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Gotham recap: Rise of the Villains: Tonight's The Night

Gordon is trapped in Barbara’s ultimate, violent fantasy as Edward is reintroduced to a fellow villain.

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Nicole Rivelli/Fox


TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Donal Logue, Ben McKenzie, Jada Pinkett Smith
Crime, ActionAdventure

Dreams are a funny thing. They can be fantasies we only see in our sleep, or they can tantalize us with the things we want most during our waking hours. Dreams are a major theme on this week’s episode of Gotham, “Rise of the Villains: Tonight’s the Night.” As Barbara dreams of her almost-wedding to Gordon, Bruce dreams of finally getting the answer to who killed his parents, and Theo dreams of his revenge plan finally coming to fruition. Of course, these dreams are all dashed by the end. For now. 

We begin inside the messed up mind of Barbara Kean with an insane nightmare that perfectly encapsulates both her deepest desires and deepest fears, all revolving around her one true love. Barbara’s dream begins with a sweet wedding rehearsal for her and Gordon but quickly devolves into what can only be described as a truly awful acid trip beginning with her marriage officiant turning into Penguin and ending with Barbara sitting in a church with a straightjacket and a gag in her mouth while watching Lee and Gordon tie the knot and laugh at her in the process. When she finally does wake up, she notices a shiny white bow and the present attached to it. As she opens the box, we don’t get to see what’s inside just yet, but we are treated to the note. “Today. Love, G.” Just what is Galavan sending his maniac mistress?

Speaking of Theo, the sun has yet to rise and he’s already up ruminating. He now realizes just how big a problem Gordon could be to his plan, especially regarding Bruce, so he knows it’s time to get Gordon distracted while he attempts to finally manipulate Bruce into turning over Wayne Enterprises. How on Earth does he think he can make this miracle happen? By giving him the one thing he wants, of course: The identity of his parents’ murderer. That means it’s finally time for Barbara to get her wish as well: Today is the day she gets to kill Gordon. 

Of course, Gordon is too busy underestimating just what Theo and Barbara have in store for him. He follows protocol and goes to Capt. Barnes with his all-too-correct theory that Theo is in fact the villain behind the recent dark times in Gotham City. And of course Capt. Barnes tells him he’s got jack squat in terms of evidence. Harvey hints at a dark way that he could get Theo to talk, but it’s all about doing the police work and getting solid proof for Barnes. And just as Lee and Gordon argue about going after Theo, Barbara waltzes into the precinct. 

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Barbara and Gordon face off in an interrogation room, but rather than her recent violent antics, we see Barbara tell Gordon to rough her up a little until breaking down when Gordon tells her he still believes she is a good woman. Gordon then plants a kiss on Barbara while Lee, Bullock, and Barnes watch from the two-way mirror, clearly trying to manipulate the feelings Barbara still has for Gordon to change her ways. Barbara tells Gordon she has to show him something, and when he asks what it is, she says it’s a surprise. But from her quick flip-flop of emotions to the way she seemingly stared right at Lee through the two-way mirror, it’s pretty obvious that Barbara is still on the path toward Gordon destruction. (Side note: Are two-way mirrors basically useless at this point? Seems like everyone knows precisely where people are standing on the other side, despite being shrouded.)

Gordon, Bullock, Lee, and Barnes all debate on what to do next with Barbara. But this is Gotham, and there would be no story line if Barnes didn’t ultimately side with Gordon and let him play out Barbara’s plans. So off the former couple goes, despite Lee’s insistence that this is a bad idea. Gordon should realize by now that when it comes to Barbara, Lee is always right. Lee continues to try and stop Gordon until the final moments before his team of new Strike Force agents are ready to move out, but even she knows it’s an impossible task. “You see an abyss, and you run towards it” she says about Gordon’s tendency to feed into Barbara’s plans. 

Meanwhile there’s Edward’s sad, creepy side story. Ed brings Miss Kringle’s body on a final picnic before burying her and gives the body a toast that proves his mental decline: “I was a broken man, Miss Kringle, two halves at war with each other. But thanks to you, I am whole. I will not forget you.” As he tells Kringle one final riddle (“I take you by night, by day take you back. None suffer to have me, but do from my back), a random hunter stumbles across Edward’s picnic, and Ed ads to his growing body count. But when Edward leaves to find his bone saw and returns to take the hunter apart, he notices his sandwich has gone missing and finds a trail of blood leading away from his campsite. Considering his terrible position, he can do nothing else but follow where the blood leads. 

NEXT: A not-so Red Wedding