Season 3, Episode 19: “All Will Be Judged”
Directed by John Behring
Written by Ken Woodruff
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Light the Wick” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Pretty Hate Machine” – click here
Down in the dungeon of the Court of Owls, Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) comes face to face with Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), the man whom he believed he’d shot and tossed in the harbour. Quite the reunion. “You are difficult to kill,” quips the Riddler. The two old friends are in a shitty situation, each of them wanting their own revenge while stuck in these new prison cells.
At Wayne Manor, an alarm goes off. 514A (David Mazouz) goes down to find Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) hunting him, she’s there to kill him; the experiment is surprised to see the girl after throwing him from a window. In the midst of it, Alfred (Sean Pertwee) turns up believing the Cat is trying to kill Master Bruce. The butler’s slowly seeing the truth, too. And it’s all out in the open. Alfred must go toe-to-toe with 514A. The Indian Hill experiment unable to feel any pain doesn’t go well for him, though. Not at all.
Simultaneously, the real Bruce Wayne is being brought back to Gotham by the Shaman (Raymond J. Barry). Although he’s returning to a different city, he’s also different himself, a changed young man.
We see Dr. Lee Thompkins (Morena Baccarin) is having a bit of a vision, believing that Mario Falcone (James Carpinello) is alive, the Tetch virus isn’t tearing across the city. They talk about the “dark part” of people the virus brings out. However, it’s a nightmare. She sees herself drinking a wine glass full of his infected blood before waking up. That’s horrific.
At the GCPD, Dt. Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and acting Captain Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) are trying hard as they can to find a “secret room” somewhere in the city where the Court of Owls is hiding the virus bomb. Neither of them realise Kathryn (Leslie Hendrix) has dispatched Barnes (Michael Chiklis), the Executioner, to kill the detective.
The two old partners go searching using blueprints from city hall. In one building, they locate a secret passageway behind a wall, taking them down into a series of halls. One room has a crystal owl in the centre; after they shine their lights through it, a map is displayed on the wall behind it. Before long, though, The Executioner turns up with not only his super strength, he’s equipped with tons of neat new, deadly gear. He’s got the pair at his mercy now. But off Barnes goes with only Jim in tow.
Trying to figure things out, Alfred and Selina are hugely at odds. He isn’t happy that she’ll abandon her friend in his time of need. The Cat thinks Bruce is already dead, and this drives the butler into a rage, throwing her out of the mansion and telling her never to return.
Sitting across from one another in their cells, Ed and Oswald jab each other verbally, taunting, tearing themselves up emotionally. Whereas the Riddler sees himself as a big supervillain, Penguin only cares about exacting revenge; things don’t go well for the little man once Ed shoots him with a drugged dart. Yet before anything goes wrong Penguin manages to call the guards, watching his unrequited love get beaten by them before he passes out.
Back in Gotham, the Shaman is training Bruce even further. They go back to that vault where they locked away all that rage and pain. The young billionaire must free himself by locking his mother Martha’s pearls away, as well. To become the “protector Gotham needs.” But he can’t bring himself to do it.
The Executioner takes Jim to Kathryn, she tries getting more information out of the detective concerning who else knows what he’s been up to recently. Doesn’t look like things are going well for Gordon. They’re having an impromptu trial. “You Gordons always were stubborn,” Kathryn laments. Nothing’s stopping the plans to fell Gotham. Furthermore, Barnes is ready to do his judge, jury, and executioner bit. Oh, mercy.
At Arkham, Jervis Tetch (Benedict Samuel) receives a visit from Dr. Thompkins. Lee is there to ask more about the virus, Mario, why the Mad Hatter did it all. What she comes to see is that the Hatter was only manipulating her, seeing she cared for Jim, and using it all to try destroying the detective. Mario was merely collateral damage.
In the dungeon, Ed and Oswald come to an agreement to get themselves escape. They come to terms, so that they’re free to “murder each other outside.” Hilarious scene; Taylor and Smith play these characters so well, often even in the midst of macabre stories they make me laugh. No exception here.
The Shaman shows Bruce the truth from his own memories. We see the Court of Owls, their involvement in the death of the Waynes, by which the Shaman was disgusted. He explains his wishes to dismantle the court, ultimately saving Gotham.
In court, Barnes is readying himself to behead Jim. Before dying, Gordon requests he gets to wear his badge. This appeals to the law and justice in the Executioner, giving him the badge. Soon, the GCPD and Bullock bust in, though Barnes makes his escape onto the streets.
Alfred goes to Jim and Harvey, filling them in about what’s going on re: Bruce, the Court of Owls, the crystal owl that was busted up by Jerome at Wayne Manor. They need to try using the crystal pieces at the mansion, hopefully giving them more locations on the court, and in turn where they might locate the young billionaire.
In the dungeon, Ed and Oswald do a bit of trickery, getting themselves out and free again. They do work well as a team, even though they’re only going to try murdering each other when they’re on the outside once more.
The GCPD have brought Kathryn in, so Jim starts interrogating her about the virus bomb, the court’s endgame with Bruce. But the woman’s zipped her lip, except to tell Dt. Gordon she isn’t the leader of the court. Ah, more mystery! Things go a bit haywire once Alfred puts a knife through her hand, determined to get the truth.
It’s all fucked up once the Executioner takes control of the station, smashing the place and the cops up equally. While Jim, Harvey, and Alfred try getting Kathryn out, Barnes sentences them all to death. And it’s a vicious fight trying to take him down. Not to mention he beheads Kathryn. Jim manages to shotgun Barnes, taking his hand off at the wrist, before knocking him out. Bad ass.
There are a hundred other problems already, from Barnes escaping his prison transport, to Lee having taken some of the Tetch virus, injecting herself with it. OH. MY. GOD.
Will Bruce finally lock away his pain? Yes. He puts his mother’s pearls in that safe, deep in his own mind, and he is ready to begin the next steps to turn himself into Gotham’s Dark Knight. The journey continues; a dark one, at that.
Again, a spectacular episode. We’re getting closer to a catastrophe, an epic finale, that’s for sure. Only a couple more chapters left in Season 3. “Pretty Hate Machine” is up next, and I love that it’s named after a Nine Inch Nails tune (Trent Reznor has been my favourite musician for a couple decades).