Status quo has finally taken a major hit with tonight’s episode and this was the series first significant game-changer. Time to break down all the fun now.
Apparently this episode is set in 1984 as Essen is briefing the officers about Gruber and Danzig’s escape from Arkham Asylum using an overhead projector. When will this show figure out when it’s set? One scene they’re using cell phones the next technology has devolved 30 years.
Gruber goes back to a storage warehouse where The Discount Double guy has been holding his stuff. Gruber isn’t happy about an apparent betrayal and uses his electro gadget to fry his brain. Of course the bright side is now he won’t remember the Packers’ epic collapse in that NFC Championship game or feel the need to harass Rodgers!!!
Gordon returns to the department and wants in on the case. Commissioner Loeb makes his debut as things have gone all sideways and GCPD needs to get Gruber and Danzig back in Arkham ASAP. Loeb agrees to Gordon’s terms to reinstate him if he can bring Gruber back within 24 hours. Darn it. There was a lot of story lines left from Gordon stuck in exile at Arkham and the writers rushed him back way too quickly. What about Leslie?!?!
We get a flashback of toddler Falcone at a funeral. Back to “modern age” and he observes the execution of one of his men before telling Liza she needs to get married and find a nice young man to get married. While they’re checking out flowers, Liza places one on his lapel and says she’s perfectly fine baking for him and keeping his house together. Falcone clearly is still in the 50s thinking a woman’s place is in the kitchen.
Back at GCPD, Gordon is happy to be back and seeing how often he can make Bullock roll his eyes. Nygma has some actual useful information.
Gruber is an alias. He was arrested after some of his fellow degenerates had a scheme backfire and he went to prison for it. Now he’s out for revenge on everyone who betrayed him.
Bullock and Gordon get tipped off and find Gruber’s getaway van from Arkham. They spot Irwin’s Electronics across the street and find Discount Double guy scribbling blankly — a victim of a Gruber-cution.
Some masked men grab Liza and bring her to Fish. After weeks of plotting, she’s ready to carry out her scheme. Fish calls Falcone with a voice distorter (arrgh so now the technology has moved up to the 1990s) saying they have Liza and that someone from his camp will call to arrange a deal.
At GCPD, Nygma has rubber boots for Gordon and Bullock as a foolproof way to stop the gang. Leslie comes by (yes!) for a visit with a cursed doll from one of the nutjobs at Arkham. Apparently they were all the rage as a sorceress made them for her fellow inmates to curse someone on the outside. Gordon somehow manages to figure out that Gruber’s doll looks like Maroni.
At his restaurant, Maroni is entertaining his troops when Falcone texts Penguin to help find Liza. After coming up with a lame excuse about needing to see his mother, Penguin heads out but touches the door and gets shocked courtesy of a Gruber mini-lighting bomb, which sends a jolt through the restaurant.
GCPD gets on the scene and Gordon figures out that Maroni was part of Gruber’s old crew. After some convincing, Gordon gets Maroni to agree to be placed under police custody to draw Gruber out. Penguin wakes up in a haze muttering that he’s got some business with Falcone.
Because absolutely no one demanded it, Barbara returns to her parents to make their lives miserable. They’ve got a black butler so Barbara has traveled to the 1960s. This has been the most time-jarring episode this year.
Maroni is holding court in the department and having them at the palm of his hands while Falcone is fondling the flower to the point that I’m trying to remember if Liza planted a bug on it and he’s playing up his indecision for Fish’s benefit. Fish calls all set to keep the act going, but Falcone tells her to drop the charade. He knows it was her (Fredo)! He commends her for being the smart one (Tessio) and agrees to her terms of leaving Gotham in exchange for Liza’s safety.
While Butch wants to celebrate with 5 minutes left in the game, Fish says Falcone deserves their respect. Liza seems to be having second thoughts. Falcone calls in Zsasz, not for settling the score, but to keep him and Liza safe. Zsasz can barely contain his desire for revenge though to avenge his boss’ honor.
At GCPD, Nygma tries to explain his riddle to Kringle, who awkwardly laughs when another cop arrives to tell Nygma to leave her alone. Nygma pauses behind the corner just long enough to overhear Kringle telling the cop that Nygma is so weird. And now finally we have the last spark that sends this lonely lab rat down the path of crime and villainy as the devious mastermind The Riddler! Or maybe that’s next week?
Penguin just can’t get to Falcone as after he finally weasels his way out of Maroni’s questioning about the Falcone remark, Gruber unleashes a massive electro dynamo on the station shocking out everyone. Gruber admits some lack of satisfaction with everything as Danzig finds Maroni, but before he orders him killed, Gordon with his fishermen rubber boots walks out.
Gruber is finally providing Gordon with a Gotham-quality villain you could almost see Batman having problems with … once he upgrades his weaponry as Gordon stops him by splashing a cup of water at the electro device. No that wasn’t anticlimactic at all…
Gordon is reinstated and Gordon tells Commissioner Loeb the next guy who tries to take his badge is gonna eat it. So looks like it’ll be next week before Gordon drops the Bull in the Gotham China Shop routine and figures out a smarter way to handle the deep corruption throughout the city. The way he’s written thus far it’s crazy that someone — from Falcone, Maroni, Fish or the shady Gotham cops — to have not killed him already as he’s way too much of a wild card to risk letting him mess up their plans.
Penguin finally arrives at Falcone’s and tells him that that Liza was a plant fed information by Fish about his mother and everything to better use against Falcone. Proving everyone who thought this sinister mob don was smarter than he was letting on wrong, Falcone is stunned by the revelation and agrees to go to Fish’s spot.
Falcone wants to see Liza before he signs the Deed of Don-ship papers to Fish. Despite all of Fish’s mentoring, Liza’s poker face has much to be desired and Falcone knows the truth. He has his men storm the place and apologizes for Liza getting caught up in all this before he strangles her. Now if Jada Pinkett Smith wasn’t a star of this show Falcone would have killed Fish and Butch right away, but because she’s essential cast, Falcone decides that she has to suffer. No, this won’t come back to bite him at all. As Fish tries to explain, Falcone silences her and tells Penguin he can come out. Penguin is thrilled to have finally been able to reveal his masterstroke to Fish.
At the men’s locker room, Leslie walks in on Gordon leaving the shower. She questions if he’s staying here now and he says kinda. So, did he just decide not to go back to his place with Barbara (where Ivy is crashing right now) and how long has he been away? And where has he been staying since his GCPD exile just ended? Too many questions. Anyway, this leads to something the writers decide not to drag out and Gordon kisses her. From a storytelling perspective, this makes little sense, but Gordon clearly recognizes that Leslie is a substantial upgrade over Barbara and she’s not hooking up with fellow officers to boot.
Before it goes any further, an officer rushes in to tell Gordon there’s been a shootout at Fish’s. Thanks to some overeager promotions from FOX, we already know Fish made it, but do we think Butch is much longer for the show?
Tonight something finally happened so that was a welcome improvement, but Falcone again comes up looking like an idiot for letting Fish live. Let’s see how quickly he regrets it.