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Season 3.0: Mad City
Jim found Lee, but didn't actually talk to her, because he saw that she's now romantically involved with another man. And the season picks up six months after last season. (I'm not sure when within that six months Jim found Lee, but he must have been back in Gotham for at least a few months, at the start of season 3.) And since his return, he's become a bounty hunter, capturing the Indian Hill escapees and turning them over to the GCPD. (Captain Barnes is back in command.) Meanwhile, there's a reporter named Valerie Vale (Jamie Chung) who's investigating all the stuff that's going on in Gotham, herself. She and Jim sort of work together at one point, though they don't really trust each other (nor should they). Nevertheless, they do end up having a one-night stand, which eventually becomes something more. And... I need to say I'm still surprised that Butch has gone back to working for Penguin. (I don't think I mentioned that Penguin cut off Butch's hand partway through season 2. That doesn't seem like something one would just forgive and forget, much less hand back the reins of a criminal empire to the person who'd done it. But whatevs.) Anyway, Penguin has offered a million dollar reward for the capture of Fish Mooney, who remains at large and in control of a group of Indian Hill escapees, each of whom has their own unique power. One of them is a man named Marv, who can rapidly age people he touches. But Fish's own power has started hurting her whenever she uses it, so she wants to find someone who can "fix" her. She tracks down Ethel Peabody, who reveals that only Professor Strange could possibly help Fish. Since Peabody will be of no use to her, Fish has Marv age her to death. But then Ivy shows up looking for Selina, and Fish believes her to be a spy, so she sends Marv after her. Ivy runs away, but Marv manages to touch her very briefly, before she falls into a drain pipe and is washed away. (I feared this meant the next time we saw her, she would have aged into an adult, thus requiring a new actress. And in the next episode, it turned out I was right. I'm rather disappointed by that, but still, I'm interested to see where her plotline goes.) Meanwhile, Selina starts trying to find Ivy, having no idea that she's now a young woman (or even whether she's still alive). Later, Fish's gang breaks Strange out of the secret facility where he was being held.
Another thing that's happened during the six months between seasons, is Bruce and Alfred have been away from Gotham, investigating the Court of Owls. They return now, and make contact with a woman from the Court named Kathryn, who makes a deal with Bruce, to stop investigating the Court (and his parents' murder). Meanwhile, Bruce and Alfred learn of the existence of Bruce's doppelganger, and want to find out all they can about him. (He calls himself "Five," which is short for Experiment 514A.) Five seems innocent enough at first, but it doesn't look like that's going to last. (But he leaves town before causing any real trouble.) Also, Barbara and Tabitha are now a couple (which reminds me, I probably never mentioned that Barbara had been in a relationship with Renee Montoya before she was with Jim, which was briefly rekindled when she and Jim were separated in season one, before Barbara went insane). Anyway, Barbara and Tabitha are now running a nightclub called The Sirens. (I don't think it's the same nightclub that originally belonged to Fish and later to Penguin, but I do think it's going to serve the same story purpose this season that that nightclub did previously.) At one point, there's a hypnotist named Jervis Tetch performing at the Sirens. (And of course we know he'll eventually be known as the Mad Hatter.) He's looking for his sister, Alice, who is on the run after having escaped from Indian Hill. She has poisonous blood, the precise nature of which I'm not yet entirely clear on, but it's pretty dangerous. (This isn't a condition that Professor Strange gave her as one of his experiments, it's something she had before, and the reason Jervis sought Strange's help for her in the first place.) Jervis hires Jim to find her, which he does, but Alice wants nothing to do with her brother.
Also, since Galavan's death, Gotham has been ruled by the city council, or whatever, but now Aubrey James wants to be reinstated as mayor. However, Oswald Cobblepot has been gaining public popularity lately, by calling the GCPD ineffectual in its attempts to capture the escaped "monsters" from Indian Hill. And now he decides to run against James to become mayor, himself. Apparently no one cares that he's a known "former" mobster who's killed many people, and he wins the election. He also threatens the new warden of Arkham, Charles Quimby, to make him declare Ed Nygma sane and release him. Meanwhile, Lee returns to Gotham and her old job at the GCPD. She's accompanied by her fiancé, a doctor named Mario Calvi. However, it's revealed that he's actually the son of Carmine Falcone, who had promised Mario's (now deceased) mother that Mario would never get involved in the family business (which is why Mario doesn't use the Falcone name). But Lee knows about this and is okay with it. And... there's conflict between Ed and Butch, with Ed ultimately becoming Mayor Cobblepot's chief of staff. And Penguin eventually realizes he's in love with Ed, but struggles with his desire to reveal his feelings to Ed. This is further complicated by Ed falling in love with a woman named Isabella, who is virtually identical to Kristen Kringle. (She also falls in love with Ed, and isn't scared away when she learns about his past.) So Penguin has Isabella killed. At first, Ed assumes Butch is responsible, which leads to him cutting off Tabitha's hand (don't ask), but it's later surgically reattached. But Barbara then realizes who was really behind Isabella's death, and why, which she shares with Ed. So, a tenuous truce/alliance is reached between Ed, Butch, Barbara, and Tabitha, with Penguin as their common enemy.
Alice is eventually killed, but her blood infects Captain Barnes, who apparently gets stronger, and also slowly goes insane. Meanwhile, Jervis continues to cause a great deal of trouble, before being caught and sent to Arkham. Jim finally rejoins the GCPD. And Barnes tries to fight his insanity, but it finally takes over. He ends up killing criminals, before being locked away in Arkham. (So once again, Harvey becomes acting Captain.) Bruce and Selina sort of become a couple, but it's unclear... Bruce seems more interested in a relationship than she does. And Ivy finally reveals herself to Bruce and Selina. She's been stealing things, and her latest theft leads to the three of them getting mixed up with a group called the Whisper Gang, which is opposed to the Court of Owls. Meanwhile, Mario is targeted by assassins, which leads to a confrontation between Carmine and Kathryn. (It's all very confusing.) But finally, Mario marries Lee. However, Jim learns that Mario has been infected by Alice's blood, and has gone insane. He tries to warn Lee, but she doesn't believe him. In what I thought was the midseason finale (because it happened at the end of November, before a month and a half hiatus), Jim has to shoot Mario to stop him from killing Lee. Meanwhile, Bruce, Selina, and Alfred break into a facility of the Court of Owls, hoping to steal a weapon that can be used against them. Since an assassin called Talon had already eliminated the Whisper gang, they had to do this without their help. Talon tries to stop them, but Alfred manages to kill him, with help from a woman who turns out to be Selina's mother. After the hiatus, the show came back for three episodes in January, before going on the real midseason break. Lee is furious at Jim for killing Mario, and Falcone sends Victor Zsasz to kill him, but eventually Lee gets Falcone to call Zsasz off (despite still wanting nothing to do with Jim). Meanwhile, Ed Nygma and his unlikely allies go forward with their plan to drive Penguin nuts and turn the people of Gotham against him. (It was a fun plot, but I won't spoil the details.) Also, Selina isn't too happy to see her mother, Maria Kyle, whom she hadn't seen since she left Gotham eleven years ago, when Selina was five. (I find it hard to believe Selina even recognized her, after all this time, having been so young when Maria left. I'm sure I don't remember much from when I was five.) Bruce tries to repair the relationship between Selina and Maria, but... that doesn't go so well (for a reason I found predictable, but which I won't spoil). Anyway, Maria ultimately leaves town again.
However, the major story arc of these few episodes involves a sort of cult devoted to the late Jerome Valeska. (I think they called themselves "Maniax," after the group of criminals Jerome had been a part of, though they're really more like fans of his insanity and messages of anarchy.) They're led by a guy named Dwight Pollard, who has a plan to steal Jerome's frozen body and resurrect him. He ultimately succeeds, though things didn't go quite as he'd hoped. (There's a very grotesque glitch that I really don't want to spoil.) Once Jerome comes back to life, his first goal is to kill Bruce (just because it was the last thing he was trying to do before he died). Which leads to lots of fun theatrics from Jerome, as well as Bruce getting a chance to display some of the things Alfred has been training him to do. And ultimately, Jerome is defeated. But I'm glad to have him back in the picture, because he was always my favorite potential to become the Joker, and now that's seeming more likely than ever. Meanwhile... Ed shoots Oswald and pushes him into the harbor. And Jim's uncle Frank (whom he has no idea works for the Court of Owls) shows up at his door. Also, it seems like Bruce's doppelganger, "Five," is now working for the Court.
Season 3.5: Heroes Rise
Bruce and Selina are definitely no longer a couple (assuming they ever really were). And Five kidnaps Bruce, and takes his place with Alfred. The real Bruce is sent away to a mysterious dungeon, or whatever, where a Shaman does some mystical stuff that messes with his mind. It's supposed to be to take away the pain he still carries over his parents' deaths, so that he can focus on becoming the hero that Gotham needs. Meanwhile, Jim reconnects with Frank, who tries to recruit Jim into the Court of Owls. Ed starts committing crimes, trying to find his identity without Penguin, and soon starts calling himself the Riddler. However, it turns out Penguin isn't dead, as Ed assumed. He wakes up in a greenhouse where Ivy has been nursing him back to health. He also learns that she has perfume she's created that allows her to control people, and she's eager to help him with his plans to regain his former power in Gotham, as well as to kill Ed. Eventually, Frank kills himself to make it seem that Jim had killed him. I don't want to get into the reasons for that, but ultimately it was to get Jim to join the Court, so he could investigate them from the inside. Penguin and Ivy recruit Victor Fries and Bridgit Pike, and hope to recruit more of Strange's "monsters" for their new gang. Ed begins investigating the Court of Owls, but ends up becoming their prisoner. Five tells Selina that he's not Bruce, and warns her to leave Gotham, because of something catastrophic that the Court is planning. However, she insults him, and so he pushes her out a window, resulting in a scene very reminiscent of "Batman Returns." Ivy later visits Selina in the hospital, and uses plants to heal her. Selina then goes to warn Alfred that Five is impersonating Bruce. Lee resigns from the GCPD, as she believes Harvey is covering up Jim's murder of Frank. The Court breaks Barnes out of Arkham to use him as a weapon. Kathryn orders him to kill Jim, after discovering his betrayal of the Court. Barnes's attempt to do that fails, but he does end up killing Kathryn.
The Court also gets Strange to weaponize the Alice Tetch virus, which they intend to release over Gotham in a gas, to turn everyone crazy, and destroy the city. Penguin is eventually captured by the Court and locked in a cell next to Riddler's. The two of them want to kill each other, but form a temporary truce so they can escape together. But Penguin refuses to call Ed "Riddler," which aggravates him. They go their separate ways after escaping, but Ed later finds Penguin and plans to kill him. But he's stopped when Fish shows up with a couple of her gang, and takes Penguin away. Lee goes to Arkham to talk to Jervis, who convinces her she's responsible for Mario's death, so she steals a sample of the Tetch virus from the GCPD, and injects herself with it. She soon turns evil, but a more self-controlled sort of evil than anyone else who's exposed to it. And she wants Jim to take the virus, too, so he can be his "true self," and they could be together again. Of course, Jim just wants to cure her, and also to stop the Court from releasing the virus over Gotham. But Lee kidnaps him, buries him in a coffin with a dose of the virus, which she says he'd have to take in order to gain the strength necessary to escape. The GCPD searches for him, but don't find him before he takes the virus. He escapes from the coffin, and tries to suppress his dark side long enough to help save Gotham. Meanwhile, the Shaman brings Bruce back to Gotham, and kills the entire Court. It turns out he was their leader, but he disagrees with decisions they'd made during his absence. Now, he wants Bruce to press the button that would release the gas. Which Bruce is fine with, because the true purpose of the Shaman's mind tampering was to take away all his emotions and make him a completely loyal servant. But Alfred finds them, and kills the Shaman to prevent Bruce from becoming a mass murderer. However, the Shaman manages to push the button himself, before he dies. The Shaman also tells Bruce that all this had been to prepare him to meet the Demon's Head, who wasn't actually a part of the Court, he just used them as a tool.
In the two-hour season finale, people are going crazy all over Gotham, and the GCPD are having an impossible time reining in the chaos. Meanwhile, there's a race between Fish's gang, Barbara's gang, and the GCPD to find Hugo Strange, so that he could make an antidote to the virus (which the gangs each wanted as a bargaining tool to gain more power in the city). Eventually, Jim kills Fish (who is probably going to stay dead this time). But the antidote is destroyed, so there's a race to get Jervis and make a new antidote from his blood. Oh, also, it probably wasn't until this episode that I realized "Talon" was the name used for all of the Court's assassins. Also some ninjas show up, who work for the Demon's Head. But Jim's tougher than all of them, because of the virus. And I'm sure I'm saying things out of order, but it's all so chaotic that it probably doesn't matter. Anyway, Bruce seeks out the Demon's Head, aka Ra's al Ghul (Alexander Siddig, whom I know best from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine). But Alfred tracks Bruce down and tries to take him home, but Ra's orders Bruce to kill Alfred. And Bruce impales Alfred with a sword, but doing so finally snaps him out of the Shaman's brainwashing. Ra's leaves, but tells Bruce to use the water from his Lazarus Pit. (I don't think that term was used in the show, but it's well known to fans of other incarnations of the character.) The water keeps Alfred alive long enough to get him to a hospital. Meanwhile... I guess Jim traded Penguin to Ed in exchange for Tetch, whom Ed had taken away from Barbara, Tabitha, and Butch, after they'd kidnapped Tetch. But Penguin manages to capture Ed, then Ed manages to escape and capture Penguin, but it turns out Ed's escape was part of Penguin's plan, and before Ed can kill him (again), Ivy shows up with Bridgit and Victor, the latter of whom freezes Ed. Subsequently, Penguin decides to open a new nightclub, the Iceberg Lounge, with the ice-encased Riddler as a centerpiece. Also, for some time now, Butch has been increasingly upset about how Barbara treats both him and Tabitha, and he's been trying to convince Tabitha not to put up with it any longer. Finally she agrees that Barbara has to be killed. But Barbara finds out about that, and shoots Butch in the head. She later has a fight with Tabitha, who ends up killing her. And later, Selina shows up, and it seems Tabitha may become her mentor. (Which I think will be pretty cool. She's already started teaching Selina to use a whip, which is certainly a skill the future Catwoman should have. And honestly, if it were up to me, the next story arc would just be called "Tabby & Cat." But of course that's not gonna happen.) Anyway... Lucius finally manages to make an antidote from Jervis's blood. Jim cures Lee and himself, and the rest of the infected Gothamites are also cured... or at least 90% of them, I guess. I think that number was mentioned, though I'm unsure whether the other 10% were immune to the cure, or just already dead from all the rioting. Also, Butch is taken to a hospital, apparently not quite dead, in spite of the hole in his head; just comatose. And somehow it is discovered that his real name is Cyrus Gold, which is a fun little hint of things to come next season, for fans who recognize the name. Also, Lee leaves town, but she has apparently forgiven Jim for everything. Also, Bruce becomes a masked vigilante, though I expect it'll be awhile yet before he starts dressing like a bat....