"What are rules to the man who arrested the mayor of Gotham?"
Bruce needs to choose between his friends and his affections as Jim comes to terms with the death of Officer Parks and investigates the mysteries surrounding Galavan.
As the episode opens, we see a running woman whose attacker suddenly disappears, whisked away from behind. It isn't clear who - two hands and a black coat.
Cut to Jim, suffering as he deals with the consequences of the previous episode. He's lost yet another young office to the horrors of Gotham. Katherine Parks' funeral is fairly eloquent. Jim is exactly where I thought he'd be: convinced the wrong thing to do was the right thing to do. Instead of seeing his actions with cuffing Flamingo as an exacting of true justice, he's seeing them as acts of cowardice. Instead of seeing taking the law into into his own hands for what it is–suggesting Law is something to be taken into one's own hands, at a whim–he's seeing murder as necessary and due process as an irrelevant aside. I fear this is going to have long term consequences, although in this episode he's the one cautioning Harvey to behave. Jim's misgivings about Galavan slowly bear fruit; a lead takes Jim and Harvey through the sewer to the monks and the St. Dumas cult. Their hard work proves for naught, however. Galavan's release from jail, the fight in court, and subsequent turning of the tables by Galavan against Jim–and the epic beating proving the Mayor every bit as skilled with violence as his sister–and the fact that he was aided by traitor cops–push Jim as far down to the bottom as he's ever been.
Let's talk about that for a moment, shall we? Galavan clearly had the turning of the former mayor planned for awhile now, but it stunned even me. With the focus of the city now on the Penguin, is there anything that can stop him? Meanwhile, Nygma's feeling the more practical frustrations of having the Penguin as a roommate, and worries about his murder of Kristin Kringle being discovered. Lee is nosing around, and Nygma kept Kringle's glasses. He's putting out the plausible story of Kristin having left with Dougherty. Not a lot of story for Nygma tonight, but solid, and we do know that Penguin's men know Penguin's staying with Nygma. What I'm wondering is how long it'll be before the tenuous threads of civilization snap and murder becomes the easier answer for the nascent killer. Penguin seems to be less sane than usual. Is Nygma having a dissociative effect of sorts?
Selina training Bruce to be a spy is cute, is awesome. I unreservedly loved Bruce this episode, and I certainly think it's connected to having Selina on-screen with him from the get-go, climbing trees. Part of it is guilt - I clearly misjudged him last episode. He gets the danger represented by Silver, and takes the advice of Selina and Alfred to heart. Here, we see him go all the way in reversing the game just a little bit–and using situational subterfuge to terrify some information out of Silver. I didn't think Bruce had it in him. I was ready to believe he would betray his friends for love when he whispered in Silver's ear. Instead he showed the first true signs of being able to deceive that we'd expect of a budding Dark Knight. The bracing of Silver by Tom the Knife, played perfectly by Tommy Flanigan, was just perfectly done, and the denouement more than satisfying. The final confession of feelings for Selina by Bruce was wonderfully done and touching. Then Bruce gives her a car. Classy. Could these two have a relationship? Gotham really works well when it isn't afraid to reinvent. I just wish they'd told Alfred about their plans; in his hunt for Bruce, he winds up with a knife in his back and a spurting wound.
Despite all this wonderful character building and plot development, the last five minutes reverse everything: we end with the tables turned: Bruce in the power of Galavan and Jim in the hands of a not-too-sane-looking Penguin, who's hunting for the released Galavant. I wonder if Selina will save the day for one or the both of them?
Bits and Pieces
Barnes says the phrase "Five by five"? Does he have a daughter named Faith at some point? Seriously, I'm not sure what to make of the character. He basically, every time Jim gets involved, goes "No, no, well, fine, okay," and you get the feeling he's going to continue to excuse quite a bit from Jim. The most incomprehensible part of this episode, IMHO, was Barnes trying to keep Jim off the case when Jim's proven right all along.
It was nice to see Selina smirking at Silver getting her comeuppance. Just saying.
When Jim hit Galavan, I noted Galavan smirking. Then when Galavan fights Jim full-on, you can see why.
Jim: They were big in the old days in Gotham, then about a hundred years ago they vanished. It was their crest we found in Galavan's penthouse.
Barnes: And now they're back and they're pissed off that their home is a high-end rub-and-tug joint.
Harvey: Just when you think Gotham's shown you her last jewel, she reveals herself like a flower.
Jim: You're mixing metaphors.
Harvey: I'm in a freakin' sewer.
Selina: So, when you whispered to her b-b-before she went to her uncle, what did you say?
Bruce: You want to know what I said.
Selina: Hey, if you don't want to tell me, then I can leave.
Bruce: I told her I've never met anyone like her. I told her I trusted her with my life. And that... I felt tied to her in a way that I... couldn't explain, but wouldn't change. Ever. The best liars always tell the truth.
Selina: That was true?
Bruce: Yes. Just not about her.
(Selina smiles, unguardedly)
This was actually a great episode which I thought was fairly well-plotted, made sense, and used all the characters in interesting ways. We've seen the Angst of Jim again and again, but it felt fresher this time: maybe because we've got Barnes on the "Good" side now, and we're seeing that approach isn't always appropriate for Gotham. Four out of five throwing knives.