I’ve talked before about wondering why anyone would still live in Gotham at this point. Well, even worse than living there at this point is being mayor. They tend to die, get kidnapped, disappear, or be revealed as crime bosses. Nonetheless, there’s a new interim mayor, who tries to hold a council meeting to cement his place. That doesn’t last, as Mr. Freeze arrives, along with Jerome, the Hatter, Firefly, and Penguin, as well as a few hench-loonies and Scarecrow. Naturally the council gets abducted, while Jerome babbles without really telling us anything.
Out at the Manor, Bruce gets a birthday present that is a set up for an important part of the Batman legend down the road. Gordon and Bullock, at the GCPD, are dealing with the aftermath of the kidnappings of the mayor and company. Gordon gets a surprise call from a panicked Penguin, who goes on about how Jerome must be stopped, and warns Gordon about what will eventually become known as Joker Gas. Penguin doesn’t know enough to tell Gordon too much, and vanishes when Bullock comes in, warning that Jerome is at Paisley Square.
Jerome and his insane clown posse have crashed a music festival, seized control, and taken many hostages. They bring out the captured council, fitted with explosive collars (Amanda Waller would be proud), and Jerome lays out his rules. Jerome then turns to camera and demands his next guest: Captain James Gordon.
It’s business as usual for Tabitha Galavan, or the scene starts that way. She faces down a gangster who isn’t happy about how his brother was treated at Sirens, and Tabitha isn’t impressed with the man at all. Things deteriorate, and that’s when Barbara’s new band of deadly followers step in, showing their lethal charms. Lelia, the head bad-ass ninja woman, is about as unimpressed with Tabitha as Tabitha is with her. Lelia drops a hint about the legacy of Ra’s, which Barbara clearly is fascinated by. While this happens, Freeze and Scarecrow run an errand for Jerome.
The police get to the festival, with Jerome clowning around to the amusing musical choice of the 60’s Batman theme. After some posturing about not negotiating with terrorists, Jerome mentions one of his security precautions, and tells Gordon who his two empty chairs on stage are for: Jerome’s brother Jeremiah and Bruce Wayne himself. Why Jerome is so fixated on Bruce, I’m not sure. Jerome shows how determined he is, and possibly opens up some room for Gordon to be promoted.
Alfred sings Happy Birthday to Bruce, and Selina pops out of nowhere to blow out the candles. It’s kind of a cute scene between Bruce and Selina, and I enjoyed it… until Gordon and Lucius Fox showed up, needing his help. Alfred doesn’t want Bruce to have anything to do with thus, Bruce naturally volunteers, and Selina lurks in the background, eating cake. She does stop chewing long enough to agree with Alfred that Jerome is a dangerous lunatic. Fox explains his plan, and Bruce agrees.
Lelia brings them to Ra’s’ house, which is supposedly as old as the city. They go inside to a secret room they’ve never managed to open, and use Barbara’s new glowy hand trick to get inside. It’s a treasure room that Tabitha is pointedly kept out of, and Barbara is entranced by.
While snipers set up at the music festival, and Bullock tries to keep a handle on things, Gordon, Fox, and Bruce go to try and convince Jeremiah to go along with Fox’s plan. Jeremiah wants no part of this at first, but gets interested when Bruce compliments his work and talks possible grant in the future. Bruce eventually manages to talk Jeremiah into coming with them.
Bullock mops up after Freeze and Scarecrow’s errand, and gets some hints about the bad scene Jerome is planning. Gordon, Bruce, and company get to the festival/hostage scene, and Jerome welcomes them, insisting on them joining him on stage. Just when Fox and Gordon’s plan is about to kick off, Jerome shows he’s done his own planning. I’m not quite sure I buy Jerome’s reversal here, but it was at least notionally clever.
The loonies hijack a blimp (only in Gotham, I swear), and reveal they somehow know about Penguin talking to Gordon. How they know, we never learn, but it’s not good for Penguin. As the former crime boss gets a major setback, Barbara keeps going on about her new calling, and belittling Tabitha. I think Tabitha forgiving and rejoining Barbara as many times as she has is one of the more unbelievable aspects of the show, frankly.
Jerome babbles about his childhood with Jeremiah, and offers a few opinions about his sibling. Bullock gets back in time for Gordon to send him after Jerome’s counter-plan. Jerome goads Jeremiah into doing something foolish, and it goes badly for the “good” brother. The initiative goes to the cops again suddenly, and Firefly covers Jerome’s escape. Bruce tends to the hostages while Gordon pursues the madman. The weaponized blimp shows up overhead, and people point and scream, which makes no sense. Blimps seem far from rare in Gotham, and the crowd doesn’t know this one has been converted to an airborne WMD. Up in said blimp, Penguin wakes up from his involuntary nap, and has to deal with a pilot under the Hatter’s control.
A panicked Penguin calls Gordon for help, and Gordon talks the gangster into doing something heroic. Gordon then takes off in a foot chase/running gun battle with Jerome. That comes to a seemingly final end, and possibly eliminates a major threat to Gotham. In the aftermath of everything, Bruce tells Jeremiah he was serious about his work being important to the city. Bruce goes home, and Penguin reminds Jim he’s still stuck in his own predicament.
The two wrap up scenes are both a bit strange, and good hooks for the future. Tabitha comes to a violent parting of the ways with Barbara’s Band of Bad-Asses, which doesn’t go well, and the meets someone with cryptic comments about a character who is supposed to be dead. Jeremiah tries to unwind after a chaotic day, gets a mysterious package, does something stupid, and gets a nasty surprise.
What I liked: Bruce’s present was really cool, and him agreeing to help strangers without hesitating is very him. Selina’s pop-in for Bruce’s birthday was amusing. The Batman theme playing was a nice nod. The group Jerome put together is a really formidable bunch of bad guys.
What I didn’t: I don’t care if Barbara is Ra’s heir or not. They just keep throwing new things at her, trying to find a reason for her to be around. I’m not too sure about Tabitha’s new friends, either. Everyone screaming about the blimp didn’t make a lot of sense, nor did Jeremiah’s actions at the end.
It was an overall decent episode. I’ll give it a 3.5 out of 5, and I hope we see more of that present of Bruce’s in the near future.
Taking the Week Off: I guess Lee and Riddler are off making plans (or something) while everyone else is busy this week.