Season 4, Episode 14: “Reunion”
Directed by Annabelle K. Frost
Written by Peter Blake
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “A Beautiful Darkness” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Sinking Ship, The Grand Applause” – click here
In a bar, Ivy Pepper (Peyton List) is looking for Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue). He isn’t there. So, she leaves a message. She blows one of her plants all over the men inside, and she’s leaving them, in whatever state of vegetation they wind up growing, for Harvey and surely the cops to find.
Across the city, Sofia Falcone (Crystal Reed) talks to Dr. Lee Thompkins (Morena Baccarin) about how the Narrows hasn’t “bent the knee.” She’s extorting all those poor people and the Doc for money; money those people do not have at their disposal. Just goes to show Ms. Falcone isn’t unlike her father at her core.
Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee) meets with young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) at his favourite local diner in that rough part of town. The kid is confused, and he’s lost. He asks his old friend for help. The former butler refuses, until Master Bruce proves himself worthy and genuinely repentant for his behaviour. Because certain wounds can’t just be closed up with a little ‘I’m sorry.’
Oh, Ed Nygma (Cory Michael Smith)! He’s a poor soul, too. The Riddler is plaguing him; two minds stuck in one head. This is when Ed gets the letter from Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) in Arkham Asylum, the one Oz is hoping will drive a wedge between the two psychotic personalities of Nygma.
On the scene at the bar, Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk) finds the plants in these men are proving even stronger than the ones they found before. The “Lazarus water” is helping Ivy increase the toxicity of her plant friends. Captain Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) worries Bullock’s unaccounted for, and Harvey is the one who killed Ivy’s dad several years prior. The GCPD find Bullock in his apartment. After that they all witness Ivy send a public message on television to her enemies. She’s waging a war against Gotham City. Worst thing is that Harvey is both pissed off with Jim eternally and he’s also feeling responsible for the dead men in his bar.
Harvey gets a tip in the Narrows, then he and Gordon wind up right in Ivy’s trap. But wait – Jim’s old buddy, he’s been hypnotised by Ms. Pepper and her organic potions. The Captain of the GCPD is in one tricky situation. He evades Bullock before getting a bullet in the head, and tricks him into emptying his barrel. Then it’s lights out for Harv! A little later he is on his feet again, then the lads have to locate where Ivy’s gone.
Lost and wandering the city, Bruce goes to see Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) at the Sirens. Once again, he’s rejected. The young man is finding out that he can’t treat people like shit then expect them to just come back to him. He’s learning that there’s more to life than being a millionaire Wayne.
At a dinner for the Thomas and Martha Wayne Foundation, Bruce gives a speech. He’s also surprised to see Alfred show up at the back of the room. Just having his friend there gives him a boost of confidence. He uses the time at the podium there to tell Alfred what he means to him. As a 33-year-old, lifelong Batman fan, I’m not at all ashamed to say I teared up. Big time. Alfred tells Bruce he can’t help: “Not until you accept who you really are.” And this isn’t what the kid wants to hear.
Nygma accepts the only way to be rid of the Riddler is to commit suicide. He accepts he’s lost his intellect, and that the crazy part of him is the smarter half of his psyche. He cannot accept that. He doesn’t want to fail Lee, either. But maybe the Riddler has some actual answers?
Things at the dinner go downhill when Ms. Pepper takes the stage along with armed men under her hypnosis to keep people locked in there with her. Bruce walks out just before this occurs, right as the GCPD and Gordon arrive. But Aflred’s stuck inside with everybody else. He gets knocked out, right as Gordon busts in. And so begins a gunfight. Bullets fly everywhere.
Bruce decides there’s something he can do. “This is who you are,” Alfred urges him, as they both go about their part in saving the people of Gotham. Goddamn, never been so proud of a character. Except Jim runs into a masked Bruce, putting a bullet in his chest. Lucky the kid nabbed a bulletproof vest, or else he’d be dead. Instead of trying to talk Bruce vanishes.
“I‘m no hero”
Selina confronts Ivy. It gets tense, between some more Lazarus water and the Cat’s whip. Scary to see our girl have to find Poison Ivy, one scratch away from a grim, green death growing like a garden plant. They walk away from one another in the end. But it’s not over.
In the Narrows, the Doc meets with Sofia, offering to give up dirt on Cpt. Gordon to satisfy a deal between them. Unfortunately, Ms. Falcone’s got the upper hand. She has people double-crossing Lee. After that, Lee has one of her hands obliterated with a hammer. Real mafiosa shit, girl.
At Arkham, Ed’s voluntarily committing himself. He has brought himself directly back to Penguin, who’s overjoyed to have the Riddler there with him. That letter was a code, to summon the Riddler. And the sweet bisexual psycho story between these two begins once more because the supervillainous other half is taking over.
Bruce tells Alfred he is willing to accept the good and bad of himself, so that he can become the man he’s meant to be, and fulfil his destiny. So glad to see them back together. They belong as a pair.
What’ll happen now that Cpt. Gordon has told Bullock what he knew of Sofia bringing that pig-faced serial killer to Gotham? He wants to take her down. Can he? Will his own secrets bring him down?
“The Sinking Ship, The Grand Applause” is next week. I’m anticipating big things. Excited for some wild Riddler-Penguin action; they’re a saucy duo.