The dead are walking — and Jerome may soon be one of them.
Mario Calvi is dead. Gotham spares us the rest of the scene at the lake house, where Jim Gordon shot and killed him in front of his new wife right before the winter hiatus. There’s no screaming, no frantic efforts to stop the bleeding — just a sedate funeral, with Lee Tompkins looking every inch the mob wife.
Whether Lee took Mario’s name or not, she’s still a Falcone. And being a Falcone means revenge is immediately available to her. Jim can’t help but spy on the ceremony, though he’s risking his life to do it. It was a “legit kill” — Mario had tested positively for the Tetch virus. But Mario wasn’t a Tetch or a nameless Gotham thug. He had people, and those people know there’s much more to this story than a cop taking out a criminal. Lee doesn’t have the power to have Jim arrested, but she has the ear and the loyalty of Carmine, which could easily lead to a much more permanent punishment.
Fortunately, Carmine’s best assassin is also his most good-natured. Jim finds Victor Zsasz helping himself to some milk in Jim’s apartment. He came to warn Jim that he expects to get the kill order from Carmine soon. Jim wants an audience with Mario’s father, but it’s too late for apologies. There’s nothing to be done but wait for the sweet embrace of death. And his executioner promises him it will be sweet. “You won’t see me coming and you won’t feel a thing,” Zsasz says in comfort, assuring Jim it’s really not personal. He’s nothing if not professional. How interesting that Jim’s kill was anything but.
Jim has no choice but to soldier on, especially since the dead seem to be perishing twice. Lucius calls in the detectives to check out a body that had lately been a resident of the morgue. The evidence suggests Melanie Blake died once, picked herself up off the slab, and then died again a few days later. Somewhere in the middle of all that, she was hooked up to a serious electrical current. Someone is playing Frankenstein and succeeding, and Harvey is running out of patience for weird. (“Doesn’t anyone die in Gotham anymore?”)
Neither Jim nor Harvey is convinced the suspicious night manager at the morgue is as ignorant of Melanie’s disappearance as he’s trying to appear. They tail him to an abandoned theater where a revival of sorts is taking place. The man — Dwight Pollard — takes the stage and riles up the assembled oddballs with talk of revolution. Gotham is asleep; its citizens “mentally shackled.” Their savior is the only man who can bring about a cleansing chaos. This is a flock of believers waiting for the second coming of Jerome Valeska. Melanie Blake was just a case of trial and error. The goal of this operation is to recreate Hugo Strange’s Indian Hill experiments, specifically to resurrect a deceased Jerome. Gotham’s probably-Joker lies in stasis, asleep with a smile on his face.
Jim and Harvey break up the meeting and end up in a firefight with two of Jerome’s aspiring Maniax. Jim peels off when he realizes Zsasz is also behind them, shooting to kill. Jim escapes with his life, but it’s just a temporary reprieve. Carmine has lifted the truce on Lee’s orders. Though, as a father, he sees it as his duty to warn her about the lasting burden of bloodshed. But that hypothetical pain can’t compete with the rage she’s currently feeling towards Jim. “God I hate him,” she seethes. “Everything bad that’s happened in my life is because of him.”
She reasons that because former Captain Barnes is still living with the virus, Mario’s death was unnecessary. Lee visits Barnes to confirm her hypothesis and finds a man who barely resembles her gruff but fair boss. Now he’s just a monster who’ll be locked away forever, his personality overridden by his obsession with corporal punishment. (“This virus isn’t a disease, it’s an antidote.”) Lee wouldn’t have wanted to see Mario like this, even if she can’t admit as much out loud. She calls off the hit, and Carmine tells her why she does it. She’s never hated Jim Gordon. Even now she doesn’t, and she’s questioning everything because of it.
NEXT: The mayor goes on TV