been nice.

Not that Gotham often deals with the everyday citizen of the city, though we did get a bit of it in the first season, but for an event as big as killing the power and imploring people to do what they want and kill who they want, it would have made the stakes seem bigger if we saw that widespread panic from a citizen’s perspective.

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For example, think back to The Dark Knight Rises when Bane told the people of Gotham that the city was now theirs.  We saw scenes of folks taking up arms, breaking into and tearing the rich out of their homes, and Jonathan Crane holding trials to judge Gotham’s elite.  Sure, we didn’t get an entire movie’s worth of this, but we did see the impact Bane’s words had.

We’re talking about all power cut.  The scope of Jerome’s plan is huge.  He turned off the lights and gave people the push they needed to reveal their true selves.  This doesn’t take away from the episode, but it’s that old adage of Show, Not Tell.  Don’t have Jim just tell the audience that there’s mob rule in Gotham City- let us see that so we can feel how this has led to disarray for the average people in the city.

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That aside, what we got was very good with the Bruce and Jerome confrontation.  While I’m still iffy on why Jerome is fixated on killing Bruce just because it’s the last thing he remembers- keep in mind that these two have only had one encounter prior- it did allow Gotham to give us a sort of Batman/Joker face-off without these two actually being those characters yet.

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It hit all the familiar notes: the Joker tempting Batman to cross a line, Bruce establishing that there is indeed a line between justice and vengeance, and admitting how much a psychopath like Jerome deserves to die for all he’s done.  It has what you’d expect from and even though we’re looking at kid Batman and kid Joker, David Mazouz and Cameron Monaghan have good enough chemistry that I could see this rivalry lasting.

A Dead Man Feels No Cold- Bruce hopes that killing changes him

Plus, this is significant growth for Bruce.  In “A Dead Man Feels No Cold,” he told Selina that he hoped that committing a murder would change him, much to her warning.

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Here, even though it’s a bit on the nose with him saying this early in his journey that he would never kill, not to mention the swelling musical score accompanying this declaration, this is a who will will later don the cowl and become Batman.  All the scene between Bruce and Alfred needed was for a bat to fly into the room, but his act does prove that Gotham has its heroes, big and small.

Also, Bruce’s motivation was that he thought Alfred had been killed.  It’s not an unfair assumption and the motivation comes from a good place, given how Alfred had been left alone with Jerome’s followers, but come on: Alfred has taken plenty of beatings, has been stabbed, and outnumbered before in a fight, but came out just fine.  No reason to think Alfred couldn’t get out of this situation as well.

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Then there’s Jerome, who I’m guessing wants fame and attention since he did agree that Bruce Wayne’s death should mean something.  At the same time, like in The Dark Knight, he sees madness in people.  Like gravity, it just needs a little push and Jerome here is an agent of chaos.  He just has to kill the lights, give a message on television, and then watch the fireworks when the chips are down.

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Jerome seems to see society for what it is: harsh, cruel, and unusual.  The people walk around wearing masks, but dream of doing terrible things to one another.  Granted, the people of Gotham City are already awful, corrupt citizens, so Jerome probably just hastened their bloodlust.

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And the carnival is a hellish, yet cartoony sight, I’ll admit, and appropriate for Gotham. Though I’m still left wondering how Jerome found the time to orchestrate this or how the carnival has electricity, it was a nightmare that fits the tone of this show.  Using citizens in the games, smearing a goon’s blood on Bruce’s face, and stapling his arm, it was gruesome at times.

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With Jerome out of commission and locked Arkham, though, it seems like peace may return to the city, but his message and impact have no doubt been left on Arkham, if his followers are any indication of anything.  And given how easy it is to break into almost anywhere in Gotham City, I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Jerome.

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Moving onto Oswald and Nygma, I’m wondering whether Nygma intended for Oswald to survive.  After all, he wanted to see if Oswald had what it took to put someone else’s needs above his own, and that wouldn’t have happened if Oswald had died, so maybe that one inept cop who wasn’t helping control the riots was just a plant.  Who knows?

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Oswald is smart enough to see through most of Barbara’s plan except for her working with Nygma, and it makes me wonder what happened to the cunning and calculating Penguin from the first season.  I don’t want to say his emotions have blinded him to logic, but if he saw through Barbara twice now, it’s unfortunate for him to still fall into this trap.

He seemed desperate enough to do or say something to save his own ass, but he did refuse to give up Nygma, so perhaps he has gained a bit of selflessness, as he admitted that he didn’t want to share Nygma with Isabella.  Despite that, and even though it looked like Nygma might have reconsidered, he shot him anyway.

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First, I don’t think that Oswald is dead not just because he ended up in this same situation in the pilot, but because I don’t see Gotham killing off The Penguin in this way, even though there’s precedent with the show killing Maroni and Sarah Essen.  But second, I’m curious what’s next for Nygma, given how Tabitha and Barbara still want to kill him. But if Nygma could mastermind this entire plan, these two should be no issue.

It’s strange that Gotham just returned in the new year and we’re already headed for another break until April.  Even still, despite my minor issues, this was a very good and, at times, dark episode of Gotham that explored the Batman/Joker dynamic without actually having those characters at the moment.

With Jerome headed for Arkham, our not-Joker is out of the picture for the moment, but don’t forget about the Court of Owls, as the organization is still a major player behind the scenes.  And with Uncle Frank apparently in cahoots with them and paying his nephew a visit, the Bruce clone, and the owl statue now shattered, I expect the Court to play a larger role for the remainder of the season.

A Look at Gotham- Season 3, Episode 13: “Mad City: Smile Like You Mean It”

Ladies and gentlemen, gather around.  It’s time for everyone’s favorite not-Joker to make his grand return to Gotham.  After ending on his body last time, Dwight is set to revive Jerome and put his plan into motion.  And even though I had some issues with this episode, it was a fun one all the same.  Let’s jump into “Smile Like You Mean It.”

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The episode begins with Dwight and his clown-faced entourage entering a facility.  One of the guards is killed by his laughing cop cohort, so he picked the wrong day to work the night shift.  The mob makes their way further down until they find Jerome’s chamber.

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As per usual, GCPD are quick to follow up on the scene.  Turns out that after Indian Hill was shut down, everyone was shipped to this facility, which happens to be a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises.  Of course.  And given that Hugo Strange worked on psychopaths, it’s no surprise that Jerome wound up here.

Lucius Fox tells Jim that to revive someone requires warming the body.  If GCPD is lucky, they have three hours.  The three hear a noise and soon find one of the cult members hiding. Rather than take him to a hospital, Jim elects to bring him to the precinct instead.

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Over at Wayne Manor, Cole speaks with Bruce and Alfred about Maria Kyle owing him $200,000, even though it was originally $100,000.  Now Cole would never hurt Maria, but he’d feel justified in giving GCPD enough evidence to put her away.  As long as Cole gets his money, he’ll vaporize.  Sounds simple.

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Next day at GCPD, Jim tells Leslie that he needs to talk with the cult member, though Leslie insists that the member should be sent to a hospital.  On the relationship front, Jim is grateful for Leslie asking Falcone to call off the hit, but Leslie would prefer if Dwight could revive Mario.  There’s always a condition.

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Jim asks the cult member why the group stole Jerome, but the member replies that it’s far too late to stop Jerome’s awakening.  It gets worse.  While the cult may appear small, they are, in fact, everywhere.  Jim immediately puts out a citywide call  to the rest of the officers.

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At the same time, just as the vans are packed and ready to go, Dwight gets to work reanimating Jerome.

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Barbara speaks with Oswald about his on-air gaffe, which has now made the headlines. Oswald is more concerned with Ed than the city, but Barbara tells him to focus on his real job: being the king of Gotham.  Some of the Gotham families, and Tommy Bones in particular, apparently have been talking about Oswald losing his spark.

To mitigate this, Barbara will call the families together so Oswald can squash the rumors.  As for why Barbara is helping, people think that Oswald is scared of her.  As long as that’s true, she gets to keep living.

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Bruce gets the money since it’s the least he can do for Selina and Maria, though Selina wants Cole arrested to prevent him from returning.  Maria offers to leave, even though she’d rather not, but Selina isn’t a fan of any of this.  She leaves in a huff.

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Jim and Harvey go over some pictures, with Jim thinking that there’s some truth to the possibility of Jerome having a cult.  Then Lucius enters with a map.  See, the amount of electricity that Melanie Blake received when she was revived would have caused a power surge.  There were several from a specific location, and a similar surge just came 15 minutes ago.  As Jim and Harvey organize Strike Force, one officer makes a call…

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Dwight continues the reanimation, but Jerome still hasn’t awakened.  Gus has a few suggestions, but Dwight kills him and advances his plan.  People just want to see Jerome’s face, so Dwight grabs a scalpel and gets to work.

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Jim, Harvey, and Strike Force converge on the location, but don’t find Dwight…just Gus’ body and Jerome with his face carved off.

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Dwight, now wearing Jerome’s face, addresses the cult and tells them that Jerome has arrived.  The crowd isn’t convinced that he’s the prophet.  They want the real Jerome. But Dwight convinces the group that they all kept Jerome alive.  As such, they are all Jerome.  Soon enough, the crowd buys into it and begins to chant “We are Jerome.”

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Back at GCPD, Leslie gets to work on Jerome, who isn’t altogether dead.  Meanwhile, Lucius, Jim, and Harvey examine a phone that last received a call from the GCPD, indicating that a mole at the precinct tipped off Dwight.

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With that in mind, Jim addresses the officers about a possible mole in their ranks.  To weed out the traitor, Jim begins to call the last number.  This throws the mole, Officer Dove, played by James Mount, into a run, but he’s subdued in no time.  Nice bluff, Jim.

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Penguin pops by Barbara’s club, but no sign of the families, so he figures that they are rebelling against him.  Barbara suggests that Tommy Bones be killed in order to clean house, but then Penguin reveals that he knows Barbara had a plan: get him to do the dirty work of attacking subordinates so Barbara could pick up what’s left.

Barbara insists that she wants to help, but then she gets a call from Tommy Bones, who tells Oswald that he doesn’t work for him anymore.  This, of course, gets under Oswald’s skin and he issues a threat, but Bones says that if anything happens, Nygma will die.  With that, Oswald vows vengeance.  Oh Oswald, you almost figured it out.

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Once Oswald leaves, Barbara calls Bones and speaks with Tabitha, telling him that Oswald bought it.  With that, Tabitha kills Bones.

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In interrogation, Dove tells Bullock and Gordon that he stopped being the cop on the night that the Maniax attacked the precinct.  He’s not afraid of being sent to Blackgate and despite both officers pulling a bad cop and beating the hell out of him, Dove just laughs.  I guess the two have nothing to threaten him with- nothing to do with all their strength.  You know the line.

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Leslie  enters and sedates Dove with a solution that will get him talking.  Jim is grateful, but he didn’t want her to do that, even though he didn’t fare much better with the bad cop routine.  Leslie reams him out for bending the rules, which she did as well, but it got results.  Jim is fine with Leslie blaming him for Mario’s death, but he doesn’t want her hatred to turn her into something that she’s not.

Why the hell is Leslie even here?

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Anyway, Dwight is about to make an announcement on a local news network this evening, and he gets right to work when he and his entourage enter and take over the station and prevent it from closing.

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Leslie returns to the medical examiner’s lab and finds an officer knocked out.  Before she can do anything, a bandaged Jerome surprises her from behind.  He’s feeling a bit fuzzy and is surprised to be alive, as last year was nothing but darkness to him.  He then asks Leslie about the cult.

He then wants to know if Leslie and Jim are still an item, but of course that’s not the case. Tragic news for Jerome, as he liked the two of them.  Leslie tells Jerome what Jim did to Mario, which Jerome finds hilarious.  He finally remembers how he was about to kill Bruce Wayne, but then Theo Galavan killed him.

But of course, Theo Galavan died, then also came back to life, and was blown to hell. After this round of questioning, Jerome finally asks where his face is.  You’d think that would be the first question.

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GCPD arrive at the channel 9 news station, where they find the cult holding the employees hostage.

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Because nothing else is on the air, Cole is watching this hostage situation just as Maria arrives with the money.  He tells her that the two won, but then Selina enters and figures that Maria took advantage of her being with Bruce Wayne just to pull this scam.  Maria doesn’t deny that.

Even if Bruce and Selina don’t care about the money, Selina is still upset that her mother came back just for money.  Selina tells Maria to never come back to Gotham.  Well, that was petty drama.

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Dwight goes over his prepared speech when one of the members alerts him that GCPD has arrived.  Jim calls and tells Dwight to release the hostages since he knows the cult won’t follow Dwight.  He doesn’t have what it takes to lead.  Dwight, though, insists that he is Jerome.  However, Jim tells Dwight that at least Jerome never bored him.  Bullock, meanwhile, finds a way in through the ventilation system.

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Over at the club, while the families bicker, Tabitha and Barbara marvel at Nygma’s plan. However, Tabitha reminds Barbara that Nygma must still die once this is all over.  As for the families?  Well, Tabitha guns them down.  Barbara then calls Nygma and tells him that Oswald is his for the taking.

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Dwight finally begins his address while Leslie and Jerome watch.  He’s unimpressed by Dwight’s lack of charisma.  After donning a cop uniform, Jerome leaves.  He just waltzes right out of the precinct without any officer putting up a fight.

And then he manages to get his hands on a police cruiser that he uses to speed down Gotham’s streets.  He even hit a man who, to be fair, is busy yapping away on his cell phone and not paying attention while crossing the street.

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At the same time, GCPD enters the station and manages to subdue Dwight and the rest of the cult.

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Because this was a plot point, Bruce gets back to training when Selina storms in and asks if he knew that Maria only wanted the money.  He did, yes, but in his defense, hehad hoped that Maria sticking around for a bit would let her get to know Selina a bit more instead of skipping town.

He just didn’t tell her the truth.  Selina’s anger rises and she slugs Bruce, but he manages to dodge each subsequent attack.  Before leaving, Selina tells Bruce that he is the reason that Maria returned.  Hell, Selina, that’s not Bruce’s fault.

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As GCPD cleans up, Leslie calls Jim and tells him that Jerome is alive and coming for Dwight.  And the officer who was taking Dwight away?  Oh, he’s dead.  Pity how that happens.

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Dwight, meanwhile, is being whisked away in a news van with Jerome, who soon staples his face back together.  Dwight likes the look, but you wouldn’t lie to a guy you just brought back to life. Jerome isn’t angry about Dwight cutting off his face.  He’s just happy to be alive again and is prepared to make a statement to Gotham.

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Gabe tells Oswald that Nygma wasn’t at any location belonging to Tommy Bones’ or The Duke.  Oswald insists that Nygma is in danger when he suddenly gets a call from a frightened Nygma who can’t talk for long.  Before Penguin can learn where Nygma is being held, the line disconnects.

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Jerome interrupts the Channel 9’s feed and addresses the city.  He tells the city that death itself is dull, but coming back is something else, as dying gives you a new perspective on life.  He tells the citizens that tonight, there are no rules.  Do and kill who you want.  When morning comes, everyone shall be reborn.

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He then tells Dwight, who is strapped to a number of explosives, that he doesn’t forgive him for his face after all.  As the fuse gets closer, Jim heads to the precinct rooftop just in time to see the explosion near the power plant.  As such, all power goes out and Gotham slips into darkness.

So Jerome is back and in a big way.  They’ve been teasing it for some time, but Gotham has brought Jerome back from the dead to bring mayhem to the city once again.  And as much as I’ve enjoyed the Mad Hatter, Jerome brings a certain level of energy that you come to expect from the Joker or a Joker-like character since Gotham hasn’t flat out said this is that proto-character, despite the telltale signs.

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While I was iffy on him before just because I wasn’t sure where the show would take him, I do like the intensity that Cameron Monaghan brings to his performance.

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Gotham pays homage to actors who have played the Joker prior to this, but as has been the case before, it weaves in elements from The New 52.  In this case, instead of the Dollmaker cutting the skin from Joker’s face, it’s Dwight taking the face for his own purposes: inciting the cult to believe that they are all Jerome.

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And a brief aside, I did like that they didn’t immediately buy into Dwight wearing Jerome’s face and accepting his proclamation.  They were, as most people would be, confused as hell, which I find appropriate.

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It was foretold that Jerome would be a curse upon Gotham and that’s evident here not just in the dressed-up members, but those like Officer Dove, who was inspired by the attack on the GCPD that left many officers and Sarah Essen dead.  And there’s something twisted about that, but hey, if he’s the only convert, maybe there’s hope for some sanity and rigidity at the GCPD.

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I don’t have an issue with Monaghan’s performance, per-se, but my issue is that it’s too similar to Heath Ledger’s take from The Dark Knight.  And understandably so.  If you’re gonna borrow, borrow from what I would wager is the most memorable live-action Joker.

It helps to take inspiration from what came before, and there have been shades of both Ledger and Jack Nicholson in this performance, but here, all I can think of is Ledger specifically, more so from the mannerisms and inflection in Jerome’s voice.  It’s like watching an imitation rather than using that to establish your own take, even if I did like the performance.

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Say what you will about Suicide Squad, but Jared Leto’s performance and that entire design are, without a doubt, his particular Joker.  When I watch Leto, I don’t find myself thinking about how I hear other Joker actors in his voice or actions.  Even if you disagree with the aesthetics, and I have my own issues with the design as well, it is very much a different Joker than what we got with The Dark Knight.

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By comparison, Jerome, as fun as he is to watch, feels like taking what Heath Ledger did and just porting it to the small screen.  Again, a lot of that is in the voice, but if I wanted to stretch, perhaps Jerome sounds this way a. because he stapled his face back together, and b. he’s still delirious from being brought back to life.

With all that said, I’m still interested to see what he has in store.  Plunging the city into darkness and telling the citizens to kill who they want and they will be reborn is a good way to spread mass hysteria throughout the city just for the hell of it.  And the sight of Jerome with his face stapled back on- which can’t be safe, but whatever- is a gruesome sight that I find appropriate for Gotham.

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So even though I find Jerome all-too-similar to Ledger this time around, he’s still fun to watch and all of his antics, from taking over a broadcast to having a civil, yet tense chat with Leslie, did all felt very Joker-like and kept me entertained.

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That said, I still have to question how the hell Jerome, who is a known psychopath and killer, just brought back to life, could walk right out of the police department without anyone stopping him and he manages to get his hands on a police cruiser.  Look, I’m all for the ridiculous on this show, but that’s just absurd and makes the officers look even more incompetent.

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With Jerome taking center stage, the other plots weren’t as engaging.  Jim and Leslie are still having their spat, but I’m left wondering why Leslie would even return to the GCPD. Yeah, it’s her job, but she and Jim are  going to have tension, more so after she wanted Harvey to arrest him.

She helps out with Officer Dove and rightly rakes Jim over the coals for abusing his authority, but just one episode ago, she wanted him killed…and then changed her mind. She’s not in any position to get on a high horse.

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Then there’s the Bruce and Selina stuff, and I’m wondering if Maria is going to play a greater role in the Court of Owls stuff or this storyline going forward.  Otherwise, bringing her back felt like a waste of time.  It just made some easy pathos for Selina, who now has issues with Bruce as well for not being honest with her.

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We didn’t even need Maria if she was going to turn out to still be a deadbeat mother. That’s not even worth our time.  And the relationship didn’t progress.  In fact, Selina is in a worse place with both Maria and Bruce.  Again, if there are bigger plans for this and Maria manages to redeem herself, then fine.  Otherwise, this felt like a pointless detour.

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And Oswald should be smart enough to see through this ruse.  Maybe not that Nygma masterminded it, but he was so close to exposing Barbara.  For a guy who crawled all the way up to become the king of Gotham, he’s not showing his smarts right here.  And with Jerome throwing the city into darkness, this subplot could turn just as upside down as the city soon will.

“Smile Like You Mean It” was a good, energetic episode despite my reservations, as there was far more good than bad here.  It was a welcome return for Jerome as he incites the city to do as they please in order to be reborn.  With power now out in Gotham and Jerome on the loose, we’re about to experience a real mad city.

A Look at Gotham- Season 3, Episode 12: “Mad City: Ghosts”

Gotham returns for a three episode arc before going on a break until April.  With Jim killing Mario, Nygma plotting to take down Oswald, and Selina reuniting with her mother, this should make for a pretty emotional and character driven episode.

Not the case here, but hey, Jerome is coming back to Gotham.  The show’s proto-Joker is set to bring anarchy back to a city that’s known for anarchy.  Let’s jump right into “Ghosts.”

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The episode begins with Mario’s funeral.   Jim, fully aware of what Falcone may do, watches from a distance, though Bullock advises that he leave.  Jim justifies his decision, saying that the infected Mario would’ve killed Leslie.  Even still, this isn’t the time or place to apologize or discuss the past.  As the two leave, Falcone watches them from a distance.

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Penguin, meanwhile, gets zero call time with Nygma, but there’s good news on the horizon.  As Oswald enters for his press conference, he’s greeted with applause and learns that his numbers are high across the board- jobs are up and crime is down.  Oswald’s new Deputy Chief of Staff, Tarquin, played by Dave Quay, tells him that the best way to capitalize on his success is a sit-down interview with Margaret Hearst.

After all, everyone watches her show, so she can help solidify Oswald’s legacy on a national level.

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Jim returns to his crappy apartment, where he hears a noise and finds Zsasz waiting for him with a message: Jim messed up by killing Mario.  Jim wants to speak with Carmine, but there’s no time for that, as there’s already a hit out on Jim.  Zsasz promises that Jim won’t see him coming.  If the two don’t talk before Jim’s death, Victor has at least liked getting to know Jim.  Well, that’s a minor consolation prize.

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Bonding time.  Selina demands to know why Maria is in town after 11 years without ever bothering to check in on her daughter.  Fair question.  Maria apologizes, but she promises that Selina has been in her thoughts, even though Maria left her at the same orphanage where she grew up- St. Maria’s.  When Selina asks about her father, Maria switches gears and asks if Selina is dating Bruce.

Maria admits that she got in trouble with the law, and since she couldn’t run fast with a five-year-old, she had to dump Selina.  Bad call, and though all Maria wanted to do was tell Selina how much she loves her, she’s got her chance right now, so Selina then shows her the door.

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Oswald is introduced to Margaret Hurst, played by Jan Maxwell, who tells him that she plans to get in his head and share what she finds with Gotham’s citizens.  Hurst has some conditions: the interview is to only happen this Friday at City Hall.  Live.  Hurst isn’t one of Oswald’s fans, so she has no intention of holding back.

If the truth is in Oswald’s numbers, then Gotham should have no problem seeing him for who he is.  And then Oswald has a quick glimpse of his father.  Wait, what?

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Over at GCPD, Lucius Fox show Jim and Bullock the body of Melanie Blake, who was found wandering the train tracks last night.  She collapsed soon after and died in the ambulance of coronary failure.  Before the train tracks, though, someone gave her a strong electrical current.  More than that, she’d been stabbed three days ago by her boyfriend and was pronounced dead in the ambulance.  Ms. Blake can’t catch a break.

So even though Ms. Blake here was taken to a morgue, she then wound up walking down train tracks.  Bullock is quick to question whether anyone in Gotham City actually dies, but hey, we’re talking a comic book based world, so of course not.

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But enough about that.  How about some drama?  Leslie storms into the precinct and demands that Leslie enters the precinct and demands that Harvey arrest Jim for Mario’s murder.  Sure, Mario was infected, but Jim spared Barnes’ life, but he killed Mario on his own wedding day.  Leslie goes as far as calling Jim a virus, saying that he seeps into people’s lives until he destroys them.

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That night, Penguin awakens in a cold sweat and finds one of his framed certificates smashed.  He then spots Elijah’s ghost pleading for help and saying that someone is not to be trusted.  Who?  Never mind that.  Oswald then receives a late visit from GCPD officers who inform him that someone broke into the cemetery and dug up Elijah’s remains.

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At the morgue, Jim and Bullock speak with the night manager, Dwight Pollard, played by David Dastmalchian, about Melanie Blake.  To his surprise, her body isn’t in the designated drawer.  Worse for the detectives, the morgue has no  security cameras since nothing ever happens there.  Jim decides that he and Bullock should stick around, though Bullock can’t help but notice how jumpy Jim is right now.  Heh.  Jumpy Jim.  Claimed.

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At Wayne Manor, Bruce and Alfred ponder why the owl ornament is so important to the Court, but they’re interrupted by a knock at the door.  As Bruce finds a spot for the ornament, he doesn’t see that when light reflects on the owl, images display on the wall.

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Turns out that the visitor is just Maria Kyle popping before she leaves town.  She hands Bruce a box to give Selina, but Bruce, knowing what it’s like to miss family, advises Maria to stick around.  He’ll take it upon himself to speak with Selina.

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Falcone isn’t concerned with whether Mario was indeed infected, even though the autopsy confirms that he was.  Jim still killed him, and while Falcone cared for Jim, he must take Jim’s life- blood for blood, after all.  In agreement, Leslie blames Jim on all the bad things that have happened to her.

Carmine cautions Leslie: if Jim dies, that’s a weight they will both have to carry.  Falcone is used to such burdens, but not Leslie.  As such, Carmine will be the one to kill Jim.  He asks Leslie if she can live with that.

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Bruce pops by Selina’s spot with the box from Maria, but Selina’s not in a talking mood. While Bruce can’t imagine what Selina is feeling, he knows how hard it can be to forgive. Selina admits that she’s upset about Maria leaving her, but Bruce tells her that Maria is at least trying to reach out.

This may be Selina’s only chance to reach back.  If she pushes away, she may never see her mother again.

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Selina opens the box just as Maria enters and the two hug.  To my dismay, there is no cat costume inside the box.

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Jim and Bullock, having learned that Dwight used to work at Indian Hill- of course- tail Dwight to an old theater where a crowd has gathered.  Dwight takes center stage and rails against Gotham’s finest, calling them slaves who are mentally shackled, but do nothing about it.  But there was one fearless man who understood and stood up to the jailers and puppets.

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Dwight hits the projector and plays footage of Jerome’s message to Gotham when the Maniax attacked the GCPD.  The crowd eats into Jerome’s speech about sanity and repeats it like a mantra.  Jim and Harvey crash the scene and the crowd disperses.  They beat down as many followers as they can, but are unable to locate Dwight.  As the two flee, Jim spots Zsasz and his henchwomen start opening fire.

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Jim flees into a restaurant while Zsasz and his attackers pursue him.  As Zsasz gets out some new guns, he monologues about Jim having a good run.  However, Jim soon engages Victor in a fight and manages to overtake him.

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Meanwhile, back at Oswald’s manor, Elijah’s ghost tells Oswald that he cannot rest until he is underground again.  Worse than that, Isabella is also on the other side and whispering tales of murder.  He informs Oswald to not trust the birthday boy.

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At Arkham Asylum, Leslie speaks with Barnes, who tells her that the virus has made him more focused than ever before.  He calls the virus an antidote for his body and doesn’t believe he needs a cure.  In his future, he plans to judge Jim once he escapes.  Following that, the rest of Gotham’s garbage will be tried, convicted, and executed.  Getting nowhere with this, Leslie leaves.

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Back at Wayne Manor, Alfred gets some compliments from Maria in his cooking, though he ought to keep his eyes open, as both Maria and Selina are able to deprive him of some valuables.  How Alfred keeps Wayne Manor running when he can be robbed so easily is anyone’s guess.  Anyway, Bruce says that Maria can stay the night and leave tomorrow morning.

The next day, an exhausted Oswald arrives at City Hall and hears a crowd wishing Tarquin a happy birthday.  Well, there you have it.

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Oswald enters Tarquin’s office and finds footprints that soon lead him to a closet.  Inside said closet is a bag containing a skeleton.  Tarquin enters, though when Oswald accuses him of this crime, Tarquin admits that he has no idea what Oswald is talking about.  Unsatisfied with Tarquin’s answer, Oswald beats him to death.

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With a bit more clarity thanks to her talk with Barnes, Leslie requests that Carmine call off the hit on Jim.  Carmine rightly guesses that Leslie doesn’t really hate Jim.  Instead, her anger is just to mask the fact that she still loves Jim.

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Interview time.  Ms. Hurst’s first question is how did Oswald do it?  There’s a huge spike in job growth and prosperity.  Immediately, Oswald goes for his glass of water before finally speaking.

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Jim again returns to his crappy apartment just as Bullock enters with extra firepower.  He wants to know why Jim didn’t mention the hit, and it being just Jim’s business isn’t enough of an excuse, given what the two have been through already.

Zsasz enters and lets the machine gun fly.  As the two sides come to a standoff, Carmine enters and tells Zsasz that the hit is off.  Without argument, Zsasz leaves.  Before Carmine exits, he tells Jim that if it were up to him, Jim would still be dead.

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Ms. Hurst chronicles Oswald’s rise, fall, and how people died so he could reach this point. Oswald calls it scandal, but it was murder that sent him to Arkham.  Even still, he considers killing Theo Galavan a service to Gotham City.  Then Hurst brings up Elijah’s suspicious death.  As it turns out, there are rumors that Oswald killed the family to inherit Elijah’s wealth.

Oswald then spots Elijah’s ghost making off with a bloody trophy.  Even though Hurst insist that Oswald stay since the people of Gotham and America want to know the truth, Oswald says the hell with the people and rushes off.  Not the best thing to say on air, Mayor Cobblepot.  However, when he returns to the office, he finds no body or sign of a murder.

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From a distance, Nygma hides the two bodies and congratulate Clayface on a job well done.  Barbara and Tabitha applaud Nygma’s ability to predict that Oswald would go mad on national TV, but Nygma says that it was just about the power of suggestion.

He walks us through his plan, though Tabitha wonders why Nygma didn’t leave the bodies for the cops.  That, Nygma says is too easy.  Rather than send Oswald to jail, Nygma wants this to be a slow and painful death.  First, you take away Oswald’s mind, destroy and take his empire, and once Oswald is alone, put him out of his misery.

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Before Maria can leave, she has some unattended business to attend to, as Selina follows her to a room where she speaks with a man from her past: Cole Clemons, played by P.J. Marshall, who is asking about his money.  Selina tells Cole that the two can get him his money since Bruce Wayne is a friend of hers.  That’s good enough for Cole, who soon leaves.

Maria tells Selina that they have to warn Bruce about Cole.  This man was Maria’s past coming back to haunt her.

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Over at a lab, Dwight reams out a lab technician over Melanie Blake’s disappearance from the morgue.  Upset as he is, this proves that the designs work.  She came back to life, but not for long, as her body couldn’t take the current.  Dwight tells the man to gather the others, as it’s time to get him.

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And who is him?  Why, it’s Jerome, who is in stasis at Indian Hill.

So “Ghosts” throws us back into character conflicts as Jim deals with the consequences of killing Mario, Selina and Maria attempting to bond, Nygma’s revenge on Oswald, Leslie’s conflicting feelings for Jim, and an extended look at the Jerome cult that we saw a bit of on Season Two.

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Now I’ll tackle that first because it was the most interesting part of the episode.  A bit odd, considering that Jim and Bullock don’t get that much ground covered.  They learn about resurrections from Lucius Fox, and Jim has already seen this cult before.  He and Harvey don’t find Jerome or, as far as I can tell, even know that there are plans to resurrect him.

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Maybe that’s because Jim spends the bulk of his time running from Zsasz.  Victor manages to energize any scene he’s in and I’ll admit that I liked the shootouts here more than I have any of Jim’s previous shootouts.  Though for all his talk of how he doesn’t try to kill but outright does it, and then fails, he’s not the best at following up on his assassination promises.

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But once Carmine calls it off, I’m left wondering why.  Jim still killed Mario and Falcone sees that Leslie still has feelings for Jim.  Wouldn’t that make him even more enraged that his son died and Leslie didn’t fully love him?  If anything, I would think that he would still want to have the hit carried out to completion and not change his mind just because of Leslie’s visit with Barnes.

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That’s another thing: Leslie already knows the effects of the virus and what Barnes did while under the influence.  Why would a visit change her mind?  She seemed gung-ho on having Jim killed, which was a huge step up from blaming him for the crazy stuff that’s happened to her, but how does Barnes’ behavior lead to a change of heart?  It didn’t tell her or us something that we already knew.

It felt like an easy way to create conflicting feelings on Leslie’s part, but she was so all over the place here that I almost expected her to try and carry out the hit herself.  She’s already got motivation and Jim, as far as I can tell, hasn’t brought up the knife or done a good job defending himself.

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And I agree with Bullock: why wouldn’t Jim bring up that Falcone is gunning for him? These two have been through hell- a courtesy of living in a city where nobody dies- and there’s no rhyme or reason why Jim would keep this from Harvey.

Oh, about Jerome’s return: who found him?  I would guess Dwight, but Jerome was one of the escapees on that bus that Fish stole in the Season Two finale.  We heard his laugh as he and various others made their way into the city, so between then and now, someone had to find and stick him in this chamber, but I don’t see Jerome going down without a fight. Unless that wasn’t Jerome and just a tease.

Okay, I’m pretty sure that no one really gives a damn about this in the grand scheme of things, so let’s move on.

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As with him getting the better of Jim last season, I liked seeing Nygma be the architect of someone’s slow downfall, even though this wasn’t through riddles- just mind games and screwing with Oswald’s head.  Though in hindsight, when all was said and done, him being involved made sense since Tarquin was only introduced this episode and it would be easy to finger him as the culprit when we don’t know his motivation.

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And between Oswald losing his mind and his comments on public television about the public, his popularity could begin to wane, which could lead to a slow descent for Mayor Cobblepot. And by the way, if Gotham was going to bring back Paul Reubens, even for a bit, I wish more had been done with him.

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Meanwhile, Selina and Maria get a chance to bond, and I appreciate that they don’t click right away.  Of course Selina is going to be upset about Maria for abandoning her and she has every reason to resist Maria’s attempts to reach out to her.  But Bruce, who can’t reach out to his parents anymore, had a point about giving Maria a chance because she may not get another opportunity to reconnect.

Plus, while I don’t know whether the show is trying to set up Maria with Alfred, I did like seeing the two Kyles pull a fast one on Alfred and get some of his goods.

I’m glad that Maria’s presence hasn’t brought the Court of Owls storyline to a halt, as Bruce and Alfred still have the ornament and Court on their mind, but I’m guessing that Maria’s past and Cole’s presence could push the Court to the sidelines for the moment.

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Oh, and one more thing that I’m sure everyone and their mother has no doubt noticed, David Dastmalchian- you remember him, right?  Played schizophrenic Thomas Schiff on The Dark Knight.  Sheesh.  Whether in Nolan’s Batman universe or here, this guy just cannot escape the Joker.

“Ghosts” was a decent return for Gotham, but a bit tedious at times with the main storyline involving Jim, Falcone, and Leslie.  Tedium aside, I am curious where things go and do like the setup.  Nygma will no doubt continue his plan to bring Oswald to his knees, Bruce and Alfred will soon have to deal with more than the Court, and Jerome is set to cause mayhem in Gotham once again.

And with Gotham set to go on another break until April once the next two episodes air, here’s hoping Jerome’s return is an exciting one.

A Look at Gotham- Season 3, Episode 11: “Mad City: Beware the Green-Eyed Monster”

If there’s one positive thing you can say about Jim Gordon, at times, it’s that he’s obsessed with his job.  That’s it.  I never said he was obsessed with doing the right thing or always playing by the rules, but he did just rejoin the force, so maybe he’s back to normal.  Maybe Mario and Leslie’s upcoming marriage won’t cause any more complications than it already has.  Maybe Jim won’t rush to judgment.

I like a good joke every now and then.  We’re now at the halfway point of Gotham’s third season, and by episode’s end, our hero has indeed become the green-eyed monster. Let’s dive right in.

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The episode begins at Gotham Bio Lab, where hematologist Ryan Pfeffer, played by Jonathan Fielding, examines Alice Tetch’s blood.  After leaving, he heads to a bar, where he’s joined by Mario, who tells Pfeffer that he’s getting married tomorrow.  Mario didn’t believe in love at first sight until he met Leslie.  Pfeffer confirms that he is indeed working on Alice Tetch’s blood.

As Mario’s fiance is the medical examiner on the case, Mario brings up the fact that the lab has a test for the virus- a fact that Pfeffer can neither confirm nor deny.  Mario then brings up how Leslie almost married someone else who hopes that Leslie will come running back to him.  With voices blaring in his head again, Mario soon pins Pfeffer to a wall and crushes his skull.

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Over at Wayne Manor, Bruce and Alfred learn from Jacob that Dmitry and Luka have been killed by the Court’s assassin, Talon.  And if Talon saw Bruce with Volk, then the Court may already know Bruce has broken the deal.  Despite still not knowing what’s in the safe, whether it’s okay to trust the Whisper Gang, and the cost of taking on the Court of Owls, Bruce is still willing to fight the Court.

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As GCPD examines the crime scene, Bullock is prepared to hand the case over to Alvarez and wants Jim to take the day off.  Jim, though, refuses, even though it’s the day of Leslie’s wedding.  As the two examine Pfeffer’s head, they realize that it would take an immense amount of strength to crush his skull, and Barnes is ruled out since he’s locked away at Arkham.

Pfeffer’s wallet is still on his person, but whoever killed him took his work badge.  Bullock sees this as a classic case of wrong place, wrong time, but then Jim finds a receipt from the cafeteria of the Gotham Bio-Lab, where Alice Tetch’s blood is being tested.  Jim heads off and has Harvey, acting captain, finish up at the crime scene because he can do that.

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Barbara makes yet another stop by Penguin Manor and is surprised to find Nygma still working instead of looking for Isabella’s killer.  But Nygma isn’t worried, as he has spies all over the city in the event that Isabella’s killer reveals themselves.  Barbara fake coughs out Penguin’s name, but Nygma finds that notion both amusing and absurd.

But Barbara presents a good point: a crime just needs means, motive, and an opportunity. And Oswald had the oldest motive- rich men want it, wise men know it, and the poor all need it.  The answer?  Love.  Nygma finally begins to piece it together, but he still finds it unbelievable that Oswald would be in love with him.  Not Barbara, since she saw Oswald’s jealousy towards Isabella, which led to her unfortunate accident.

With all the evidence in front of him, Nygma asks what Barbara’s motive is, and she’s only interested in seeing justice.  But Ed is still in denial about both Oswald being in love with him or the possibility of him killing Isabella.  Poor, dumb Ed.  With the seed planted, Barbara leaves.

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Bruce, Alfred, Selina, and Jacob do surveillance at one of the Court’s buildings.  Jacob explains the security layout of the building, including one room in particular that has a safe, but also is littered with infrared sensors, so whoever enters the room must cross on a rope.  Jacob offers to do it himself, even though he still doesn’t know what this mystery object is.  Some help you are, Jacob.

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At the lab, a guard tells Jim that Pfeffer’s card key was last used 20 minutes ago and he hasn’t logged out since.  As Jim goes down to check, he finds another dead doctor and is soon attacked from behind from Mario, who he doesn’t see.  With great strength, Mario throws Jim through a window, but won’t kill him since that would make him a martyr and have Leslie love him forever.

For Mario’s plan to work, Leslie has to hate Jim.  Mario leaves a message on Jim’s hand and beckons Jim to find him.

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Later, GCPD arrive, with Bullock and Lucius Fox agreeing that Jim’s attacker was looking for research on Alice Tetch’s blood and, as many of Pfeffer’s files are missing.  In addition, the writing on Jim’s hand spells Arkham, but Jim realizes that this isn’t about Barnes.

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Realizing that Alice might have accidentally infected someone, Jim goes straight to Arkham and confronts Jervis Tetch, who had his suspicion about the accidental infection, but kept quiet until the symptoms started to show.  Jervis sees no reason to give Jim a name, and he’s locked in Arkham, so his life is already hell.  Rather, Jervis speculates what the blood would do to Jim since he already has anger in him.

So Jim plays along with Jervis’ game by rhyming to learn the name of the infected individual, but Jervis doesn’t like Jim’s attempts of playing the game.  Instead, he reveals that Jim will know his name when it is too late, when the one he loves will be murdered by hate.  And one part of the rhyme specifically mentions “from healer to killer is no easy to trick.”  Jim realizes that the victim is a doctor.  He soon leaves Arkham.

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Back at Wayne Manor, while Bruce practices his wire work, Selina prepares to leave, as she has a bad feeling that they’re all being watched.  She’s concerned about Bruce taking on the Court, but Alfred stands by Bruce since it’s ultimately his decision.  Not to mention that even though he made a deal with the people who killed his parents, Bruce did it to protect the people he cares about, including Selina.  And that cost him dearly.

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So Jim has brought Mario to the police department to be tested.  It’s a stretch, but Jim figures that Tetch infected Mario that night at the hospital, which would hopefully explain some of Mario’s behavior, such as the rage he showed when attacked at the shop. Harvey maintains that Jim should have waited until he had enough proof, plus if Mario was infected, there’s no telling why he would want Jim to find him.

As it turns out, after three tests, Mario does not have the virus.  Though Bullock apologizes on Jim’s behalf, Mario sees no issue.  Jim still believes that Mario has the virus and vows that he won’t marry Leslie, but Mario just heads off for his big day.

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As Alfred and Bruce prepare for the break-in, Bruce tells Alfred that once they find this item, the Whisper Gang may try to take it from them.  But it’s not the Whisper Gang that worries Alfred.  Not long after this, Jacob is murdered by the Talon.

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So Oswald is glad that Ed is back to his old self, but he’s stunned when Ed hands over his resignation, as Isabella’s death has changed things.  Oswald won’t allow this, as it’s not in Ed’s best interest to leave- he keep himself busy instead.  Ed asks Oswald if the two of them are friends, and they are, but since the accident, Ed has had the desire to become more than a friend or employee.

Oswald admits that he’s been feeling the same and was too worried to say so due to Isabella, but there’s a problem: Ed meant becoming a business partner.  Easy mistake, I’m sure.

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Jim finds Mario and demands to know how he passed the test, but Mario maintains that he’s not infected.  If the virus stoked Barnes’ anger, it also awakened Mario’s jealousy at the thought of losing Lee.  What keeps Mario up at night is the thought that part of Lee still loves Jim.  In that case, Jim figures that Lee should decide if she’ll go through with the marriage, but Mario isn’t on board with that idea.

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And since, as Falcone’s son, Mario has connections, he has Zsasz hold Jim hostage. For a moment.  Zsasz waits until a certain time to let Jim go, and he’s knocked out for his trouble.  Come on, Victor, you’re smarter than that.

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At a library, after Oswald presents an award, he tells Nygma that he wants things to go back to the way they were before.  He admits that Ed is his best friend and doesn’t want to lose him.  Nygma puts the knife away and hugs Oswald, saying that Oswald is his best friend as well.

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Jim arrives at the chapel just in time to tell Leslie that she can’t marry Mario.  But Leslie expected this, as she knows that Jim arrested Mario and had Fox test him for the virus. Leslie figures that Jervis is planting ideas in Jim’s head and that Jim is obsessed with this marriage.

In another wild theory, Jim thinks that this is what Mario wanted: he wanted to get arrested so Jim would look like a jealous ex, he figured out how to beat the test, and Zsasz let him go so he’d race to the chapel to stop the marriage.  To be fair, Jim, no one made you go to the chapel as fast as you did.

Leslie tells Jim to get help, but Jim admits that he never stopped loving Leslie.  He should have seen her after he got out of prison, but he had to set things right.  But then he saw her happy and he’s regretted not making his move ever since.  Touching, but Leslie says that after the wedding, she and Mario are leaving Gotham.  And damn Gordon for admitting this on today of all days.  She slaps Jim in a rage.

While Leslie and Mario are joined in holy matrimony, Jim fights some of Carmine’s men and gets the hell kicked out of him.

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Bruce and Alfred do more surveillance of the Court building, but Jacob is nowhere to be seen.  No kidding.  Selina joins the two to help out, prompting Bruce to ask if this means that Selina is his girlfriend.  Bruce, shut up.  As the three get to work, they are unaware that they’re being watched…

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Meanwhile, Lucius discusses a theory of how Mario could have beaten the test- it turns out that the test looks for a particular marker in the blood, and this marker can be masked by other drugs.  Turns out that Mario’s blood came off the charts for Cloracinamine.  It’s not proof that Mario killed those men, but it’s enough for a search warrant.

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While is tossed from a speeding car, Alfred, Bruce, and Selina infiltrate the Court’s building and soon find the infrared room.  As Alfred goes to check the rest of the building, Bruce holds a tightrope so Selina can make her way across the room.  Too bad Bruce doesn’t have a grappling hook yet.  Selina reaches the other side and unlocks the safe to find an owl sculpture.  Not the most prized possession, but Selina pockets it anyway.

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Then the Talon enters and attacks the two.  Bruce tosses down a flash bang that gives the two a chance to escape while Alfred soon attacks the Talon.  The Talon is soon knocked out by the mysterious watcher from before, who turns out to be Selina’s mother, Maria, played by Ivana Milicevic.  That came out of nowhere.

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Lucius finds the chemical that Mario used, only for him, Jim, and Bullock to learn that Mario and Leslie snuck out of the reception, so Alvarez was unable to catch them.

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Nygma stops by Barbara’s bar to tell Barbara that he doesn’t want to kill Penguin. Rather, he tells Barbara, Tabitha, and Butch that he wants to destroy him and take away everything that he loves.  With Penguin gone, the underworld would need a new leader, and Barbara volunteers herself.

Nygma knows the crime families would never follow her lead, but Barbara is aware that Ed knows the ins and outs of the families and is great at strategy.  It’s a great combination: the family’s brawn, Ed’s brains, and Barbara’s…screen presence, I guess.  Before Ed can destroy Penguin, he apologizes to Tabitha, who managed to get her hand reattached. Like any person, Tabitha doesn’t buy the apology, but we can work on that.

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At a cabin by the lake, Mario and Leslie talk of Jim’s obsession and how Leslie vowed she would never see Jim again.  What Mario wants to know, though, is if any part of Leslie that still loves Gordon, and he will never ask her again.  Part of her will always care for Jim, yes, but she married Mario and loves him.  And that’s all Mario needed to know.  With that, the two kiss.

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Jim confronts Carmine to tell him that Mario is indeed infected, and while Carmine didn’t know that, he knew his son was in danger.  Carmine will have his men bring in Mario, as he knows Jim would kill Mario if given the chance.  If Mario does have the sickness, he could harm Leslie and do more damage, even if he’s cured.  To speed things up, Jim shoots Carmine’s henchmen and then swears to bring Mario in alive.

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Back at the cabin, Mario continues to hear voices in his head as he approaches Leslie with a knife.  Before Mario can stab her, Jim fires and kills Mario on the spot.  The knife falls into the water and Leslie is left as her husband has now been killed by her ex.  Nice going, Jim.

It’s funny.  Jim rejoined the GCPD in order to make things right and get his life back in order.  And for a minute, it looked like he was on the right track, but his love for Leslie blinded him from being rational.

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However, in a bit of delicious irony, I do like how Jim’s shoddy work and cutting corners have now bitten him in the ass in one of the worst ways possible.  One of my complaints about Jim in the past has been his random hunches and ability to piece a case together on nothing more than a guess.  And now, Jim is trying to solve the matter with Mario without getting all of the facts.  He’s the very green-eyed monster the episode title sees him as.

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If Jim wanted to try and win Leslie back on his side, close the case, and keep Mario from doing any harm, all he had to do was stay away.  If he’d gotten hard evidence to support his claims, Mario might have been arrested and Leslie wouldn’t have ended up with a dead husband.  Instead, Jim’s jealousy and irrational got the better of him, he’s harmed his relationship with both Leslie and Carmine, and it will be hard to prove himself now.

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In addition, he’s now incurred the wrath of Falcone after promising that he would bring Mario in alive.  Yes, he was right about Mario being infected, but why make a decision as rash as shooting and killing Mario?  Put aside how fast Jim seems to get from one location to the next between scenes- teleportation, perhaps?- he also didn’t even, as far as I can tell, call for backup or tell Bullock or Fox, who did have the information that Jim needed.

Let GCPD take care of the situation.  Jim already looks bad for being suspicious and arresting Mario just to have him tested.  There was no need for him to head out to confront Mario on his own except for easy drama.

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Some of the drama is earned, though.  I’ve enjoyed the slow growth of Jim and Leslie’s bond, so for him to admit his feelings for her and how he missed his chance to make things up felt genuine, as did Leslie’s anger that Jim would pick today as the opportunity to come clean to her.  But she’s got every right to be angry because Jim did come off looking like a jealous lover.  Somewhere in Arkham, the Mad Hatter is laughing.

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It will be interesting to see if and how Jim can even get himself out of this mess.  Mario’s knife fell into the water and the only thing Lucius can prove is how Mario beat the test. Not the kind of news that will change Leslie’s mind or make her any less livid at Jim.  While I have some issues with how this all ended, I am looking forward to hopefully seeing what kind of ripple effect Jim’s actions have caused.

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Same can be said for Edward teaming up with Barbara, even if I still find it ludicrous that he couldn’t figure out that Oswald had been playing him.  But he knows now and has every reason to take down Penguin.

What I don’t get is why Ed needs to partner with Barbara.  He said he has spies all over the city, so he must have some network of allies.  I imagine Barbara just wants in for the hell of it and just to see some fireworks.  She did tell Butch last time that she only wanted to start a war, not be involved.

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And it’s a huge leap to go from bar owner to leading Gotham’s underworld, but stranger things have happened.  Look at Penguin.  He went from being Fish Mooney’s umbrella to declaring himself the king of Gotham and he’s still got a great deal of power as mayor, so it might not be too strange for Barbara to have a similar rise.

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Side-note, I was hoping that Tabitha would get some sort of replacement for her hand, like Butch did, but no.  Her hand has been reattached.  Well, you can’t have everything.

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The Court of Owls stuff with Bruce, Selina, and Alfred was fun to watch at times, and they were put in a precarious position as they didn’t have a member of the Whisper Gang to help them.

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Plus, having the Talon after them put them in a dangerous scenario, but they got help from the most unlikely of places in Maria Kyle, who has not committed suicide in this interpretation of the Batman world, unless Maria has nine lives.  Either way, given how little Selina has spoken of her parents compared to Bruce, I hope we get to learn more about their relationship in the rest of the season.

While “Beware the Green-Eyed Monster” sort of crumbles towards the end due to Jim’s actions, it leaves everyone in a challenging position.

Jim has now further damaged his relationship with both Leslie and Falcone and has little to go off of for presenting his defense, Barbara and Ed have teamed up to raise hell on Penguin, and Maria Kyle’s debut should provide an interesting diversion as Bruce, Selina, and Alfred continue their battle against the Court of Owls.  Here’s looking to the second half of Season Three.

A Look at Gotham- Season 3, Episode 10: “Mad City: Time Bomb”

So with Captain Barnes locked away in Gotham City, it’s time to turn to the most important thing to hit Gotham City in years…Mario and Leslie’s upcoming marriage.  Oh, and this strange group about owls or something like that.  This is “Time Bomb.”

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The episode begins with Carmine, Mario, and Leslie discussing the upcoming rehearsal dinner.  With everything going on, Leslie has taken a few days off of work in light of Barnes’ actions, but she maintains that what he did was due to the virus.  In addition, the lab analyzing Alice Tetch’s blood has developed a test to see who is infected.  It’s a step towards finding a cure.

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As the three leave, someone attempts to bring the car around, but once they turn on the ignition, the car explodes.  I hate when that happens.

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When GCPD later arrive on the scene, Carmine pulls Jim aside with a theory: some of his old enemies have resurfaced because Mario is getting married.  Though Carmine is retired, he won’t stand by after something like this, but Jim doesn’t want Carmine tearing up Gotham to get revenge.  He gives Carmine his word that he’ll solve this, and Carmine gives him one day.

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Over at Penguin Manor, Oswald gathers members of the five families to discuss the state of Gotham City in light of Barnes’ downfall.  People will be looking to Gotham’s finest for protection, so Penguin proposes a 50 percent increase in protection fees.  In enters Barbara, who informs Oswald that Tabitha and Butch are missing.  Oswald, though, hasn’t seen Butch since the Red Hood fiasco.

Tabitha has been hiding Butch ever since then, but she hasn’t checked in with Barbara as of recent.  Oswald scoffs at the notion that he was involved.  Rather, he offers Barbara a chance to lower her gun and apologize.  Barbara soon retreats, figuring that Tabitha and Butch must have run off without telling her.  Oswald warns Barbara that if she points a gun again, Olga will be the one to clean her brains off of the floor.

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When everyone leaves, Oswald calls Nygma to ask if he is finished yet.  But Nygma needs to work through his grief in his own way.  True, but Oswald wants him to work faster.  Nygma gets back to work with his hostages: a bound and gagged Butch and Tabitha.  Butch tells Nygma that he will regret this and tells him to let Oswald know to do his own dirty work, but this has nothing to do with Oswald.

However, when Ed brings up Isabella’s death, Butch has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about.  And since that’s the response Nygma wanted, he begins the shock therapy.

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Over at GCPD, Lucius Fox tells Gordon and acting captain Bullock that the car bomb used a mercury switch with military grade plastic, which is high-end for a mob hit.  More than that, the explosive was laced with an accelerant that made the explosive burn at ten times the heat of standard C-4.  Whoever did this didn’t want anything left behind.  Bullock has an idea of a potential lead: an ex-military guy by the name of “Fuse.”

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So Harvey and Jim check it out and find Fuse dead just as he was prepared to leave town.  After inspecting the bed, Jim finds a folder filled with documents on times, locations, and surveillance photos.  Jim realizes that Carmine isn’t the target.

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And in record time, Jim arrives at the hospital where Mario works in order to prevent him from being killed by a pair of assassins on a motorcycle.  When the attackers flee, Jim tells Mario that he is the target.

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Over at Wayne Manor, Alfred prepares frittata for Bruce and Selina, who are in the middle of research to learn about the key.  Alfred doesn’t want anyone leaving the manor if someone is after them, and Bruce agrees.  He goes off to the study for more research, but Selina thinks that it’s just, in fact, an old key.

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At the conservatory, Ivy cares for the plants and asks Alfred to turn off the alarms so she can put the plants outside.  Alfred refuses, so Ivy asks him to smell her perfume.  When she’s close enough, she gets Alfred in a trance, so that’s the perfect time for Ivy to ask how to turn off the alarm.

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Back at GCPD, Jim tells Mario to lay low in case he has any enemies, even though the marriage is tomorrow.  Mario figures that Jim wants the wedding canceled, but Jim needs Mario to trust him since whoever is coming after him will keep coming.  Mario figures that as long as there’s a target on his back, Leslie isn’t safe.  So Jim asks Bullock to keep an eye on Mario while he goes off to talk with Carmine.  And be subtle about it, Harvey.

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With Oswald out, Barbara again stops by the manor and ends up speaking with Olga, who notes Barbara’s expensive looking ring that Barbara soon hands over.  Olga likes how Oswald treats her, but she’s not a fan of Nygma and doesn’t get why Oswald likes him so much.  As for Nygma, Olga remembers that Ed talked about receiving a special delivery, but nothing came to the manor except a bill.

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Despite the shock therapy, Butch still tells Nygma that he’s never heard of Isabella.  In fact, he goes as far to say that Isabella didn’t really exist if she fell in love with Nygma of all people.  Not something you say to the man who can shock you.  Ed turns his attention to Tabitha, who learns that Ed wants to break Butch’s heart before killing him.  An eye for an eye, but in this case, Ed will take a hand instead.

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Selina figures that there is something on the key that can’t be seen, so she dissolves it in vinegar and baking soda.  After some bickering about their sort-of relationship, Selina takes out the key, which does indeed have an engraving.  Upon closer inspection, Bruce sees that the engraving is a bird- not just any bird, but an owl.

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Alfred, however, figures that Bruce just having the key could be seen as breaking the deal with the masked woman and the people she represents.  Bruce still wants to contact with them to let them know that Ivy didn’t know what she stole.  Speaking of, Ivy is nowhere to be seen. Nice going, butler.  Alfred gets a call from a man who wants the necklace in exchange for Ivy.

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So the three arrive at the exchange point and head down a manhole to meet the people holding Ivy.  The leader of this group, Luka Volk, played by Costa Ronin, warns Bruce not to trust Kathryn.  She will betray Bruce just as she and her group betrayed Volk, as he and his comrades are working to destroy Kathryn’s group.  And what is the name of this group? They call themselves the Court of Owls.

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Jim informs Carmine that Mario, now a target, but now safe at GCPD.  With military grade explosion and a sword wielding assailant, this doesn’t feel like a mob dealing, so Jim wants to know if Mario is mixed up in something.

Carmine still believes that Mario is nothing like him, so Jim figures that Carmine doesn’t know something.  Jim gets a call from Harvey, who tells him that Mario has left the GCPD to take care of this matter himself.

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Barbara, now going under the last name Nygma, arrives at a bondage shop and asks the merchant, Todd, played by Brian Charles Johnson, that she was looking for a package that was apparently already delivered.  She then asks Todd to show her how a particular device works.  Todd, like an idiot, demonstrates it in a way that gets him stuck so Barbara can begin the torture.

She needs to get information from Todd on Tabitha’s disappearance, so she demands to know the combination to Todd’s safe.  He gives it up and Barbara gets what she needs without letting Todd go.  Nice going, Todd.

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Butch awakens just in time for Nygma to show off his mini guillotine.  He sets the timer for 55 seconds and tells the two that it can be stopped with the press of a button.  When the timer hits zero, the spring loaded blade will be released.  However, if Tabitha stops the guillotine, . It can be stopped with the press of a button, but if Tabitha pushes it, the button will also send a fatal shock of electricity to Butch.  It’s that or Tabitha loses a hand.

Or, you know, Nygma could avoid wasting time and just remove Tabitha’s hand himself.  Just a suggestion.

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Back underground, Volk explains to Bruce that initiates of his group, called the Whisper Gang, wear masks to ensure their silence until they become full members.  The Whisper Gang are notorious smugglers that used to number in the hundreds until the Court of Owls betrayed them after offering a partnership.  Many went back to Ukraine, but others stayed back in order to enact revenge.

Which brings us to the key, which opens a safe in one of the Court’s buildings.  Inside said safe is a device that can apparently destroy the Court of Owls.  The Gang captured a member of the Court, but even they don’t know what’s inside the safe.  The Court just fears it would fall into the hands of their enemies.

Selina figures that the Court would know who stole it, but turns out that the safe originally had two keys and the Court still has one.  Bruce tells Volk that he stood down because he thought there was no way to defeat the Court of Owls.  If what Volk is saying is true, then that’s no longer the case.

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Jim arrives at a jewelry shop where an armed Mario is using himself as bait.  Jim figures that Mario is protecting a secret if he’s going through all this work.  Assailants soon enter the shop and attack Mario and Jim.  While Jim manages to subdue and arrest his attacker, Mario chokes his to death.

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Back to the sadistic choice, Butch, maintaining his innocence, is instructed by Nygma to plead to Tabitha, not him.  Figuring that Butch will die one way or another, Nygma enacts a new deal: if Tabitha loves Butch enough to sacrifice her hand in exchange for his life, Nygma will free them both.  Tabitha tells Butch that she likes him, but she isn’t in a love place.  Nygma figured that Tabitha would say that.

So Butch tells Tabitha that he’s enjoyed these past few weeks and it’s fine if Tabitha doesn’t love him.  He still loves her.  For a guy like him, that’s enough.  Then Butch confesses to killing Isabella, but he says that he did so by shooting her.  Huh.  In the end, Tabitha refuses to push the button, so when time is up, it’s bye-bye to Tabitha’s right hand.

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Realizing how Butch’s story clashes with how Isabella dead, he sees that Butch didn’t kill Isabella after all.  He heads out just as Barbara arrives.

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Back at GCPD, Jim, Mario, and Carmine observe the one remaining assailant when Bullock arrives with bad news: the assassin is to be transported to a federal facility upstate, meaning that somebody wants him out of the GCPD precinct.  Jim asks Mario about what happened between him and the other assassin.  Jim wants Mario to tell Leslie what happened since she deserves to know the truth.

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In interrogation, Carmine believes that he knows who sent the assassin, but since he figures the assassin won’t talk, Carmine resorts to force.

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In the captain’s office, Bullock gets used to the role and tells Jim that it’s not too late for him to tell Leslie how he really feels.  The talk is interrupted when the two see, on surveillance footage, Carmine dealing with the assassin.  Falcone fishes out one of the assassin’s teeth and is ready to take care of this matter his way now that he knows who hired the assassin.  He also warns Jim to stop pursuing the matter.

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At the docks, a masked man attacks Volk and Dmitry before asking if he found the second key.  A fight breaks out until the masked man overpowers and kills both Dmitry and Volk.

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Over at a hospital, while Tabitha is taken into patient care, Butch tells Barbara that he’s ready for war with Oswald and Nygma.  Barbara, though, is too focused on Isabella and soon pieces together who loved Nygma and doesn’t want to share him.  Barbara wants more than vengeance.  There’s no need to go to war, they just need to start one.

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Carmine presents Kathryn with the tooth, confused since he’s always done what the Court has done, even against his own wishes.  Hey, he got them Indian Hill when Maroni refused to sell, but now the Court now wants to kill Mario.  Carmine swears that if Mario is harmed, he will retaliate with everything that he has.

Kathryn isn’t bothered by Carmine’s threats, as she’s sure that Carmine won’t win.  But if Mario dies, winning won’t be the point.  Gotham will burn.  Kathryn feels that Gotham is on the brink of chaos and only the Court can save the city.  The Court will expect Carmine’s assistance when he’s called upon, but until then, Mario is safe.  With that, Kathryn leaves Carmine.

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Back in his crappy apartment, Jim receives a visit from Leslie, who was on her way to the rehearsal dinner.  Mario told her what happened and how Jim put his life on the line.  She still believes that Mario is a good man and she asks Jim to say what he has to say.  Jim admits that he missed his chance to make Leslie happy, but more than anything, he still wants that for her.

Perhaps saying goodbye is all they have left or they haven’t done it properly yet.  And with one kiss, Leslie bids Jim Gordon farewell.

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She heads off while Mario, watching nearby, is distracted by two random men.  As a voice in Mario’s head tells him that Leslie loves Jim, Mario attacks the men and declares that Leslie loves him and he will never let her go.

With Barnes out of the picture for now and Mad Hatter now in Arkham, Gotham put a lot of attention this week on multiple storylines.  Compare that to the previous episodes, where the bulk of focus went to dealing with the Mad Hatter, and it seems like Gotham would devolve back into a mess at trying to juggle different, potentially unconnected plots.

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But that wasn’t the case here.  “Time Bomb” was a pretty good episode that took advantage of the three plots, advanced each of the storylines, and even managed to tie two of them together, so I expect some of these plots to cross paths as we approach the mid-season finale.

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I feel that it’s inevitable that Jim and Leslie will find their way back together, and with Mario infected by Alice’s blood, this could be the way Gotham makes that happen.  At various points in the episode, Jim is told that he should be honest with Leslie on how he feels about her.  There’s clearly still some chemistry between the two and I am certain that the kiss won’t be the last intimate moment that they share.

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Not to mention that, like in most triangles, one or two elements have to be plagued with jealousy.  While Jim may still have feelings for Leslie, I doubt he would go out of his way to sabotage her relationship with Mario.  But Mario, having now seen Leslie leave Jim’s apartment and knowing that Jim told Jervis to shoot Leslie, has more reason to dislike Gordon more than he already does.

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So why is he a target?  It’s a reveal I’m looking forward to because it would shed light on whatever Mario and Carmine may be keeping from everyone else, but it’s also a way to rope Carmine back into the game as he deals with the Court of Owls.  And given his vast sphere of influence in Gotham City that we’ve seen since Season One, I buy that he’s had involvement with the Court in the past.

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And this is a good way to tie into Bruce and Selina learning more about the Court through the key and their run-in with the Whisper Gang- another element that Gotham has cherry picked from the New 52, by the way.  But with the kids having found the key, the Court is coming after them as well, so I would expect Bruce and Selina to cross paths with Jim soon.

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Plus, I’m glad that Gotham hasn’t had the relationship be the forefront of any scenes Bruce and Selina have.  It comes in small increments, but Gotham doesn’t put too much attention on it.  The show acknowledges the challenges in the ongoing relationship and gets back to the plot.  It’s nice that the show is taking its time with Bruce and Selina, rather than spoon-feeding their bond to us, as was the case in Season One.

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Meanwhile, you would think that a smart guy like Nygma would put the pieces together as far as Isabella’s death, but he puts Butch and Tabitha through the sadistic choice that’s no different than Jervis making Jim pick between Leslie and Valerie.  By the way, I’m curious how Nygma got the drop on Tabitha and Butch.  He doesn’t have any henchmen, as far as I know, and he’s not a strong guy, so how’d he capture the two so fast?

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Well, regardless, Barbara is the one to figure out who killed Isabella and that Penguin pines for Nygma.  And it looks like her next move is to use this information to drive a wedge between the two.  Plus, while Nygma isn’t smart enough to see the bigger picture, he did at least manage to hurt Butch by taking Tabitha’s hand.

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You know, I’m starting to think that Barbara doesn’t even need Tabitha and Butch at her side for any sort of support.  She can clearly walk into any party or gathering no questions asked.  Hell, she could sit in the captain’s chair at the GCPD and I’m sure few of the cops would question that.

With the mid-season finale coming up next, Gotham is shifting its focus away from the Mad Hatter and focusing its attention on the protagonists dealing with the Court of Owls. As powerful as the Court is, and with Carmine Falcone ready to get involved again, things are no doubt going to get hectic as Gotham City heads for war.

A Look at Gotham- Season 3, Episode 9: “Mad City: The Executioner”

Of all the things Gotham wants me to believe, a man being pushed through a wall and crashing onto a car stories below, and still survive, is a huge stretch.  But with Symon telling Jim that who harmed him, all eyes are on Captain Nathaniel Barnes as the GCPD must now contend with one of its own.  This is “The Executioner.”

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The episode begins at GCPD, with Jim and Leslie discussing what happened to Symon at the party.  With the suspect pool wide open, Jim asks Leslie if Barnes talked to her at all. She did, around 9 pm, and Symon died around 10:30.  That’s as much as Jim is willing to discuss with Leslie, though.

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Now Bullock doesn’t want to believe that Barnes would be responsible for Symon’s death, even if Symon named him.  Plus, given Barnes’ squeaky clean record, Bullock believes that if Barnes did anything wrong, he would confess to his crime.  Plus, what would have been the motive?  Doesn’t make sense that a man with a spotless record would just lose his crap.

But Jim reminds Bullock that something has been off with Barnes as of late, not to mention how he almost beat Jervis Tetch to death and how he’s running point on the Paulie Pennies case.  True as that is, neither Jim nor Harvey want Barnes to be guilty.  As for Barnes himself, he’s at home.  Bullock heads to the crime scene to see if forensics can pull prints from the bathroom.

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We then cut to Barnes speaking to three men he is prepared to execute: one a sex trafficker, one involved with drugs, and the third a murderer.  Barnes was waiting for the proof needed before the men sneered at the law.  Tonight, Barnes is the law as he tries the men, finds them guilty, and sentences them to death.  With that, he kicks the stands from underneath the men and watches as the men strangle do death.

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Anyway, some unassuming antiquities dealer allows Ivy into his mansion.  Ivy takes interest in the man’s vault, which is where the man keeps his most precious acquisitions.  The two have just met, so not sure why the man would admit this.  Ivy tells the man all about her profession: she meets men who give her things.

In return, Ivy gives them nothing.  Her love is for the plants, which are more powerful than people imagine.  Ivy has been using the plants to make a perfume that she uses to put the man into a trance.  Ivy orders him to open the vault, which he does, and he’s rewarded by being knocked out.

She enters the vault and finds, among the items, a lovely necklace complete with a green gem.  However, when she leaves the vault, she runs right into the man, who is no match for a knee to the crotch as Ivy flees.

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Over at Penguin Manor, Oswald notes that Edward has been checking his watch nonstop, as he’s expecting a call from Isabella.  Then Ed receives an unexpected call from GCPD- he’s needed at the station, but not told why.  Ed wonders if something happened to Isabella, but Oswald doesn’t believe that to be the case.

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Well, in that case, let’s go to GCPD, where Ed sees Isabella’s body.  He learns that Isabella blew through a red light and crashed into a train, and officers believe she might have fallen asleep at the wheel.  Ed asks if Isabella suffered, but she didn’t.  Oswald offers anything that Ed needs, and with that, Ed embraces Oswald.

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Selina Kyle receives an unexpected visit from Ivy, who finally reveals that yes, she’s the same Ivy Pepper from before.  Just less Clare Foley and more Maggie Geha.

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Bullock gives Jim an update on forensics: tons of prints were found in the bathroom where Symon was attacked, and they put Barnes at the scene.  Bullock, still thinking that Barnes is innocent, suggests that Jim tell Barnes what Symon said.  That way, Barnes at least has a chance to defend himself.  Jim agrees.

Jim then goes into the captain’s office and looks over a few files when Barnes enters. Gordon’s excuse is that he was looking for the Paulie Pennies file since the cases might be related, so Barnes hands it over.  Jim claims that he doesn’t have any new information regarding Symon yet, but Barnes says that, based on witness statements, Symon was still alive when he fell.  And Jim was first on the scene.

However, Jim says that Symon was unable to identify the killer, even though one of the witnesses apparently saw Jim talking to Symon.  Either way, Barnes called a criminal investigator named Sugar, who works out of the East End and apparently admitted to the killing.

That being the case, Jim wants to go pick up this Sugar, but Barnes wants this kept private since the mob still has its pockets in some GCPD officers.  Instead, Barnes and Gordon will handle this themselves.  As the two leave, Jim tells Bullock that he’s headed to an old foundry on 133rd and 6th.

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Barnes hands Jim a shotgun as the two head off.  He tells Jim that he’s disappointed in him since, as lead detective, he didn’t get statements from people present at the murder scene.  Well, Barnes waives his right to counsel and lets Jim ask his questions.  He did see Symon at the party, but didn’t talk to him or see him go into the bathroom before he was attacked.  Barnes was in the bathroom, but before it was a crime scene.

For now, Barnes is in the clear.  He sees Gotham as a cesspool and wonders how cops can fix it.  And he figured that Jim of all people would find being a cop limiting as far as being able to work with the law.  Jim maintains that he cake back to the GCPD to do things right, like when Barnes told about drawing the line.

But Barnes says that their job foremost is to protect the citizens, even if it means bending the laws.  Jim says that crossing the line makes them no better than criminals, but Barnes counters asks if Jim sang that same tune when Theo Galavan died the first time.  The city is at a crossroads and good men must do what’s necessary to fight for it.  Jim then notes that Barnes has passed their stop, but no.  Turns out he meant to say 136th and 3rd.

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Because she doesn’t have many options, Selina brings Bruce to see the new and recast Ivy, who is busy eating all of Selina’s food.  Selina is upset that Ivy didn’t tell her she was alive, but in Ivy’s defense, she was too busy having fun taking stuff from guys now that she looks different.

As for what Ivy gives them, it depends.  Bruce concedes that Ivy does look nice because he has poor timing.  Ivy then reveals that she’s in trouble for stealing a necklace.  This irritates Selina, and though she’s in no position to argue about stealing, she at least doesn’t get caught.  The conversation comes to a halt when Bruce hears a sound.  Intruders are heading their way, but Bruce, Ivy, and Selina manage to flee.

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Barnes and Jim confront Sugar, played by Wade Mylius, to ask about where he was last night.  He’s unfamiliar with the name Symon and his alibi is that he was at the fights.  Barnes believes that Sugar is telling the truth and didn’t kill anyone, but he sure as hell isn’t innocent, so Barnes blasts him with the shotgun.  He then turns the gun on Gordon.

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Bruce, Ivy, and Selina continue their escape, with Ivy unsure about the masked men coming after her.  Bruce offers to just buy the necklace.  That way, Ivy gets paid and the necklace can be returned, so hopefully the men won’t have to harm her.  And Bruce is so confident in his plan that he meets all of Ivy’s proposed prices, but he ultimately decides on $5,000. That or Ivy can get out of this situation on her own.  Nicely done, Bruce.

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In the middle of posing for a painting, Oswald, speaks to a melancholy Nygma, who is drowning his sorrows in music.  Oswald knows what it’s like to lose someone and warns Ed that what he’s doing isn’t healthy.  In fact, Oswald finds it scare, so he tells Ed to heal by moving on with his life.

Ed concedes that Oswald is right, so he’ll go to where Isabella was taken from him and say his goodbye.  Oswald says that Isabella would want Ed to be happy, but nonetheless, Ed leaves.

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Barnes knows that Jim is thinking about why killed Symon and now Sugar.  Plus, he knows that Symon said something to Jim before he died.  So yes, Jim knows that Barnes killed Symon and Paulie Pennies.  Barnes calls himself the law and claims that he’s always been this way- he just needed something to unlock it, but he’s not sick.

In fact, he’s never felt better.  Jim finally realizes that Barnes is infected with Alice’s blood, so Barnes is innocent and just needs help.

But Barnes doesn’t see himself as insane.  Jim isn’t seeing the big picture: Barnes plans to frame him for Sugar’s murder.  Barnes deals in absolutes and believes Gotham needs people like him who have the courage to cross the line.  Barnes wants Jim to join him, and given how Jim shot Galavan, he’s in no position to take the moral high ground.  But Jim wishes he could undo that because of what he’s lost.

Oh, but Barnes isn’t ready to turn back.  He detests how criminals thumb their noses at the law and now he’s drawing a line in the sand.  As for Jim, he stands against Barnes. The two are interrupted by a man who arrives for Sugar, and this gives Jim the opportunity to dive through a glass window and run off, even though that dive probably should have killed him, but who am I to start talking about realism?

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As Ed stands at the train tracks where Isabella had her accident, he remembers that he’s only four blocks from Isabella’s apartment.  A nearby blind homeless man tells Nygma that he heard a woman screaming, but before the crash.  How odd indeed.

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Bruce, Ivy, and Selina arrive at the mansion and find the man now dead with an arrow through his eye.  Turns out he was killed by the same men that pursued them.  Bruce wonders why the necklace is so important, but Selina doesn’t give a damn.

She throws and shatters it, revealing a key inside.  Good thing she decided to throw it.  And this is where Ivy pieces together that Bruce and Selina are apparently a couple, though they give different answers as to whether that’s the case.  Bruce’s plan is to reconvene at Wayne Manor.

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Bullock returns to GCPD, where Alvarez explains that Jim apparently shot an unarmed citizen and tried to take out Barnes.  If Jim doesn’t come in quiet, things could go south for him.  Just then, Bullock gets a call from Jim, who tells him about Barnes being infected with Alice Tetch’s blood and how he just killed an unarmed man in front of him.

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So Bullock relays this information to Leslie, who believes that Bullock has to tell the GCPD, but he knows no one would believe him.  The medical examiner, though, that’s a different story.  Right now, Harvey needs Leslie to trust Jim because right now, the two of them are all he has.

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Continuing his investigation, Edward examines Isabella’s car and finds that her brake lines had been cut, so he wonders who is powerful enough to pay off the GCPD so they wouldn’t notice.

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Back to the chase, Barnes corners Jim and laments how the two of them would have made a great team.  Before Barnes can fire, GCPD arrive on the scene, fully aware of what Barnes has done.  With a momentary distraction, Jim tackles Barnes and a fight breaks out.  Jim manages to get his hands on a gun, but Barnes refuses to lower his weapon.

Instead, he orders Jim to stand down so he can escape.  If the cops want to hunt him, that’s fine, but he wants Jim to let him escape.  Barnes maintains that he’ll save the city and that he’s the same as Jim, but he has the guts to admit it.  Jim fires a shot and manages to put Barnes down for the moment, but leaves him alive.

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Ivy and Selina settle in at Wayne Manor.  Ivy hopes that she didn’t mess things up with Selina and Bruce, though Selina maintains that Bruce isn’t her boyfriend.  Funny, Selina.

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The assailants continue investigating Selina’s spot until one pulls apart a brick wall and finds newspaper clippings on the Wayne murders.

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Jim arrives at GCPD and tells Leslie that Barnes is alive.  It turns out that Leslie might have fabricated a blood test stating that Barnes had a psychosis-inducing virus.  Hey, at least justice prevailed.  Jim thanks Leslie for her help before she departs.

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When Ed returns to the manor, Oswald has a surprise for him.  See, he regrets not being compassionate enough for Ed, so he had the artist include Ed in Penguin’s portrait. But Ed has no time for sentimentality.  He knows that Isabella was murdered because who would actually fall asleep just four blocks from her apartment?

Oswald doesn’t want Ed to get so worked up, but Ed is on a roll.  Given that the brake lines were cut, Ed surmises that Isabella’s murderer was none other than…Butch in retaliation for exposing him as the leader of the Red Hood Gang.  Oswald swears that he will help Ed find Butch to make him pay for what he’s done.

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Now that the captain’s office is empty, Bullock feels that it’s cursed.  Well, between Essen and now Barnes, he’s not wrong.  He apologizes for doubting Jim, but Jim says that Bullock didn’t doubt him when it mattered.  And that’s what matters.  Jim eyes the captain’s chair with a sense of longing.  Almost as if it’s destiny calling him.

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The episode comes to a close as Barnes, now incarcerated at Arkham Asylum, yells ‘Guilty’ over and over again.

It’s interesting that Gotham has given us a look at Jim’s psyche and examine his dark and tortured self for the past two seasons.  Though he’s been confronted on his wrongdoings, more recent with his vigilantism, what Jim had to contend with might as well have been a mirror image of him.

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Or rather, a harsher version of himself.  When Barnes entered the scene in Season Two, he pledged to sweep the city and GCPD clean of corruption.  He’s always been by the book and, as Bullock said, would give himself a ticket for even a minor offense.  He’s the idealist that Jim was in the first season, but with more authority and experience under his belt.

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But after being infected by Alice’s blood, Barnes becomes the sort of vigilante that Jim would be if he kept going down his dark path and continued to cross the line. I found this to be a nice way to draw parallels between the two and I kept wondering if Barnes would have snapped on Jim at all.  But despite his violent outbursts before, he managed to keep his rage in check.  Plus, Jim hasn’t killed anyone as of recent.

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Though I did like how Jim didn’t try to act high and mighty.  And truth be told, he couldn’t. Even putting aside him shooting and killing Galavan, he’s still been a bounty hunter that operates outside of the law and without a badge.

But Barnes has taken it a step further by deeming himself Judge, Jury, and Executioner. He shares Jim’s notion that Gotham City is a cesspool that needs to be drained, but he doesn’t stop at crossing the line once.  After spending so much time believing in the very system that has let Barnes down, he’s seeing things in a new light thanks to the effects of Alice’s blood.

Worse Than a Crime- Jim shoots Theo Galavan

And while Jim wishes he could take back killing Galavan, Barnes welcomes becoming a murderer if it means ridding Gotham of a few criminal elements.  So it’s like Jim is seeing the man he could have become if he didn’t stop with Galavan.  What if he had killed Fish Mooney? Or Jervis Tetch?  Or Valerie Vale for breaking up with him?

Okay, that last one wouldn’t have happened, but how much of a twist would that have been?

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Anyway, the kids return to the story with Ivy revealing her new self to Selina.  Roping Bruce in felt contrived at first, but he did ask Jim to look for her, and him being there provided a potential out for Ivy by paying her for the necklace.  That felt like a very Bruce Wayne thing to do, and it didn’t need a Bat-credit card.  Based on the masked men searching for the key, I wager this will tie into the Court of Owls.

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Then you’ve got Nygma looking into Isabella’s murder.  First off, how much of a waste did that end up being?  You bring back Chelsea Spack, give Ed a woman who seemed to genuinely love him, and then she dies due to Oswald’s jealousy.  It could have been anyone.  Why someone who looked so similar to Miss Kringle?

Anyway, in addition to being so analytical, Ed did work in forensics at the GCPD, so he knows a thing or two about crime scenes and piecing together a larger puzzle.  So I’m glad he knows that Isabella’s death was no accident, but him settling on Butch as the murderer felt like a forced way to keep him from figuring out the real culprit.

And Butch never even met Isabella.  As far as I know, he’s still holed up with Tabitha and Barbara, so even if he did somehow meet Isabella, under what circumstances would he learn that she had feelings for Ed?  This just makes Ed to look like a moron when he should be smart enough to realize that Oswald is hiding something from him.

That said, “The Executioner” had a good main story with Jim facing off with himself as Barnes came to embody what he once was when he chose to kill Theo Galavan for a greater good.  Hopefully with Jim wanting to learn from his mistakes, he avoids going back down that dark road.

The stuff with Bruce, Ivy, and Selina was fine, but felt more like setup and an excuse to have Ivy poke and prod Selina about her supposed ‘relationship’ with Bruce, and we didn’t need that, but hey, shows that while Ivy may be recast, she still acts like a kid at heart. As for Oswald and Ed, Nygma better start realizing that the person who murdered the woman he loved is right in front of him.

A Look at Gotham- Season 3, Episode 8: “Mad City: Blood Rush”

You can lock the Mad Hatter in Arkham Asylum all you want, but you can’t get rid of his sister’s blood, which is still surging through Captain Barnes.  Now to see the captain take the law into his own hands.  This is “Blood Rush.”

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The episode begins with a man, Paulie Pennies, played by Peter Patrikios, loading some items over a dead body into the back of his van.  As he prepares to leaves, he tries to avoid eye contact with Captain Barnes, who decides to tail Paulie.

Grabbing his gun, he investigates a nearby rundown building and confronts Paulie, who is in the middle of carving a body into pieces.  Paulie says that he’s just the cleaner and puts the bodies into acid.

Barnes, now enraged beyond thought, heads towards Paulie and unwilling to read the man his rights.  That would eat at him if he did.  Paulie’s defense is that he was hired by someone called The Toad, but Barnes still wants Paulie to suffer.  Up until now, he’s been able to control his rage, but it’s getting stronger.  Barnes is past the point of arresting as he charges at Paulie.

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The next morning, Mario and Leslie talk about Carmine’s plan to throw them an engagement party.  Most of the city will be coming, and Leslie is fine with this.  She thinks Mario should be as proud of himself as his father is.  Leslie tells Mario that Jim is returning to the GCPD starting today.  She’s known this for a few days, but didn’t bring it up before.

Mario brings up that the two agreed about Jim not being part of their lives, but Leslie reminds him that if he trusts her, then nothing else matters.  But after what happened with Tetch, it’s all that’s been on Mario’s mind.

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At GCPD, Jim returns to familiar territory as the police are hard at work locking up perps.  Harvey is ready to bring his partner on a call, but before the two leave, he gives Jim back his badge.  Good to be back indeed.

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Nygma presents Isabella with a damn good looking breakfast.  She’s going away for two days, and Ed will miss her, even though she won’t be gone for long.  As for this Librarian’s conference, Isabella reads her schedule of events to Nygma.  But when she puts on her backup glasses, since she normally wears contacts, this strikes a chord in Nygma and causes his hands to tremble.  He quickly excuses himself.

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In the bathroom, Nygma tells himself that it’s just a pair of glasses, but then he gets a blast from his past as Miss Kringle appears to him.  Kringle asks Nygma how long this can last until Ed does harms her, but Nygma is certain that won’t happen.  Kringle tells Ed to face up to the fact that he’s a killer.  It’s only a matter of time.

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Bullock and Gordon arrive at the crime scene and find out about Paulie’s dealings.  The two find blood spattered all over the walls, along with Paulie’s head separated from his body.  The two decide to call Barnes.

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We then cut to Arkham, as Barnes speaks to a giddy Jervis Tetch about how he can overcome Alice’s blood.  Jervis wants something in return, but he tells Barnes that the virus makes the darkest parts of a person come to life.  If Barnes admits these dark things, Tetch will tell Barnes everything that he knows.  Barnes speaks about his anger towards criminals, but Tetch sees violent, bloody rage.

As for whether there’s a cure, Jervis admits that there is, but that means giving in and letting Alice win.  Jervis asks Barnes if he’s heard any dark voices from deep within him, whispering until Barnes sees the world as it really is.  After that, there will be no more Barnes, but only Alice.  Jervis gets inside Barnes’ head, figuring that Barnes is trying to make up for his mistake.  Barnes maintains that he can, in fact, atone for his mistakes.

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Back at GCPD, Jim catches up with Leslie, who figures that it was only a matter of time before Jim returned.  After all, it’s where Jim belongs.  Valerie is out of the hospital, but the two aren’t on good terms now.  Jim tells Leslie that he’s not trying to make this awkward.  Leslie tells Jim about the engagement party tonight and then tells Jim that she’s only done a preliminary examination on the two bodies.

One of the faces had been surgically removed.  As Jim leaves, Leslie tells him that she believes he made the right decision to return.

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Bullock and Gordon speak with Barnes about the bodies and Leslie’s preliminary report.  The acid would have removed the identity, so why was the face removed?  Barnes tells the two that he’ll be taking point and wants the two to follow the physical evidence.

As Bullock leaves, Barnes tell Jim that he didn’t meant to bite off his head.  And he doesn’t want anyone hazing him.  Then Martinez enters and brings Barnes a file on The Toad.

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Over at Penguin Manor, Nygma talks to a smiling Oswald about his love woes, but Oswald isn’t paying much attention.  Oswald finds it beautiful and sad that Nygma is willing to break up with Isabella to save her, and Nygma agrees.

If he hurt Isabella, he would never forgive himself.  But Nygma can’t break up with her- he needs Oswald to do it for him.  If so, Ed would be forever in his debt.  But Oswald must be gentle.  Dream on, Ed.

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Barnes heads to a bar to find The Toad and when he doesn’t get a satisfactory answer, he starts laying waste to some of the bar patrons.  Finally, The Toad, played by Gerald Bunsen, speaks up and tells Barnes that he’s merely a middleman who hired Paulie.

He provides the name of a Dr. Maxwell Symon- a big time plastic surgeon with a solid business.  If you get into trouble and need a new face, the doctor can give it to you.  Barnes is still ready to kill The Toad, who reminds the captain that he’s supposed to be a cop.  True as that is, Barnes takes Toad off to bring him to this Dr. Simon.

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So Penguin pays Isabella a visit just as she’s preparing to leave.  Straight to the point, he tells her it’s over between her and Nygma and she shouldn’t contact him anymore. Sounds simple, yeah?  Isabella is distraught, but Oswald wants to know what the two have in common.  After all, he doesn’t believe that Isabella is on Ed’s level.

That’s true, but Isabella won’t let Ed go.  The two love each other, which Isabella notes is rare.  She also sees that Oswald loves Nygma as much as she does, but she isn’t jealous.  She knows that Ed is afraid of hurting her like he did with Miss Kringle.  A furious Oswald demands that Isabella let Ed go, but she refuses.  With that, Oswald leaves.

And that’s how a love triangle starts, people.

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So The Toad leads Barnes to Dr. Simon’s location, all from the comfort of a car trunk. Barnes heads upstairs and confronts Dr. Maxwell Symon, played by William Abadie, who is just about to operate on a frightened, gagged woman.  Maxwell accepts arrest, but Barnes looks around and sees various faces in jars.  He asks how many people Maxwell has killed, but that’s when Maxwell waives his right to an attorney.

The bloodlust gets to Barnes and he begins to hear the very voices Tetch spoke of earlier.  It drives him to rage and he points his gun at a defenseless Maxwell.

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Lucius Fox speaks with Jim and Harvey about the amount of strength it would have taken to remove Paulie’s head from his body.  As for the bathtub victim, a puncture mark indicates that they were drugged prior to having their face removed.

Lucius will run a toxicology, but Bullock and Barnes note that Lucius is in Forensics, not the Medical Examiner’s office.  Leslie didn’t present this information because she’s already left for her engagement party.  Bullock wasn’t invited, but he’d much rather work with Jim anyway.

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Then Barnes enters with Dr. Symon in tow.  Jim congratulates Barnes, who may be glad that he won the battle, but might have lost the war.  As far as who killed Paulie, and not John Doe, that killer is still out there.  With that, Barnes retreats to the captain’s room and places both his badge and gun on the desk.

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At the engagement party, Mario addresses the crowd and agrees with his father that marrying Leslie was the best decision he could make.  After rattling off her positives, the two kiss.

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Barbara, for whatever reason, is also at this party, as she is some guy’s plus one.  Leslie wants her gone, but Barbara wants to bury the hatchet.  Barbara just wanted to ask if Leslie misses the heat that comes from being with a tormented man like Jim.  No, Leslie doesn’t miss that darkness.  Barbara finds that sad, and with that, she leaves.

Seriously, was there a point of Barbara being here?

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Barnes is also at this party, but he just came to congratulate Leslie on her happiness.  Leslie wants the captain to stay for at least one drink, and he can, but no work talk.

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Of the materials in Symon’s lab, Lucius came across a particular anesthetic cocktail that was also found in the John Doe.  Bullock enters to tell Jim and Lucius that Symon walked because the victim refused to press charges.  In addition, a judge has ordered Symon’s immediate release.  It helps to have friends in Gotham, you know?

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Back at the party, Carmine introduces himself to Barnes, who believes that Falcone belongs behind bars for running the city’s criminal underworld.  In Barnes’ eyes, no one is above the law.  Falcone doesn’t back away from what he’s done, as he’s done plenty of good for the city.

When Carmine leaves, Barnes calls Alvarez to tell Jim that he’s bringing in the man responsible for Paulie Pennies’ murder.  No backup, since he’s coming in of his own accord.  But that’s when Barnes spots Dr. Symon at the party.  One word rings out in Barnes’ head: guilty.

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Nygma stops by Isabella’s place, having received her note.  She hasn’t left for her conference because there are more important things to attend to, like speaking about this potential breakup.

We don’t see Isabella until now, and that’s important because she comes out looking just like Miss Kringle.  Ed wants to leave, but Isabella slaps Ed and tells him to face his fears.  She grabs his hand and puts it around her neck, but Ed doesn’t squeeze.  He goes right in for the kiss.  Ed does at least want Isabella to keep the glasses on.

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Jim and Harvey arrive at the party to arrest Dr. Symon, who, according to Mario, is a favorite among Gotham’s women.  Harvey goes off to look while Mario speaks with Jim about the decision for Jervis to shoot Leslie.  He wants Jim to admit that he still loves Leslie.

Mario will do whatever it takes to protect Leslie, but Jim wants Mario to drop the jealousy because it’s weak.  Mario responds with a punch, and for Leslie, Jim gives Leslie that one.

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Barnes finds Dr. Symon and files into a rage as he begins attacking him again.  The enraged captain tells Symon that he’s seeing clearly for the first time- he put his trust in the system for years and held back from doing what he wanted, but now he’s seen the truth.  Not just Simon, but Gotham City itself is guilty.

And Barnes isn’t about to keep following the law.  He’s Judge, Jury, and Executioner, and with that, he forces Dr. Symon through a wall.  Simon falls down many stories until he crashes into a car.

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Meanwhile, Ed returns and tells Oswald that everything is fine between him and Isabella, who showed Ed that he was worried over nothing.  Penguin is happy for Ed.  Sure.  With that, Ed retires for the night.  Once Ed leaves, Penguin tells Gabe that Isabella underestimated him.  Gabe, with a pair of pliers, tells Penguin that the job is done.

Conveniently, Isabella is driving and is heading right towards a railroad crossing.  And guess whose brakes have been cut…

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Back at the party, Bullock tells Jim that Symon was nowhere to be seen.  Then Barnes comes down and tells Jim that the lead on the person who killed Paulie turned out to be a dead end.  In addition, Barnes informs Jim that that things are about to change in Gotham, starting with the two of them cleaning the city.  As Jim leaves, Barnes watches the partygoers as a voice repeats that they’re all guilty.

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But downstairs, Jim finds Symon, who not only still alive, but weak enough to tell Jim that Barnes is the one who injured him.

It’s interesting how even though the Mad Hatter is locked away at Arkham Asylum, his presence is still felt through the effects that Alice’s blood are continuing to have on Barnes.  It’s a good way, I feel, to still have Jervis be around, even in a limited role, just to taunt Barnes as he goes through his personal hell.

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And the show easily could have had Jervis present throughout by having Barnes revisit him, but that wasn’t necessary since he tried to solve this problem on his own.  And Barnes has been a pretty proactive guy, so it makes sense that he’d make an attempt to temper the rage, even if he’s failing at it.

Strike Force- Barnes addresses GCPD

You would think, given how transparent Barnes has been since his introduction and wanting to air out any secrets in the GCPD, that he would tell someone about his condition.  Hell, he doesn’t even have to tell other officers like Jim or Harvey- he could just tell Leslie or Lucius Fox, but there’s no guarantee that they would have kept quiet.

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And given how concerned Barnes has been about the results of the blood tests, I thought at least Lucius would be suspicious of the captain’s behavior.  That could all come later, since Harvey did note that Barnes wasn’t using his cane at one point, so between all of that and Symon telling Jim what Barnes did to him, the GCPD will soon be turning their attention towards their captain.

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That said, it’s unfortunate that, in a past life, Michael Chiklis played Ben Grimm and not Bruce Banner, because given how Barnes is having episodes of being filled by blind rage, this was a perfect opportunity for an Incredible Hulk joke, even if it was an indirect nod. Hey, Arrow referenced Age of Ultron, so surely Gotham can reference a character.

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If I wanted to dig deeper, I would wonder if Barnes’ anger is, as Jervis predicted, him seeing the world as it really is.  He came into Gotham to clean up the GCPD, and while he made a good first start, it’s been difficult to eliminate all corruption from the city.

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Could this be his frustration at how much filth pollutes the system?  That could be me looking too far into it and Gotham isn’t really asking me to find something meaningful behind character actions.

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Anyway, although we don’t get to spend much time with Jim getting back into the swing of things at the GCPD, I always enjoy Jim’s conversations and interactions with Bullock, who seemed more than happy to have his partner back.  Though, like Jim, I can do without the petty drama between him, Leslie, and Mario.

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There’s already enough love triangle nonsense going on between Ed, Oswald, and Isabella.  She just got introduced, and given how she’s head over heels for Nygma, I doubt she met her end at being hit by a train off-screen.

Not only is that too easy, it would further the cliche by having Oswald’s move enrage Ed and further divide the two.  Like Oswald’s plan to tell Isabella about the bad things Ed has done, this plan has the potential to backfire.

So “Blood Rush” gave us an enraged, all-powerful Barnes who is ready to clean Gotham City from top to bottom, but since Jim and others in the GCPD are aware of how the recent changes in Barnes’ demeanor, they’re sure to turn their sights on him.  Jervis Tetch may be in Arkham, but his plan to taint the city with Alice’s blood lives on in the new Judge, Jury, and Executioner Captain Barnes.