Jim Gordon’s worst enemy has come back from the grave, probably to haunt him, because Gotham definitely didn’t have enough villains out for Gordon’s head already, right? But it’s true, and Gordon has no idea. Yikes. But at least Gordon finally made some headway in his investigation into the Wayne murders! Let’s recap all the insanity of “Pinewood,” shall we?
Picking up right where last week’s episode left off, Stabby Babs was sticking to her story when she showed up at Gordon’s place: she’s finally sane, and she’s sorry for all the terrible things she did to him. But after holding her at gunpoint, he kicked her out, because … I mean, of course he did. Before she left, she noticed his Wayne murder files laying around and recognized “The Lady” from a picture, aka the woman who sent assassins after Gordon in the past, and Barbara tried to help but he wasn’t hearing it. The look on Bullock’s face when she left Gordon’s apartment, however, was the stuff of legends.
Gordon’s first plan of attack was literally attacking all the remaining hitmen of Gotham with brass knuckles to get answers on where to find The Lady, and he finally got a location: a club called Artemis. Sometimes, violence does pay.
Back in Wayne manor, Bruce, Lucius Fox, and Alfred were hard at work decrypting Bruce’s father’s computer files. Bruce found something in the calendar the week of his father’s murder named Pinewood Farms, when his father met with someone named Karen Jennings. Bruce figured that if his father was investigating something right before he was killed, it was probably connected.
In Arkham, Professor Strange was hard at work at his experiments with reanimation when Miss Peabody alerted him to the fact that someone at Wayne Enterprises searched for the name “Karen Jennings.” Strange remarked that she “was their first,” meaning Bruce was on the right track. But seeing as how Karen maimed an orderly and killed two others while she was in their care, he probably won’t like what he finds. Strange turned her into something with … claws? Talons? Whatever she is, she’s not entirely human anymore.
Bruce and Alfred found Karen at her cabin sporting, you guessed it, bird talons for a hand, and while she was reluctant to tell them anything at first, she finally cracked. Turns out Pinewood Farms was a bioengineering program at Wayne Enterprises and she was one of the first volunteers for it, just so she could get out of Blackgate Prison and fix her deformed arm. And when Thomas Wayne found out what was going on at Pinewood, he shut it down and paid to put the survivors in hiding. Years later, Thomas suspected it was up and running again, and came to warn Karen before he died. Bruce convinced Karen to take him to Pinewood, and she took him to the shut down facility to try to convince him to give up and move on, but they were spotted by security guards and caught by cops.
Meanwhile, Gordon tried to make his way into Artemis, but was stopped at the door: turns out it’s a women’s-only club, and the clientele are of the more criminal persuasion. Lucky for him Barbara couldn’t stay away, because she knew how much the Wayne case meant to him. She befriended The Lady, acting like the old Stabby Babs, and took Gordon at knifepoint to meet her. Barbara got The Lady to reveal someone nicknamed The Philosopher was the one who contracted the Wayne murders, all while pretending she was going to kill Gordon. But it was all an act, and Barbara killed The Lady and helped Gordon escape.
Outside, Gordon was pissed at Barbara for tying him to a chair and putting his life in danger, but she said she did it all to get him the information he needed. She wanted him to look at her the same way he used to when he loved her and believed in her, but he didn’t trust her anymore. He couldn’t forgive her for trying to kill Lee. They were interrupted by Bruce who called Gordon after getting taken in to the GCPD. After Gordon turned his back on her, Barbara went to Tabitha and Butch’s lair for support and a friendly face. So much for walking the straight and narrow after Arkham!
Gordon arrived at the GCPD after Karen was sent to Blackgate, and Bruce told Barnes the truth, and while he didn’t like it, Gordon was ready to hear it. After learning about Pinewood, Gordon revealed to Alfred and Bruce what he learned about The Philosopher, and they all decided to break Karen out of Blackgate before she was killed to keep quiet. And since Professor Strange decided to send a newly-angry Mr. Freeze out in the world to kill her before she can talk, their timing was impeccable.
By using a bag of money as a distraction, Gordon, Bruce, and Alfred were able to steal the Blackgate truck with Karen in it, and when Gordon asked her about The Philosopher, she told them he was the one who ran the Pinewood program. She could pick him out from a picture of all the scientists who worked for Wayne Enterprises. She also revealed Thomas started Pinewood with good intentions, but The Philosopher took advantage and corrupted it.
Their conversation was interrupted by Victor Fries aka Mr. Freeze, wearing his brand new subzero suit. Karen knew he was after her, so she sacrificed herself to save them all. And just like that Bruce is one step forward and two steps back in learning who ordered his parents’ deaths. Until, that is, Lucius Fox discovered something on his own: an old company newsletter photo of Thomas Wayne standing next to Hugo Strange, who had the nickname of … you guessed it: The Philosopher! Everything’s coming full circle: Strange was the one who ordered the Waynes’ deaths, and now Bruce is going to make it right.
But Strange was up to something even more evil now down in Indian Hill: he actually managed to bring someone back from the dead. And not just any ordinary person … he brought Theo Galavan back to life. Gordon’s most shameful secret and worst enemy is back, and he has no idea.
What did you think of tonight’s Gotham? Tweet me your thoughts at @SydneyBucksbaum!