Warning: this recap contains major spoilers! It is a recap, after all. Don’t say we didn’t warn you …
So the city of Gotham is officially toast on Gotham.
But enough with the political talk, let’s get into recapping this week’s episode, shall we? “Mad City: New Day Rising” kicked off with the countdown to election day, and Penguin’s fake tan couldn’t hide all the mistakes from his past. But with his new campaign manager Ed Nygma a.k.a. the Riddler by his side, they were poised to take the office of mayor in a landslide. But Nygma couldn’t help but notice that Butch was acting shadier than usual around campaign headquarters, and it set alarm bells off in his head. He figured out Butch was paying off election officials to rig the election in Penguin’s favor, but Nygma was certain that Penguin could win on his own. He took matters into his own hands and ensured the election would be clean… and to everyone’s surprise, Penguin did indeed win by a landslide. The growing animosity between Butch and Nygma seems pretty ominous, though. That clearly won’t end well.
Meanwhile, at the GCPD, Barnes told Gordon that he wasn’t allowed near Jervis Tetch a.k.a. the Mad Hatter now that Alice was in police custody, making it an active investigation. But since Gordon just bore witness to the Hatter’s devastating mind control powers, he wasn’t going to just sit back and let things go, especially after the Hatter tried to make Gordon kill himself. According to Alice, her brother preys on anger, fear and regret, and we all know that’s basically what Gordon’s made out of these days. He was still being affected by the Hatter’s attempt to make him kill himself, and couldn’t shake his suicidal thoughts.
Desperate, Gordon went to Sirens to ask Barbara for help in locating the Hatter, and she didn’t give him any useful information. So Gordon went back to the GCPD to beg Barnes for five minutes alone with Alice. She could tell that her brother had gotten into Gordon’s head, and she told him that the Hatter’s mind control was affecting him so much because Gordon was already struggling with those dark impulses. She also revealed the reason why she was so terrified to reunite with her brother: apparently he had used his mind control powers over her all her life with thoughts that “a brother shouldn’t have” about his sister. Um, ew. Is Gotham getting into an incest storyline?! I repeat, ew.
The Hatter found himself some new muscle to help break Alice out of the GCPD: the Tweed brothers, a group of wrestlers who he forced under his control. Using the Tweeds as a distraction, the Hatter stole his sister right in front of Gordon’s face, and Barnes witnessed the hold that the Hatter had over Gordon’s psyche. Lee saw it too, and tried to talk some sense into Gordon afterwards, but he was too guarded to open up to her.
Bullock got one of the Tweed brothers to give up the Hatter’s location, where he was siphoning Alice’s poisoned blood right from her arms. Bullock and Gordon teamed up to take him out together, but the Hatter’s mind control caused Gordon to freeze. Eventually he overcame the Hatter’s spell, but Alice sacrificed herself and died rather than let her brother use her blood to wreak havoc on the unassuming public. While looking over the crime scene later, some of her blood touched Barnes, and he became infected. According to the late Alice, if her blood touches anyone, they become the darkest version of themselves. Yikes. What is Barnes going to turn into?
Then there’s the impostor currently wandering around Gotham pretending to be the real Bruce Wayne. While Selina fell for Five’s impersonation of Bruce at first, his constant slip-ups regarding Bruce’s past tipped her off that something was wrong. Plus, the fact that he saved her life by ruthlessly fighting some bar bouncers that she was trying to steal from was also a big clue that this was not Bruce. After seeing some scars on Five’s stomach that she knew the real Bruce didn’t have, she confronted Five, and he told her the truth. He ended up kissing her, and shockingly enough, she didn’t hate it (although when Bruce found out about it later, he definitely wasn’t thrilled). Five then told Bruce that he was going to leave Gotham and figure out what he was going to do with his life, but he was intercepted and kidnapped by the representative for the Court of Owls before he could get far.
What did you think of tonight’s crazy hour of Gotham? Tweet me your thoughts at @SydneyBucksbaum!