Gotham Recap And Review – S02E05 – “Rise Of The Villains: Scarification”


The fifth episode of Season 2 of Fox’s Gotham, “Scarification”, introduces a religious order that is part of Batman’s more modern myths (past 23 years).  Again, like all episodes, the concept was badly executed and also further destroyed the myth of the Dark Knight.  The overall plot was also quite messy and didn’t really converge to anything compelling.

Spoilerific Recap: Penguin has a meeting with Theo.  As Penguin makes a futile attempt to be make the meeting be as friendly as possible — for the purposes of freeing his mother — Theo stonewalls him at every turn.  A frustrated Penguin then leaves.  When Theo and Tabitha are finally alone, Theo opens a trunk — revealing a captive Bunderslaw.  Theo knows that Bunderslaw is the keeper of secrets at Wayne Enterprises.  He then has Tabitha cut a body part off of Bunderslaw.

Unit Alpha raids one of Penguin’s operations and nets $2 million.  In a conversation with Barnes, Jim learns that the heavy weaponry now used by criminals is being purchased at a place known as the Merc.

At his base, Penguin goes over ideas with Butch on how to get his mother back.  Butch suggests taking Theo’s sister, but Penguin thinks that Theo doesn’t love his sister as much as how he loves his mother.  A messenger then enters and gives Penguin the news of the raid.  An already angry Penguin brutally beats the messenger.

At GCPD, Nygma approches Jim and Leslie and suggests double-dating.  Though Jim is reluctant, Leslie thinks it’s a great idea and invites them over for fondue.  Theo finds Jim and divulges to him on what’s been pressing on his mind — feigning that since the night of the gala, he’s had a hard time accepting that he took a life.  Jim reassures him that he did the right thing.  Theo goes on to ask Jim to endorse him for mayor.  Jim is hesitant and doesn’t want to get involved in politics.

Tabitha visits Penguin at his base and briefly taunts him about the raid.  She tells him that she has a job for him which involves arson, and hands him a silver box.  Later, Butch visits Selina at her makeshift home.  He wants her to take him to the Pike brothers — known arsonists — and vouch for him.  Selina agrees to do it after the two haggle over the price for her services.

Arriving at the Pike brothers’ residence, they’re greeted at the door by their mousy sister, Bridget.  She lets them in and Selina introduces Butch to the brothers.  When they agree to do it, Butch hands one of them the requirements which are scrawled on a napkin.  Throughout this meeting, the brothers’ blatant abuse of Bridget is seen.  Bridget later cries in an alleyway where Selina attempts to comfort her.

At the Merc, one of the Pike brothers, Evan, shops for explosives.  Unit Alpha suddenly raids the place and Evan makes a run for it.  Jim and Barnes pursue him and corner him at a fence.  As Evan opens fire, Jim and Barnes return their own.  Evan is shot to death, but the shootout also ignites the explosives he was carrying, causing them to detonate.

Leslie, Nygma, and Kristen have already started to dine without the presence of Jim.  Nygma is uncharacteristically charming and normal.  When Jim finally arrives, Nygma proposes a toast, in the form of a riddle, in his honor.

Because of the death of Evan, the two remaining Pike brothers now need another member with a small stature.  They try to get Bridget to do it, but she refuses.  After the brothers threaten to force her into prostitution, she reluctantly agrees to help.

Back at Leslie’s, the dinner is over and Jim tells her about his impromptu meeting with Theo.  Leslie thinks that Jim should feel proud that Theo asked for his endorsement.  She thinks that Jim is well-respected and that’s why people look up to him.

At one of their target locations, Bridget wires an explosive while one of the Pike brothers, Joe, talks her through it.  As she arms it, Joe tells her that she needs to go to a safe and retrieve an item.  When she gets there, she takes out the silver box and opens it — revealing an eyeball.  Using the retinal scanner, she scans the eyeball and it’s identified as Bunderslaw’s.  As the safe opens, Joe tells her to grab an old dagger.  Bridget then makes a run for it and jumps into a vent as the explosives detonate, barely making it out.

The next day, Barnes reports to Unit Alpha that five locations were hit.  Garrett notes that thermite was used.  Jim identifies that as a characteristic of professionals.

At her apartment, Bridget starts to construct a fireproof suit.  She’s visited by Selina who’s there to pick up the stolen knife and bring it to Penguin.  Selina, concerned, tells Bridget to be careful.  Selina goes on to tell Bridget that there is no need for a family.  However, Bridget recollects how, when they were younger, Selina longed for her mother and would cry.  The two then get into an argument with Selina leaving and stating that Bridget is nothing, but a slave to her brothers.

Inspecting the Wayne family crest emblazoned on the knife, Penguin wonders why Galavan is so keen on having an antique that was owned by the Waynes.  Butch tells Penguin to speak to an old woman named Edwige.  Penguin visits Edwige, who shows fear the moment she sees the knife.  After being pressed for information, she tells him about a centuries-old feud.

Almost 200 years ago, the knife was used in a terrible crime.  Back then, there were five families who ruled Gotham high society: the Elliotts, the Canes, the Crowns, the Dumas, and the Waynes — the most powerful of them all.  Celestine Wayne, one of the most sought after debutantes, was promised to one of the Elliotts, but she was in love with Caleb Dumas.  One night, the Wayne men found her with Dumas.  Afraid of what people would think, Celestine lied and told them that Caleb forced himself onto her.  Celestine’s brother, Jonathan Wayne, then used the knife to sever Caleb’s hand.  The Waynes then banished the Dumas and took over everything.  Caleb later went into exile overseas and was taken in by a religious sect that was founded by his family’s patron saint.  The Waynes forbid the press from mentioning anything about the Dumas and went as far as deleting the family’s existence from Gotham history.  The remaining Dumas later changed their name to Galavan.

Jim finally finds a pattern and discovers that the arsonists have hit buildings that were owned by Wayne Enterprises.  Jim hypothesizes that the next building to be hit will be the Gotham Book Depository.

Back at Penguin’s base, Butch informs Penguin that he sent the knife to Galavan.  Due to the original raid that netted $2 million, Penguin continues to have his suspicions that someone in his organization is a traitor.  His conversation seems to point to Butch as being the disloyal one.  An idea then hits Penguin: because Theo is in a blood feud, he believes that Theo can be manipulated.  Penguin wants Butch to go to Theo and tell him that he thinks Penguin is going insane.  Once Butch is in Theo’s organization, he can find Gertrud.  Penguin believes that they can sell this idea to Theo by doing something that’ll make Theo trust Butch.  In one swift brutal move, Penguin grabs a butcher knife from under the table and cuts off Butch’s hand.

Jim and Harvey are on their stakeout.  Unknown to them, Selina is watching from one of the fire escapes.  The brothers pull up in a van and Bridget exits, dressed in her new fireproof gear.  As Jim and Harvey exit the car and approach Bridget, the brothers race away.  She fires her flamethrower, but Garrett attempts to tackle her.  As a struggle ensues, Garrett is set on fire.  Jim is able to put it out, but Bridget escapes with the help of Selina.

At GCPD, Barnes gives Unit Alpha the bad news that Garrett has succumbed to his injuries.  As Theo visits GCPD to give his condolences, a determined Jim approaches him and proposes a deal — Jim will endorse Theo if Theo will do everything in his power to give him what he needs to fight this new breed of criminal.  Theo vows to Jim that he will do whatever he can.

Later that night, Theo is visited by a cloaked and hooded figure.  It’s revealed to be a man named Father Creel — a priest from the family’s religious sect.  As Theo present Creel with the knife, Creel tells Theo that the day of redemption is coming — Gotham will be redeemed in blood and Bruce Wayne will die.

Best Moment: The shootout at the Merc where Evan Pike is blown to smithereens.  I have no idea why I laughed at this part.  It looked completely ridiculous, as if it came out of some Tarantino film.  Hey, I need to find the silver-lining somehow.

Final Thoughts: I guess the writers aren’t just rewriting characters in the present.  They seem to also enjoy rewriting characters from the past.  Since when did the Wayne family become evil?  Cutting people’s hands off in some strange twisted Romeo and Juliet-like tale?  These are not the Waynes I know.  Throughout the comics, the Waynes have always been philanthropic and on the side of justice and ethics.  This is really getting to be too much.

The introduction of the Order of St. Dumas could’ve also been handled a bit more gracefully.  What viewer didn’t see this from a mile away?  Besides, the introduction of the religious sect is also too soon.  If they’re going to do this, they better be prepared to have an Azrael storyline.  And you can’t have an Azrael storyline without Batman.  Oh wait, Batman doesn’t even exist yet because HE’S STILL A CHILD!  This show (sorry for a pun that’s due to the liberal lopping off of body parts in tonight’s episode) is totally getting butchered.

Next: Catch up on Gotham with a review of 'Strike Force'

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