A woman is threatened by a gun-toting mugger; a dark figure emerges from the night and puts him down; a new force has arrived to cleanse the streets of Gotham. But this is no Dark Knight – this is a barmy assassin monk of the Order of St Dumas, out to conquer the city. Theo Galavan’s plot has finally come to a head.
While we’ve always known that Galavan’s plan is to kill Bruce Wayne and take over Waynecorp, it’s not clear how he intends to use the Order of St Dumas to do it. Jim Gordon fails to get anything from him in a tense jailhouse interview, and is furious when Major James’ treachery sets Galavan free. With Penguin now in the frame, Jim sets off on a perilous path – dedicated to destroying Galavan, whether legally or not.
Bruce, too, is learning that one has to break to rules to get results; realizing that he can’t get the truth about his parents’ murder out of Silver, he has the two of them ‘kidnapped’ by Tom The Knife, who frightens a name out of Silver. (But is there any truth in her claim that the killer of the Waynes was someone called Malone? In Batman mythology, “Matches Malone” is a minor thug sometimes used as a false identity by Bruce Wayne).
Certainly Bruce is learning subterfuge, as is Ed Nygma, who lies to Lee about the whereabouts of the slaughtered Miss Kringle.
But there’s also plenty of direct confrontation in this episode; Jim and Bullock fight off the assassin monks (they’re surprisingly easy to beat one you get stuck in), and Alfred has a bloody showdown with Tabitha, narrowly escaping with his life (she’s become a more dangerous character since the jailing of her brother, and seems likely to go off on her own course after Theo’s inevitable demise). Then Jim takes a swing at Galavan, and ends up being battered by his corrupt cops.
In comparison, the cliffhanger ending, with Theo and his big knife threatening Bruce, is something of a letdown, as we know someone must come to the rescue; but who will rescue Jim Gordon?
As we approach the mid-season hiatus, and the inevitable end of the Galavan story arc, there are still plenty of threads to be tied up; the one big question remaining, is who will finally take down Galavan? If it’s Jim Gordon, fired up with righteous indignation, then things could get messy; if it’s Oswald Cobblepot, burning for revenge, it could be messier still. We hope.
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