Gotham Recap And Review – S01E20 – Under The Knife


This week on Gotham, James Gordon and Harvey Bullock continue their pursuit of Jason Lennon, a.k.a. The Ogre, in the show’s twentieth episode, Under the Knife.  The title of this installment can definitely be applied to multiple plot lines occurring tonight.  With various characters’ lives spinning a bit out of control, Gotham may end its first season as crazy as ever.

Spoilerific Recap

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Bruce Wayne confronts Selina Kyle about killing Reggie.  He tells her that Bunderslaw will be coming after them and that they’ll need to stop him first.  Bruce suggests breaking into a safe in Bunderslaw’s office.  Selina agrees to help Bruce if he’s is able to get her close to Bunderslaw.

A concerned James Gordon finds out from Edward Nygma that Leslie Thompkins has gone home.  In Leslie’s apartment, she’s startled by noise while taking a bath.  She soon discovers that it’s a stray cat.  Moments later, she’s startled by Gordon.  He soon tells her about Jason Lennon’s modus operandi in killing the loved ones of cops who go after him.  Gordon wants Leslie to leave for her own safety, but she’s adamant in staying and tells him to go after Jason.

At a bar, Jason has scoped out his latest victim — Barbara Kean.  She brings him home where he inquires about her boyfriend.  With her back turned, he draws his knife.  Barbara gives a pathetic story of having no one in her life.  Jason quickly hides the knife and changes his mind about killing her.  Because his assumptions about her are wrong, Barbara piques his interest.

Oswald Cobblepot meets with a hitman to take out Sal Maroni and his crew.  The hitman initially refuses, but becomes interested by the prospect of winning more contracts if he kills Maroni for Carmine Falcone.

Gordon and Harvey Bullock meet with a detective who was the first to investigate Jason.  The detective later stopped the investigation when Jason killed his wife.  As Gordon and Bullock presses the detective for his help, the detective relents and give them information about the first victim — Julie Kimble, a nurse at a private cosmetic clinic.  When Gordon and Bullock exit GCPD, Jason is seen surveying them from a distance.

Nygma walks in on Ms. Kringle and Officer Dougherty.  When Dougherty leaves, Nygma finds bruises on Kringle’s wrists.  She blames herself, saying that she said the wrong things to Dougherty.

At Wayne Manor, Bruce tells Aflred that he intends to attend the Wayne Charity Ball.  When Alfred is adamant in accompanying Bruce for his safety, Bruce reveals that he’ll be going with Selina.  He has Alfred send over a dress and shoes to Selina’s residence.

At the cosmetic clinic, Gordon and Bullock question the owner — Dr. Cushman.  Cushman reveals that Julie, the first victim, was recommended by a patient.  Cushman refuses to give the patient’s name out due to confidentiality, and has Gordon get a warrant first.

Exiting the clinic, Gordon and Bullock find Jason staring at them in his car.  They can’t see his face due to low light.  As they approach him, he attempts to run them over.

Back at GCPD, Jason calls Gordon to threaten him.  He warns Gordon that if continues to pursue him, he will kill someone he loves.  Hanging up, Gordon purposely holds a press conference in defiance of Jason’s warnings.  Gordon vows to catch Jason.

At Barbara’s apartment, boxes of clothes and shoes arrive for Selina.  She becomes overwhelmed by the selection, and Barbara jumps in to help her.

Bullock learns that the patient who recommended Julie is a woman by the name of Constance Van Groot, a wealthy socialite.

At the club, Oswald finds his mother, Gertrud, being charmed by Maroni.  Maroni forces Oswald to sit with them.

Bruce arrives at Barbara’s apartment to pick up Selina.  Stunned by her in a dress, Bruce performs an awkward greeting before they go on their way.

Gordon and Bullock arrive at the Van Groot mansion only to find the butler, Jacob Skolimski attempting to hang himself.  After cutting him down, Bullock goes off to look for Constance.  Gordon discovers pictures of a boy where the images of the face are scratched off.  Upstairs Bullock finds the corpse of Constance, having decayed for years.  In a conversation with Sarah Essen, Bullock believes that Jason Lennon is actually the son of Skolimski, not Van Groot.

Bruce again presses Selina on why she killed Reggie.  Bruce states that he would never cross that line.  She tells Bruce that she would do it again without thinking twice.  Spotting Bunderslaw, the two approach him.

Nygma confronts Dougherty about his abusive nature.  Dougherty only insults and attempts to intimidate Nygma.

Barbara arrives at the ball and is approached by Jason.

At GCPD, Gordon and Bullock question Skolimski.  It’s revealed that Constance treated Jason like a son.  After a while, Jason started to think that he was also a Van Groot.  When he approached Constance to include him in his will, she rejected him and claimed that she used him for her own amusement.  An angered, Jason kills her.  Skolimski covered up the crime for Jason, but, today, doesn’t know where Jason is.  When Gordon accuses Jason of seducing and killing women, Skolimski laughs and shows them a picture of his disfigured son.

Gordon takes Skolimski’s picture back to Dr. Cushman and asks him if he operated on Jason.  Confirming that he did, Cushman provides a sketch of what Jason looked like ten years ago right after his cosmetic surgery.

At the club, Maroni continues his charming of Gertrud.  The conversation suddenly turns hostile when Maroni tells Gertrud that Oswald is a murderer.  He finally overwhelms her with accusations and she faints.

Nygma stakes out Kringle’s apartment from across the street.

At the ball, Jason continues his seduction of Barbara by playing to her sympathetic side.  He entices her by allowing her a chance to change herself.

Bruce has a brief conversation with Bunderslaw to distract him.  Selina quickly pickpockets Bunderslaw and makes a mold of his key.

When a drunk Dougherty approaches Kringle’s apartment, Nygma confronts him.  Dougherty sucker punches Nygma in the stomach.  When Nygma stands, he stabs Dougherty in the stomach multiple times, killing him.

Back at Gertrud’s apartment, she confront’s Oswald and wants him to come clean to her.  Oswald reassures his mother that he’s just a nightclub owner.  As Gertrud retires to bed, Oswald answers the door and finds a florist delivering a vase full of flowers from Maroni.  Oswald throws the vase on the ground.  Wanting to give Maroni a personal message, Oswald picks up a piece of broken glass and slits the throat of the florist.  When Gertrud calls out to him, Oswald feigns taking out the garbage while he drags the florist’s body away.

Going over the call he received from Jason, Gordon discovers that Jason repeated a newspaper headline that had Gordon’s picture.  However, there was someone standing beside Gordon.  He rushes out of GCPD.

Gordon arrives at Barbara’s apartment and Selina answers the door.  Selina tells Gordon that she saw Barbara leave with a guy.  He shows her the sketch and she confirms the resemblance.

At Jason’s home, Barbara inquires about a hidden room.  Jason invites her to explore it.  Barbara enters to a display of torture devices, and her reaction is of awe and contentment.

Good Moments

  • Alfred purposely making Bruce uncomfortable about taking Selina to the ball.
  • Bruce and Selina working together to get Bunderslaw’s key.
  • Edward Nygma stabbing the abusive Dougherty.

Bat Signals (References and Giveaways)

  • The unnamed hitman who Oswald tries to employ to get rid of Maroni could be DC character Tommy Monaghan.
  • Gordon requests a judge by the name of Harkness to issue a warrant for Dr. Cushman.  Could this judge be related to Digger Harkness, a.k.a. Captain Boomerang?
  • Edward Nygma’s car is green — the signature color of The Riddler.

Riddle Me This … (Predicting the Past)

  • It seems that The Riddler’s turn to crime isn’t so much from the rejection of a girl, but from his own sense of justice.  Even though a girl is involved, her rejection isn’t something that drove him down the road of villainy.
  • Could Bruce’s “no killing” rule be something that was developed over time?  Tonight’s episode had him stating that he would never cross that line.
  • It seems The Ogre’s history has been flipped upside down.  Instead of starting out with a normal visage and becoming horrifying, Jason starts out disfigured and becomes handsome.  Could there be an accident waiting to happen where he’s disfigured again?

Final Thoughts

Only two more episodes left until Gotham says goodbye for the summer.  It seems that Barbara’s purpose in the last few episodes is being a damsel in distress.  However, the smile on her final scene inside Jason’s torture room seems to point to something else.  This is certainly a strange new interpretation of Barbara’s character.

Gone for a large chunk of this season’s episodes after she left Gordon, Barbara is brought back into Gotham City’s craziness by becoming Jason’s next intended target.  But it moreso seems like he’s interested in her not as a victim, but as an accomplice — and she appears to have that desire.  Gotham is sounding more and more like some Elseworlds story.

On the Bruce and Selina plotline, it seems that the whole purpose of this episode was not to make real progress on their Bunderslaw (we finally found out how this guy’s name is spelled) investigation, but to compare their philosophies in regards to killing.  The dialogue that launches into these debates between the two was also a bit forced.  They could’ve found some better ways of introducing those ideas.

The overall episode, like always, jumped around between plots, with the investigation part being the most uncompelling.  I’m still questioning what Leslie’s responsibility was when Gordon held a press conference about Jason.  Perhaps we’ll find out in the next episode.

Next: Catch up on Gotham with a recap and review of Beasts of Prey

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