GOTHAM: Episode 122 “All Happy Families Are Alike” Recap

GOTHAM: Episode 122 “All Happy Families Are Alike” Recap

Gotham is becoming one of Fox’s most popular shows since it’s debut last Fall. It’s tried to make a name for itself in a timeline that isn’t often explored in great detail in the city of Gotham. It’s before Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) becomes Batman, before Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) becomes Catwoman, and before many of the normal villains become super villains for Bruce Wayne to deal with when he gets older. The directors have said the first season is about turning Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) into the infamous Penguin. Gotham’s main star is Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie), a man who is adamant about cleaning the streets of Gotham, but he doesn’t know that corruption exists in the GCPD (Gotham City Police Department) as well. He’s given a partner, Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), who isn’t eager to join Jim on his goal of cleaning up Gotham.

NOTE: As you may have guessed, spoilers for the show “Gotham” are ahead. If you are not wishing to read spoilers, do not read on any further! If you have however, watched the episode and you’re wishing to read a summary, and our guesses of what will happen next; you’re in luck! Thanks!

The season finale is here everyone! It’s time to see where the pieces will fall in Gotham in the mob war between the Maroni and Falcone crime families. However, things become more complicated with the Penguin and Fish Mooney being involved. The GCPD ends up being involved, but not in way that some people would think. Also, who could forgive the epic discovery that Bruce Wayne is about to make within Wayne Manor? Let’s get right into this episode and start with The Penguin and Jim Gordon!

Jim Gordon & The Penguin

(Also: Featuring Butch Gilzean / Don Falcone / Harvey Bullock)

What happened:

gotham 122 penguin

Oswald confesses to Don Falcone that he has aspirations to be the “King of Gotham.”

The episode begins with Don Falcone getting hit by some of Maroni’s henchmen. However, they weren’t able to successfully kill him, and instead Falcone was admitted to the hospital. Harvey Bullock comes to Jim and reveals that Sarah Essen, a Chief Officer at the GCPD, found out that higher-ups in Gotham “okayed” the hit on Don Falcone. So, immediately it’s shown that the GCPD and corrupt government in Gotham is willing to move on with Don Maroni as the new kingpin of Gotham.

While Don Falcone is in the hospital, he’s left alone with no protection. The higher-ups had the hospital cleared so the hit on Falcone could be finished, but he’s soon visited by the Penguin and Butch Gilzean. Don Falcone is relieved to see them at first, but Penguin soon reveals that it was all his doing that this war began, and that he was going to kill Don Falcone himself so he could take his place. Before Penguin can kill Don Falcone, Jim Gordon arrives to arrest Penguin and Butch for attempted murder. Penguin tries pleading to Jim Gordon to let him go and to “get on the winning side” by allowing him to kill Don Falcone since he’s been declared “out” anyways, but Jim refuses to accept that. He feels that the city will fall into even greater chaos without Don Falcone in control, so he continues to give him his support as the best of the worst.

Jim Gordon gives Harvey a call about the situation, and then tries to convince him to come by and help him with Don Falcone’s escape. However, Jim is reminded by the Penguin that he can’t just simply leave him and Butch behind because technically they’re in his custody right now and that Jim owes him a favor. Commissioner Loeb soon arrives at the hospital with the rest of Don Maroni’s men to finish the hit on Don Falcone, where Loeb tries giving Jim one last chance to get out of the hospital before he’s taken down with Falcone. Jim turns him down and hopes that he sees him dead or behind bars soon. This leads to a gunfight starting between Jim and Maroni’s henchmen, but in the end Jim manages to take them out. Harvey arrives near the end of the fight informing Jim that there are ambulances in the basement to help get them all out of the hospital alive. They end up escaping, but fall right into the hands of Fish Mooney who is more than eager to turn them over to Don Maroni.

Jim Gordon tries to convince Selina Kyle to set them free, but Selina is unwilling to do so because she doesn’t feel she owes Jim Gordon any favors. She doesn’t feel like Jim ever did anything good for her, and that he would just end up ruining a good thing that she has going for her right now, which is working for Fish Mooney. Eventually, Don Maroni arrives and begins to negotiate with Fish Mooney. However, Maroni ends up taunting Fish by calling her “number two”, “toots”, an underboss, and “babes”. Fish tells him not to call her “babes”, but Maroni continues to do so, while gloating about the situation she’s going to be put into while she’s working under him. Fish grows tired of Maroni and his attitude, so she ends up shooting him directly in his forehead.

In the chaos that transpires from Fish shooting Maroni in the head, Jim and the others end up finding somewhere to escape to, and hide in the building from the rest of Fish’s and Maroni’s men. However, in the process Penguin ends up going off on his own, while Butch is also missing. Don Falcone ends up telling Jim and Harvey that he’s done and wants out of the business and the entire situation at this point. He knows that he’s letting Jim and Gotham down, but he’s tired and he’s too old to be dealing with this all anymore. However, it isn’t long until Selina and some of Fish’s crew end up discovering them, and end up bringing the three back to her. Falcone tries to explain to Fish about what his plans are, but Fish is not interested in letting them come true. Fish is soon interrupted by the Penguin who recklessly started to fire upon Fish and the others.

“I’m the King of Gotham!” – The Penguin

Oswald and Fish finally come to blows.

Oswald and Fish finally come to blows.

Penguin notices Fish attempting to escape to the rooftop of the building, which gives Jim, Harvey, and Falcone enough time to escape from the building. Jim, Harvey, and Falcone end up heading to Barbara’s apartment because it’s not a place people would end up looking for Falcone. They end up stumbling upon the end of Dr. Thompkin and Barbara’s fight (which we’ll cover later!), but it gives Falcone and Jim the time to speak alone. Falcone is almost reluctant to leave Gotham behind, but realizes his time is up, and it’s time to leave Gotham in the hands of someone who is better. He ends up giving Jim his knife, which originally belonged to Jim’s father, and then walks away, presumably leaving Gotham.

 

Penguin continues his search for Fish Mooney. The two end up fighting each other rooftop, but eventually Butch arrives and ends up shooting both of them because he’s unable to choose between which one he wants to work under. Penguin ends up pushing Fish Mooney off off the roof of the building into the freezing waters of Gotham with a bullet wound. Penguin relishes in his victory as he yells out, while laughing, “I’m the King of Gotham!”

What we thought:

There were a lot of “stretches” in this episode. I’m still not sure why Jim decided to take Falcone to Barbara’s apartment of all places, I don’t know why Fish Mooney would know where they would end up going, and I don’t know why Selina Kyle had to get in the middle of it all, but even despite that it was a pretty amazing episode. The conflict between Maroni and Falcone was entertaining to watch, as we see one of the Don’s leaving Gotham, and the other leaving it in a body bag. We saw the Penguin finally stand atop the mountain of Gotham as the new Kingpin, and we saw Jim Gordon being passed the torch from Falcone to be the new organized authority in Gotham. Let’s just be thankful there will be a season two to see where things go next.

What’s next:

Speaking of what’s next, I believe we’ll start off quickly next season with the confrontation of Jim Gordon and Commissioner Loeb. It was teased a few episodes ago, but ultimately didn’t end up occurring within the first season. This disagreement between the GCPD is certain to form a rift within, which should give the Penguin more than enough time to begin operating Gotham in the way he chooses. Of course, with Penguin in charge there is bound to be more chaos than ever. I would imagine even more criminals that are even more dangerous will be on the loose to cause havoc in Gotham. As Falcone said, organized crime was needed to maintain at least some balance in Gotham. Now, that balance is gone.

Fish Mooney & Selina Kyle

What happened:

Fish Mooney arrives back in Gotham two weeks before the events of this episode on a small fishing boat. Upon arrival, she ends up meeting with Selina Kyle and other homeless children who are looking for a better life. Fish offers them the opportunity to work for her because “a new morning” is arriving for Gotham.

Fish Mooney ends up taking control of a building that is later used by Don Falcone, Harvey Bullock, Jim Gordon, The Penguin, and Butch Gilzean during their escape from the hospital. At this point, she already has her own crew established, armed, and prepared for a war. Fish Mooney is just as interested in controlling Gotham as Penguin and Maroni are.

One of the first things that Fish does is talk with Butch alone because of the sacrifice he performed earlier in the season to save her. If you don’t recall, Butch was willing to stay behind to let Fish escape from Victor Zsasz and Falcone’s henchmen. It’s what led to Butch being “reprogrammed” by Zsasz to serve under Penguin. Butch doesn’t seem to recall much of what happened and seems confused by it all, even though Fish is grateful for what he did for her. She’s soon interrupted by a phone call from Don Maroni who is eager to find out that she has Don Falcone in her custody. Don Maroni promises her all of her territories back just for Falcone’s head.

“It’s all good.” – Fish Mooney

Fish Mooney is eager to tell Penguin that he will die a slow, painful death because of what he did to Butch. Although, she’s unaware that it was actually Victor Zsasz and Don Falcone’s doing, she still blames Penguin. She promises that while Penguin and Falcone will have painful deaths, Jim will have a fast one, and that she and Harvey are “cool” with one another and he can go free. Maroni arrives and agitates Fish to the extent that she ends up shooting him in the head. This leads to a gunfight between Maroni’s men and Fish’s crew. In the chaos, her prisoners end up escaping temporarily until Selina finds them. Fish is quick to mention she’s not going to let Falcone just retire, but is interrupted by Penguin as he found a weapon and begins firing upon her and her men.

Selina Kyle aligns herself with Fish for the ensuing three way gang war.

Selina Kyle aligns herself with Fish for the ensuing three way gang war.

Fish ends up retreating to the rooftop where she skirmishes with The Penguin, but in the end the two are caught in a stalemate when Butch Gilzean arrives. Butch is unable to choose between the two, so he ends up shooting both of them in non-lethal parts of their bodies. Butch is almost immediately apologetic about what he did to Fish, and is quick to forgive him, but ends up being too weak to fight off the Penguin. Penguin bids her a final farewell, as she says her last words “It’s all good.”, and soon is pushed to her presumable death.

 

What we thought:

Holy cow. Fish really made a name for herself in this episode. She served as a character that people were sure to love, hate, and feel sorry for all at once. However, at this time it’s unclear if she is going to be around anytime soon in Gotham. I feel that it’s unlikely that she survived, since she ended up having a gunshot wound, was pushed off a building, and was already exhausted from her fight with the Penguin. However, this is the same woman that some how managed to pilot a helicopter with a bullet wound as well.

What’s next:

It appears that this character will not be returning in Season Two of Gotham, but she could return in future seasons if they find a proper place for her. I feel that Fish Mooney was portrayed wonderfully by Jada Pinkett Smith, but ultimately it was time for her send off in Gotham. They certainly sent her off with blazing colors too. What will happen with her absence in Gotham? Well, that’s a good question. Gotham was getting by without her for a while as it was, but without her interference for the Penguin, he’ll certainly be able to proceed with his own agenda soon.

The Riddler (Edward Nygma)

What happened:

Edward Nygma is approached by Ms. Kringle in this episode about the letter that Officer Dougherty “supposedly” had left her. She shows Edward that the first letter from each part of the letter spells out “NYGMA”, which was a clue that Edward left behind himself. Edward tries to nonchalantly pass if off as nothing more than mere coincidence, but after she leaves he begins to question why he left the clue on the letter linking Dougherty’s disappearance to him. He’s seen having a violent argument with himself as he ponders why he left the clue, but frequently laughs hysterically as he thinks back upon memories of things people have said to him, while also refusing to believe that she’ll find any proof.

It seems Ms. Kringle has solved Edward's riddle after all.

It seems Ms. Kringle has solved Edward’s riddle after all.

What we thought and what’s next:

Cory Michael Smith is portraying The Riddler wonderfully. I am really excited to see how these changes end up impacting the Riddler next season, and if he’ll even end up being able to continue working as a Forensic Scientist for the GCPD.

Will he end up going after Ms. Kringle, even if he has feelings for her, since she knows about the clue? Will he find more victims? Will his mental breakdown continue? We’re not sure yet, and honestly I think that’s probably a good thing. The Riddler is supposed to be smart, yet unpredictable with his crimes. He leaves a trail behind him because he enjoys being hunted.

Barbara Keen & Dr. Thompkins

What happened:

Dr. Thompkins finds that Barbara Keen is fully recovered from the trauma that she suffered from dealing with the Ogre, but also points out to Barbara that she needs to get involved in trauma counseling to deal with what transpired. Barbara is reluctant to agree to counseling, but is willing to do so if Dr. Thompkins is willing to be her counselor and do the sessions at Barbara’s home. Dr. Thompkins reluctantly accepts.

Barbara explains to Dr. Thompkins that she feels like she is in a dream most of the time, and that’s she just simply waiting to wake up from it all. Dr. Thompkins points out that it’s ridiculous for her to feel that way and that it all did happen. Barbara is fearful that when she wakes up that the Ogre will still be alive and that he’ll still be coming for her again.

Gordon draws his weapon to save Leslie from an enraged Barbara Kean.

Gordon draws his weapon to save Leslie from an enraged Barbara Kean.

However, Barbara is eager to tell Dr. Thompkins that she’s attracted to guys that make her a little scared. In fact, she was attracted to Jim because of how scary he could be. Although, she’s curious to find out if Jim has been hitting Dr. Thompkins, as Jim was never willing to hit her. Dr. Thompkins is put off guard by the question, but quickly reveals that Jim has never hit her, and that she’s happy to be dating him. They both agree that he’s a good guy, but Barbara’s intentions clearly show she is jealous.

Barbara refuses to continue on with their counseling until Dr. Thompkins answers some questions about her relationship with Jim Gordon, and if he has said that he loved her yet. Dr. Thompkins says that he hasn’t, but Barbara says that it’s clear that he does love her. Barbara reveals to Dr. Thompkins about what the Ogre ended up doing to her, and how he brought her to her parent’s house. The Ogre made her talk to her parents about her childhood issues after he tied them up, but those things clearly ended up reopening an old wound in Barbara’s heart about how they treated her. It was in that moment that Barbara revealed that it wasn’t the Ogre who ended up killing her parents in such a way, but it was actually her who ended up killing them. Dr. Thompkins tries to say that she didn’t actually kill them, but the Ogre did. Barbara ends up clarifying that she did kill them, and that she stabbed them several times, and then slit their throats.

“Even as I was killing them, they just gaped at me like fools.” – Barbara Kean

Dr. Thompkins quickly got to her feet and tried to escape, but Barbara had already grabbed a knife. She only managed to escape to a bathroom where Barbara soon used the knife to cut through the door, and turn the knob. Dr. Thompkins tried to use a shard of glass to defend herself, but the two end up grappling and getting into a fight throughout Barbara’s home. Dr. Thompkins manages to get the upperhand against her and ends up knocking her unconscious, around the same time Jim Gordon arrives at the apartment with Harvey Bullock and Don Falcone.

What we thought:

Cat fight! No, seriously, I think it was pretty interesting to actually see both of Jim’s recent girlfriends fighting each other. Barbara seemed to be fighting out of jealousy, while Dr. Thompkins was simply trying to defend herself from Barbara and her apparent insanity. She clearly has been pushed over the edge because of the Ogre. We saw glimpses earlier in the season of Barbara’s true personality, but we never saw her get pushed to the extent that she was with the Ogre. It also seems to appear that Barbara admitted to Dr. Thompkins that she murdered her own parents, but again at this time we cannot really confirm if she was the one who did it or not, and if it’s just a lie Barbara established to make herself seem even more unstable to Dr. Thompkins.

What’s next:

Is this the beginning of a new villainess in Gotham to take the place of Fish Mooney? Dr. Thompkins didn’t reveal that Barbara was trying to murder her, but simply that she went crazy and tried attacking her. Will Barbara be free to do what she wants next season, or will she be in prison? Or, better yet will she end up in Arkham? An interesting theory could be that Dr. Thompkins actually made the entire thing up in her own head as well, and attacked Barbara herself because she snapped when she continued to talk about Jim. It wouldn’t be the first time that the show misled the viewers with a scene that was initially more complicated.

Bruce Wayne

What happened:

Bruce and Alfred spend a great deal of the episode talking about Bruce’s parents, but primarily focus upon his father. Alfred continues to tell Bruce that his father wasn’t a man that had any “dark” secrets, and that it’s something Bruce should stop trying to look into. However, Bruce remains stalwart in his approach to finding any secrets his father would have. Eventually, Alfred and Bruce run out of areas to search in his father’s office, and Alfred ends up trying to convince Bruce to stop searching for something that isn’t there once again. It’s in this moment that he says men that believe wholeheartedly in their intuition and nothing else, like Bruce, are delusional and that there are “none so blind”. Bruce connects the words “none so blind” with the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius who was a stoic, like Bruce’s father. Lucius Fox referred to Bruce’s father as a “stoic” man before, and realized the connection of that word. Inside of one of the book’s about such a topic lied a remote with a button, which Bruce quickly pressed. It made his father’s loud classical music play once again, which he remembered from his childhood, and soon the fireplace in the room began to move backwards to reveal a passageway leading to the Batcave.

Bruce is close to unlocking the secrets of his father, Thomas Wayne.

Bruce is close to unlocking the secrets of his father, Thomas Wayne.

What we thought:

Once again, there were some “stretches” with this sequence within this episode. I’m not sure if it ultimately made sense, but in the end we reached a conclusion that should keep many watchers thrilled to see what impact Bruce Wayne could have upon Gotham next season. It’s clear that in this universe, Bruce’s father ended up using the Batcave before Bruce even excavated it. It’s going to be a surprising twist that I think most people didn’t see coming.

What’s next:

That’s a good question. Will we see Bruce having a larger hand in Gotham’s affairs? Will we see Bruce having more insight upon his father’s murders, upon whatever his father left behind in this private passageway? There is a lot that we’ll end up learning next season about Bruce, that should help shape him into becoming the caped crusader that we all know and love.

“Even good men have secrets.” -Bruce Wayne

Conclusion

Well, we’ve finally reached the end of this season of Gotham, but I think it was a wild ride that most of us were not prepared for. I feel that Gotham did a great job in it’s first season, even with some bumps along the way. They found a way to capture a more cartoony, yet realistic approach to a CSI-like show, and have begun to flesh out territories and backstories that were not often explored by others in Gotham’s history. I think the show can only improve next season, now that they’re able to see what their viewers enjoyed and want to see more of. With character backstories being fleshed out more, some characters will be playing much larger roles than they already were in this past season (I’m looking at you Penguin and Riddler!). For now, the finale did a great job of capturing proper closure to many questions fans had about some characters, but also created many new questions about what awaits ahead for certain characters. Farewell, Fish Mooney.

PROS CONS
+ Action packed. Drama filled. Tons of thrills. This was an epic finale that found a way to incorporate almost everything fans have been dying to see. – A few plot holes will have you scratching your head about what happened, or why something happened.
+ Character development has gone full circle for some characters as they reached their end, or the next stage of their progression. – Forced interaction between some characters to show them off one last time this season was… well, forced! It didn’t seem to fit as well as hoped.
+ A much darker, chaotic Gotham awaits us next season with problems created from the finale.

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