Yes, this is my second Gotham recap in two days. And now, I am caught up. This time, we meet my favorite new character, Bruce tries something new, Ra’s al Ghul gets some backstory, and frog in a blender. It’s time for “They Who Hide Behind Masks”!
We start in Arabia, 125 AD. Well, that’s a swerve. A man rides a horse through a corpse-strewn battleground and spots somebody who looks a lot like the Ra’s al Ghul we know and love. He brings the body back to his home and tosses it in a pool of green water. (Guys? The comics call that the Lazarus Pit. I’m just going to use that unless the show starts calling them something different.) Ra’s comes back to life, very surprised. The guy says Ra’s now has to find his heir so he can be free and hands him a very ornate knife. It cuts away, but the implication that Ra’s kills the guy and that’s exactly what he was hoping for.
We’re back in the present. Or whenever Gotham is set. The FortySeventyNineties. Bruce is on patrol in his experimental suit and spots a big shipment coming in for Penguin. He is, or course, going down to check it out. But then he spots somebody else down there, a thief, and is worried they’re going to get themselves killed. Well, sure. Of course he’s looking out for somebody who is basically another version of Selina. The thief seems ot find what they’re looking for and Penguin’s goons find Bruce. There’s a fight, and the thief, who turns out to actually be Selina, has to run before she finds what she’s looking for.
Cut to Miami, only it sort of looks like an Italian villa. Also, if you thought Gotham was going to let Miami be sunny, you were mistaken. I thought it would be hilarious if Gordon’s trip looked like Burn Notice, but you can’t have everything. Gordon shows up, looking to see Falcone (“He’s not expecting me”) as an attractive lady with a horse watches. And yeah, Carmine is not thrilled to see him. We learn the horse lady is Falcone’s daughter, Sofia. She sits in as Gordon explains what Penguin is up to and how he needs Falcone’s help to bring him down. Falcone says he can’t help because he’s dying. Something’s wrong with him and he doesn’t know how much time he has left. Sofia volunteers to go deal with it, but Falcone says she’s not ready and tells Gordon he’s on his own. People tell him that a lot.
Back at stately Wayne Manor, Alfred stitches up Bruce’s knife wound and this is pretty much a sneak preview of the rest of his life. And then Bruce is ready to go back out there, but Alfred suggests maybe a different kind of mask is in order.
Barbara sells a bunch of shotguns to a mob boss we haven’t seen before and then Selina shows up to say she failed and couldn’t get what Barbara wanted. Barbara is super dismissive and says it was her own fault for trusting Selina and she’ll do it herself.
Over at the Iceberg Lounge, Zsasz tells Penguin somebody tried to hit his shipment but they didn’t get anything. Turns out he’s hosting an auction and he wants to make sure everything made it OK. As soon as they leave, a woman with a blowtorch starts melting Riddler’s ice cube. On the one hand, I thought they’d keep Ed frozen for a while because it’s so dang weird. On the other, well, it’s Gotham and I’m surprised they made it two and a half episodes before changing it up again.
After the commercial, Penguin comes back to find half an iceblock and no Ed, and his freakout is incredible. Zsasz likes the way it opens up the room and Penguin sends him to go find Ed. I love this so much.
Cut to the woman we saw earlier. She wakes Ed up and he sees a bunch of newspaper clippings about the Riddler, with pictures and hearts and flowers. It’s a Riddler shrine. And this woman is Myrtle Jenkins, who went to elementary school with Ed. She’s his number one fan, and she is my new favorite. He announces he’s going to leave but can’t move and he assumes he’s tied up. Nope – his muscles have atrophied after five months in a block of ice. But Myrtle is going to nurse him back to health. She fills him in on what happened to him and then announces plans to be his sidekick. Riddler has his own Harley!
Bruce heads down to the docs and checks out Penguin’s boat. This time he’s dressed like a Bowery Boy and doing a hilarious Brooklyn accent. He says he’s just looking for his Uncle Al and they let him onboard to look for him. This is great, but it is not the best persona Bruce will be adopting tonight, I assure you.
One guy calls him out for blowing the accent and it looks like Bruce is discovered. But then Alfred shows up and knocks them out, noting that Bruce’s acting can use some work.
Barbara shows up at the Lounge and tells Penguin that she has a client who wants a knife that he’s putting on auction and wonders if she can just buy it now. Penguin’s not buying it but he’s impressed that somebody is pulling Barbara’s strings. When she leaves, Penguin goes to check out the knife and yeah, it’s the Ra’s al Ghul knife.
Bruce and Alfred managed to get their hands on the manifest so they know about the knife, too. They know it’s the thing “the thief” was going after even thought it was one of the least valuable items available. A little research finds the knife connected to some lore about a man being resurrected by water. That sounds like somebody he knows!
Over in a cloudy, sunless Miami, Sofia offers to keep Gordon company. They get a drink because that’s how Gordon relates to people. Sofia admits that she thinks Gordon had to kill Mario and she understands.
At Myrtle’s place, Ed wakes up to find a bunch of needles stuck in his arms She says that it’s to stimulate his muscles. Also, she’s working on her own Riddler costume. And then she explains how she managed to get to Ed – basically, she had to get hired to work the Lounge and the learn everybody’s schedules and wait for her chance. But since Ed is a criminal genius, he could have found a faster way – she asks how he would have done it and he can’t come up with anything. That alarms him.
Myrtle removes the needles in a scene opening with a shot that should have been on Hannibal. (Only a little gross – it’s mostly just beautiful.) It didn’t seem to help and Ed’s getting frustrated. Myrtle thinks they need to work on his brain and the rest will follow. And what better to get his brain a-thinkin’ then some riddles? They’re really basic riddles but he can’t answer them. (“I have a face and two hands, but no arms or legs. What am I?” “Deformed baby. Next.”) He demands better riddles.
On the world’s grayest beach, Gordon and Sofia talk some more and she gets him to go in the water with her. He goes so far as to stand at the very edge and she kisses him. Oh, Jim. You’re so bad at relationships. Maybe take like a minute before heading down that path again?
Bruce and Alfred prepare for the auction. Alfred thinks Bruce might raise some eyebrows and tells him he needs to learn to assume other roles. Cut to the auction where Bruce is acting like a spoiled asshole kid, and it’s hilarious. We’ve seen Bruce Wayne act like an irresponsible playboy, but never when he’s a teenager. It’s really funny and David Mazouz does a great job. All big gestures and raised voices. When the knife comes up for auction Barbara and Bruce get in a bidding war and Bruce casually ignores the bid increments and keeps upping Barbara by a dollar. I love this so much. Bruce blows her out of the water with a two million dollar bid and Barbara is pissed.
Myrtle tries out some new riddles. “What’s green and red and goes round and round?” Ed can’t figure it out (“The answer obviously isn’t newspaper.”) She says his mind is damaged as much as his body, but he knocks her out because he’s been playing possum. Then he looks up the answer and blurts “frog in a blender”! HA!
Selina breaks into Wayne Manor. Bruce is up and alert because he assumed somebody would be coming for the knife. And yeah, that’s why she’s there. He’s not going to give it up even though it’s the only way for Selina to get back in good with Barbara.
Gordon returns to GCPD and meets Detective Harper, a new recruit. They spend just enough time introducing her that she’s probably going to do something in the near future. And then Sofia shows up, offering to help Gordon with his Penguin problem. He doesn’t think it’s a great idea but the choice is out of his hands now.
Zsasz and Penguin show up at Myrtle’s. She tells them that Ed’s broken now, using the last riddle as an example. Zsasz knows the answer immediately and I want everybody on this show to say “frog in a blender” before it’s over. Penguin tells Zsasz to put out the word that he’s looking for Riddler and take care of Myrtle. Zsasz compliments her dress, Myrtle tearfully says she made it, and then he shoots her. No! I would have watched ten episodes about the Riddler’s stalker! I’m crushed.
Ed walks the streets and is enraged by a poster showing Penguin. Ra’s al Ghul comes to see Barbara She tells him that Bruce Wayne bought the knife and he takes it pretty well. Then they make out. He also confirms that he resurrected Barbara with a Lazarus Pit and if you told me that was going to happen back in Season One when they couldn’t figure out what to do with Barbara, I would have called you a lunatic.
OK, we’re caught up. I’ll do tonight’s episode in a more timely fashion and get us back on schedule. Everybody cool? Frog in a blender!