Gotham S2E1: Rise of the Villains: Damned if You Do
Original Airdate: September 21, 2015
Recap by Sarabeth Pollock
Welcome back to Gotham, ladies and gentlemen!
Tonight’s season premiere started off with a bang as Bruce and Alfred explore the secret room behind the fireplace. Alfred is visibly stunned at this revelation, and he tells Bruce that there could be any number of combinations to the keypad that unlocks the door. But we know better, don’t we? This won’t slow Bruce down. Bruce is just getting started.
One month later…. The music is rather uplifting for this next montage of updates on all of our Gotham friends. “It’s such a perfect day, I’m glad I spent it with you….”
Leslie helps Gordon get dressed as they look at each other in the mirror. They’re very much in love.
Bullock wipes down the bar in the middle of the day. Wait…Bullock is a bartender now?
Penguin presides over a meeting of Gotham families. He grasps a man’s head as if in benediction, and then he turns and walks away with a huge grin on his face. Mr. Zsasz steps forward and aims his gun at the man’s head and puts a bullet through it. The smile on Penguin’s face becomes a scowl.
Barbara walks through the jail hallway, all dressed up with a guard behind her carrying her suitcase. She stops to look in at the group of men sitting in a holding cell. She stops and pulls her sunglasses down. Red-headed Jerome turns around and smiles at her in return.
Up in a high rise building, a man hands an elixir to a man who kneels at his feet. The man grins, but his vision is fuzzy.
The next day, Traffic Cop Gordon (what!?) is busy directing traffic when Elixir Man, now clad in body armor with two guns and an arsenal of swords that would make Michonne envious, jumps into the street and fires his guns. He says he is Zaardon, the Soul Reaper. Gordon pulls his gun and Zaardon is unfazed by his presence. “I don’t want to shoot you, man,” Gordon says. “Too much paperwork.” He grabs a hostage, then he and Gordon scuffle. Gordon subdues him in time for his portly partner to show up wielding a hoagie. He shoves the other officer for being late. Gordon whips around and points his gun at some people attempting to loot the table behind him, telling them it’s a bad idea.
Zaardon can’t believe Gordon has taken him into custody after he drank the dragon’s blood. “Dark days are coming,” he tells Gordon. Gordon runs into Nygma in the locker room. When Gordon walks away, Nygma continues his conversation with his own reflection. His reflection suggests that they need more fun and some romance. Reflection Nygma tries to convince Real Nygma, but Real Nygma begs him to leave Miss Kringle alone. He storms out, leaving the reflection to smirk at him.
Gordon is rewarded for his brave action by being stripped of his gun and badge by Commissioner Loeb. He had hoped demotion would keep Gordon in line, but shoving a fellow officer is a major offense. Captain Essen is furious, demanding that Gordon be commended, but the Commish is resolute. Gordon vows revenge on him. Meanwhile, Zaardon is asleep in the holding cell, and as he sleeps he spews a noxious vapor.
Gordon explains what happened at work to Leslie while they’re in bed. He hates that he is walking away, but she points out he was fired. He says he still has an option remaining, and while it isn’t legal, it will still help to fight the good fight. He has to keep fighting. He’s a cop.
At Arkham, Jerome pulls up a chair and introduces himself to Barbara, who flips through her magazine without looking up. “Keep moving, Ginger,” she says. He wants to know why she’s there and it turns out they both killed one or more of their parents. What a coincidence! And what a rush! Jerome tries to give her the lay of the land, telling her that a girl needs to have a friend in a place like that. To prove him wrong, Barbara calls a giant bald man over and asks him to be her friend. He pledges his allegiance to her with no hesitation. “Now I have a friend,” she says. Jerome says his friend is powerful and can get her things. She needs a phone. Jerome grins.
Penguin listens as his men give him a rundown of his assets and his outstanding accounts. Gordon shows up and Penguin welcomes him warmly. Selina is perched at the end of the table, and Penguin jokes that having her around is like having a cat. Gordon needs a favor and Penguin knows that he wants Loeb fired and he wants his job back. Penguin wonders why he wants to be a cop in Gotham. Penguin also asks about Lee, which tells Gordon just how good Penguin’s surveillance is. Penguin also wants Gordon to collect a debt for him to prove his loyalty, but Gordon refuses. He tells Selina to be good (“always,” she replies) and leaves.
Bullock pours Gordon a drink and tells Gordon to walk away. He says Gordon could never work for Penguin. Bullock says he has been sober 32 days. Leaving the job allowed him to get sober, get a woman who actually likes him, and it lets him sleep at night. These two are close, clearly.
Alfred shows Gordon into the study. Gordon walked to Wayne Manor to apologize to Bruce for not being able to keep his promise. Gordon explains what has happened to him, and goes on to tell them about the only way of getting his badge back—doing a job for Penguin. Bruce muses over this and considers that Gordon may be acting selfishly. “Surely sometimes the right way is also the ugly way,” he reasons. Alfred praises the young master, but he tells him there are things he can’t understand. Alfred shows Gordon out and Bruce rushes to open the fireplace and try the combination again. When it doesn’t work, he grabs a hammer. “Screw it,” he says, taking a swing.
By the way, has anyone noticed how much taller and filled in Bruce is this season? Who knows…maybe he’ll be playing teenage and young adult Bruce later on….
We return to Arkham to see Barbara approach Jerome’s friend. She wants to know what she’d need to do in order to get a telephone.
Gordon enters a nightclub to talk to the owner. The owner recognizes Gordon as a cop and blows him off. He won’t pay Penguin a dime. Gordon suggests they try to work things out. The owner pulls a gun on Gordon, and Gordon says he’ll count to three. By one, he has knocked the goons out and has the money. As he flees, the police chase after him. The owner corners him in a parking garage, and Gordon shoots him. Now Gordon has blood on his hands.
Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce carries in bags of fertilizer to build a bomb to open the door. Alfred says that Bruce doesn’t know the first thing about building a bomb, but Bruce says he read a book. The duo have a great little argument about being old enough to discover Thomas Wayne’s secrets, but Alfred eventually ends up relenting and giving Bruce advice about building the bomb, which he will help with after making some tea.
Gordon presents the bag of money to Penguin. Butch looks impressed by his work. Penguin apologizes that things got messy, and he promises to make sure the GCPD doesn’t interfere.
Later that night, Gordon sips his drink while Lee cooks dinner. His phone rings. It’s Barbara. She tries to tell him that Lee is insane and is the one who attacked her. He hangs up, so she calls Lee’s phone and leaves a message says she hopes Lee dies screaming. Lee wants to go away and never come back to Gotham, but Gordon says he can’t leave. He confesses to doing a bad thing.
Commissioner Loeb wakes up to the sound of glass breaking in his apartment. It’s Victor Zsasz and Penguin. Penguin asks if he has any peanut butter. Smooth, of course. Loeb calls for his guards, but Zsasz has already severed their heads. Loeb panics while Penguin and Zsasz share a laugh. Penguin makes a sandwich and shares a dilemma with Loeb. He says that he can’t find any vices to threaten him with. The only option Penguin has is to kill Loeb and reason with his replacement instead. Loeb wants to know what Penguin wants, but Loeb doesn’t want to do it. Zsasz is eager to kill Loeb, but Penguin manages to twist his arm enough to get his way.
The next time we see Loeb, he’s being serenaded at his retirement party. Businessman Theo Gallavan is there to bid him farewell. Loeb still seems to be in shock.
Barbara is lounging against Richard’s chest as he tells a story while she’s having her toenails painted by her acolytes when Zaardon walks in. He announces who he is, and everyone pauses momentarily and resumes their business.
Gallavan finishes his speak and Loeb gets up to announce his replacement, Commissioner Essen.
Zaardon doesn’t like being ignored. Jerome watches in amusement as he passes out on the table, but then everyone stares when the purple gas floats out of Zaardon’s mouth. The prisoners jump up and promptly pass out. Suddenly a group breaks into Arkham wearing gas masks. They shoot the guards and approach the day room. A very attractive woman looks inside and smiles.
Essen doesn’t know how Gordon pulled this all off, but she’s happy to welcome him back to the job. Lee says that Gordon is very resourceful. She has a very strange, almost wistful look on her face. Essen is looking forward to all of the good work they can do together. Essen gets pulled away and Gordon promises Lee that it’s a new day, and that it was worth it. Essen returns and says that there has been an incident at Arkham. Six inmates have escaped, including Barbara.
Gallavan has the six inmates tied up in a room. He tells the group he sees charisma and brilliance in this room, not crazed inmates. Jerome says Gallavan is singing his song, but Richard tells him to be quiet. Gallavan suggests that if this group worked together they could bring Gotham to its knees. Richard says he doesn’t take orders from anyone. Gallavan doesn’t like the idea of sexual jealousy, so Richard has to go. His female accomplice kills him, and Jerome gasps with glee.
Alfred rigs the explosive and makes sure that Bruce is sure about the decision to blow the door. Bruce pushes the button and the door blows up. They exchange high fives and then hurry downstairs. Inside the cave is a desk with an envelope addressed to Bruce. He opens it. Thomas has written a letter to Bruce knowing that something bad has happened to them. He says you can’t have both happiness and the truth. He begs Bruce to choose happiness, unless he feels a “true calling.”
While Bruce reads the letter, Gordon stares at his reflection in the mirror and prepares himself for what lies ahead.
GOTHAM IS BACK, PEOPLE! And so far it kicks major ass!!