If you were wondering if Fish Mooney survived her escape attempt, you'll get no answers from this episode of Gotham
, "Under the Knife." Instead, you get a whole bunch of plotlines that feel rushed (as usual) and feel designed to get us to the season finale that was planned out months earlier. We're now only two episodes away...
Nygma takes a bold act, the Ogre targets the person Gordon used to love, and Bruce and Selina go to a ball together to target a man named, yes, Bunderslaw. There's some interesting stuff scattered throughout the disparate plotlines, but there's also a lot of boring fluff too.
The Ogre Targets Barbara
Even though the previous episode ended with Gordon confronting Loeb, Gordon is more concerned with Leslie's safety at the top of this episode. He's convinced the Ogre is going to go after her out of retaliation for Gordon's investigation.
Leslie is fine by the time Gordon gets to her, even if she knocks him on the head with a telephone, mistakenly thinking he's an intruder. Gordon wants her to leave Gotham, but Leslie refuses. She says he needs to find the Ogre if he wants to protect her.
"I love you," Gordon tells her. "It only took a serial killer to get you to say that," Leslie says, smiling amidst the groan-inducing dialogue.
In a not-so-shocking turn of events, it turns out the Ogre isn't targeting Leslie, but rather Barbara. We don't see how, but the Ogre easily convinces Barbara to take him back to her apartment. Things progress quickly as the Ogre is just about ready to kill her when Barbara assures him she does not have a boyfriend. The Ogre quickly realizes Gordon isn't really in love with her anymore and Barbara winds up kicking him out. The Ogre needs a new target after all.
The next morning, Gordon and Bullock meet with the investigator in charge of a previous Ogre case. He doesn't want to help them because the Ogre killed his wife and he still has a daughter. He relents and tells them about a location he had been checking out related to one of the dead girls: a plastic surgery office.
There, they meet with one of the victim's former bosses, who says she was recommended by a patient. He refuses to disclose the name of the patient, so they leave to get a warrant. Outside, they notice a shadowed man in a car watching them. It's the Ogre. He tries to run them down and gets away.
Back at GCPD, Gordon gets a call from the Ogre, and Gordon realizes he has to show him that they're not afraid of him. So he calls a press conference to disclose everything he knows thus far about the Ogre.
The warrant goes through, and Bullock and Gordon get another address to check out, belonging to one of the oldest families in Gotham (Van Groot). At the mansion, Bullock and Gordon come across someone who's hanging from a noose. They're able to cut him down in time and Gordon cuffs him to a nearby table. Bullock checks out the rest of the house and finds pictures of the Ogre with his face scratched out in all of them, as well as the matriarch of the family, Constance Van Groot, as a long-dead corpse in bed.
After GCPD comes for the body, Bullock and Gordon realize the son of the butler -- the man they found hanging -- is the Ogre. They question him back at GCPD, but the man claims his son only made "one" mistake. He claims his son started to think he was actually Van Groot's secret, illegitimate son. When he realizes it's a joke, he killed her, and the butler claims he hasn't seen his son since then.
The butler then shows a picture of his son, and we the audience don't get to see it directly at first, until the show unveils what we already knew -- he has a massive scar on his face that was removed during a plastic surgery operation.
The Ogre catches up with Barbara at the Wayne Enterprises Ball and they dance. It gets awkward fast as the Ogre turns on the creepy charm and yet Barbara doesn't run away screaming.
Back at GCPD, Gordon and Bullock meet with the Captain to tell her what they've learned so far. Gordon then realizes that the Ogre is probably going after Barbara, so he runs to her apartment and finds Selina waiting. Selina tells her that Barbara left with some guy, and when Gordon shows her a sketch of the Ogre, Selina says it's him.
Back at the Ogre's apartment, Barbara discovers the Ogre's weapon room. (It doesn't look like a kill room at the moment, just a weapon room.) And do I detect a faint smile on Barbara's lips when the Ogre enters? It's a little unclear.
Bruce and Selina Head to a Ball
Meanwhile, Bruce and Selina spend the most of the episode preparing to go to a ball.
After Reggie's murder, Bruce demands that Selina explain why she killed him at the beginning of the episode. She screams at him that she had to, that she saved his life and that she knows he wanted to do it too -- but he didn't have the guts. Bruce is upset but is determined to find out who Bunderslaw is and wants to sneak into Wayne Enterprises to get answers.
Selina offers to help -- again -- but tells Bruce she can't tell anyone about what happened to Reggie.
When Alfred learns of Bruce's plan to take Selina to the Wayne Enterprises Ball, he isn't too pleased. But he also thinks it's because Bruce is into Selina -- he has zero idea what they're actually planning to do once they get to the Ball.
Bruce has a ton of outfits sent to Selina for the Ball, and Barbara offers to help her pick out what's best. When Bruce shows up later, he meets Barbara for the first time and is overcome with Selina in her dress. "Selina -- you look very nice," he manages to tell her.
At the ball, Bruce and Selina dance awkwardly -- and I like the fact that producers didn't make them magically light on their feet. Later, Bruce admits he did want to kill Reggie but that he would never cross that line. Selina, meanwhile, says she would do it again if she had to and it wouldn't bother her.
Bruce meets Bunderslaw later, while Selina steals a key from his pocket so she can copy it and then return it without him noticing. They will have to wait for the next episode to get into his safe.
Gertrude Learns Who Her Son Really Is
Penguin hires a crew to help him kill Don Maroni. The Irishman in charge says no thanks pretty quickly, but Penguin reassures him this is a way to move up in Falcone's eyes. The Irishman then says yes because the plot dictates it. Lazy, lazy writing.
Maroni and his crew wind up showing up unannounced at Penguin's club later. Maroni flirts with Penguin's mother and requests that Penguin join them at the table.
Later, Maroni tells Penguin's mother about all the awful things Penguin has done -- including all the murders. "You know, don't you?" he asks her. "When did you realize you had given birth to a monster?" Gertrude faints and Maroni exits after leaving some money for the bill.
Penguin confronts his mother at home later, but she doesn't want Penguin to lie to her. He claims he's a nightclub owner and that's all. She doesn't seem to believe him and walks out.
When a delivery man comes by to deliver flowers from Maroni to Gertrude, Penguin at first demands that the delivery man tell Maroni he's going to kill him. Then he randomly kills the delivery man out of anger. Does Penguin actually think this man works for Maroni? Or is he that stupid and angry?
Nygma Kills His First Victim
Nygma is very concerned when he discovers that Kris Kringle is dating one of GCPD's officers and learns that he's possibly beating her. He confronts him later, with a riddle of course, and the cop doesn't deny beating Kris.
"They need a firm hand," the cop says, echoing many women-beating cliches. Yawn.
Nygma confronts the officer later on in the street and tells him to leave Gotham. The cop punches Nygma in the stomach and then Nygma stabs him in the chest multiple times. It should feel like the culmination that leads Nygma to become the Riddler -- or Riddle Man, as the officer says before dying. But instead, this comes out of nowhere
and feels like a stretch to have Nygma laughing at the bloody knife in his hand.
airs Mondays at 8pm on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)