Season 4, Episode 12: “Pieces of a Broken Mirror”
Directed by Hanelle M. Culpepper
Written by Danny Cannon
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Queen Takes Knight” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “A Beautiful Darkness” – click here
A lot has changed in the city of Gotham, and it continues changing.
Captain Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) is out in the brothels looking for Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), though the man’s nowhere to be found as of yet. Meanwhile, a few young people on a nearby street and in a rundown old shop stumble onto the lair of the new improved Poison Ivy (Peyton List), who’s again aged rapidly. This time, she’s even more dangerous, too.
Then there’s Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee), no longer working for Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), he’s living in a hard part of the city, yet experiencing no less unwanted excitement in his life. He gets confronted by a couple lads trying to rob him. He could fend them off, but Cpt. Gordon happens to come along and stop the whole thing.
Maybe most importantly, though, is Dr. Lee Thompkins (Morena Baccarin). She’s trying to help people in the Narrows do more than “just survive.” She is genuinely trying to help these people, more than medically. She worries for the people of the Narrows. Except she tells them they’re “living in a prison” of their “own construction,” which is slightly privileged rhetoric. Is Dr. Thompkins a Republican? Certainly Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) buys into her speech, as do some of those present listening to her talk like any ole politician.
However, there’s someone lurking in the shadows. He’s making a strange little toy. What for, you might wonder? To try blowing up Lee, only prevented when Solomon Grundy (Drew Powell) intervenes. All the same the building is nearly toppled.
An investigation begins as Cpt. Gordon looks into the crime scene, along with Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk), who comes across the toy plane. It’s clear to the GCPD the whole thing was a near assassination. In the meantime, Nygma is raging, and Lee’s kind of jaded. Poor Grundy isn’t doing well, either. He’s remembering his real identity, Butch Gilzean, and now it’s just a matter of time before starts taking revenge on a few people for the awful memories coming back to him.
Jim and Lucius go to a toy shop, looking for clues. The young man working says only he and his father work there. Before they can get talking any further, the shop turns into a mechanised, high-tech security system, armed and ready. A machine gun fires from a nutcracker. A bomb almost blows Fox and Gordon up, before the Captain is able to toss it far enough away that it doesn’t kill them. Afterwards, when dad gets away, the son tells the police his father mentioned “the Doc” recently in hushed tones. Wonder what the Toy Maker’s beef is with Doc Thompkins?
The state of the flowers and other foliage in Gotham depresses Ivy. She winds up breaking into a house where she does some five-finger discount retail therapy, before raiding the fridge. On TV, she sees a commercial for the Sirens Club featuring Barbara Kean (Erin Richards), Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova), and Tabitha Galavan (Jessica Lucas). It isn’t a happy moment with hopes of reunion. Ivy remembers her dislike for the women. Should mean some fun trouble.
I really feel for Alfred. So much of his life’s been wrapped up in serving the Waynes, protecting Bruce, and now he feels lost without that to ground him. He’s searching for someone to protect, which has got him mixed up in the personal life of a waitress named Tiffany; Alfred notices her bruised face, leading him to a confrontation with the abusive boyfriend.
In the GCPD lab, we see the consequences of Ivy’s latest transformation. She’s able to infect people with poison ivy; the ivy itself expands and grows in the body, thriving almost. It’s kind of horrifically beautiful. Speaking of poison ivy, Ms. Poison Ivy has turned up at the Sirens Club, and she subtly makes her presence known; well, maybe not TOO subtly. There’s lots going on at that place, including Bruce Wayne continuing to live his lavish lifestyle. He’s not just flaunting his wealth, he’s become a true dickhead. Selina sees through him: “What are you trying to prove?”
Waitress Tiffany turns up beaten to death. The boyfriend’s making it look like Alfred had something to do with the whole thing. Worse still, the abusive piece of shit had picked up the former butler’s ring after it came off in their tussle, which he then used while beating Tiffany. This is looking very grim. This worries Cpt. Gordon when he gets to the scene. However, he’s holding onto hope he knows Mr. Pennyworth enough not to believe he’d kill a woman. Alfred doesn’t make it easier on himself by taking off. Uh oh.
At Cherry’s, Nygma introduces the Doc, and in the crowd Jim sees for himself he’s been looking for his ex-flame the whole time. Lee makes another speech about how her ideas scare people. She roars for a “united Narrows.” When she’s finished the Doc chats it up with the newly minted Captain of the GCPD. A strange little reunion.
“That is so Gotham”
The Toy Maker’s turned up at Cherry’s, and this takes Nygma out into the alley chasing him. Little does he know he’s just walked himself right into the villain’s hands.
In a bar, Alfred tracks down the abusive boyfriend, and he beats him brutally. Several men try stopping him. But you know Alfred, he can take it. When a knife gets pulled out things look sketchy. Lucky for the former butler, Bullock’s tending bar, and he wields a tough bat, as well. The whole thing also helps Pennyworth get his legal troubles sorted. Two birds with a single stone, no?
Selina tracks down Ivy, realising it’s the girl she once knew now in a woman’s form. Of course things turn bad for the Cat when her old friend cuts her, infecting her with that nasty poison ivy. Oh, lord. At least there’s a cure on hand. Just a way of showing off her new powers, in a real scary way. She has a proposition for Ms. Kyle: “Let‘s make Gotham our bitch.”
Nygma’s starting to see his psychosis is causing big, big problems in his life. Seems the Riddler has been doing his own thing, unbeknownst to Ed. Split personality is a real bear, y’know. The Riddler hired the Toy Maker. Before anybody else can find out, Gordon guns the villain down. And for now, Ed’s secret is safe. Creepy – one half of him loves Lee, the other half wants to kill her. Always a conflicted soul.
Great episode to kick off the last part of Season 4! Lots of new, exciting things poised to happen. I actually loved seeing Harvey refuse Jim at the end, too. He needs to find a way to live his life away from being a cop, which only seems to tear him up, especially with Jim Gordon at his side.
Can’t wait for more villains, though. “A Beautiful Darkness” is next week.