Gotham’s final season, based on No Man’s Land, continues with “Trespassers.” Gotham has become a place you’d expect to see Mad Max riding around in, or maybe Snake Plissken trying to Escape from. Gordon and the remaining GCPD are trying to protect who they can amid the chaos and deterioration of the city, and it’s not an easy job.
The last episode ended with a very battered looking boy staggering in to the precinct, somehow getting past the sentries and fence because it looked more dramatic, I guess, and begging for help for other children being held captive. Gordon, of course, is going to try and rescue them, while Bullock brings up some more practical concerns, like the 100,000 bullet bounty placed on Gordon’s head by Penguin at the end of last episode, as well as a direct personal concern of Bullock’s.
Gordon gets the expected lack of support from across the river, and whoever is doing the speaking tells him to avoid confrontations and that no more pilots will risked in light of the chopper being downed last time. I guess those pilots died, although they weren’t mentioned at all as far as I can remember. Undeterred, Gordon makes his own arrangements, noting they’ll be going through Sirens territory before going in to the ominously named “Dark Zone.” That sounds welcoming. Gordon and Bullock make arrangement with Fox for when (if, corrects Harvey) they get back.
In search of the storied witch, Bruce goes to an old abandoned place (like much of Gotham) that looks a bit familiar. He runs into a random Englishman who tells Bruce they have the witch trapped, are waiting for reinforcements to kill her, and she talks to plants. Between what we see on Bruce’s way in, and this information, it’s no surprise when Bruce peers in to the improvised cell and murmurs, “Hello, Ivy.”
Gordon’s next stop is Sirens, where a bitter Barbara drinks alone in a crowd. The club-goers stop dancing at Gordon’s entrance, and he and Barbara talk. She’s not happy with the man, and screams for everyone to get out. Gordon negotiates for some vehicles to evacuate the kids, while Barbara spits vitriol at Penguin and about Tabitha’s death. She finally lets Gordon have what he wants, and gives an angrily tearful sendoff to the man she used to be engaged to, which seems such a long time ago now. The GCPD convoy into the Dark Zone, which is well named. After they pass a gang that looks they have a vague voodoo motif, Harvey expresses his displeasure at running this particular gauntlet after an unusual weapon penetrates the cab of the truck Harvey is driving.
Next up, we meet the child-slavers, a group of men in weird leather/hazmat suits with gasmasks. At first I thought this was going to be some weird variation of obscure Batman foe Ratcatcher, but this seems to be a new character called Sykes. His not-so-brilliant plan is revealed when Gabriel, oldest as far as we can see of the kids, protests their working conditions and gets screamed at for being “Too negative.” Someone comes in to tell Sykes the police are here, and the annoyed leader wonders who was on guard duty. Gordon forces his way inside with his cops surrounding the gang, finds the kids, and frees them. Sykes and Bullock banter about career choices and Halloween costumes, with Gordon coming back out just in time to prevent Harvey from being shot in the back. A general firefight erupts, with most everyone getting away, and Gordon, Bullock, Gabriel, and two kids forced to flee on foot. Into the Dark Zone. What can go wrong?
Bruce goes in to the cell to talk to Ivy, who recognizes him immediately. She spins a wild tale about the plants in the park acting oddly and protecting her. In the comic book No Man’s Land, Ivy claimed Robinson Park as her own, protecting children who came there and making it one of the few places in Gotham there was a reliable food supply. Bruce tells her the broad outlines of why he’s there, and she says she knows something that will help, if he gets her past the men plotting to kill her.
Riddler wakes up, having attempted to literally outsmart himself. At first elated, he quickly finds out his plan didn’t work, and ends up with one of the more entertaining interrogation scenes I’ve watched in a long time. Gordon, Bullock, and the kids take cover in an old hotel, hoping to avoid the searching thugs on the street. They split up to search the place, and Bullock is not happy with this horror movie idea come to life. Gordon finds a scared kid on the upper floors, while Harvey finds all sorts of horrors in the basement, including the person behind them. Riddler makes a little bit of progress with his new source of information, and decides to follow the breadcrumbs he’s sort of left himself.
Bruce brings Ivy out of the cell and she shows her gratitude, such as it is. They argue, and he tells her he’s trying to help Selina. Ivy says she doesn’t care at first, but Bruce talks her around, at least a bit. She actually gets defensive when he criticizes what she’s done with the park, and they finally strike a deal.
Gordon gets a reminder that he’s still far too trusting as he and Harvey fall afoul of some of the house’s special issues. They finally get clear, find the kids, and hit the streets. Riddler finally figures out some of what he’s doing, and it’s nothing good for the stability of what’s left of Gotham. Amid taunts and barbs, Ivy gets what she promised for Bruce and sends him hurrying back to try this longshot for Selina, with a few cryptic warnings. Gordon is just securing them transportation when their group gets caught between Sykes’ gang and the voodoo bunch from before.
Bruce gets back to the clinic, fills in Alfred on his latest adventure, and wonders how good an idea this really is. Selina points out she tried to kill herself yesterday, nothing has changed, and if Ivy wants to kill her, she can have at it. With this ringing endorsement, Bruce gives her the root. At first nothing happens, and Selina, disappointed, talks about how she used to look out for Ivy. Her trip down Memory Lane is interrupted when she starts having a severe reaction to Ivy’s “cure.”
Gordon tries to bluff his way out of the situation he’s in when he gets some very unexpected help. Barbara has arrived, and has none of Jim’s qualms about killing enemies. She tells him why she’s there, and he agrees to talk about it when they get back to his green zone. Once there, we see Fox has set up a new refuge and people are streaming in.
The episode ends back in the infirmary. The doctor is making Bruce feel even worse about what he’s done, and everyone decides to call it a night. Taking a last look back, Bruce sees Selina is gone. He goes in to her room to see what happened, and she’s back on her feet. She says she feels better than ever, and we see something Bruce doesn’t that indicates she’s veering more towards her eventual codename.
What I liked: As I’ve said many times in many of these reviews, the rhythm between Bullock and Gordon is great, and, when this final season ends, probably one of the things I’ll miss most. Gordon’s unalloyed heroism contrasts so nicely with Bullock’s cynicism and self-preservation. Barbara has a mission for herself this season, and even though I’m betting I know the outcome, it’ll be interesting to see what happens along the way. I’m really curious to see how this new development plays out with Selina.
What I didn’t: Bruce and Gordon both are still a bit too naïve for everything they’ve gone through. Bruce had food and medicine dropped in last week, but no ammo for the cops? Last week, food supplies were a major issue, now they’re getting lots more refugees to feed and everyone’s happy about that? Did they find a supermarket somewhere?
Missing this week: Penguin must still be recovering from last week’s episode. And, come to think of it, we haven’t seen Zsasz since the bridges blew, have we? Gordon’s mystery visitor at the end of last week took this episode off, too. And whatever version of proto-Joker we’re on is at loose ends, as far as I know.
Body Count: Penguin killed Tabitha last episode. This week, all we lost were several gangbangers with no real ties to the Bat-mythos or the show.