For the first few seconds of Monday night’s episode of Gotham, it seemed for the first time in season 2 that Gordon, Bullock ,and the GCPD had finally caught a break in their fight against the “wrath of the villains” terrorizing the city. But as per usual, they are in way over their heads.
Gordon and Bullock storm the gates of Arkham with a warrant to search Hugo’s office for evidence that Hugo was indeed the creator/proprietor of Pinewood and the as-of-yet undiscovered Indian Hill experimental program. But the villains proved they will always be one step ahead of our heroes at every turn. As Bullock and Gordon burst into Hugo’s office, they come upon a giant bag of shredded documents, a victim of “spring cleaning,” Hugo says. Gordon tells Hugo they won’t be backing down, but the ex-detective has to walk away for the time being.
But Gordon is not Hugo’s biggest concern; Peabody tells her boss that Azrael has still not returned, but Hugo has faith he’s still out trying to complete his mission of killing James Gordon, like a dutiful soldier. Azrael goes to a local church in search of a new weapon because his sword broke during his fight with Barnes, but apparently there’s enough of Theo Galavan still inside him to remember where it could be hidden.
While Barnes remains in critical condition at the hospital, everyone at the GCPD turns to Bullock as their new acting captain. He makes a rousing speech about taking down the weirdo villains in Gotham, and Gordon tells him it’s time to think outside the box to find Theo/Azrael. They head to Tabitha’s house to find out where her brother might be. Thankfully for them, she’s got more information than they can handle.
Tabitha reveals the history behind Azrael to Gordon and Bullock and tells them the sword Theo was wielding the night before is a fake. Turns out the real one was buried with Theo’s grandfather in the Galavan family crypt. Despite attempting to escape the city, Tabitha instead takes Gordon and Bullock to the crypt where they uncover the “real” Azrael’s sword… Just as Theo turns up, grabs the sword from Gordon and attempts to kill his target once more. Before he succeeds, Tabitha gets in the way and shuts the door on Gordon. She tries to use sisterly love to help Theo remember who he is; he responds by remembering only the mission to kill Bruce Wayne, then stabs his sister and says, “Thank you for reminding me…traitor.”
Gordon comes across a blood-soaked Tabitha, who apologizes for making Theo remember that he has two targets to kills from his dual identities, and Gordon once again has to find and save Bruce.
Speaking of Bruce, our future Batman is really taking his soon-to-be alter ego to heart as he attempts to bring Hugo and Theo to justice by planning to break into Arkham. He asks Selina for help, despite their argument a few episodes back. He tells her about the re-animation experiments Hugo has been conducting, and when she doesn’t seem to be on-board, he reveals that Selina’s old friend Bridgit was also taken to Arkham and was likely subjected to experimentation as well. Selina tells Bruce that she’ll break in instead and she’ll do it alone. Besides, Selina has an edge: If she gets caught, it’s likely Arkham employees will just toss her out while if Bruce gets caught, they could shut down the programs or even kill the billionaire teen. Plus, she already knows a way in.
NEXT: Azrael, meet bazooka gun…
Meanwhile, Ed returns from his little trip down to Indian Hill visibly scarred and is escorted back to his cell after he is caught wandering around. Ed is desperate for a way out of Arkham and finally realizes the air ducts are his best bet. He comes across Selina on his trip; she’s using the ducts to break in, and the two have a little quid pro quo. Ed tells Selina how to find her not-so-dead friend if she’ll help him find his escape route. Unfortunately for Ed, his break for freedom doesn’t go so smoothly as his escape plan is discovered, and he’s caught instantly after tasting fresh air.
Things on the inside go even worse for Selina. After overhearing Hugo and Peabody discuss their differing opinions on what Azrael’s disappearance means, she then finds her old friend Bridgit. Unfortunately, Hugo has successfully brainwashed her like Theo, and Selina ends the episode at the receiving end of Bridgit — sorry, Firefly’s new and improved flamethrower.
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As Gordon rushes to save Bruce from Theo/Azrael (or Thazrael, if my fellow Gotham fans prefer), he finally gets ahold of Alfred to warn him of Bruce’s impending doom. Alfred and Bruce start to set up the safeguards at the Wayne mansion, but it’s too late. Thazrael has already made his way in, and Alfred takes him on with a gun and then a sword of his own. The two have a rather balanced fight until Thazrael knocks him out the window and starts chasing after Bruce, who finally decides to run away after watching the whole fight unfold.
Bruce hides in his car garage that’s so massive it would make Jay Leno jealous and gets the one-up on Thazrael as he runs him over. But because apparently Thazrael is as unkillable as a Scream villain, the guy gets back up and overpowers the young boy. Even as Gordon arrives just in time to shoot Theo down, the dude still stands up to defeat his enemies, much to the distress of Gordon, who literally emptied his gun to re-kill the former-mayor-turned-centuries-old-soldier. Enter Penguin to save the day.
With some Iron Man-level rock music scoring them, Penguin tells Gordon he should “always bring the right tools for the job.” Out comes a bazooka gun-wielding Butch, who makes a fragile alliance with Penguin against Theo after he almost killed Tabitha. After a quick “see you in hell” from Penguin, Butch blasts Theo right back to that very location.
It’s finally a positive moment for our good guys, but given that Hugo’s attempts to brainwash his other Indian Hill subjects has succeeded, his evil plan is sure to be much harder to stop.