Season 3, Episode 8: “Blood Rush”
Directed by Rob Bailey
Written by Tze Chun
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Red Queen” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Executioner” – click here
As he walks to his car with groceries one evening, Captain Barnes (Michael Chiklis) sees a suspicious looking man; a guy who’s actually loading a body in the back of his van. Our cap follows the man, where he locates a bloody bathtub, a cut up corpse in it, and a nearby barrel of acid where limbs are dissolving. The guy says he’s a “cleaner.” Says he works for the Toad (Gerald Bunsen). The cap is eager to punish, he feels the infected blood getting stronger in his veins. We’re seeing Barnes go over the edge of the law. Is he becoming, dare I say, judge, jury, and… Executioner?
Dr. Lee Thompkins (Morena Baccarin) and Mario Falcone (James Carpinello) are looking forward to their big day, more and more. She has to break it to him that Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) is going to be returning as detective at the GCPD again. The fiancee’s not thrilled, she makes clear “nothing else matters” except their relationship. In the wake of Jervis Tetch (Benedict Samuel), everything’s a little topsy turvy.
Elsewhere, Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) makes breakfast for him and Isabella (Chelsea Spack) before she heads out of town for a couple days on a librarian’s conference. Yet he continues having troubling deja vu of Ms. Kringle, like he’s “seen a ghost.” How long can he contain the psychotic side of himself? It’ll never truly go away. Never.
Dt. Gordon gets back to his old stomping ground with Dt. Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue). They’re already out on a new case together – the death of Paulie Pennies (Peter Patrikios), the guy Barnes ran into earlier. Yikes. Not to mention the crime scene is horrifically bloody. Speaking of Barnes, he goes to Arkham Asylum where he meets with Tetch. The captain’s trying to discover a way to conquer the infection, getting no answers from the Mad Hatter.
“My sister‘s virus is a beautiful thing, it makes the darkest parts of a person sing.”
The GCPD are working on the Pennies murder. They found out that the body being disposed of by Paulie had no face, before the acid. Hmm. Barnes isn’t acting any different outwardly, but he’s distracted, no doubt. He’s keeping close to the investigation, as well. He’s tracking down the Toad on his own.
Poor, beautiful, queer Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor). He’s in love with Ed, having to listen to his friend pine over Isabella. He offers quasi-advice, his own feelings disguised. Ed worries he could possibly hurt his new love, at the same time he can’t walk away so easy. He tasks Oswald with helping him break off their relationship, which his friend does gladly; she figures out Oz loves him, too, plus refuses to let go of Ed. This will get… very messy.
Barnes finds the Toad in a bar. Bit of a fight breaks out. Doesn’t phase the cap much, he takes on several men before getting his target at the edge of a broken bottle. He wants answers about the body. Everything leads back to Dr. Maxwell Symon (William Abadie), he’s got a business on the side of his regular plastic surgery, helping people with new identities, y’know. Shady stuff.
The nasty doctor is getting ready to remove a new face for transplant when Barnes kicks the door in, arresting him. Well, the cap is teetering, so close to killing the suspect. The voice in his head whispers “guilty,” and hard as he tries to fight it he starts hurting Symon. He manages to spare the doc’s life, bringing him back for booking at the PD. And he keeps up the charade, forgoing any suspicion directed at him. The veil is wearing extremely thin, though.
Big Carmine Falcone (John Doman) is throwing the big engagement party for his son and his soon-to-be daughter-in-law. Everyone’s there; almost everyone, anyway. Lots of laughs, drinks, fun, love. The who’s who of Gotham, even Barbara Kean (Erin Richards), are in attendance.
Things are happening at the GCPD. Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk) is uncovering more information, while Dr. Symon is unfortunately being released by the judge’s decree. The doc even shows up at the party where Barnes is mingling. Oh, this looks like it’ll turn out real good.
Ed gets a note from Isabella. He goes to her apartment, where she’s dressed herself up exactly like Kristen Kringle. She found old pictures of her. She decided he ought to face his fear up close. She even places his hand around her throat. Terribly sick, psychosexual games. Yuck.
Nastier still, Penguin is going to do some even more terrible things now that Isabella’s put herself in the line of fire. Sure as shit, her brakes go out that night then – BAM: a train hits her car.
At the engagement party, Jim and Harvey show up to arrest Dr. Symon again. Quite the time. Mario wants a chat with Dt. Gordon, his jealousy boiling up leading to a punch in the face for the latter. In the bathroom, Barnes confronts the plastic surgeon, and violently. “This whole city is guilty,” the captain rages, before he slams Symon so hard the guy goes through the wall, into the street to his death. And it’s confirmed: The Executioner has arrived! All right under the noses of the GCPD and his detectives downstairs. Although Gordon hears the last word of Symon, telling him exactly who put him there.
We knew Barnes was transforming, so it’s great to see now where it’s all headed. Fantastic stuff, another new villainous entity in Gotham City. A very double-sided situation we’ll watch the captain try navigating from here.
“The Executioner” is next. Prepare for lots of madness.