Greetings, Gothamites! It’s time for another run-down of the exciting adventures of our favorite citizens of Gotham. So much stuff is happening! Warning, spoilers ahead.
We start off the night with a few homeless youths who are approached by a seemingly do-good couple who come bearing gifts of sustenance. Among the group is our little kitten, Selina Kyle, who evidently was the only one taught not to take candy from strangers. They also pulled up in a van, so yeah… All the signs of stranger danger.
Quickly we discover that the do-good couple, Doug and Patty (Frank Whaley and Lili Taylor), are not who they seem. Patty takes a poisoned pin and sticks the lured kids with it, knocking them unconscious within seconds. The only two to leave the scene unscathed are Selina and another youth, Macky (Kyle Massey, That’s So Raven). The latter was chased and ended up going though a restaurant window.
The following morning, Gordon and Bullock are the first responders to a murder: a homeless vet who we see previously trying to save the kids, but was killed for his efforts. The most interesting part of this scene is that a pair of Detectives are the first responders, much to Gordon’s dissatisfaction. Normally, that’s a beat cop’s job — they are supposed to arrive first and protect the integrity of the crime scene. However, the one cop who was supposed to respond was busy handling the restaurant down the street where the homeless kid through.
“The restaurant pays me $50 a month to look out for them,” says the cop in protest, “So I’m to babysit a dead wino? I got family!” Interesting.
Bullock, either annoyingly or sarcastically, answers both sides with a “He’s got a point.”
Tempers flare all the way back to the precinct where Bullock is fighting the urge to beat Mackey into confessing that it was really he who killed the homeless war vet. When Macky tries to tell Bullock and Gordon the truth, that kids all over Gotham are disappearing, they don’t readily believe him; this is the first they’re hearing about this. “Why would you?” says Macky, “No one gives a crap about us!”
Elsewhere, Cobblepot is hobbling down a lonely road where he’s picked up by a pair of twenty-something bros. Mistake. Cobblepot seizes the SUV they’re riding in, killing the passenger and taking the other hostage. Later we see him rent out a trailer, where we can assume that all of his diabolical aspirations to take Gotham will begin to fester. First, he going to need a little practice with his hostage negotiation skills. He’s got the crazy killer down okay, it’s the business side of things he needs to work on.
Back at GCPD, Bullock has had about enough of Gordon’s piety and is complaining to Captain Sarah Essen.
“Look, Jim, it’s not like I can order you to break the law…but this is Gotham. You don’t bend, you’ll get broke. I thought you were with the program.”
“With the program”? Exactly what does she mean by that? Is she just as corrupt as some of the other cops, or does she condone some of the extreme and sometimes illegal tactics her people make to get the job done? Either way, Gordon’s finding himself in a deeper hole he needs to dig out from if he wants to clean up all the corruption happening among just his comrades.
When they do get down to business about the missing kids, Edward Nigma slithers his way onto the scene with a Creeper grin on his face. He’s fast becoming one of those guys who you tolerate because he’s smart and useful, but you can’t ever shake off the chills when he enters the room. He reveals that Macky was dosed with a powerful sedative called ATP, a drug formerly used at Arkham Asylum before getting shut down 15 years ago. It’s hard to get so that leaves only a couple places where it could still be distributed.
In the land of reading into things a lot, we get another indication that Essen has some connection with the mob as well. Particularly when Bullock asks if Fish Moodey is still mad at them for last week. “We’ll see,” is all she says, but the fact that he would even ask is suspect.
Ah, Moodey. I can’t decide if I like her or not. She chews up nearly every scene she’s in, but I can’t help but appreciate the Eartha Kitt vibe I’m getting off of her character. In any case, Moodey turns up her mixture of insidious camp and charm when she is visited by Falcone. In all of the intimidating politeness he can muster, Falcone reminds Moodey who’s in charge. He caught whiff of a rumor that she wanted to push him out and take over. As a response, Falcone takes one of her boy toys and beats the living crap out of him in front of all her patrons. This either puts the fear of God back into Moodey, or enrages her. We’re going with a little of both, but mostly the latter.
Gordon and Bullock come in to ask Moodey a few questions, see if she’s heard any rumors about who’s been abducting kids under 16. All she can offer them is a little bit of info about some guy purchasing them from overseas. “Nobody knows,” Moodey says, to which she follows up with an aggressively “subtle” warning, “And nobody cares to know.”
Elsewhere, Doug and Patti appear again, talking with a guy who not only sells them the ATP but also keeps the kids they capture in storage. Everyone is feeling the pressure to get the job done ASAP since Gordon’s significant other leaked the missing kids case to the press. It is here that we learn the buyer Moodey mentioned earlier is called The Dollmaker. Whether or not you know Batman lore, anyone calling himself The Dollmaker is never good news.
Bullock and Gordon interrupt the meeting and they get in a fire fight. Doug and Patti escape, but at least they left the ATP supplier and a few kids as well.
In an attempt to save face, Mayor Aubrey James (Richard Kind) starts a campaign to get the kids off the streets into the “loving arms of Juvenile Services.” That’s just flowery way of saying the kids will either end up in foster homes or go upstate to a prison for kids. Upon this announcement, we see Selina Kyle fated to go upstate with a bunch of other troubled youths. Little does anyone know, the bus she gets on is already hijacked by The Dollmaker’s minions, Doug and Patti.
They’re taken to an abandoned warehouse where dozens of other kids are already being held in shipping containers. Selina slips away and scratches a few eyes out (literally) before Gordon swiftly comes to save the day. By the end, Selina tries to make a deal with Gordon: keep her from having to go upstate, and in return, she’ll tell him who really killed Thomas and Martha Wayne.
Overall, it was a pleasant episode, chalk full of villains we know and love from the comics. It’s a shame to see the awesome Lili Taylor playing a bit role, especially after seeing her play a woman in charge on Almost Human, which was cancelled last year. The most entertaining surprise in casting is when Carol Kane shows up as Penguin’s mother. She looked delightfully on the verge of insanity, playing up the image of Ms. Havisham very well.
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