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May 5, 2015 Comments Views: 1564 Geeky, Movies & Television

Gotham Season Finale Recap: Ep. 122, “All Happy Families Are Alike”

After a tumultuous first season, the finale of Gotham is here! The episode begins with Selina and a couple of other presumably homeless teens spying a small barge coming ashore as they warm their hands by a trashcan fire. Moving closer, Selina can see that it’s Fish Mooney, dressed in black, with a few companions. Fish greets Selina and tells her, rather ominously, that soon it will be a brand new day.

Bruce listens to news of the violence on the streets while he contemplates his father’s secrets. He smashes a photo of Thomas as Alfred walks in, concerned that Bruce is wasting his time looking for secrets. They recall the evenings when Thomas would lock himself in the study and play classical music for hours and Bruce wasn’t allowed to disturb him. Bruce wonders why Thomas would need to lock the door while he was in the room and becomes convinced that his father’s secret is in there with them.

Falcone heads to the docks to buy a chicken? As he inspects one, two people ride up on a motorcycle and he notices too late that one of them has a rocket launcher that they are not at all shy about using.

Jim spies a couple of officers giving a prisoner a taste of police brutality and, though visibly disgusted, does nothing. (SINCE WHEN?) A green uniform named Griffin Katz salutes Jim fervently and Jim tells him to knock that off because he’s going to be targeted again any time now and Katz shouldn’t hitch himself to a lame horse. He goes to the ME’s office where Lee is giving Barbara a final checkup. (Is Lee the only medical doctor in Gotham who could have checked Barbara’s vitals?) Lee tells Barbara she needs trauma counseling but Barbara just wants to thank Jim for saving her life. Lee insists that Barbara get counseling and Barbara agrees only if Lee will be her counselor and Lee reluctantly agrees. (WHAT?) Then Bullock tells Jim that Falcone just got hit 20 minutes ago and is at the hospital. He adds that the powers that be at City Hall switched their support to Maroni, and Jim thinks this is a terrible idea.

In the hospital, Falcone awakes to find he’s been manacled to a gurney. Penguin and Butch arrive to bring flowers and bullets to Falcone. Falcone’s relief at Penguin’s arrival is short lived as Penguin quickly spills his end-game like a villain who thinks he’s home free. He tells Falcone that he’s been plotting this since they met and, scalpel in hand, says he’s going to be the King of Gotham. Falcone says Penguin’s going to burn in hell and Penguin’s all, “YOU FIRST!” and moves to cut his throat – just as Jim arrives and arrests Penguin and Butch for attempted murder. After cuffing them to the radiator, Jim frees Falcone, who says if he has two days at his safehouse, he can retake Gotham. Penguin insists that Maroni’s guys are about to come kill Falcone right now, and when he steps in the hall and finds it deserted, Jim knows he’s right.

He calls Bullock and tells him what’s up and asks if he’d come back him up. Bullock is reticent (surprise) and tells Jim to think about the fact that this stand really may cost him his life. Just then Tommy Bones walks in and, though surprised to find Jim there, leaves right away – but not for long. Jim goes back in to rally his troops, calling Falcone his least worst option, and Penguin calls in one of his favors: he says since Jim arrested him and Butch he’s responsible for them. Jim agrees and, stepping back out into the hall, finds Commissioner Loeb marching in with some of Maroni’s guys. He calls Loeb a disgrace and says he can’t wait to see him dead or in jail so Loeb chucks up his deuces and leaves, leaving the mobsters free to open fire on Jim.

A firefight ensues wherein everyone wastes bullets and moves down the hall and into a waiting room. Jim takes guys out sporadically as he uses pillars and desks for cover and eventually hits them all when Bullock arrives. He’s ready to get Jim and Falcone out of there but Jim breaks the news that Penguin and Butch have to come, too, resulting in Bullock’s comic disapproval.

Maroni calls Tommy while marching up to the hospital and gets no answer just as an ambulance with Jim at the wheel comes barreling down the alley. He and his guys open fire but cause negligible damage and Jim and the others get away.

Bruce and Alfred are pulling apart the library and Alfred would like to know what exactly they’re looking for. Bruce just says, “When we find it, we’ll know.”

And Jim has driven everyone over to a Falcone warehouse in which they should be safe. That is, until Selina strolls in with a rifle and Fish joins her with the rest of her newly acquired army and a new look, to everyone’s shock.

At Barbara’s apartment, she tells Lee that she feels like her life is a dream that she’ll wake up from soon and Jason will be coming for her.

Fish reunites with Butch to find him damaged. He doubts it’s her and she asks what they did to him, to which he responds, “Nothing good.” She gets a call from Maroni and tells him she has something he wants and they need to talk.

Now handcuffed, Falcone tells Jim he’s still got his knife in his sock, just in case. Selina taunts Jim as he silently asks her to help, and laughs at his predicament. Fish returns and reacquaints herself with her captives, telling them of her deal with Maroni. She need only hand over Falcone’s head to get massive territory and influence. As Butch is overwhelmed by the effects of his brainwashing, Fish promises she’ll make Penguin and Falcone die slow and painful deaths for what’s been done to him. For Jim, they’ll keep his death simple, and she’s cool with Bullock and he can go. Selina asks how she’s planning to kill them, and Fish has found a protegee.

Barbara tells Lee that Jason knew her instantly and could see right through her, but why wouldn’t he when she told him everything about herself immediately? She leads the conversation to Jim and asks Lee if Jim ever hits her out of passion. Flabbergasted, Lee says no, of course not, and confirms that she is dating Jim. She asks if that makes Barbara uncomfortable and with her now-familiar doe-eyed expression says no and hurries off to get them something to eat. (Do not eat anything this woman gives you, Lee!)

At Falcone’s warehouse, Maroni has shown up and offers praise to Fish’s resourcefulness and resilience. Penguin speaks up to Fish, saying that even though he knows he’s to die, she should keep Falcone alive because if he’s gone Maroni will try to kill her.

Penguin: Why would he need another boss in town? Another rival?
Maroni: That’s where you’re wrong, smart guy. A) She’s not a rival, because she’s not a boss. She’s an underboss.
Fish: An underboss takes orders. I don’t take orders.
Maroni: I know. Relax.
Fish: I’m relaxed.
Maroni: I don’t think you are, babes.
Fish: Please don’t call me “babes.”
Maroni: You see? Not relaxed. “Babes?” Really? It’s a term of endearment. It means I like you. I misspoke. You’re not a underboss, and you’re not a babe. You tell me what you are.
Fish: What we are, Sal, are partners.
Maroni: Whatever you want. Partners. I’m Partner #1 and you’re Partner #2, that’s the deal, right? I’m #1 and you’re…?
Fish: Number 2.
Maroni: There you go. Simple math. One, two, babes. Oops, sorry. That’s the last time, I swear. Guys, can you feel the buzz in the air? That’s victory, redemption, power! When this old man dies a new day begins. We will rule Gotham! We are building a dynasty. We will whip this town like a rented mule. Right, babes? Relax, I’m kidding you. Guys, no seriously. Don’t call her “babes.” Or “toots” or what have you. It’s a woman’s lib thing.

And Fish shoots Maroni dead in front of everyone like, “I am relaxed.” (God, I love her!!!) After a moment where everyone is stunned, they scatter and gunfire begins. Butch and Selina scatter, Bullock cuts Jim, Falcone, and Penguin free and head in different directions.

Lee presses Barbara about what actually happened to her when Jason kidnapped her. She changes the subject, asking if Jim has told Lee he loves her yet, but Lee changes it right back, asking, once again, what happened.

Jim, Bullock, and Falcone have made it outside and determine that if they can get to 7th Avenue without being spotted they can find a place to hide out and regroup. But Falcone drops a bombshell: he’s quitting. He doesn’t want to rule Gotham anymore and plans to retire down south. They see some of Fish’s people are onto them and hide in a shipping container, and are quickly found by Selina and some others.

Selina brings them back to the warehouse to Fish’s pleasure. Fish says she killed Maroni because he vexed her, but who knows? They could be looking at the new Queen of Gotham. Falcone takes this opportunity to break the news of his retirement to her and she’s like, “So, what? I’m just supposed to let you live?” Then Penguin comes back and sprays the warehouse with an automatic rifle and takes kills almost everyone there as Fish heads to the roof. When he chases after her, Jim, Bullock, and Falcone hop in the car and bolt.

Barbara describes her brainwashing to Lee and says she didn’t realize they were going to her parents’ house until they were halfway there. She says Jason tied her parents to a chair and made her tell them her childhood issues. Lee presses her on what those issues were, so Barbara’s like, “Oh, just how my mom always called me ‘piggy’ and they never nurtured my self-esteem. Kid stuff.” Lee doesn’t think this is kid stuff, and Barbara says they just never understood who she was. Barbara says when she was killing them they gaped at her like fools, and Lee clarifies that Jason killed them. But Barbara’s like, “No, I killed them. I stabbed them several times, then I slit their throats,” and grabs a kitchen knife. Lee springs out of her seat and Barbara gives chase, and when she wields the knife Lee locks herself in the bathroom.

Lee tries to make a call but gets no signal as Barbara gives us her best The Shining impersonation by hacking down the locked door. Jim, Bullock, and Falcone arrive at Barbara’s building and board the elevator, just as Barbara breaks through and unlocks the door. Lee breaks a mirror and makes herself a shiv, and when Barbara opens the door they charge at each other. Barbara has several wild slaps for Lee and they crash against furniture and grapple on the floor. Finally Lee gets the upper hand and bangs Barbara’s head into the floor a few times, knocking her out, just as Jim and the rest arrive.

And on the roof of Falcone’s warehouse, Fish lies in wait for Penguin with a pipe. She ambushes him with a few well-placed strikes but he finds his opportunity and gets some hits of his own in. They fight to the edge of the roof and as Fish tries to choke the life out of Penguin, Butch arrives with a gun. Confused by his brainwashing, Butch struggles with what to do with Fish’s and Penguin’s conflicting instructions. He shoots both of them and breaks down at having hurt Fish, who forgives him for it. Penguin hits Butch over the head and, with a final kiss off, throws Fish over the edge of the building into the choppy water below. Pleased beyond measure, Penguin climbs to stand on the edge and proclaims to all the he’s the King of Gotham.

Nygma stands distracted in the records room and Ms. Kringle approaches him with her note from Office Domestic Violence. She’s noticed the clue he left her and he describes it as an amazing coincidence. With slight disbelief, she accepts the lie that he had nothing to do with the letter and she leaves – just in time for Nygma to begin a downward spiral monologue. He laughs hysterically and chides himself about leaving a clue because Kringle will keep digging. He tells himself to let it go, reminding himself that he has no chance with her regardless, and with flashes of memories cut with the many levels of this breakdown, we see Nygma losing his grip on reality and going mad(der).

On Barbara’s balcony, Jim and Falcone have a word. Jim tries to convince Falcone to stay, but Falcone says Gotham needs a strong lawman like Jim to grab it by the neck and shake it hard. Jim doubts his efficacy so Falcone gives him the knife he’s been carrying, saying it belonged to his father. Jim’s father and Falcone once were close and says that he was one of the most honest men he knew, but he still carried a knife.

And after searching the entire library, Alfred wants he and Bruce to throw in the towel. Bruce says his intuition is nearly always correct and Alfred’s like, “There’s none so blind as men to believe their intuitions to always be correct.” This jogs Bruce’s memory of what Lucius Fox said to him about his father being a Stoic and he searches for a book on Marcus Aurelius, a historic Stoic. In the book, he finds a small remote which Alfred discourages him to activate, saying it could be a bomb. Ignoring this, Bruce presses the button which activates classical music – and opens a secret door behind the fireplace. Bruce and Alfred peek into a rocky stairway and in the distance we hear leathery wings and squeaking.

The Questions: How will Bruce feel when he finds out about Selina’s new life of crime? How much longer will Nygma be able to work with the GCPD? Is Fish actually dead? Will Barbara end up in Arkham? What will Penguin do with his newfound power? And what implications are to be found knowing that Thomas Wayne “created” the Batcave?

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