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Gotham, FOX, Thursdays 8pm
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Caution: Spoilers!

Season 4: A Dark Knight
Okay, so... Penguin is in control of Gotham's underworld, and he's established something called the "Pax Penguina," issuing licenses to commit crime. Police are required to leave licensed criminals alone, though they can still arrest criminals without licenses from Penguin. Of course, Jim has no intention of honoring the licenses. (Nor does Bruce, doing his vigilante thing.) There's also a new detective in the GCPD named Vanessa Harper, who often works with Jim. And Gotham has a new mayor, named Burke, as well as a new commissioner (who is as yet unnamed). Also, the villain "Scarecrow" officially gets his start this season (having previously been introduced in season one, before assuming that name). Barbara returns from the dead, and opens a weapons shop for criminals. She invites Tabitha and Selina to become her business partners, which they do, despite some reservations. As Penguin gains ever greater influence over the GCPD, Jim seeks help against him from Falcone, who declines. However, his daughter, Sofia, goes to Gotham (against her father's wishes), and offers her help to Jim. She begins getting close to Penguin, as part of a long-con to bring him down. He never particularly trusts her, but he tolerates her. Also, she opens an orphanage, where Penguin meets a boy named Martin, who doesn't speak. Penguin begins to see Martin as something of a protege, and comes to genuinely care about him. Um... Lucius Fox makes a suit for Bruce to wear when fighting crime (still not a Batsuit, though). Also, Ed is stolen from the Iceberg Lounge by a woman named Myrtle Jenkins, who is a fan of his, I guess. She defrosts him, but the effects of having been frozen have left him not quite as smart as he used to be. Later, Penguin has Myrtle killed.

Eventually it turns out that Barbara had been revived by Ra's, and has been working for him. Ra's wants to acquire a very important knife, which Bruce obtains instead. Bruce takes it to an antiques specialist named Niles Winthrop, hoping to learn more about it. Ra's kills Winthrop, and later takes his grandson, Alex, hostage, demanding Bruce give him the knife. Bruce refuses, so Ra's kills Alex, for which Bruce will blame himself for quite awhile after that. Ra's is arrested, though that's part of his plan. He later applies for diplomatic immunity, and Bruce decides to kill him rather than let him go free. Which means he now has two deaths on his hands, and it all takes a great emotional toll on him.

Meanwhile, Butch's body is dumped into a swamp outside Indian Hill, and he revives with no memory and not much of a mind at all, but much stronger than he was. He soon takes on the name Solomon Grundy. Later, he meets Ed, who convinces them that they're old friends. Ed takes him to an underworld fight club (in a district of Gotham called the Narrows), using him to make money. It turns out Lee is back in Gotham, and working as a medic at the club. She agrees to try to find a way to restore Ed's former intellect. Also, a man called Professor Pyg (who wears a pig mask) begins killing cops who work for Penguin. That leads to both the GCPD and Penguin's gang trying to stop Pyg. Ultimately, Bullock makes a tragic error, and Jim saves the day, which leads to Jim replacing Bullock as captain of the GCPD. So he finally has the power to put an end to the Pax Penguina, and clean up the department. Later, Penguin sends Barbara, Tabitha, and Selina to the fight club to kill Ed, after learning that he has become successful (and does a mocking impression of Penguin for the crowds). They fail to kill Ed, but Barbara does kill Cherry, the woman who ran the fight club, after which Lee takes over the business. Also, Tabitha is shocked to find that Butch is alive, and wants to restore his memory. Eventually, Jim arrests Pyg and sends him to Arkham, and subsequently learns his true identity, Lazlo Valentin. But he later breaks out of Akrham. Lee eventually realizes the effects Ed's being frozen have worn off without her needing to do anything. When she tells Ed this, he soon begins having hallucinations of his alter-ego, trying to tempt him to become the Riddler again. (His alter-ego also tells him that Ed is in love with Lee.)

Penguin eventually learns that Sofia has been associating with Jim, which destroys whatever shred of trust he had for her. Sofia wants to use the GCPD, under Jim's leadership, to go to war against Penguin's gang, but Jim isn't interested. Sofia then uses Martin as leverage against Penguin, but Penguin and Zsasz fake Martin's death, to trick Sofia into thinking Penguin can't be controlled by threatening the boy's life. Meanwhile, Tabitha kidnaps and tortures "Grundy," in the hopes of restoring his memory. She eventually gives up, but later, when he's alone, Butch wakes up and remembers who he is. Also meanwhile, Bruce has become a party boy, hanging out with a group of teenagers, drinking, throwing his money around, and generally being an asshole in his attempts to rid himself of the pain of what he'd done to Ra's, and what he'd let Ra's do to Alex. This all leads to conflict with Alfred, whom Bruce finally fires. And at the end of the first half of the season, Falcone comes to Gotham to take Sofia home, after Penguin had informed him of all she's been up to. But then there's a drive-by shooting that kills Falcone and wounds Sofia. There are rumors that Penguin was behind Falcone's murder, which obviously isn't true. But it does seem like at least Zsasz believed the rumors, so he turns against Penguin, and now works for Sofia Falcone. (Of course, she was the one who had her father killed, so she better hope Zsasz never figures that out.) In any event, there's no proof connecting Penguin to Carmine Falcone's death, but he ends up being arrested for Martin's murder, and Zsasz lies to the police about their having only faked his death. So, Penguin is sent to Arkham... where he meets Jerome Valeska, looking and sounding more Joker-ish than ever. Meanwhile, Sofia assumes control of Penguin's gang, and gives the Iceberg Lounge to Barbara, Tabitha, and Selina. (I guess it's the same place that they used to own, as "The Sirens.") And it turns out that Sofia had been behind Professor Pyg's actions all along, as part of her larger plans for Gotham. She then kills Pyg, but basically forces Jim to take credit for it, to reinforce his status as a "hero," so that she can control him. (Which I don't expect he'll let happen for long, but we'll see.) Also, Bullock quits his job at the GCPD, rather than accepting demotion back to detective.

Well, as always, I'm sure I've said things very much out of order. And I've left out some details. But you can probably tell it's shaping up as a fun season. I look forward to the back half.

So, way back in the second episode of the season, something happened that I had completely forgotten about. Ivy stole some potions and drank them, then started to mutate. She's not seen again until episode 12, when the show returns from a nearly three-month hiatus (which began more than two months after we last saw Ivy). Now, some teenagers break into the abandoned store Ivy had robbed, and find a weird plant cocoon thing, from which Ivy emerges. (She's now played by Peyton List, the third actress to portray her in this series.) Aside from a new appearance, she also seems to have a new mind and personality (presumably a bit more mature than her first two incarnations, but also less sane). At first she seems to have little memory of her past self, but over the course of the episode, memories return, even if she still seems to think of herself as a different person than who she was before. And she has new plant powers, like the Poison Ivy from the comics. So it should be interesting to see how her story develops.

Meanwhile, Lee gives a speech to various members of the Narrows community, trying to convince them to work together instead of against each other, as they always have in the past. During her speech, someone tries (and fails) to kill her with a bomb attached to a toy plane. Jim and Lucius investigate, and find that the man responsible is a toymaker named Griffin Krank, who had been hired to kill Lee. Jim's investigation of the explosion leads to his finally learning that Lee has returned to Gotham. Ed is eager to find out who tried to kill Lee, and eventually learns that it was the Riddler who had hired Krank, which is deeply disturbing. Meanwhile, Barbara, Tabitha, and Selina reopen The Sirens (which they even announce with a very amusing commercial; I love how deadpan Selina is). Also, Bullock is now working as a bartender (I think at the same bar where he was briefly employed in season two). And I guess Alfred is now living in the Narrows. (I find it hard to believe he doesn't have enough savings to live somewhere better, even without a job, but maybe he has his reasons. Time will tell.)

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