“The Son of Gotham” aired 11/23/15 *****stars
Written by John Stephens
Directed by Rob Bailey
*spoilers contained within*
By Joe Grodensky
As fans may recall at the very end of last week’s episode, “A Bitter Pill To Swallow”, Father Creal (Ron Rifkin) and his gang of monks kill a police officer in the middle of the night on the docks. While it seemed like a random scene at the time, it would give a hint as to what Gotham City is in store for. It turns that a mugger shown during the opening of “The Son of Gotham” was abducted by the monks and taken into the sewers where he is placed on his knees at an altar. Father Creal appears and slits the man’s throat resembling a sacrificial act. Captain Barnes (Michael Chiklis) tells Gordon (Ben McKenzie) to take the case and leave Galavan (James Frain) alone. According to Detective Bullock (Donal Logue), Father Creal and his monks are part of the Order of Saint Dumas. Their abbey was bought over by the mayor’s office not too long ago and turned into a “massage parlor” but it’s easy to figure out what’s really going on behind closed doors. Gordon remembers a symbol found in Galavan’s office and knows Galavan is involved with the Order but has yet to know the extent. All he knows is the timing of the acquisition of the abbey, the murders and Galavan’s trial are no coincidence. We see the massage parlor is doing well and that business is good. There are plenty of happy customers when Father Creal and his monks appear outside of a room but it’s not for the special. They have their knives drawn and a target in sight. As Gordon and Bullock pull up to investigate the parlor, workers and clients come running out screaming and covered in blood.
As Gordon runs in, he’s attacked by a monk but manages to fight him off and chase him outside and as he proceeds to question him, the monk says, “The blood of the nine shall wash away the sin and Gotham shall be cleansed.” The monk then intentionally stands in front of an oncoming truck and gets himself run over. Gordon then gets word from Captain Barnes more criminals are being killed at the hands of the Order. He leads Bullock into the sewer to inspect the tunnels where the Monks and Creal are hiding and murdering their victims. As they walk along they hear screaming and when they run to investigate they find an altar with another dead criminal. A monk then jumps Bullock but he is thrown into a pillar which crumbles on him as he hits it. He is barely alive when Gordon tries to talk to him and keep him breathing to find out more. The monk first mumbles “the day of reckoning,” then proceeds to say, “The son of Gotham shall die and the city will be cleansed.” He is then carried off by EMT’s and Gordon is once again left without an explanation to what it all means.
While the GCPD is trying to put Gotham City back together, Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) is trying to hold his relationship with Silver (Natalie Alyn Lind), his own life and Wayne Enterprises together. Selina (Camren Bicondova) is still trying to convince Bruce that Silver is no good, but as we all know, love is blind. Bruce waits for Silver to arrive while Selena scurries up a tree. Bruce wants to talk about Galavan’s proposal that he sell his share of Wayne Enterprises for the name of the man who killed his parents. Bruce tells Silver that since Galavan has been arrested and his assets have been frozen, he’ll pay for Galavan’s legal team in exchange for the name. Silver is skeptical at first and doesn’t know if it’ll work so Bruce kisses her and she decides to try and see what she can do. Shortly after, a van pulls up and Silver is abducted. The assailant tells Bruce if he doesn’t get in the van too, she dies. Bruce goes into the van and the van takes off to an abandoned building. Bruce and Silver are seen tied up while a man (Tommy Flanagan) threatens to cut their fingers off if they don’t tell him everything they know about Galavan. In the episode the man is unnamed, but the show’s crew announced him through social media as “The Knife.” Everytime Bruce tries to talk to The Knife or threaten him, The Knife smacks him while Silver shrieks in horror. Silver then reveals to Bruce that Galavan went back on the offer. He doesn’t want Bruce to pay for his legal team, but still wants Wayne Enterprises in exchange for the name. Bruce is then dragged off into another room by The Knife.
Silver pleads for Bruce’s life, but when that doesn’t work she tries to threaten The Knife. As he is about to cut her finger off, she tells him M. Malone killed Bruce’s parents. Bruce walks out from the room accompanied by Selina. He pays off The Knife, leaving Silver puzzled. Bruce reveals he tricked her because, thanks to Selina, he found out why she was really getting close to him. Selina found a file about Bruce and used that information to get him to sell the company. Silver confesses she made up the name and says Galavan is worse than everyone thinks he is and he’ll kill her if he found out what happened. Bruce says goodbye, then walks away with Selina, closing the door on Silver. Alfred (Sean Pertwee) goes to Galavan’s house to find Bruce, but finds Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) instead. Alfred pulls a gun, but Tabitha uses her whip to knock it out of his hand. She tries again, but Alfred catches it and fends her off. He grabs his gun and runs to an elevator where Tabitha jumps on top of the elevator. He tries to shoot her, but misses. He escapes the elevator but Tabitha throws a knife, stabbing him in the back. He climbs into the back of a garbage truck and escapes. Bruce and Selina head back to Wayne manor but do not find Alfred. They talk about what happened with Silver. Selina asked what Bruce whispered in her ear. Bruce tells her that he told her how he felt about her. We all know Bruce was telling the truth, but his words weren’t meant for Silver, they were meant for Selina..
Ed (Cory Michael Smith) and Oswald (Robin Lord Taylor) didn’t see much action in “The Son of Gotham”, but we do see them interact in short periods. The first interaction is quite humorous as Ed is seen talking to Oswald about something over the phone when Leslie (Morena Baccarin) updates him on a body in the morgue then asks if everything is okay with him and Kristen Kringle (Chelsea Spack). Ed gets apprehensive then lies saying she ran away with Detective Daugherty and starts fake crying. Leslie leaves then Ed’s phone rings. It’s Oswald asking Ed where the mustard is in the fridge. The second interaction is when Ed asks Oswald to hide Kristen’s glasses when one of Oswald’s men breaks the news about Galavan.
Gordon may have been occupied with Father Creal and his monks, but he still managed to have time for Galavan. Gordon’s first scene is the funeral of Officer Parks who was killed by Eduardo Flamingo as he was brought into the station. He immediately visits Galavan at Blackgate where he taunts Galavan, but Galavan is sure he will be acquitted of all charges. Back at home, Leslie talks to Jim as he repeatedly pours himself alcohol. Gordon’s dark side shows itself again when he says he should’ve killed Flamingo when he had the chance, but instead arrested him, leading to Park’s death. Leslie says he did the right thing by upholding the law and arresting Flamingo. He then talks about his visit with Galavan and how he has a bad feeling about him. As later events would reveal, he wasn’t wrong.
Theo Galavan is set to stand trial and Aubrey James’s (Richard Kind) testimony is the thing everyone is hoping will put Galavan away. The mayor takes the stand, but switches gears, saying Penguin was the one who abducted him, not Galavan. Galavan is acquitted and Gordon is furious. He runs up and punches Galavan in the face. Gordon is tackled and tased by surrounding officers. Galavan does get even when he ties up Gordon and tells the truth about his connection to the Order of Dumas. Dumas was Galavan’s original family name and the monks of the Order have protected his family for many generations. They are out to avenge their name from those who took everything they had. Gordon’s suspicion is right and as soon as he is released, goes after Galavan again but this time Galavan fights back and gets the best of Gordon. As he leaves, he orders the two officers there to kill Gordon but Oswald shows up, killing the two officers. Oswald says he was following Galavan and starts hitting Gordon, demanding he say where Galavan went. Gordon doesn’t know but it turns out to be Wayne Manor where he threatens Bruce Wayne.
I cannot wait for next week’s finale, but at the same time, I don’t want to wait until February 29th for it to come back. The show has become such a rush this season that the mid-winter finale and break are a killjoy. The writers are taking these characters to the extreme which adds so much more depth to those inhabiting the city of Gotham. The streets are hostile and unpredictable, yet at the same time are quiet and peaceful. Bruce Wayne is slowly starting to think as Batman would and David Mazouz is quickly growing up before our eyes. (Don’t forget to check out Steven’s interview with Mazouz here) Gordon is doing everything he can to clean up his city, regardless of who gets in his way. We’ve become so familiar with Gordon through The Dark Knight Trilogy that it’s very exciting to see the actor portrayed in such a different way. Ben McKenzie is fantastic in the role and is truly making it his own. As for Donal Logue – he’s always terrific! The best part of this season is a consistent villain storyline that sees Ed, Oswald, Galavan and others develop into the villains we know them to be. Judging from the previews for next week, Gotham is going to go on winter hiatus with a bang.
I’d also like to point out how well shot Gotham is. The entire show is shot on location in New York City and the crew make fabulous usage of places we know quite well and others unfamiliar to us in our travels. The set used for the sewers in the opening of “The Son of Gotham” was Fort Totten in Bayside, Queens. It’s a beautiful location that I must recommend visiting if you’re in NYC! – Steven Biscotti
Gotham airs 8 PM ET, Monday nights on Fox. Check your local listings.