Two steps forward, 1,000 steps back. That seems to be a running theme on Gotham for anyone on the good side. Just as Bruce learns the one thing he has been dying to discover, and just as Gordon gets closer and closer to understanding Galavan’s violent plans, both receive huge blows to their efforts. Such is the life of a hero in Gotham City, and such is the obvious message of this week’s episode, “Rise of the Villains: The Son of Gotham.”
We begin our weekly dose of this sinister city with a mystery. A woman runs in fear away from what appears to be a typical Gotham City violent thug. As he snatches her belongings and readies himself to shoot her in the face, he is suddenly pulled away by someone who stays in the shadows. We find out rather quickly in the episode that the woman’s saving grace was a member of the Order of St. Dumas, whose violent arrival we witnessed in last week’s episode. At the moment, their motives are still cloudy.
Mystery quickly turns to a somber note, as Gordon suits up in his formal blues for Officer Parks funeral, the young cop who was murdered by cannibal Eduardo Flamingo (a.k.a. the most threatening villain with the least threatening name). Gordon is more silently angry than usual, and he knows where to go to take out his anger: It’s time to visit Galavan in Blackgate Penitentiary. Galavan, as per usual, does most of the talking in that smug way of his, but Gordon’s two sentences are much more powerful and than any of the BS out of Galavan’s mouth. After asking Galavan if the name Catherine Parks means anything to him, Gordon says, “I’m gonna be there tomorrow. I’m gonna watch them put you away.” But as all TV shows and movies tell us, villains are never taken down this easily.
Gordon (whose silent anger is hitting Ryan Atwood levels) returns home and confronts Lee about his own “mistake” of keeping Flamingo alive rather than pulling the trigger of the gun Gordon shoved in his mouth in last week’s episode. While Lee does her best to try and reassure Gordon that keeping Flamingo alive was the right thing to do, his rage and the injustice done to Officer Parks has a much louder voice than Lee and her morality. And Galavan’s smiling presence definitely rattles Gordon, enough that he has a bad feeling about what might happen at the morning’s hearing.
Gordon’s feeling is dead on, especially considering how we finally get a glimpse of how the Order operates. The thug from earlier in the episode has been captured and taken to a secret lair where Father Creel states that the time of reckoning is upon Gotham; then the thug’s throat is slit into a bowl (How Supernatural of them).
Here’s one silver lining about this week’s episode: At least Bruce and Selina are friends once again. After Selina proves that Silver is just as manipulative as her uncle (and just as much of a “world-class liar” as Selina explains), the two have teamed up once again. But it seems Bruce’s obsessive desire to discover the identity of the man who murdered his parents continues to cloud his logic and the voices of those who see the likely truth. While Selina tells him he’ll never get the truth out of Silver or Galavan, Bruce says that if there is even a shred of hope that they know what he so desperately needs to hear, he is going to take the chance of continuing to pretend to be on their side. And that starts with spending some quality time with Silver. Selina leaves Bruce with one final piece of advice: “The best liars always tell the truth,” then scurries up a tree to remain hidden from Silver’s likely suspicious eyes.
Meanwhile, Gordon is still determined to secure Galavan’s place in prison and barks orders at his fellow officers who are clearly starting to get fed up with Gordon’s one-track mind. It’s nice to see Gordon and Bullock’s camaraderie is still intact, even though Bullock is not as worried about Galavan’s future behind bars. Barnes returns to the precinct despite still needing time to heal from his stab wound to the leg, but he doesn’t share Gordon’s worry either. He’s put Gordon on a new case: The thug who fell victim to the Order’s plan. But Bullock has found a lead on the symbol from Galavan’s apartment: It’s from the Order of St. Dumas, the very last name Galavan once held and hopes to return to Gotham.
The Order once had an abbey downtown, which is now a massage parlor of the happy ending variety, Bullock tells Gordon. But here’s the kicker: Galavan attempted to procure the abbey one week prior. Gordon literally says “To hell with it,” and gets moving with Bullock. But of course the Order arrives before them with knives at the ready.
NEXT: Bruce gets clever. Extremely clever.
Bruce’s manipulation of Silver goes swimmingly at first, as he uses his “feelings” for the girl to convince her to ask Galavan for the name of Bruce’s parents’ murderer. While Silver seems genuinely convinced of Bruce’s intentions for her, Selina’s side-eye suggests she’s not buying what Silver is selling and of course Selina is right.
Selina calls Bruce and tells him that Galavan agreed to his terms (money for representation in exchange for the name of the Wayne murderer) and that she has the name he’s hoped to gain. But when Bruce goes to meet Silver after she leaves a message saying she got the name from Galavan, a few thugs led by The Knife (oh hello Tommy Flanagan), pull up and reveal a kidnapped Silver and demand that Bruce get in the van as well. The Knife and his lackeys take Bruce and Silver outside the city to an abandoned warehouse and reveal that they’re employers need to know just what Galavan knows about Thomas and Martha Wayne’s murderer. The Knife threatens to cut off Bruce’s fingers, and Bruce yells to Silver to reveal the name as he will promise to uphold his end of the bargain. But of course there’s bad news as Silver lied about the name and was told to keep Bruce busy until Galavan was bound to be released later that night, at which point Galavan would in fact get Bruce to sign over his company.
After Bruce is supposedly tortured by The Knife, Silver snaps into her true, evil persona and threatens to have The Knife killed alongside everyone he cares about if he touches her. He, of course, doesn’t listen and is about to chop off a finger when she reveals that her uncle actually told her the name of the Wayne murderer when he first discovered the truth: Last name Malone, first name begins with an “M.” Thank goodness Selina and Bruce work well together as a team, as it is revealed that The Knife, the kidnapping and Bruce’s “torture” were all part of the Cat and future Bat’s plan. A newfound respect is a-brewing for Bruce, as he becomes more and more like his future alter-ego. He reveals to Silver that Selina found the file she had on the young billionaire, confirming to Bruce that Silver was only sent to him to manipulate him into selling his company. Silver tries to cover her tracks, but it’s too late. Bruce and Selina leave her at the abandoned warehouse to accept whatever fate is coming her way from her uncle.
“The day of reckoning is at hand. And the blood of the nine will wash away the sin. And Gotham shall be cleansed.” That’s as much information as Gordon receives about the Order from a member he confronts at the massage parlor. Gordon and Bullock first arrive on the scene as the workers at the parlor come running and screaming out of the entrance, some of them with blood sprayed all over them. Gordon finds a few dead clients — Gotham City bankers apparently — on the floor before the Order member storms in and fights Gordon and is eventually stabbed with his own knife (Gordon can apparently take anyone down in a fist fight). But apparently stab wounds aren’t so painful or injurious to the Order as to us lowly humans. The only thing that kills the guy is when he steps in front of a moving truck after uttering the above creepy line at Gordon, who is left completely bewildered by this new possible connection to Galavan.
Thankfully for Gordon, Barnes is back on board with continuing the investigation into Galavan now that these connections with the Order are coming together and five of “the nine” have lost their lives (due to the Order of the St. Dumas’ desire to cleanse and purify through pain). But Barnes tells Gordon he still wants GCPDs finest to be present for Galavan’s day in court. As that moment draws near, Gordon and Bullock continue their investigation, which leads them to the sewers where the monks seem to be disappearing after killing and/or abducting their victims. (At this point, the body count has risen once again: Seven deaths down, two more to go.)
We do get one glimpse of Edward and Penguin in “The Son of Gotham”; they seem to be living in some kind of Odd Couple life with Penguin constantly bugging Edward with mundane and idiotic concerns. Edward, whose annoyance seems to be an all-time high, snaps at Lee as she asks about Kristen’s health. Edward lies and says that Kristen actually left town with Officer Dougherty, then feigns some tears, which Lee of course mistakes for legitimate sadness. Will anyone at the GCPD be smart enough to realize Edward’s connection to the growing number of missing people?
NEXT: Galavan still scores a huge win
Gordon and Bullock make their way into the sewers where a member of the Order lies in hiding. And as the two detectives find the Order’s secret lair (complete with victim no. 8 lying dead at the altar), the Order member strikes. Bullock is able to knock the guy out, but because torture is not going to work on these guys, Gordon has a different plan to get the information he needs about the Order’s plans. After blindfolding the Order member and giving him a blessing of blood (which Gordon does by slicing his own hand open with an Order blade), the Order member reveals to Gordon that the “Son of Gotham” will die. I think we all can agree that this has to be Bruce?
Speaking of Bruce, Alfred is of course searching for him at Galavan’s penthouse apartment while Tabitha looks for something hidden in the fireplace. The two foes meet for the first time and Alfred taunts and threatens Tabitha, who returns the favor. The two fight and its clear they are of equal strengths in the art of fisticuffs and weaponry (albeit different kinds). Alfred knocks Tabitha out for a bit after getting stabbed, but takes a knife in the back during his escape.
Bruce and Selina make their way back to Wayne Manor and make strides in their relationship: Bruce reveals that whe told Silver he trusted her with his life and felt tied to her in a way that he had never felt before. But Bruce then states that the confession was actually how he truly felt about Selina. The young Cat sheepishly smiles and tells Bruce it’s good he’s changing, but that he shouldn’t change too much.
WANT MORE? Keep up with all the latest from last night’s television by subscribing to our newsletter. Head here for more details.
But things can’t go too well for our heroes — and they take a turn for the worse rather quickly. Galavan is released from custody thanks to former Mayor James lying under oath and stating that Cobblepot, not Galavan, was the man who kidnapped and tortured him. Obviously Galavan’s men got to James, but rather than silently plot the next steps on how he can take Galavan down, Gordon screams in the courtroom and punches Galavan. Gordon is taken out of the courthouse by two policemen who taser Gordon and lead him out to the docks to Galavan as he reveals that the Order of St. Dumas has protected his family and worked with them for centuries. Galavan tells Gordon about his true identity and the Dumas family history and explains that his whole plan is not about revenge, but atonement. “The ground that Gotham is built on is poisoned by the wrongs done to my forefathers. I will change that.”
Galavan tells Gordon that while the details of the Order — the dressing up in robes, the ritual sacrifices — are all a little strange, “Belief itself, that’s what matters detective. Belief gives strength, purpose and not all the victims are random.” Gordon seems to realize who the “Son of Gotham” might be, and Galavan releases Gordon from his chains so the detective can try and fight Galavan and save the city. Unfortunately, Gordon underestimates Galavan’s strength (caused by belief, perhaps?), and gets knocked down over and over again. Theo leaves Gordon to be killed by his policeman lackeys and arrives at Bruce’s house. But Gordon is saved by Penguin, who had been told by Gabe that Galavan was released earlier in the night. Penguin gets violent on Gordon to get Galavan’s whereabouts, but the poor guy just got his ass handed to him and is in no shape to say anything.
Galavan ends the episode praising Bruce’s ingenuity, but all the praise in the world isn’t going to keep him from trying to fulfill his plan. He takes out his blade and tells Bruce he wants his life. But as we know, the future Bat can’t go down easy.