In this episode of Gotham, “Mad City: Time Bomb,” Barbara searches for Butch and Tabitha, who are being held captive by Nygma; Mario becomes the target of hitmen, and Gordon is certain that the apple may not have fallen far from the tree; and Bruce learns more about the Court of Owls.

On the eve of Mario and Lee’s rehearsal dinner, somebody tries to kill Carmine Falcone by putting a bomb underneath his car. But it’s some poor schmuck who gets blown to bits instead of the “former” crime boss.

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Old Grudges or New Enemies?

Gordon questions Falcone, wondering if he has any idea who would come after him now. Falcone has a long list of enemies and believes someone is trying to send a message on this, the eve of his son’s rehearsal dinner.

Gordon has a different theory. He thinks someone may be worried that Carmine is coming out of retirement. Falcone swears he isn’t, but he’s also not going to sit by and do nothing. With Captain Barnes in Arkham, the last thing James need is Falcone and his men running around Gotham and hell-bent on revenge. Gordon promises to get to the bottom of it, and Falcone gives him one day.

Tit for Tat

With the cat away, the mice will play. Penguin meets with the head of the five families. With all of Gotham’s residents so vulnerable, he suggests an increase in “protection fees.” His meeting is interrupted by Barb waving a gun, demanding to know where Butch and Tabitha are. It seems the Tigress and Butch are an item again, and Tabitha has been holed up with her boyfriend, keeping him safe. But she failed to check in, and Barbara thinks Penguin is to blame. Penguin denies any involvement and threatens to kill Barbara for her insubordination. She backs off, and because of their history, Penguin lets her off with a warning.

Penguin calls Nygma, who happens to be holding Butch and Tabitha captive. He warns his pal to wrap up his unfinished business, but Nygma is in no hurry, telling his boss that he’s working through his grief. Nygma found the twosome thanks to Butch’s love of eggplant parmesan from a certain restaurant in town whose delivery boy he bribed for Butch’s whereabouts. Of course, Butch has no idea what Nygma is talking about when his captor accuses him of killing Isabella, which gives Ed the excuse to torture the former henchman.

The Sins of the Father?

Bullock is serving as the captain until Barnes can be cured. Mr. Fox informs them that the bomb was comprised of some pretty high-grade elements for your standard mob hit. It was designed by someone who didn’t want to leave anything behind. Bullock knows of only one guy with that kind of expertise, an ex-military man who goes by the name of “Fuse.”

Bullock and Gordon arrive at Fuse’s apartment, only to find him dead. Whoever hired him didn’t want any loose ends. A packed suitcase is on the bed, leading Bullock and Gordon to surmise that Fuse didn’t exactly trust his employer. Gordon finds a file stuffed under Fuse’s mattress and figures out that Carmine wasn’t the intended target; his son was.

They make it to the hospital just as another attempt is being made on Mario’s life by two figures clad in black, swinging a ninja sword and riding a motorcycle. Gordon arrives and intervenes, and the hitmen take off.

The Whisper Gang

Ivy and Selina are still hiding out at Wayne Manor. Despite the four-star accommodations, Selina is getting restless and wants to leave, but Bruce and Alfred are determined to make her stay put.

Things are also tense between the two lovebirds. Ivy picked up on the fact that there was something going on between Selina and Bruce, an accusation Selina vehemently denied, leaving Bruce to feel a tad heartbroken.

Mario claims to have no enemies and no idea who would want to kill him. Gordon suggests that the doctor keep a low profile, but with his wedding 24 hours away, Mario doesn’t see how that’s possible. Gordon thinks that postponing the nuptials might be a good idea, and Mario questions Gordon’s motives. James says Mario has no choice but to trust him. Whoever is behind this is going to keep coming until they get the job done. And as long as Mario has a target on his back, so does Lee.

While Bruce combs through books looking for information about the key, Selina decides to try a different approach. She uses vinegar and baking soda to clean the key, hoping there will be something on the key that they couldn’t see because a hundred years of crud was covering it up. There’s an engraving of an owl on the key. This is bad news for Brucie. Him even being in possession of the key could be viewed as breaking his agreement with Kathryn, the woman who represents the people in the owl masks. Bruce wants to contact them and make them understand that Ivy didn’t know what she was stealing.

Speaking of Ivy, she’s disappeared. She used one of her magical perfumes on Alfred to convince him to give her the house’s alarm code. Selina doesn’t see the big deal. Ivy will return when she gets hungry. But Alfred gets a call from a man named Volk, who says he has Ivy, and he’s willing to exchange her for the key.

Selina, Bruce and Alfred arrive at the designated meeting place. Along with Ivy, Volk and some nefarious-looking fellows are also present. Bruce asks to speak to Kathryn, and he won’t return the key until he does. Bruce wants reassurance that his friends’ lives will no longer be in danger. Volk explains that any promises from Kathryn will be lies because the people Bruce is talking about have no honor. Volk would know because they betrayed him. This guy doesn’t work for the powerful secret society; he’s working to destroy them. And at long last, Bruce learns the name of this mystery denizen of Gotham: the Court of Owls.

Volk and his brothers, Dmitry and Jacob, comprise the Whisper Gang, Gotham’s most notorious smugglers. They used to number in the hundreds. Seeing their growing strength, the Court of Owls offered them a partnership, only to betray them. Many escaped back to Ukraine, but a few stayed hoping to enact revenge. The key opens a safe that is in one of the Court’s buildings. Inside, there is a device that Volk believes can destroy them. Volk doesn’t know if it’s a weapon, only that the Court fears it falling into the hands of its enemies. There were originally two keys, and the Court has possession of the other. They had no idea the other copy was still in play. Volk plans to use it, and Bruce wants in.

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A “Shocking” Confession

Barbara decides to bribe Penguin’s maid in an effort to find Tabitha and Butch. The maid isn’t a fan of Nygma’s but is a fan of bling, so Barbara gets the information she’s looking for. Babs also gets a bonus when the maid spills that Penguin has romantic feelings for Ed.

Nygma continues to torture Butch, sending agonizing amounts of electrical currents into his brain. But that isn’t enough, so he turns his attention to Tabitha. Instead of an eye-for-an-eye, Nygma is going to take a hand. He’s constructed a device that will enable Tigress to save one of her claws, but she’ll have to kill Butch in return.

Nygma promises that if Tabitha sacrifices her hand for Butch, he’ll let them go. The bad news for Butch is that Tabitha isn’t really in a “love place” right now. Nygma figured as much, which is why he made the offer.

Butch has a few final words, and he tells Tabitha that it’s okay she doesn’t love him because he loves her and that’s enough. Then he confesses to killing Isabella; he claims to have shot her, which we all know isn’t how she died. Tabitha is overcome by Butch’s sweetness and saves his life.

As Tabitha starts to bleed out, Nygma has to wrap his head around the fact that Butch is innocent. Barbara arrives to save the day. A dazed Nygma tells her to get Tabitha’s hand on ice and walks away.

Barbara Sees an Opportunity, Carmine Threatens Kathryn

Gordon is convinced that either Carmine or Mario is holding back information, but both ascertain that Mario is a stand-up guy. He’s so good that he walks out of the GCPD so he can lure the killers away from Lee and keep the target firmly on himself. Gordon tracks Mario down picking up wedding rings at the jeweler, but the men are under attack before they can head for safer ground.

Mario is able to best one of his attackers and questions why they’re coming after him. He’s got the man in a chokehold, but his last words are “You know why.” Mario finishes the job, and all we know is Dr. Wonderful may not be Lee’s Prince Charming after all.

Gordon is able to arrest on of the assassins, but he’s not talking. He’s also a pro, so his prints don’t bring up a match in the system. Bullock informs Gordon that the guy is being transferred to a federal facility upstate. Gordon wonders why the Feds want him, and Carmine suspects that somebody wants him out of the precinct.

Lee shows up, and Gordon warns Mario that if he doesn’t tell his fiance what’s going on, he will. In the meantime, Carmine lets himself into the interrogation room and uses his own tactics to get the guy to talk. He learns that the assassin works for a former associate of Carmine, and he tells Gordon and Bullock he’ll take care of it his way. Falcone warns Gordon to stay out of it.

Volk’s plan to join forces with Bruce and take down the Court hits a snag. Both Dmitry and Volk are killed by a lethal member of the Court.

Butch is hell-bent on getting revenge, and Barbara has enough pieces of the puzzle to see the big picture. She knows that Penguin killed Isabella, and she knows why. And she plans to use the information to her advantage.

Carmine meets with Kathryn, demanding to know why she’s trying to kill his son. She’ll only say there are things he’s not privy to. Carmine promises to come after Kathryn with everything he has if she hurts his son. She promises that he won’t win, but Carmine says if Mario dies that won’t be the point. Gotham will burn. Kathryn insists that the city is on the brink of chaos, and only the Court can save it. She expects his assistance until called upon, and Mario will be safe until that time, at least from them.

Lee stops by for one last goodbye with Gordon. Nothing dirty, just a kiss. But Mario sees her leaving his place, and his reaction is unexpected. He flies into a very Tetch-like rage and beats the crap out of two muggers. It should make for an interesting wedding.

Will Lee tie the knot? Will Nygma figure out the truth about Penguin? Can Bruce and Selina take down the Court of Owls? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Gotham season 3 airs Mondays at 8/7c on FOX. Want more news? Visit our Gotham Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of FOX)

Jennifer Lind-Westbrook

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Jennifer has worked as a freelance writer in the entertainment field since 2012. In addition to currently writing feature articles for Screen Rant, Jennifer has contributed content ranging from recaps to listicles to reviews for BuddyTV, PopMatters, TVRage, TVOvermind, and Tell-Tale TV. Links to some of Jennifer’s reviews can be found on Rotten Tomatoes.