It’s the end of season finale of Gotham – where has the time flown – and they’ve gone out on a high, with less stories covered this week but as jam-packed and high powered as the rest of the season. It’s been a real roller coaster of emotion, and we’re not quite sure we’re prepared to wait the four long months to February until we’re back in Gotham City again.
The recap takes us back to Bruce, Alfred and Selina’s dealings with The Whisper Gang, and the mysterious key which is central to the equally mysterious Court Of Owls. We see the twisted story of Tabitha and Butch, as well as Ed, Oswald, and Barbara. But the main focus tonight, and the pivotal piece in the Mad Hatter story arc – Barnes, Lee, Mario, Jim, and the infected blood of Alice Tetch. And this is where this week’s epiosde begins.
We’re in Gotham City, at a lab, and a haemotologist, whose name we later discover is Ryan Pfeffer, is finishing his work for the day. He puts away some blood samples, and then goes to a local bar, where he’s approached by Mario. Mario tells him he’s getting married tomorrow, and asks Ryan what he does, and upon discovering he’s a haemotologist, pumps him further, explaining his fiancee is a doctor with the police, so he knows about the virus. Has he come up with a test? Somehow he gets Ryan alone and in a particularly gross moment, squeezes his skull so tightly that his brains burst out…eww. He grabs Ryan’s lab access card and leaves.
At Wayne Manor, the second in command of the Whisper Gang is telling Bruce, Alf, and Selina that their leader has been assassinated. Bruce asks what his next step is. The plan is to break into one of the many properties maintained by the Court Of Owls – which is where the vault, containing the secret of the keys, is kept. Getting in involves sliding down a wire from one building to another, and then tightrope walking over some lasers. Bruce is pretty bad at this, and Selina knows it. It’s pretty obvious where this is heading. She tells Alf that she feels like someone is watching them.
Bullock and Jim are at the scene of the crime, and Bullock tells Jim to take the day off, he’s handing this over to Alvarez. As if that’s ever going to happen! Jim thinks the strength needed to squash Ryan’s skull (eww) could only have come by superhuman means – and both think Barnes – impossible! He’s in Arkham! But Jim, like a dog with a bone, finds a receipt in Pfeffer’s pocket which comes from the lab he worked at. Off he goes…
Across town at the Mayoral Mansion, Babs and Ed are chatting. Ed is trying hard to work out who killed Isabella. Babs meanwhile fake coughs, “Penguin”. Ed is blinded to what she means until she says, “Means Motive Opportunity” – he knows the means and opportunity but what is his motive? Babs supplies a riddle, the answer to which is love. No way! Ed is stunned. Barbara tells Ed that Oswald is in love with him. Ed can’t handle this and asks Barbara what her motive is. Well she’s not going to tell him that now, is she?
Jim gets to the lab to discover that “Ryan Pfeffer” has already come in 20 minutes ago. Oh oh. Mario sneaks up from behind, and throws him through a plate glass window, knocking him out cold. He then writes, “Arkham” on Jim’s hand. He leaves but not before saying, “Jim, Jim, you’re ahead of schedule. Our paths weren’t meant to cross”. He goes into details about how he’s going to make Lee hate Jim. Of course Gordon doesn’t hear this – unconscious remember?
Back at GCPD, Jim didn’t see his assailant, but Alice’s files were taken. Funny moment when Bullock asks Lucius if he had taken them, as it would make his job a lot easier. Lucius deadpan as always says it wasn’t him. They see Arkham written on his hand, but Jim instantly knows it’s not about Barnes – which Bullock thinks – but it’s about Tetch. Off he goes, probable concussion and all. At Arkham he’s allowed to see Tetch, who reveals through a series of maddening riddles (and we’re not sure how Jim copes with this given his current addled status) that he indeed did stab someone with an infected needle, but won’t tell. Oh he does say it’s a healer who becomes a killer…Jim is pretty fly – and knows instantly this is Mario. How convenient!
They bring Mario in, he’s not got the virus! What the hello! How! Jim starts looking like a crazy loon, and swears that he’s going to prove Mario is infected. Oh. This bodes well.
The masked dude from the Court Of Owls has a bunch of, presumably, the Whisper Gang hanging from hooks in a warehouse. All are dead apart from the second in command guy – whose throat he slashes. Oh again.
Back at the Mayoral Mansion and the path of true love is not running smoothly. Oswald is signing papers, and is stunned by the last one, which is Ed’s resignation. BUT WHY. Ed says since Isabella’s death, he’s felt that he wanted to become more than just friends with Oswald. OH dear. Os falls for this hook, line, and sinker. He confesses his love for Ed, who recoils in horror. “OH NO” he says. I wanted to be business partners. Ooops.
Meanwhile – Jim has returned Mario to his home, Mario starts getting ready for the wedding. Jim tells him he knows he’s hidden it, he’s got the virus and he’s managed to keep it a secret. Mario asks what his deep inner self might be, the one the virus awakens. Jim knows – jealousy. And Mario agrees – he knows part of Lee will always love Jim. Jim has a gun pulled on Mario, who reminds him whose son he is. Suddenly Carmine’s henchman, Victor, is sitting there, with his gun trained on Jim. Mario makes a dash for it, and Victor lets Jim go as soon as it’s 9am, which is the time he’s been told Jim can go free.
Oswald is presenting an award to an author for a book he’s written about the Gotham City Sewage System. Lovely. Ed is in the crowd, with a flick knife in his hand. Suddenly he lunges forward and STABS OSWALD. But it’s all a fantasy, well that bit. Oswald is presenting an award, and he does have a flick knife, but he doesn’t stab Os. Instead, Oswald hugs him and tells him he’s his best friend. He hugs back harder, and tells him that he’s his best friend as well, and to never forget that. Oh. Penguin is understandably a bit worried.
The wedding is about to start. Jim races into the church and finds Lee. He tells her she can’t marry Mario! He’s got the virus! Lee is still going through with it, and tells Jim he’s obsessed. Jim tells her that Mario worked out from the test, how to beat the virus, and then explains all the incidents up to that moment. Lee of course, is dumbfounded and thinks Jim has gone right off the deep end. He then drops the big one. He loves her. He explains about having gone to see her, and that she mustn’t marry Mario. It’s all too late though. Lee and Mario are going to get married, and then they’re leaving Gotham City and they’ll never see Jim again. She slaps him and Carmine arrives to walk her down the aisle. He makes sure Jim is escorted off the premises, then beaten up, and thrown out a moving car somewhere a long way away. Of course he makes it back to the church, but not in time, it’s too late, it’s all over. They’re married.
Bruce, Alfred, and Selina are getting ready for the heist. Unsurprisingly, the 2IC from the Whisper Gang is a no-show, being dead and all. Bruce, headstrong as ever, says he’ll walk the tightrope. Of course that’s not going to happen – Selina does it, thus proving to Bruce’s mind that she’s his girlfriend after all. Aww! Alfred provides a distraction so Selina and Bruce can get into the building, then they let him in. They find the room with the safe, and shoot a crossbow bolt attached to the tightrope to the other end of the room. Bruce amazingly is able to keep the rope tight with Selina’s full bodyweight on it. He’s definitely a wirey one! She opens the safe – inside is a crystal owl. Okay…meanwhile – the masked bad dude from The Court Of Owls shows up, hits Bruce, then goes for Selina. Thankfully Bruce has the presence of mind to be able to throw a bomb of some description, and Selina is able to get free. Alf arrives, and tells them to go back the way they came – as if that’s ever going to happen! He gets into a fight with the masked bad dude, and suddenly – a woman breaks in, dressed like Carmen Sandiego – who is she! She hits the bad dude over the head with a vase, and Alfred makes sure he isn’t able to do anything more again…ever. Selina gasps – this is who she’s felt was following her! Not only that – it’s her mother! They make their getaway. I can see this as being a love interest for Alfred…
Tabby, Butch, and Babs are at The Sirens club. Tab is moaning because she can’t hold a knife with her repaired hand. Argh. Ed enters, they’re understandably not too pleased. He doesn’t want to kill Oswald. He wants instead to destroy him, and take away everything he loves. But Ed – think it over – the only thing he loves now is you? Barbara says that she’s in but she wants to be the top villain in Gotham, and think about it, with Ed’s brains, the five families’ brawn, and her “me”: what a powerful combination. Oh my.
At Mario’s house, Lucius and the GCPD have discovered the masking agent Mario used to cover the presence of the virus in his blood. Lee and Mario are at Carmine’s refuge, a beautiful cabin by the lake. Mario is still jealous as all hell, and asks Lee if she still loves Jim. She tells him that Jim will always have a place in her heart, but she loves Mario, and that’s why she married him. This is enough for Mario – to tip him over the edge. Later she’s preparing a meal out on the verandah. Mario grabs a knife in the kitchen. Jim is on his way! He’s found out their location from Carmine, and raced over there, getting there just as Mario goes to stab Lee. She sees Jim with his gun raised – he shoots Mario, he falls to the floor, the knife falls in the water…oh no. Now there’s no proof he was going to stab Lee, and she will still see Jim for the nutter that she’s tried not to think she is.
Final grade: Is it possible to give more than A+?
Last thoughts: How is it that 11 weeks of Gotham have only covered a period something like no more than two weeks and yet they’ve had more drama than most people would expect to have in a lifetime?
And – what’s the bet that the next 4 months until Gotham comes back will be very very cold and bleak indeed?