Season 5, Episode 6: “13 Stitches”
Directed by Ben McKenzie
Written by Seth Boston
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Pena Dura” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Ace Chemicals” – click here
Like Gotham wasn’t dangerous enough for Captain Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie), he’s off alone in the streets with Ed Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) close behind brainwashed to kill him. The Riddler’s got Jim in his sights. But you can never count the cap out. He and Nygma wind up in back of an ambulance, resulting in Ed with defibrillator paddles jammed hot against his temples. Maybe that’ll zap him out of madness— get it? When Ed comes to he tries to explain he’s “not responsible” while under the influence of the chip.
Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) finds the acrobatic criminal Magpie (Sarah Schenkkan) pilfering his stash of treasures. He has no idea who she is, he just knows his things are being stolen, such as “Charlotte” a.k.a a big, fat diamond. Magpie pulls a little trick to get out, leaving Penguin confused. This sends Oz to get help from Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova), who’s busy being hunted by other criminals for her role in supposedly killing Jeremiah Valeska (Cameron Monaghan).
At the GCPD, Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) calls Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee) down. He’s concerned about Eduardo Dorrance (Shane West) and his men not doing anything to help the city’s citizens. Alfred recognises the mercenary group’s motto: “Born in blood.” He knows their reputation dealing in “military coups” and “assassinations.” They aren’t there to save Gotham. He and Alfred have to kick ass before things get worse.
“War makes for strange bedfellows”
Jim goes to the Siren’s looking for help from Barbara Kean (Erin Richards). He’s not quite ready to trust her wholly. She does seem willing to turn their relationship around. They may not get that chance. Eduardo and his boys have tracked him down. These old pals have diverged on vastly different paths since the military. Suddenly, the Riddler attacks like he’s still brainwashed, but he and Jim are on the same page. Eventually it’s a familiar hail of gunfire and blood all too common in Gotham.
Jim, Barbara, Alfred, and Bruce enlist the help of Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk) to get the chip out of Ed’s noggin. The Wayne Enterprises genius is able to run a trace on it, hoping to find from where it originated. This could give them proof to take down Eduardo. First, they’ve got to solve things before the military burns Gotham to the ground. Not only is Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) stuck in a jail cell, “Queen of the Narrows” Lee Thompkins (Morena Baccarin) is put up for a “death sentence” like the other criminals. A dangerous game’s begun. Jim wants to transmit info from the chip to the mainland. They need a massive antenna. Where will they get one? On top of the GCPD.
On the street, Jim meets Eduardo to make a trade for Lee. He starts to taunt Dorrance over their past, particularly saving him from a burning vehicle and dead men left in his wake. This prompts a fist-to-fist fight. It isn’t a fair one— when the cap gets the upper hand, he’s beaten down by one of the soldiers. At the same time, Nygma’s walking into the GCPD, suited in bomb squad armour and toting an explosive. He’s got riddles for everybody. On top of the building, Bruce gets more Dark Knight, downing another soldier to prepare the antenna for Lucius.
What will become of Eduardo and Jim? They fight brutally again until Jim puts his friend into a piece of rebar, sinking it right through Eduardo’s chest. Is this the beginning of Dorrance’s transformation? Yes, Bane’s coming.
Selina and Penguin wind up trapped in Magpie’s hideout after the criminal tricks them with a threat of another explosive. While the two are stuck, they chat some, and the Cat realises Oz is planning to leave the city. He’s had enough of Gotham, using a perfect, well-known, albeit heavily paraphrased Plutarch quote to capture his sentiments: “Alexander the Great then looked upon his land and wept, for there was nothing left to conquer.” They do get themselves out of there after a while, too.
Lee’s trying to remember things, having blanked out after the bridges blew. She can barely recall what happened. She and Jim try to piece things together— she’s got one of those chips in her head after all, attacking Jim before he can use a dose of electricity to temporarily fry her like he did earlier with Nygma. Oh, and not long later Barb drops by to let Jim know something of interest: she’s pregnant.
Outside, Theresa Walker (Jaime Murray) arrives to collect the pieces of Dorrance left clinging to the rebar. She tells him he “won‘t die yet.” She’s taking him to see Professor Strange (B.D. Wong), and hooks him up with a nice mask.
Poor Alfred is attacked in the night by Jeremiah. What are his plans? Nothing good. He’s also got those Martha and Thomas Wayne creations awaiting the big reveal. Looks like that’ll be coming very, very soon.
Fantastic episode! Too bad the series is ending because it’s gotten steadily better and more wild over the course of the past couple seasons. This one is no different. Excited that “Ace Chemicals” is next time. For those who know the Batman and Joker story well, they’ll know the significance. What’s in store for us?