The Alice Tetch virus hits the airwaves
It might be a touch too obvious to call this week’s episode of Gotham explosive, but that’s exactly what it is. So many elements of evil are at work right now, and it looks like the city is about to go to war, with many unexpected factions suiting up for the end game.
Let’s walk through tonight’s episode, shall we?
If nothing else, the Shaman, who’s the real leader of the Court of Owls, really knows how to make an intense scene. Tonight, he make a triumphant return to the Court (well, at least what’s left of them, after Kathryn’s timely demise) to introduce the new and improved (?) Bruce Wayne. He’s successfully transformed Bruce into a feelingsless robot who’s ready to “rise” to become the Dark Knight Gotham needs, and he’s got the power to deliver vengeance against the Court for his parents’ murder so many years before. Bruce hesitates to greenlight the mass execution of every sitting member at the table, but the deed is done anyhow. Next time, he swears to his new mentor, he won’t hesitate. (Spoiler: He will.)
Jim and Harvey find all the bodies when they’re looking for a table full of weapon-wielding perps and figure out that the real leader was cleaning house because that’s what the Owls are all about, apparently. Jim’s also figured out that Lee injected herself with that Alice Tetch virus she stole from the department, and he decides (unwisely) to pay her a visit and confirm the truth himself.
Not only is she mad, but she’s madly in love with him too, and thank to the virus, she’s finally ready to go all in on the Jim Gordon fangirling brouhaha. She’s convinced that Jim loves her back, which he probably does, and that it’s his own inhibitions that are standing in the way of them getting steamy, so she wants him to take the virus, too. Only, it’s not going to be as simple as infecting him right there on the spot — no, she’s gotta make a scene about it because “a woman scorned” and all that.
Meanwhile, Ed (who prefers to be called the Riddler, but when he’s not slinging torturous puns, the moniker just doesn’t fit) summons Barbara, Tabitha, and Butch to let them know that Oswald Cobblepot is alive and (un)well and that he’ll be after the whole lot of them with his newfangled Army of Freaks. So, they really have no choice but to help him take down the Penguin, again, lest their own necks be on the line.
What Ed doesn’t know, however, is that Penguin’s in an especially vulnerable situation right now because Freeze and Bridgit both jumped ship, leaving his army down to, yet again, just two: himself and Ivy. Selina Kyle’s there, but mostly only because she was just revived by Ivy; she has absolutely zero allegiance to Penguin and probably never will. Probably. But Ed catches on quick once he comes into one of Oswald’s safe houses and Tabitha manages to snatch Selina as a material witness while Ivy and Penguin escape through a bookshelf hatch.
At the same time, Harvey accepts Alfred’s help in tracking down Bruce for a couple of reasons. First of all, Alfred probably wouldn’t take no for an answer anyway, and second, he’s pretty good at playing detective in a pinch. He’s the one who finds some backdoor smuggling fund called the Whisper Game that could’ve served as an unmarked hideout for the Owls.
Upon arrival, they and the GCPD find that Hugo Strange has just delivered the Tetch bomb to Bruce and the Shaman, and while Strange is willing to surrender, Bruce is all in on this personal destiny line that’s been sold to him by the Shaman, who has now revealed a second title for himself: Sensei.
But their interests quickly diverge when their captured VIP list doubles: Jim disappears. Gaming as she likes to do in her Alice Tetch-infected system, Lee turns herself in to the police just so she can watch them struggle to try to stop the very different kind of bomb she’s planted — she’s got Jim Gordon buried in a coffin, with a walkie-talkie all powered up so everyone can witness in nauseating detail his struggle down below. According to Lee, there’s one way out — he can take the virus.
(Recap continues on page 2)