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GOTHAM Recap: The Riddler Begins His Revenge In “Mad City: Ghosts”

GOTHAM Recap: The Riddler Begins His Revenge In “Mad City: Ghosts”

Warning: the following recap contains major spoilers from the winter premiere of Gotham, “Mad City: Ghosts.” Don’t say we didn’t warn you…

It’s commonplace for an episode of any hourlong TV drama to engage in multiple storylines at the same time. But Gotham did what few shows have accomplished and juggled five–read it: five!–different storylines in its winter premiere. “Mad City: Ghosts” picked up where the fall finale left off, but instead of delaying certain storylines for later episodes, Gotham went balls to the wall and just included all of them.

It was a risky endeavor, and certainly made recapping this show a little more difficult this week, but man do I love a challenge. Clearly, so do the Gotham writers. And it paid off! This week’s episode was packed with action, emotion and exciting developments that promise good things to come in this short winter run. So let’s stop wasting time on an intro and just get right into this recap, shall we?

GOTHAM: Guest star John Doman in the ÒMad City: GhostsÓ episode of GOTHAM airing Monday, Jan. 16 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Cr: Jeff Neumann/FOX.

After a long holiday hiatus, Jim Gordon hasn’t really learned much. Like, don’t you know the first rule of funeral etiquette? You don’t attend the funeral of the man you murdered! Bullock knew that and intercepted Gordon at Mario’s funeral before he could bother Carmine Falcone, who was burying his son, or Lee, who was burying her husband. He did exchange some words with Falcone’s hired gun Victor Zsasz, who promised Gordon that when Falcone inevitably gives him the green light, Gordon will never see the hit coming. He also didn’t see Lee coming into the GCPD to accuse him of murder, and she had some pretty nasty, biting things to say about her ex for all of the precinct to hear before giving Falcone her blessing to put a hit out on Gordon. I think it’s finally safe to assume this love story won’t have a happy ending, right?

But clearly I spoke too soon! Never underestimate the power of an on-again-off-again couple. After Lee met with Barnes in prison, she saw the extent of what the Mad Hatter’s virus does to a good man, and discovered from the GCPD morgue that Mario did have the virus in his system. She realized she was wrong about everything and told Falcone to call off his hit on Gordon. Falcone realized that was because she was still in love with Gordon, which, duh. He called off Zsasz in the nick of time, but simply calling off the hit isn’t going to magically fix all of Lee and Gordon’s relationship issues, so there’s no telling where this love story will go next. I can’t tell if I’m excited at the prospect of them potentially having a future or just tired of all this back-and-forth. We know they both love each other. They know they both love each other. But Gordon literally just murdered Lee’s husband. That seems like quite an obstacle to overcome. But we’ll see.

GOTHAM: L-R: Donal Logue and Ben McKenzie in the ÒMad City: GhostsÓ episode of GOTHAM airing Monday, Jan. 16 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Cr: Jeff Neumann/FOX.

However, Gordon had other things on his plate that take higher priority than his ex trying to have him killed, because the dead were literally getting up and walking right out of the GCPD morgue. That’s really not a good thing since Gordon is constantly putting people in the morgue. He doesn’t really have time to kill people twice, does he? Gordon and Bullock’s investigation into the morgue attendant led them to discover none other than an underground cult of Joker worshippers dressed like Jerome and chanting his words. But Zsasz’s attack distracted Gordon and Bullock so the attendant escaped with plans to reanimate Jerome’s actual body. If you’re not excited about the potential return of the first real Joker Gotham has had, then you’re lying. Cameron Monaghan’s portrayal in the first season was compelling, maniacal and downright chilling, but what is he about to bring to Jerome 2.0?! We are so not ready for this in the best possible way.

And in a bizarre twist of fate that can truly only happen in fiction, Penguin has actually been a … dare we say, competent mayor? It’s shocking and yet so true. During his time in office, jobs are up, markets are up, and crime is way, way down for the first time ever in Gotham. But his winning streak is about to end as the future Riddler Nygma began his plans of revenge on Penguin for having his girlfriend murdered. He manipulated Penguin into thinking he was seeing his father’s ghost, leading him to freak out and insult all of Gotham on live TV. But this potentially career-ending humiliation is only just the beginning, the first in a thousand cuts that Nygma has planned with Babs and Tabitha. Penguin doesn’t even know what’s coming his way. I’d feel bad for the guy, but he is a serial murderer so … yeah. My sympathy for him is running a little low at the moment.

GOTHAM: Robin Lord Taylor in the ÒMad City: GhostsÓ episode of GOTHAM airing Monday, Jan. 16 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Cr: Jeff Neumann/FOX.

Meanwhile, Selina got to enjoy the most surprising family reunion when her mother returned after 11 years. Maria left Selina when she was only five years old because she was on the lam from the law and couldn’t run with a toddler in tow, but she claimed that she was back now to tell Selina that she loved her and that she was sorry. Of course, Selina wasn’t having any of it at first, but after some intervention from Bruce, the two estranged women finally had a tearful, happy moment. They even hugged! But it turns out that Maria’s return and reunion might all just be a con to steal money from Bruce, because the man with a gun from her “past” that showed up at the end of the episode to get the money she “owes” him seems a little too coincidental in his timing. Hopefully Selina doesn’t get too blinded to see a con right under her own nose.

And Bruce and Alfred were still extremely confused (just like we all are) as to why the Court of Owls was so protective over a glass figurine of an owl, but that’s because they didn’t see the map it projected when the light hit it just right. What does the map lead to, and who will be the first one to discover it?

What did you think of the Gotham winter premiere? Were five storylines too much to follow, or did you like how fast-paced and action-packed the hour was? Which storyline was your favorite? Tweet me your thoughts and opinions at @SydneyBucksbaum!

Images: Fox

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