Gotham returns after nearly a month on hiatus and, through several storylines presented, one thing is clear. Everyone is making moves.

It begins with Fish Mooney—the character who’s currently in the most dubious position. Still held on the Dollmaker’s island, Fish has ingrained herself into the man’s graces, though not without having a watchful eye upon her. Despite her act of subservience, it’s not long before her purpose becomes abundantly clear: escape.

On the GCPD side, Detective Gordon has yet to fully grow into his role as President of the Policeman’s Union but he’s still making connections. He starts off by visiting Bruce to check on the still-healing Alfred, knowing the pair lied to him on the identity of the attacker and, when he returns to the precinct, is given a case by Officer Moore. It’s a homicide where no other detectives have been able to crack, so why not Jim? He informs Lee about it and she recognizes the neighborhood; it’s her own, after all. She points him in the direction of a few hidden Speakeasies and, after twisting Bullock’s arm a bit, the two detectives get their first clue on the victim, Grace Fairchild. The bartender remembers the handsome man that was Grace’s date. The information strengthens his resolve and, despite Lee’s observations of the victim’s body showing no signs of abuse, not even after months in ‘captivity’, Gordon believes Grace was held against her will before the killer decided she was of no more use to him.

Oswald’s back in action as well, approaching old-world bar owner ‘Nana’ with the idea of him buying/investing in her establishment. She wants none of it at first but agrees that if he can return her Antonia—who’s in love with a guitar player she sees as ‘Lucifer’—she’s willing to talk. After some alone time with this guitar player and a pair of gardening shears, Antonia’s back in Nana’s bosom and Oswald has earned his stake in the place. His endgame is surprisingly simple; it’s the place he will use to kill one Don Maroni.

Selina and Bruce–a glimpse of future team ups?

And let’s not forget our young Bruce Wayne. Once again showcasing his detective skills—though this time around most of the legwork’s done by Selina Kyle—Bruce tracks down Reggie Payne, Alfred’s attacker and former mate. Reggie’s an addict and Bruce uses it to pull the truth from the former soldier. He was hired by Bunderslaw to steal any info Bruce had on the board. Things take a darker turn though when, after Reggie threatens to out Bruce to Bunderslaw and the others, the darkness living within Bruce nearly takes over. He comes close to pushing the unsuspecting Reggie out of the window but, at the last instant, reigns in his desires. Unfortunately for Reggie, Selina does no such thing and the once proud man goes tumbling to his death.

Circling back to the beginning, Fish puts her plan into motion. Enlisting a sextet of hard-hitting killers, her plan involves getting to the docks and escaping on the boat parked there. But the best plans are those with a built-in misdirection and, as events play out, Fish’s plan becomes painfully clear to her hand-picked killers. They were the distraction; it allows Fish and the other captives to escape via the island’s lone helicopter. The escape is not with incident however, as Fish takes a bullet to the gut as she pilots the escape. She may have gotten away from the Dollmaker and his Catcher, but she’s far from being out of the woods.

There’s a new killer in town

And, as far as woods go Gordon’s foray into the Fairchild case puts him into the fire. After the brilliant and painfully awkward Nygma digs up a missing piece of evidence for Gordon, a copy of a painted broken heart, Bullock fills his partner in on the heart’s meaning. It’s a calling-card for the serial killer tabbed ‘the Ogre’ by the few members of the GCPD in the know about his murderous exploits. Worse is the fear his methods have placed in the department. No one dares touch the case due to the Ogre’s penchant to kill the loved ones of those that dare investigate him. The reveal makes Gordon realize he’s been set up by none other than Commissioner Loeb. The revelation pushes Gordon over the edge and he confronts the surprised Loeb. “I tried to work with you but now you crossed a line,” he says. “You come after the one I love. From here on, we’re playing my way. No more games, no more deals. I’m gonna find the Ogre and I’m gonna put him behind bars and when I’ve done that, I’m coming after you.”

“I’m coming after you, Commissioner. You’re done.”

A Beast of a Different Color

  • It was an hour of both good and, well, less good as ‘Gotham’ counts down to what has been deemed a game-changer of a season finale. On the less than interesting, Fish Mooney makes her escape from the clutches of the Dollmaker. Though Jada Pinkett-Smith’s performance has been commendable and the Dollmaker’s sadism disturbing, there really hasn’t been any ‘umph’ to this particular plot line. Unless and until we are granted more than just ‘Gotham’’s own crazed version of Dr. Zhivago and Fish is thrust back into the Maroni/Falcone/Cobblepot power struggle, I just can’t muster up the energy to be invested…
  • And speaking of Cobblepot, though his acquisition of Nana’s bistro was ho-hum, both his reveal to its purpose and cavalier ruthlessness both shone brightly. Snipping the fingers off the guitar player with the concern one would use to trim the hedges was spectacularly cruel and removes any doubt (not that there was any) he’s a hard core bad guy…but his performance is so damn good.
  • I’ve been consistent in my message that Bruce Wayne’s involvement in ‘Gotham’ has, at times, been both cumbersome and unnecessary. Many times the overt reminders into his future state as the Dark Knight has turned me off of what is a strong performance by David Mazouz, but every now and then the writers push me off my high-horse of ‘meh’ and make me sit up and pay attention. Bruce’s confrontation with Reggie and his ensuing urge to push Reggie from the window ledge was a compelling reminder of the war going on inside Bruce’s fractured young mind. Adding to this intrigue was Selina Kyle’s decision to absolve Bruce of the temptation and do the pushing herself. This was most definitely a reminder of the future state of both characters: though they share an undeniable connection, there is a definitive line separating the character and integrity of both individuals.
  • Last but not least, there’s a new psychopath in town and he goes by the name of Ogre. I can’t say too much about Milo Ventimiglia’s new face behind the calm exterior promises to be the most monstrous foe Jim Gordon has faced thus far. I’m sure next week will offer more insight into this calculating serial killer.