On the season 4 premiere of Gotham, "A Dark Knight: Pax Penguina," Bruce and Gordon look for ways to undermine Penguin's control of Gotham, and disgruntled career criminals unknowingly unleash a monster on the city.
When we last left the city of Gotham, many of the city's residents were infected with the Tetch virus. Expect the fallout to continue as new alliances are forged, old foes return, new enemies reveal themselves and one particular hero continues to rise.
Very Organized Crime
It's been a few months since the Tetch outbreak, and Penguin has made crime more...organized. in order to engage in illegal activity in Gotham, aspiring thugs and miscreants need a license from Penguin. This ensures the king of the underworld gets a piece of even the smallest pie. He uses the fact that he's cut crime in half as leverage with city officials, so they'll turn their heads as he turns a profit. Penguin offers up peace and prosperity and a cut to the Mayor and Police Commissioner.
This means that the GCPD is supposed to walk away when faced with a licensed criminal, but not everyone is adhering to this new policy, particularly, Jim Gordon. Even Bullock is accepting the new world order, following all of the chaos in the aftermath of the Tetch virus. He promises Gordon that one day they will bust Penguin, but first, the city has to get back on its feet. Gordon worries that the longer people turn to Penguin for help instead of the GCPD, the harder it will be to get them back.
The Boogeyman Will Get You
Shockingly, it's not only Gordon who isn't a fan of the Penguin regime, so two thieves, Merton (Michael Buscemi) and Grady Harris (Michael Maize), head to an asylum looking for a weapon to use against him. There they find Jonathan Crane (Charlie Tahan) who is still suffering from the after effects of his father's experiments with the fear toxin (It exploits the fears of its victims.) Thanks to his father's constant injections, Jonathan has an overloaded fear response. Warden Reed (Damian Young) tells the men that Jonathan's mind created a "boogeyman figure" (a scarecrow) that haunts him. Reed hands Jonathan over to the men in return for a bribe -- stating that using this figure can be useful in controlling the disturbed, young man.
Jonathan leads the men to his old house where they discover all of his father's research. They want Jonathan to use his father's journals to recreate the fear juice. To ensure Jonathan's cooperation, they procure a scarecrow to scare him into submission.
Jonathan is successful, and Merton and Grady use the toxin to rob a bank. Gordon is determined to find whoever is responsible. Bullock warns Gordon that Penguin's enforcer, Victor Zsasz (Anthony Carrigan) will dispense punishment, but Gordon plans to get there first.
Gordon recognizes the effects of the fear toxin, and he and Bullock pay a visit to Warden Reed, hoping to talk to Jonathan. Reed tries to stonewall them but crumbles when the cops threaten to sick Penguin and Zsasz on him.
After getting Grady's name from the Warden, Bullock and Gordon bust into Grady's apartment, but the "outlaw" is less than repentant. Grady has bigger fish (or penguins) to fry, so he and Merton leave the detectives bruised and battered, but alive.
The Cat and the Bat
Alfred is back on his feet, and Bruce continues to hone his superhero skills in preparation for Ra's Al Ghul's (Alexander Siddig) return. Little does Brucie know that Ra's is already watching.
Also beating the crap out of unsavory characters is Selina who, thanks to Tabitha (aka Tigress) has become quite adept with a whip. Tabitha has taken Selina under her paw. The twosome receive an unexpected visit from Zsasz who comes bearing a gift from Penguin -- an invite to the opening of his new club. Tabitha has no interest in working for Penguin and decides it's time for her and Selina to find a new pad; a place that is more off the grid and Zsasz-free (If such a place exists in Gotham.)
Bruce goes to see Gordon. He's not content with the status quo and has a plan. Bruce took one of Penguin's licenses off a mugger and has figured out a way to track down a master list using the number on the license. This would connect the crime and criminal to the license issued and even predicting crimes that haven't happened yet. Gordon informs Bruce that judges are going along with the licenses and trying to track down who in Penguin's organization is keeping the list would set off too many alarms.
Gordon Sets a Trap
Penguin prepares for his big grand opening of the Iceberg Lounge by holding a small press conference. He unveils the frozen block of ice containing Ed Nygma (The Riddler) which is the centerpiece of the venue. Penguin issues a statement that Ed was dying of a rare brain disease, and his last wish was to be frozen to wait for a cure. Oh, and not to be hidden away but put out with the people.
Gordon interrupts the small spectacle and announces Penguin is a fraud, telling him the gang that has Crane's fear toxin isn't afraid of him and others will find out. Gordon is using Penguin, and Penguin plays right into his hands. Penguin promises he'll find this gang, crush them and everyone will see that it is Oswald Cobblepot who keeps Gotham safe. Penguin's proclamation makes the local news, causing Grady and Merton to decide to hit Penguin's club on opening night.
Gordon succeeds in getting Penguin to bait Grady, and now he has units ready to arrest the gang before they face Penguin's retribution. It also means embarrassing the crime boss while affirming that the GCPD is still relevant. A few of Gordon's fellow officers corner him in the locker room. Gordon figures they're on Penguin's payroll, but they think since Penguin's been cracking down, life has been pretty good. Gordon questions what happens when Penguin begins issuing licenses to commit murder but realizes he's wasting his breath. The end result is Gordon getting a beating.
The Juice is Loose
Bruce and Alfred make an appearance at the opening of the Iceberg Lounge. Bruce thanks Penguin for everything he's done for the city and then begins to question him about the licenses. Penguin wonders if Bruce is trying to get him to implicate himself, but Bruce pulls the dead parents card -- if crime had been licensed and controlled three years ago, his parents would still be alive. Penguin states that he doesn't have anything to do with the licenses directly; he provides the guidelines while a Mr. Penn handles all the details. Mr. Penn is a pasty accountant-looking type standing in a nearby corner.
Now that Bruce knows who has the list, he needs to get his hands on it. He's momentarily distracted from this task by the arrival of Selina as well as Tabitha who has had a change of heart.
Grady and his gang are in the kitchen of the club planning their big entrance when they find themselves cornered by Penguin and Zsasz.
Bruce follows Selina to the roof and apologizes for his behavior at the hospital. He's also concerned that Selina has chosen Tabitha Galavan as a mentor. These two might finally be paving the way to rekindle their whatever it is. Unfortunately, Alfred arrives to cock block and pull Bruce away to attend to some urgent business.
That business is Oswald putting Grady's gang on display and using them to reinforce the fact that he is the one -- not the GCPD -- keeping the citizens of Gotham safe.
Bruce wants to go grab his mask and prevent Penguin from killing Grady and his men, but Alfred suggests there's a time for masks, and there's a time for Bruce Wayne.
Bruce demands to know what Penguin plans to do with the gang. Oswald tells Bruce he does the dirty work that no one else will. Bruce asks Penguin to do the right thing, and turn the men over to the police, but Penguin refuses.
Ivy, presumably tired of Penguin's constant verbal abuse, decides to cut the power. Chaos ensues which includes Penguin getting a face full of fear juice which elicits a frightening hallucination of Ed Nygma, and Oswald has a total meltdown. Gordon and Bullock arrive in time to save the day and arrest Merton. A terrified Penguin collapses into Gordon's arms.
Chalk one up for Gordon, especially when the newspaper headline calls Penguin a chicken. But Gordon is more concerned about finding Jonathan Crane.
Bruce shows up at Mr. Penn's office in all his hooded glory and snags the master list (Not that the quivering Mr. Penn was much of a challenge.) After leaving, Bruce witnesses a robbery, accidentally finds himself a suspect and is arrested by the GCPD.
Grady, who managed to escape the police, arrives at the Crane residence and expects to find Jonathan cowering locked in the closet with the scarecrow right where he left him. What he encounters is The Scarecrow.
(Image Courtesy of FOX)