Alrighty, nerds and geeks alike, let’s get back to Gotham. The sixteenth episode of the third season is titled ‘These Delicate and Dark Obsessions’, and it was directed by Jim Gordon himself, Ben McKenzie; a fantastic episode given direction by a fantastic actor in my opinion. We got the Court, we got Bruce, we got a guy called the Shaman, a Gordon family dispute, goons, mazes, and a strange partnership between Poison Ivy and Penguin! Let’s get started.
We are informed by the Court about the apparent and poor status of Gotham and the Court of Owls has so graciously taken it upon themselves to obtain some sort of super weapon to destroy the city. Oh, and since the Court does not seem too worried about the real Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), there’s no reason we should worry about him, right?
Now, the last time we saw Bruce, his clone had sedated him in order to carry out the Court’s plan. And once again, the Court took it upon themselves to take the real Bruce to some unknown location. He just wakes up inside some sort of temple cell overlooking a snowy, mountainous area. Isn’t the Court of Owls just so freaking nice?
We quickly find out that Bruce is not alone when he comes to. The Shaman (Raymond J. Barry) informs Bruce that he has been waiting for him for a long time…..kinda creepy but at the same time, kinda cool and stoic.
Let’s get back to Gotham and see what’s going on there. During Oswald’s “absence”, Aubrey James has been reinstated in office…..yay. Jim is investigating in his father’s murder case; a supposed “car accident”. The man that was apparently drunk while driving and who killed Jim’s father had a chronic persistent hepatitis.
I’ll say that again: The driver who killed Jim’s father was diagnosed with chronic persistent hepatitis.
If some of you readers notice something wrong with that police report, don’t worry, so did Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue). Anyone who has chronic persistent hepatitis, or “the Irish Curse”, they are unable to drink. So much as a tongue dip could kill anyone with it. Jim takes Harvey’s alcoholic trivia and figures out that the man who killed his father was never drunk and that he had to believe his uncle Frank’s (James Remar) words.
Jim decided to have another chat with Frank. He admits that there is a weapon that the Court plans on using on Gotham City, although he has no idea what the weapon is exactly; but he does know who paid the lawyer of the supposed drunk driver: Carmine Falcone (John Doman). Dun dun DUN!!!
Let’s take a breather from all that for a minute and get to the hijinks!
We cut to see Ivy Pepper (Maggie Geha) wheel in a newly revived Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) into her greenhouse to give him some fresh air and to show him her friends. By friends, I mean plants. A lot of plants. Remember she’s not Poison Ivy just yet, she’s just making her way. But hey, I think it’s cool that Ivy is good to her plants and that she’s close to them. Sometimes real friends or real people can be mean, plain and simple. She’s found her knack in life and more power to her, I say!
Instead of being grateful to Ivy for saving his life, Oswald decides to be a bit of a prick about her friendly, naïve, and enthusiastic nature. Although, I’d be mad too if I lost my political status, both in a mayoral sense and in the criminal underworld and if I was shot point plank and left for dead by someone I loved. But that’s no excuse for turning away an herbal beverage when it’s offered.
We all know that Penguin wouldn’t be Penguin if he didn’t have some sort of plan any time of the day, and Oswald aggressively expresses his need for his newest plan: Get an army of loyal goons and thugs and kill Edward and Barbara Kean. Simple, yet effective. He urges for Ivy to call in Oswald’s most dumbest and loyal follower Gabe so his plan will be properly and quickly executed
Gabe is so happy and excited to see that his old boss didn’t bite the big one! However, Ivy feels very distrustful towards Gabe. Oswald’s frustration comes to its end when he decides to give her the brush off, in a very prickish manner I might add. Ivy legitimately feels hurt and states that she thought they were friends. To which Penguin scoffs and tells her,
“You’re a bit of a freak.”
I don’t know about you, but the words “weird” or “freak” kind of trigger me. Much like several people in Gotham City, I am learning to own up to it and make it sort of my own; but you know, words still hurt. Oswald, I love you, but damn dude!
Understandably, Ivy leaves in a huff. Gabe inquires to Oswald if she didn’t trust him. Oz shrugs it off but is abruptly bopped in the head by Gabe. Turns out, Ivy was right.
Back to Bruce, he is confronted by the Shaman. He presents Bruce with a set of what look like acupuncture needles with strange symbols on each end. Bruce is hesitant when the Shaman pokes Bruce’s forehead. His eyes turn white, he gasps as this transcendent force runs through his mind.
In a flash, Bruce looks around to see that he’s not in the cell anymore. He’s back in Gotham City. A look of dread washes over his face when Bruce realizes that what he’s seeing is not happening in real time.
Bruce is standing, watching the memory of a lone thug shoot his parents in an alleyway.
Bruce is revived back into the present completely shocked and dumbfounded by what he saw. The Shaman tells Bruce to rest for he will come back and try again.
As we resume the story through Gordon’s perspective, we see him confront Carmine Falcone in his home about his father’s death. He demands the name of the person who ordered the hit in the first place. Falcone is a bit miffed to see Jim, to say the least. After all, he did murder his son on his wedding day; but he gives up the name anyway: Frank Gordon.
It’s Frank’s turn to be confronted by Jim. Frank admits that he was the one who initiated the hit on his own brother, Peter because he was planning on exposing the Court of Owls. Now, anyone in this situation would want to just beat up Frank right there on the spot, but not Jim. Above many things, Jim is a cop. He tries to put Frank under arrest, but Frank reluctantly puts Jim in his place, revealing where the weapon of the Court will be. Jim and Harvey realize that neither they nor the GCPD can just go down to where the weapon is without bringing too much attention to themselves from the Court.
So…..Jim has to ask for help.
The new Barbara Queen of Gotham (Erin Richards) happy agrees to assist Jim. She and Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) play a good round of punchies while interrogating one of the workers who work where the weapon is supposed to arrive: Dock 19. The worker admits that the weapon has already been shipped in. He gestures to a large crate labeled:
But before anyone can do anything else, a single Talon appears with a sword and, at the risk of sounding like a kid being impressed by a cool assassin with a cool sword taking on a bunch of guys with guns, he was all *WHOOSH* *SWING* *JUMP* *STAB* and it was totally awesome!!!! When the Talon took out all of the guys with guns, Barbara and Tabitha make a break for it and get out of there.
Meanwhile, the Court of Owls let Frank know that they are aware of Jim’s actions about investigating in his father’s murder and order Frank to kill him.
Ivy, along with Oswald gets captured and restrained by Gabe and a few of his goon friends. While he’s reeling over the betrayal, Ivy remains cool as a cucumber because she just so happens to be wearing her special perfume. She gets one of the guys to come over and take a whiff, putting him under her complete control. She orders him to shoot and kill everyone but Gabe and untie them.
Ivy holds Gabe at gunpoint as Oswald considers reenlisting him. He tells Ivy to use her perfume to make Gabe tell the truth. Even though Gabe said he would go back to Penguin and be completely loyal, Ivy’s perfume made him sing. Gabe reveals that he never intended to remain loyal to Oswald and that the only reason that he and other would follow him was because they all feared him.
They feared him, but they never respected him.
Gabe also says that he always saw Oswald for who he really was: just a weak umbrella boy. A freak.
Needless to say, reminding Oswald of his past that way did not set well. In his anger, he kills and hacks Gabe with a gardening tool.
Now left with no men, no goons, Oswald is back to step one. He still needs an army to kill Edward and Barbara. Ivy gets a bright idea to recruit an army of freaks from Indian Hill that were driven out of Gotham.
Jim and Frank confront each other once again. He tells Jim that he has orders to kill Jim since he could not persuade him to join the Court. Frank finally fesses up and tells Jim that he need to join in order to finish what he and Peter wanted to do from the beginning: take the Court down. For extra insurance for Jim’s sake, Frank shoots himself in the head, making it look like Jim killed him in rage over his father’s death.
Back in the cell, the Shaman makes Bruce relive his parent’s murder. The Shaman inquires that Bruce has never let go of the pain of that night, and that he needs to in order to become something bigger: a protector. He needs Bruce to become a symbol in Gotham so that it can be reborn.
For a Batman fan, like myself, this is where I was squeeing and flipping out going “He means Batman! He means Batman!”
The last scene that we see is Jim Gordon visiting his father’s grave when he receives a phone call from Kathryn (Leslie Hendrix). Gordon does what his uncle asked of him when got the call. He made it seem like Jim killed Frank in an act of revenge for his father and he asks to meet her and the Court. Jim turns to the side and he sees a limousine waiting for him.
I can’t express how great this episode was and I give major applause to Ben McKenzie for his directing skills as well as his acting. Bravo!
Things I liked:
The dynamic and partnership between Jim and Harvey.
The newfound team and relationship between Ivy and Penguin.
The chance to see Bruce take his steps in becoming “a protector” for Gotham. I never really wanted to see Bruce become Batman when I first heard about this show, but it is evident that the people working on Gotham have a specific plan for Bruce and I love seeing that plan come to life.
James Remar and Raymond J. Barry. That’s it. They’re frigging awesome.
Loved seeing some Penguin rage.
Love what Maggie Geha is doing with Ivy Pepper. She may have aged, but she still kind of has that child mentality and maturity in her mannerisms. And yet she keeps the appearance of a street-wise woman. I’d like to think that if Ivy was still a kid and she went about in the same manner, no one would take her seriously or even look her way. But even though she still is somewhat a kid, since she has the body of a grown woman, Ivy will feel more heard.
Things I did not like:
Even though I agree Gabe got what was coming to him, I’m going to miss that lug.
8/10 for the sixteenth episode of the third season.
And as always, stay weird!