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Gotham – S2E5 – Scarification

Previously on Gotham, ‘Strike Force’

Images: FOX

Images: FOX

Galavan and the Penguin put together a shaky alliance – with Penguin wanting to be called “friend” and Galavan not wanting Penguin at the popular table. Tabitha is bored with her toys, Barbara, the mayor, and even Mr. Bunderslaw, who is newly wrapped in a box for her. She does get to play with him though, cutting off body parts and all.

Strike Force Alpha makes a bust on Penguin’s count house with RPGs firing in the background. And after hearing about the bust from one of his stooges, Penguin loses it (of course) and beats the messenger. In his rage, he comes up with a plan.

Galavant asks Gordon for his endorsement. He feels Gordon is a symbol for hope and honor and wants that kind of person on his side. Gordon says no, but Galavant asks him to think about it.

Tabitha gives Penguin a job. She needs him to burn down some buildings. She also gives him a metal box with something she says he will need when doing the fires. I wonder what – or who – is in the box.

Butch goes to Selina for help with an introduction to some arsonists she knows. The arsonists, the Pike brothers, are Fish Mooney loyalists and some people believe Fish is coming back. Really? Not even Butch thinks that, though. Butch and Selina do reminisce as they make their way to where the arsonists are holding up. Butch says how much he loved Fish, and Selina asks if that was before or after he shot her.

Penguin learns Galavant is after an antique knife with the Wayne family crest. This leads him to antiques dealer, Edwige (Mary Joy). She tells him the knife is cursed. It was used in a crime. Back in the early days of Gotham, 200 years ago, there were five influential families: the Elliotts, the Canes, the Crowns, the Duma, and the most powerful, the Waynes. Because of a lover’s triangle gone wrong, the Waynes maimed one of the Duma family members who wronged the Waynes using the knife and then went about destroying the Duma family and wiped their name out of the history books. The remnants of the family changed their name to Galavan.

Gotham S2E5 - James Frain


Holy One Liner(s), Batman

“Sir, they are asking for their pants,” a police officer tells Captain Barnes.

He replies, “Just read them their right, which doesn’t say anything about pants.”

He then stops the officer and says, “Tell them the first guy to give up where they got the rocket launcher gets to wear pants. The rest can go naked for all I care.”

Then Barnes tells the officer to delay that order, “No one gets pants.”

What happened to these guys pants?!

Most Ridiculous Scene(s)

The terrorists Walmart? One of the Pike brothers goes to this warehouse with all kinds of flammable materials and other dangerous stuff. The establishment is called The MERC. The proprietor points the Pike brother to the explosive alley and also takes some dirty his money from him. The proprietor says he has a sure charge for soiled dollar bills. Then you hear an announcement over the intercom that there is a price check for brass knuckles. You then see the Pike brother stealing C4 by putting it down the front of his pants. Priceless!

The Strike Force raids The MERC with guns drawn and the brother tries to run. Gordon and Barnes pursue him and shots are fired and the brother becomes a human bomb and all of it is captured in slow motion glory!

Honorable Mention: Strike Force Alpha takes down Penguin’s money laundering operation. Everything was going as planned when one guy breaks out an RPG! And as casual as someone could be in a takedown situation like this, they ducked, covered, and then kept coming. Weren’t these guys just in the academy? But yet they seem to be raid veterans. Too funny! Welcome to Gotham, Capt!

Gotham S2E5

Best Scene

See the Most Ridiculous Scene section above. Yes, I put it for best and worst. It was ridiculously good!  

Honorable Mention: Nygma reaches out to Gordon and Thompkins and asks if they would be interested in going on a double date with him and Ms. Kringle. It is date-night, after all. Gordon says no, but Thompkins says yes. They are going to have Fondue fun! Not sure how that happens. Thompkins tells Gordon it was the right thing to do and Gordon says since it is at Thompkin’s house they are trapped because they cannot leave… they are already home. The scene was short, but well-acted and funny.  

Nygma suggests that Gordon and Lee have a double date with him and Kristen.

Best Performance/Writing

The payoff at the end of the episode when we find out that all of this burning of buildings and cop killing was to get a knife and Gordon’s endorsement. I thought the writing was very well done and fit together nicely having all of the plot points (except for the RPG) merge into one very good conclusive ending.

Other Goings On

Galavan’s plan is an old one: To take revenge on the Waynes for his family from 200 years ago. He is backed by an ancient priesthood order that was loyal to the Dumas family. One of those priests, Father Creel, wants the city to be redeemed in blood and the death of Bruce Wayne.


The episode began with a WTF moment. We have a man in the box which we discover is Wayne Enterprises’ Sid Bunderslaw. Galavan seems to want information from him and someone to torture, but that comes later. He also want something else, but does not tell him what exactly. He sends Tabitha to collect it. She asks casually, “right or left.” Galavan does not care, but I think Bunderslaw will.

She takes out her curved knife and starts to cut off screen.

I wonder what she took? I can assume it was more than a finger with all the blood and sounds we hear hitting the floor – and who knows where else. Shocking moment for the start of a crazy episode.

Although our favorite baddie and jokester, Jerome, is dead we now hear word that this may not all together be true. As I mentioned during episode 2.3, the show runners wanted Jerome’s death to be the start of something sinister for Gotham with others taking up the mantle of the Joker until the real one is introduced. During the Gotham NYCC 2015 panel, writer and executive producer John Stephens had the following to say on the topic of the Joker and his legacy:

“If you watch the episodes closely, as they go forward this year you’ll start seeing the seeds of the way that story will continue to develop. And we probably have not seen the last of that fellow.”

The death of Jerome Valeska came as a huge shock to fans of Gotham. The impression was given that the second season would provide further evolution of the Joker character through Jerome, but instead the moment of his death was used to elevate the big baddie for the season, Theo Galavan (James Frain) to a whole other level. Jerome’s murderous antics had begun to inspire copycat killers by the end of “The Last Laugh”, but have we seen the last of Jerome altogether? Fans of the comic books know that the Joker has been thought dead countless times, only to come back bigger and badder than before. The question does remain, how could Gotham pull off this return?

Gotham S2E5
  • 8/10
    Plot - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Dialogue - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Performances - 7/10


The show was very entertaining with all of the crazy – almost cartoony – action and situations. It was so ridiculous, at times, I could not help but laugh… but in a good way.

Everything seemed to work, and although no one will be receiving any Emmys for the writing or acting, the show has taken a turn for the better and I think it may be finding its stride.

User Review
5 (1 vote)
About Michael James (88 Articles)
An Air Force brat and former bluesuiter, Michael was raised all over the country, but calls the southwest his home… although you would not know it since he currently resides in the nation’s capital! (For now…?) He is also a reformed government black suit and tie guy who now gives back to the world one child at a time as a child therapist. He was brought up on Star Trek NG, Buck Rogers and old BSG TV shows and he loves most things Geek (TV: GoT, BSG, Fringe, Walking Dead; Comics: Image, DC, Marvel; Movies: Empire Strikes Back, Aliens, Serenity, The Avengers, Man of Steel (I know!), Pacific Rim, and Edge of Tomorrow. His perfect time would be traipsing around the world with his family and his two dogs, discovering and experiencing all kinds of ridiculous adventures. Too bad he doesn’t have William Bell money!

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