If you haven’t seen Monday night’s new episode of Gotham, be warned: there are spoilers ahead in this recap!
Bruce Wayne is only a child on Gotham, but after the events of tonight’s game-changing episode, “Wrath of the Villains: This Ball of Mud and Meanness,” he may be one step closer to becoming his adult alter ego.
No, we didn’t see the young Wayne don his future staple mask and cape. But we did see him bring to life Batman’s vow to never use a gun and never kill, despite his desire for vengeance against the man who killed his parents. Let’s recap it all!
In Arkham Asylum, Penguin’s
torture sessions experiments continued, and they’re completely changing his personality. Gone is the sadistic survivor that clawed his way to the top of Gotham’s criminal underworld. He’s even introducing himself as Oswald to other inmates and won’t fight back against violence—even when he’s getting hurt. This is not the Penguin we’ve come to know and hate/love!
During a follow-up session with Hugo Strange, he told Hugo that he’s feeling remorse about all the crimes he’s committed, and while Hugo was impressed with his progress, he would still need more “therapy” sessions. But when Oswald passed a test of non-violence, Hugo presented him with a “certificate of sanity” from the city of Gotham and told him he’s free to go (I’m pretty sure that’s not how “sanity” works, but okay, dude). But what Oswald doesn’t know is that Hugo has “deeper plans” for him, plans that he doesn’t even share with his right hand, Mrs. Peabody. Looks like Oswald isn’t as free as he thinks.
After initially scoffing at Bruce’s request, Selina got Bruce the gun he asked for, and summed up the gun control argument perfectly: guns aren’t for show, and they’re not for protection. They’re only for one reason: killing people. But regardless of whether Bruce has the stones to use the gun on Matches Malone, the hunt for his parents’ killer is on. Alfred found a connection to Matches with another convict nicknamed Cupcake, and the odd pair sought him out. But Cupcake would only snitch on his old partner in crime if Alfred fought him. And while it looked like Cupcake would win at first, Alfred proved his street smarts by outlasting him in the fight, and it got them a name and address of someone who would know Matches’ location.
The fight landed Alfred in the hospital, and he made Bruce promise not to seek out Matches until he was better, but Bruce didn’t listen (because of course). He went on his own to a club to find Jerry, the name of the person with info on Matches. Since Alfred couldn’t reach Bruce, he assumed as much, and tipped off Gordon and Bullock to try and save Bruce from killing someone. But Bruce got Matches’ address before Gordon found him at the club, meaning Bruce slipped away before Gordon could stop him.
When Bruce found Matches Malone at his apartment, he asked him a lot of questions in the name of “hiring” him as a contract killer to make sure he found the right man. When Matches bragged all about his killing spree, Bruce pulled out his gun. But in the end, Bruce couldn’t pull the trigger (this is the future Batman we’re talking about, after all). He left the gun with Matches, and as Gordon found him outside of the apartment, they both heard Matches use the gun on himself. Turns out that he was tired of living a life of crime and doing wrong without ever getting punished.
Dismayed that he never found out who hired Matches to kill his parents, Bruce decided to toughen up and live on the streets with Selina for a time while he learned how to live in the world like everyone else in this crazy town. Alfred thought he lost his mind, but Bruce knew that he had to fight evil where evil lives—not from his cushy mansion or Wayne Enterprises. Time to place your bets on how long Bruce will last out on the streets!
Meanwhile, at the GCPD, Lee noticed Kristen Kringle hadn’t picked up her last few paychecks. She asked Gordon to look into it, and the first person he questioned was Ed Nygma. Ed was quick to put the blame on Kristen’s abusive ex Tom Dougherty (a.k.a. the first person Ed ever killed), and vowed to outsmart Gordon. The last shot of the episode? Nygma drawing the Riddler’s signature question mark on a picture of Gordon’s face. Chills.
What did you think of Bruce’s choice? How psyched are you to see the Riddler finally coming to life? Tweet me your thoughts at @SydneyBucksbaum!
Gotham airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on Fox.