[SPOILERS ahead for Gotham Season 1, Episode 22.]
Season 1 of Gotham has come to an end, bringing a number of long-term plot threads to a close. The show has certainly had its share of ups and downs over its debut year, and with season 2 already set to include a number of well-known Batman villains, the series still has a world of possibilities in the cards. That includes one in particular that is all but certain to be a big part of Gotham's sophomore season.
In this week's episode, "All Happy Families Are Alike", the gangland war over the criminal enterprise in Gotham comes to something of a close; a post-Ogre Barbara reveals a startling secret (or did she?); and Bruce comes closer to learning the truth about his father's own hidden work. Here's how it all went down.
The Battle for Gotham City
After being absent from the show for a few weeks, Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) pops up in Gotham, heralding a "brand new day" and quickly recruiting Selina to her cause. The story then jumps ahead two weeks to the aftermath of Maroni's (David Zayas) hit on Falcone (John Doman). Oswald (Robin Lord Taylor) shows up to the hospital to say goodbye before Maroni's men come to finish the job, but just as good ol' Penguin is about to take matters into his own hands and finish Falcone off, Gordon shows up and arrests them, hoping to restore Falcone to power and put an end to the gang war.
With Oswald and Falcone in tow, Gordon and the newly arrived Bullock barely escape to a safe house, only to be met with a gun-toting Selina (Camren Bicondova). Fish herself soon appears, claiming that she and Maroni have struck a deal for Falcone's head, but when Maroni continually disrespects Fish (she doesn't like being called "babes", by the way), she snaps and kills him on the spot.
All hell breaks loose, and Oswald seizes the opportunity to go after Fish. After struggling for a bit, Oswald manages to knock her off the side of the rooftop and to her apparent death in the water below. In a Titanic-esque moment of freedom, Oswald proclaims himself "the king of Gotham", and Falcone bids farewell to Gordon on his way out of town. This turn of events is a tidy way to set the stage for the rise of Oswald's own criminal empire, though he's unlikely to hold fast to his role as top dog for long. After all, a supervillain is born every minute in this town.
Therapy Gone Awry
Following her traumatic experience at the hands of the Ogre, Barbara (Erin Richards) is being evaluated by Leslie (Morena Baccarin), who recommends that she seek counseling to deal with any emotional damage that has been done. Barbara concedes that she will seek therapy - but only if Leslie conducts it herself. Their first session starts off fairly inconclusive, as Barbara dodges serious discussion with questions about Leslie and Jim's burgeoning relationship.
However, before long, Leslie manages to get Barbara talking about her parents' murder at the hands of the Ogre. Barbara describes how - at the request of the Ogre himself - she confessed to her parents all of her resentment towards them and how they were "grinding away at [her] soul." Lost in her thoughts, Barbara recounts how her parents never understood her, claiming that she killed them herself.
Knife in hand, Barbara attacks Leslie, and after the two women struggle for a bit, Leslie ends up knocking Barbara out, just as Gordon arrives. Considering fans' longtime frustration with Barbara, this dark turn isn't wholly unexpected, as it adds a much-needed new dimension to the character (albeit a psychotic one) - and could propel her into some promising new plotlines next season.
Wayne Family Secrets
Convinced that his father had a secret life, Bruce (David Mazouz) searches Wayne Manor for clues, much to Alfred's (Sean Pertwee) dismay. The butler tells him that he knows nothing about any mystery surrounding the late Thomas Wayne and asks Bruce to let it go. However, Bruce cannot and comes to the conclusion that the answers lie in the library.
After tearing the room apart looking for anything that could aid in their search, Bruce and Alfred uncover nothing, but Bruce remains steadfast, trusting that his "intuition is always correct." Remembering that Lucius Fox referred to his father as a "stoic," Bruce is led to a book by Marcus Aurelius containing a remote that opens up a secret passageway behind the fireplace - seemingly the entrance to what will one day become the Batcave.
The storyline, while not particularly meaty, goes a long way towards establishing Bruce's detective skills (something he will sorely need as the Dark Knight). Moreover, it begins the trail of breadcrumbs for several classic Batman traits - his ingenuity, his relentless pursuit of the truth, and his need for a secret identity, among others - as well as the site that will serve as his base of operations once he finally dons the cowl.
A Riddle Solved, A Killer Born
The past couple of episodes have seen Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) transform from a repressed science nerd (harboring an unrequited love) to a full-fledged killer, including a gruesome cover-up of his first murder. This week, his storyline takes a backseat, with only one key scene in which Kristen (Chelsea Spack) discovers the clue that the future Riddler encoded into the "dear john" letter left behind by her abusive boyfriend.
Nygma, of course, denies it, though Kristen seems unconvinced. When she leaves, Nygma engages in a schizophrenic argument with himself, expressing fear that Kristen is on to him. There's every chance that she will die at his hand sometime in season 2, and Nygma's continuing evolution continues to be one of the show's most promising subplots. It would be surprising if his story doesn't become one of the prominent tales that Gotham hones in on next year.
What did you think of "All Happy Families Are Alike"? Share your thoughts on the episode in the comments section below.
Gotham returns in fall 2015 for season 2.