Gotham – Rise of the Villains, Episode 5: “Scarification”

Fox’s Gotham
Season 2, Episode 5: “Scarification”
Directed by Bill Eagles
Written by Jordan Harper

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Strike Force” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “By Fire” – click here
IMG_0126Theo Galavan (James Frain) is doing well with his plan to take over Gotham. He’s got Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) working as his “tool” to take out the mayoral candidates in his way. But the younger man is most worried about his mother, he wants her back, and safe. He figuratively bows down, kisses the ring. Seems Theo would rather keep his thumb over his useful tool. They’ve also got Sid Bunderslaw (Michael Potts) now, the Wayne Enterprises “garbage man” with all the secrets. Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) is prepared to extract them, no matter how much slicing and dicing it takes.
Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) are busy with Captain Barnes (Michael Chiklis) taking on the mob and every other criminal in Gotham City. Along with their Strike Force. They’re up against rocket launchers and guns of all types. Barnes doesn’t care, just as long as they’re cleaning up the streets. Gordon further lets his new boss about the Merc, and the Captain says they’ll take it down, too.
IMG_0127While Jim’s busy with work, Lee (Morena Baccarin) accepts an offer from Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) to have dinner with him and Kristen Kringle (Chelsea Spack). Awkward. Afterwards, Theo shows up to talk to Gordon, acting all innocent and shit. We see you, villain! Trying to ingratiate yourself into the favour of the GCPD via Jim.
Penguin gets new tasks from the Galavan siblings. A bit of arson. No big deal. Tabitha also gives him something he’ll need for the job. I wonder what it is? We don’t yet get a look. From seeing his face, it’s curious. Then we see Butch (Drew Powell) go to see Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova); he needs to go to the Pikes. Problem is they’re “Fish loyalists.” So, he needs her help to get in and talk with them.
They go to a ratty apartment. There, we meet Bridgit Pike (Michelle Veintimilla); she and Selina know one another, from a long time ago. Then there’s Joe Pike (Leo Fitzpatrick), Bridgit’s brother. Nobody is happy to see Butch, knowing of his betrayal of Fish. Nevertheless, business gets done. Sad to see Bridgit is mistreated by her brother, treated like a slave.
The Merc is a wild place. A “onestop shop” for every type of weapon you can imagine a psychopath might need. Perfect spot for the supervillain, or even just the run of the mill criminal in Gotham City. Gordon, Barnes, and the Strike Force descend on the place. They end up having to gun a kid down. The kid explodes because of some explosives he still had on him. Yikes.
IMG_0128Ed, Kristen, and Lee are already started on the fondue. After a while Jim gets home; long day. It’s actually not as awkward a dinner party as you’d expect. It’s kinda normal, actually. They toast, they drink, they laugh. Some good times with friends. It’s nice.
Feel so bad for Bridgit. She’s hauled into the crimes of her brothers. They need her to help out with the latest jobs. She hates fire, and refuses. She hates the family. Joe gives her a choice: sex work, or family work. That’s hideous. I hope she burns him alive.
Bridgit goes planting explosives. She lights one then takes off. First, though, she has to go to a safe. In that box they were given by Butch is an eyeball, belonging to none other than Mr. Bunderslaw. Oh, shit. This gets her into a safe room, where she takes a large knife from a display. She barely gets into a vent when the explosion goes off, burning her leg. But she gets out.
Next day the GCPD is dealing with five different explosions across Gotham. Barnes and Gordon start trying to piece together all the information. At home Bridgit pieces together a flame retardant suit to protect herself for next time. Selina tries talking her out of being a part of the Pike family business, to no avail.
Note: Pretty obvious we’re seeing Firefly in the making here. Love that Firefly is a woman here. Don’t think this was the case with the original character, so that’s awesome.
IMG_0129Penguin wants to figure out a way to take down Theo, so Butch suggests going to a woman called Edwige (Mary Joy), to find out more about “old time Gotham.” He takes the knife from the safe to her. Takes her a minute but she spills about the “cursed history” of the knife.
200 years prior it was used in a crime. Five families ruled Gotham. Obviously one of them was the Wayne family. Turns out love went awry, and one man had his hand cut off with the knife by Jonathan Wayne (Brian S. Carpenter). Things got worse after that, as well. A lot worse. Turns out the family who were shamed and erased from Gotham history by the Waynes, the Dumas, changed their name to Galavan. Hot damn! Later on, Butch goes through something similar to Theo’s ancestor, too. ‘Cause Penguin is done messing around.
Bridgit is taken out on another job. She’s a little timid, the flamethrower she’s got to use is hardcore. Right as she arrives to start working Jim and Harvey pull their guns from around the corner. The brothers leave her, and that’s when she lights the alleyway up, cutting herself off from the two detectives. Garrett (Lenny Platt) grabs her from behind, only to end up getting burned alive, narrowly surviving. Selina’s nearby watching, so she helps Bridgit get away by the skin of her teeth. In the hospital afterwards Garrett succumbs to his wounds. Firefly’s a cop killer.
With everything going on, Jim says he’ll give Theo an endorsement if he can help curb the crime with him. Oh, man. Not good. Unknowingly, Dt. Gordon is walking into a nightmare.
The bad guys in this town are changing. Theyre not playing by the old rules, or any rules.”
At home, Theo finds Father Creal (Ron Rifkin) waiting for him, they’ve not seen one another in ages. They’ve got big, nasty plans, worse than I’d already imagined. So, so sinister. Centuries of work by the dark order of which these men are a part. They’re just itching to see Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) die, to complete the chain of bloody revenge. Wow.
IMG_0131This was a wild episode. Really enjoying where they’ve taken some of these characters, how they’ve adapted Bruce and his story differently, among other characters. Just great, fun, at times campy stuff! Dig it.
“By Fire” comes next. Nice title.

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