Holy smokes, a new episode of Gotham! It’s been months! I mean, I think winter break is actually longer than the summer hiatus. This week we’ve got a new version of an obscure villain, a third Poison Ivy, self-aware Grundy, and everybody is really in a bad place. Time for “Pieces of a Broken Mirror”.
Gordon enters what is definitely a brothel. He confirms with the madam that Bullock had been there recently and leaves a message for him. Out on the street, he passes by some people who are clearly fixing to do a crime. They enter the herbalist’s office where we last saw Ivy and she drank all those botions. (Potions. Sorry. It’s a Monster Factory thing.) The interior is overgrown with plants and there’s a lady sized pod in the middle of the floor. Like a pea pod, but for ladies. The lowlifes are freaked out and then a woman emerges from the pod. We can tell from the shirt and the fact that she came out of a plant that it’s Ivy, but she’s in a new form. She looks kind of vacant when she finally steps out.
Cut to a diner where some dude is trying to start trouble with Alfred for not being a regular. Man, even the diners in Gotham City are tough. Alfred is nice to a waitress and heads out, but the toughs decided to mess with him. Before we see what happens, we cut to Lee trying to inspire the people of the Narrows, giving a speech about how they have to protect one another. As she talks, a suspicious looking man fiddles with a remote-controlled airplane.
The gross guys hit on Ivy, who does remember her name. One guy tries to touch her and she smothers him, making plants grow on his body with a touch. (“Huh. That’s a hell of a thing.”) The others run way. She catches her reflection and is surprised. Elsewhere, diner thugs try to rob Alfred. He says something about one of them being three beers in, so maybe the diners in Gotham have booze. That would explain a lot. Alfred knocks one of them down before Gordon shows up to break up the fight. He asks about Bruce and there’s not a short answer for that one.
Lee’s group applauds as her speech wraps up and they seem inspired. Then the little airplane takes off and flies at Lee. Grundy swats it out the window and it explodes outside, still doing significant damage.
Alfred helps the firefighters clear people out of the building and then Lucius Fox arrives. Yay! I miss him! Gordon doesn’t get anywhere talking to witnesses, but Lucius finds the plane, covered in plastic explosive residue. He also notes how detailed the interior of the cockpit is, which is not what you’d expect from something that explodes.
Riddler tells Lee that they’re trying to kill her and they might as well burn the place down and start over. As he’s ranting, he notices that Grundy is distracted, and then we see Grundy’s flashbacks of all the people he mistreated. After Ed and Lee leave the room he says in Butch’s voice, “My name is Butch. Butch Gilzean.”
The diner folks applaud Alfred for helping out at the explosion, and Tiffany the nice waitress pours him some scotch. Is this maybe supposed to be a bar but it’s a very confusing set design. The dude who tried to rob him apologizes and now Alfred is the hero of the Narrows. Until he notices Tiffany’s got a wicked bruise on her face that she attributes to falling.
Gordon and Lucius head to the Krank Toy Company – Lucuis says they specialize in antique toys. Awkward youth Cosmo Krank recognizes the toy plane – it’s from 1944 but it’s clearly been altered. You know, to be a bomb. Gordon wants to speak to all the employees, and that’s just Cosmo and his dad, Griffin. They’re both creeped out by the place, and then a six-foot nutcracker pops a gun out of its arm and starts shooting. They take cover but a toy robot with a bomb follows them. They finally get out of there and catch Cosmo trying to get away, saying he won’t let them hurt his father.
Cosmo insists he didn’t know about any of the deadly toys – he just leaves his father alone and lets him do stuff. Finally he admits he heard is father talking to somebody a few days ago and he kept repeating “the doc”. They seem set on that being a person and not a dock, so I will spell it accordingly. Also, I’ve already seen the episode. Gordon heads out to chase down a lead.
Ivy wanders the streets and notices the plants are dying. She spots some people apparently leaving on a trip and breaks in to their house once they’re gone. She puts on a ball gown, grabs a pint of ice cream, and sits down to watch TV. It’s awesome. She sees an ad for Sirens, starring Barbara, Tabitha, and Selina. (“Ladies drink for free, whilst men…. don’t.”) There is a hilarious moment of Selina saying flatly “You’ll like it. It’s nice.” And picturing the behind the scenes of the making of this commercial makes me so happy. Ivy: “I know you. All of you. And I’m pretty sure I hated you.”
It’s night. Alfred walks Tiffany home from the diner bar and she asks some questions about his past. He talks a little about his military service and meeting Thomas Wayne, though he doesn’t use any names. Tiffany’s dirtbag boyfriend pulls up and asks why she didn’t call him back. He also specifically calls her workplace a diner, and this is only getting more confusing. Alfred gets a bad vibe off this guy and knows he’s the one who hit Tiffany, and he cold-cocks him. Tiffany assures him she’ll be fine, and while all this is going on, Alfred loses a cufflink or possibly a ring. Boyfriend makes some vague threats and Tiffany gets in his car.
Lucius talks to the coroner. Hey! They finally hired somebody! Now Lucius doesn’t have to do everything by himself. The guy shows him the body of the dude Ivy killed. He says the discoloration on his face is weird enough, but he also has visible poison ivy growing out of his tissue. Then the coroner opens his chest cavity and plants come out. Lucius is very into this.
Sirens. Ivy shows up, and Selina thinks she looks familiar. Then Barbara sends her over to tell some kids to quiet down. Now, remember Sirens is a nightclub and the only issue they have with a group of drunk 16-year-olds is that they’re being too loud. I love that. Selina heads over and sure enough, Bruce Wayne is the ringleader of the rowdy drunk children. He’s cocky and brags about firing Alfred and Selina could not be less impressed. Then two dudes who were talking to Ivy earlier get in a fight over her. Tabitha ask her to leave and she does, but makes sure Selina and Barbara see her. Selina figures out who she is as she goes.
Gordon visits Barbara’s office, which is not awkward at all. He asks if she knows the doc, and Barbara says that the doc is dangerous and he’ll want to shoot first and asks questions later. They’re with Ed. Gordon keeps saying “he” and Barbara stays pronoun-free because we all know the doc is Lee. Of course, Gordon doesn’t even know she’s in the Narrows, so he can be forgiven for dropping the investigative ball on that. Harper calls Gordon from a murder scene and says Alfred is the suspect.
The victim is Tiffany, beaten to death. Her boyfriend says Alfred did it and you can see the imprint of his signet ring on her face. Oh, this is getting grim. Gordon talks to Alfred and seems surprisingly unwilling to believe him, insisting that the boyfriend has an alibi. He promises to work on it, but tells Harper to bring Alfred to the station. Then Gordon gets distracted by a witness and when he turns back, Alfred is gone. Get ready for years of that, Jim.
Tabitha returns to her office and finds Grundy waiting for her. But he talks to her as Butch. He can’t remember anything after Barbara shot him in the head. He turns the light off so she doesn’t have to look at him. Butch tells her he still loves her even though he’s a monster and then he leaves. Over at Cherry’s, people are gathered to hear Lee speak, and Riddler announces her the way ue used to announce fight club. Gordon gets there just in time to see her take the stage while everybody chants “Doc”.
Lee talks about the attempt on her life and suggests it’s because her idea to unite the Narrows is scaring people and they should be scared. Riddler chats up Gordon to talk about how awesome Lee is. Gordon asks if knows who hired the Toy Maker to kill her, and Riddler just says “That’s so Gotham”. Yeah, it really is. Lee wraps up her speech and goes to see Gordon. Things are awkward, but I love Jim saying ‘You look great’ and Lee replying ‘You look the same’. Gordon goes to take a look around and Riddler spots Griffin Krank in the crowd. He’s dressed like an adult boy detective – he kinda sticks out. Ed chases him outside where Griffin ambushes him and says “I’ve been trying to get to you”.
Alfred heads into a bar in the Narrows where the boyfriend is hanging out. He just sets to work beating the hell out of the guy. Some friends join in and eventually they overpower Alfred. The boyfriend pulls a knife and then Bullock shows up with a baseball bat and knocks out all the bad guys. Yes! Bullock! He missed the beginning of the fight because he was in the bathroom. Oh, I want an Alfred / Bullock team-up episode so very much. This is where Bullock works now. He suggests calling the cops on the murderer and threatens to beat anybody who stands by their alibi, and the dude’s friends all back off. I’m not sure any of this would stand up in court, but let’s not start worrying about that now.
Selina breaks into Ivy’s house, and Ivy is waiting for her. She scratches Selina, poisoning her. She eventually hands over an antidote because she’s not actually looking to kill Selina. Ivy says she’s never going to be underestimated again and offers to help Selina. “Let’s make Gotham our bitch.”
In the alley, Griffin says that Ed hired him to kill Lee and wonders if he’s supposed to finish the job. He went to see him as Riddler and paid cash. Ed has no memory of this. Griffin threatens him, telling Ed he put himself at great risk for this job and then he pulls a gun. Gordon shows up just in time and shoots him. It’s fatal, so Ed is free to lie about what Griffin told him, leaving out the bit about who hired him.
Later, Alfred and Bullock share a drink in Tiffany’s honor. Gordon swing by to make sure everything’s OK, having heard about the commotion. He tells Bullock that he misses him, and this is the week for Gordon having awkward conversations with the people he cares about. Bullock chews him out for his bad decisions and sends him on his way.
–I have to keep it short this week, I’m afraid. I’ve talked a little about Peyton List replacing Maggie Geha before – short version is I thought Maggie was fantastic, but this is such a radical personality shift that might not play to her strengths. We’ll hear the new Ivy out, at least.
The Toy Maker is an obscure villain, having only appeared in one episode of the early 2000s animated series, The Batman. That’s the one Batman series I didn’t watch that much, but I saw his episode because he was voiced by Patton Oswalt. There, the Toy Maker was Cosmo Krank (the son in this episode), and his method of operation was pretty much what we see here. There’s this ongoing attempt to give Batman his own version of the Toyman (who would make more sense as a Batman villain than a Superman foe) – Toy Maker, Fun Haus, Mr. Fun – it’s a whole thing. I’m guessing we’ll see Cosmo pick up where his father left off much like we did with Scarecrow, but we have Jerome and Penguin to deal with this coming episode. Also, I saw a trailer that included a shot of Mad Hatter, so Tetch could be back sooner rather than later.
Welcome back, Gotham. We’ve missed you so.