Season 3, Episode 21: “Destiny Calling”
Directed by Nathan Hope
Written by Danny Cannon
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Pretty Hate Machine” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 3 Heroes Rise finale, “Heavydirtysoul” – click here
The Tetch virus has been unleashed on Gotham. The streets are in chaos. At a bank, an old woman nearly kills everybody robbing the place. Kids chase cops. One of the trains runs through the city on fire.
The GCPD are trying to keep not just the city but their station from being totally overrun. They can’t even keep people behind bars. Then there’s Dt. Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) whose inner voice tells him: “You‘re a killer.” He suppresses the virus, looking normal. But Captain Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) wants to take his gun, to set others at ease because they know he’s infected. Jim complies, reluctantly. Then they start wondering where Dr. Lee Thompkins (Morena Baccarin) has gone. Not just that, how long can our detective keep the virus at bay?
Then we’ve got Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) in the interrogation room, Alfred (Sean Pertwee) waiting outside. He is not the same anymore. He’s “brainwashed” and near comatose. The butler will not give up on him, though. Simultaneously, Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk) is looking into an antidote. Seems that Hugo Strange (BD Wong), while creating the virus, was also working on a cure. Only problem is the mad professor is back on the streets after Alfred let him free.
They’ve got to track down that bald bastard before he can catch a train out of town. His luck’s running out, because he already bumps into Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) and a couple of her henchmen. She’s got her own plans. “I need horror,” she explains to the professor. She wants more of that virus to build an army.
Watching the city burn, Ed Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) and Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) talk, discussing if they should “consolidate power.” Well, he’s more inclined for revenge against Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), wherever Fish took him, whereas Barb just wants to rule the underworld. Choices! Am I right?
Lee calls up Jim, taunting more. She urges him to give in to the infection, let the blood flow in his veins unhindered. He continually hears his own voice, telling him to kill, asking him to let the virus take hold. Not long later, Harvey and Jim get a lead taking them right to Fish. They try getting Strange back, however, things don’t go over well when Mr. Freeze (Nathan Darrow) is there to freeze the cops guns. The virus in Jim comes in handy when they’re stuck in a tight, cold spot. But Fish still gets away.
In the interrogation room, Bruce is stuck in brainwash mode while Alfred tries breaking him down. The young billionaire considers the Shaman the closest friend he’s ever had. The butler explains he’s been indoctrinated into a mission for the Court of Owls and the ruling class. It’s no use. Bruce isn’t Bruce anymore. And he warns of “the one who is to come.” If I had to bet, it’s Ra’s al Ghul.
Turns out Fish and Penguin are working together all over again. The freaks from Indian Hill are at their side, too. Both Mr. Freeze and Firefly (Camila Perez) stand with them. With the Court of Owls in ruins, there are so many people vying to take over Gotham. And Penguin gets a mini revenge against Strange, administering some of that therapy he himself got at Arkham. Nasty!
Alfred tells Bruce that he loves him, that he would die for him. He tries to bring the boy back to himself, so that he can shake free of what the Shaman has done to his mind. It seems to work, a little. Yet it can’t be that easy. Bigger trouble starts when one of the detectives at the GCPD is infected, going insane and beating the shit out of everyone. Gives the little billionaire time to escape his cuffs.
At the Sirens, Butch (Drew Powell) and Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) see Dr. Thompkins across the bar. Looks as if Lee came to find Barbara. She insults the one-handed man, then she gives a show of infected power for everyone to see, clearing the place out. This woman gets what she wants, every time.
In the chaotic streets, Bruce sees firsthand the damage of the bomb. Although he’s not free of the brainwashing. Not far behind, Lucius and Alfred follow, so they can find out where the kid is heading, like following a trail of breadcrumbs.
Penguin’s got info about the antidote out of Strange. The professor takes him and Fish to a small laboratory where the cure is kept on ice; enough to help the whole city. Fish wants to rule Gotham with Penguin, the cure gives them power. Except they’ve also got ninjas to fight. To whom do these warriors belong? I’m telling you, it’s Ra’s, baby! Either way, a battle ensues, and even the freakish power of the Indian Hill experiments aren’t immediately overpowering these masked ass kickers.
In the middle of the battle, Jim and Bullock show up, so the former uses his infected strength to fight the ninjas. In the process, he stabs Fish in the gut, as well. Shit. Looks like Ms. Mooney won’t be running the city any time soon, to the chagrin of Penguin who seemed glad to have her back after so long. Before she dies, she tells Oswald: “Make this city yours. Or you burn it to the ground.” Oh, and the antidote didn’t survive the messy madness. They’ll need Strange to make more.
Barb and Ed get their hands on the Mad Hatter (Jervis Tetch), the one last thing Professor Strange requires to make them an antidote. There’s just a massive power struggle across the city, while the whole place burns, falling apart.
At a place called the Yuyan, Bruce goes where the Shaman urged him to, finding the demon’s head. It’s a large statue, part of which is a lever, opening a secret door through which the young man enters. He goes down a staircase into a dungeon-like cavern. Ninjas soon swarm him. They point him towards a door. Inside, a glowing pit; you can bet your ass it’s a Lazarus Pit. This is when Mr. Wayne meets Ra’s al Ghul (Alexander Siddig), the man behind it all. Ra’s is looking for “a true heir” and he wants to give the kid another chance at completing his destiny. He wants Bruce to start by killing Alfred. We watch a beautifully, tragically emotional moment between the butler and the boy he’s cared for years, their wonderful relationship on display.
Will Master Bruce kill his old friend Alfred? Yes. He drives a sword right through him. He snaps out of his trance right away, seeing what he’s done, and the butler dies on the floor in front of him. Afterwards, Ra’s is gone, and Bruce is left with the Lazarus Pit and a dead Alfred. So, he scoops up a bit of the water, pours it over his dead friend’s wound. Then voila, the Cockney lad lives once more!
Wow, I didn’t expect so much of the Ra’s storyline to crop up here. But I guess they’re gearing up for Season 4. Plus, Ra’s is one of those guys who just wants Gotham to burn, it’s no wonder he’s come in swinging.
Next up, “Heavydirtysoul” concludes Heroes Rise and Season 3.