Gotham Recap And Review – S02E08 – “Rise Of The Villains: Tonight’s The Night”


The eighth episode of Season 2 of Fox’s Gotham, “Tonight’s the Night”, continues the tradition of showing the GCPD’s ineptitude via some of the worst police work to ever be displayed on television.  To add insult to injury, Gotham had a chance to really go there, but stopped short of crossing the line.  This only proved that the show is too scared to take good risks — risks that could’ve given the show a different direction.

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Spoilerific Recap: Barbara walks down the aisle in her wedding gown and Jim awaits her.  Soon, the scene turns into a strange blend of Penguin acting as the priest with Arkham’s inmates attending her big day.  Waking up from this nightmare, Barbara finds a gift box addressed to her from Theo.

Overlooking the city from his penthouse, Theo divulges his plans to Tabitha.  He’s going to accelerate his takeover of Wayne Enterprises by offering Bruce what he wants the most.  He doesn’t want Jim to interfere, but doesn’t want him dead either, as this will distract Bruce from the negotiations.  Barbara emerges, telling Theo that she loves his present.  He tells her that today will be the day she gets to kill him.

Jim tries to convince Barnes that Theo is corrupt.  Barnes wants hard evidence and tells him to do the proper police work before making any sort of accusations.  Leslie agrees that Jim shouldn’t make this case personal.  Suddenly, Barbara enters GCPD and is quickly taken to an interrogation room.  As Barnes, Harvey, and Leslie watch behind a one-way mirror, Jim asks Barbara why she’s here.  She taunts him and tells him that she wants to show him something.  The interrogation is brought to a halt when Barbara’s lawyer arrives.  Jim wants to play along to see what Barbara will reveal.  Harvey thinks it’s a trap, but Barnes ultimately allows it.

In a secluded area of the woods, Edward pulls up in a car.  He takes a large trunk out — containing the dismembered body of Kristen — and wheels it deeper into the woods to bury it.

Bruce arrives at Theo’s apartment where he’s first greeted by Silver.  After Bruce has a short conversation with Silver, Theo arrives, apologizing for his tardiness.

At GCPD, a larger Unit Alpha with more recruits prepare for the operation.  Barnes tells Jim that if he sees something he doesn’t like, he’ll stop the mission.  In a side conversation, Barnes tells Harvey to be the objective one since Jim will get too emotional.

During their meeting, Theo asks Bruce about his one dream.  Bruce tells Theo that he wants to find and kill the man who murdered his parents.  Theo reveals that his own dream is to fight the corruption in Gotham.  He suggests that the two help each other in their goals.  Theo proposes a deal: have Bruce sign over the 51% stake in Wayne Enterprises, and he’ll remove the corruption and also reveal the name of the man who murdered Bruce’s parents (something Theo claims he’s investigated and looked into).  Seeing Bruce’s hesitance, Theo gives him till the end of the day to make his decision.

As Barbara gives the team directions, Jim tells her that he’s well-aware that this is a trap.  Harvey grows uncomfortable and tells Jim that they need to turn the car around.

Edward pours two glasses of wine — hoping to also have a final meal with his love — and makes a speech to the departed Kristen over his freshly dug hole.  A hunter surprises Edward which leads to the hunter seeing a bit too much.  To prevent a future witness, Edward nonchalantly kills him with a shovel to the head.

As Unit Alpha and Jim drive down a secluded road, Barnes radios them and calls off the operation.  Both Jim and Harvey ignore Barnes’s orders.  Jim and his team are soon T-boned by a big-rig.  A shootout ensues with Barbara escaping and Jim being drugged and kidnapped.

Back at GCPD, Barnes orders a 20-mile perimeter block.  Harvey offers his help, but an angered Barnes dismisses him.

Edward is about to dismember the hunter’s dead body when he discovers that the food he brought is now missing.  He tracks a blood trail deeper into the woods.

In the cave, Bruce asks Alfred to be candid with him on how long his training will take.  Alfred tells Bruce that it would be years.  Bruce is unsatisfied with his progress because in the meantime, innocent people will still be hurt.  Bruce finally reveals Theo’s deal to Alfred, who thinks that the deal itself is a form of extortion.  Bruce thinks that it’s his moral duty to fix his parents’ legacy.  Alfred reassure Bruce that his parents’ is not Wayne Enterprises, but Bruce himself.

Jim, tied up, comes to consciousness and sees Barbara in her wedding dress.  She arms herself with a shotgun and waves it at the other hostages — a priest and churchgoers in their pews.  After taunting Jim, Barbara reveals that she’s also captured Leslie, who is quickly wheeled out by Tabitha.

Listening to the interrogation recording, Harvey deduces that Barbara took Jim to Gotham Cathedral.  He notifies Barnes of his findings, and the team mobilizes.

Barbara continues to taunt Jim and Leslie on their honesty to each other.  When Jim turns the tables on the questioning, Barbara reveals that Mayor James is still alive and hidden away in a stash house at the China docks.  Barbara finally takes out a knife and puts it to Leslie’s throat.  Seeing that Jim is about to free himself, Leslie distracts Barbara to buy him more time.  Jim breaks free and grabs the shotgun.  As the sounds of sirens approach, Barbara dares Jim to kill her.  Tabitha and her henchmen enter, but Jim is able to hold them off.  When Unit Alpha arrives, Jim goes after a fleeing Barbara.

Jim corners Barbara in the church’s attic.  Seeing no way out, Barbara lunges at him, but is thrown through a window.  Jim is able to grab her hand and prevent her fall.  Barbara says some departing words and willingly lets go.  However, her suicide attempt is a failure which leaves her in critical condition.  Outside, Jim reveals the location of Mayor James to Barnes.

At the China docks, Jim and Unit Alpha find Mayor James, still wearing the box on his head (a type of torture device first seen in “Rise of the Villains: Knock, Knock“).  When they free him, he reveals the identity of his captor.

At Theo’s penthouse, Bruce put’s pen to paper, about to sign the documents that will give Theo control of Wayne Enterprises.  As Jim and the GCPD enter, Theo adeptly throws the file containing the identity of the man who murdered the Waynes into the fire.  Jim quickly arrests Theo for the kidnapping and torture of Mayor James.

Back in the woods, Edward finds a lone trailer with the lights on inside.  As he approaches the door, he’s knocked to the ground by an exiting Penguin.  Armed with a metal rod, the Penguin is too injured and weak (from being shot by Tabitha in “Rise of the Villains: Mommy’s Little Monster“) to defend himself.  He pleads to Edward for help before collapsing.

Next: Catch up on Gotham with a Recap of 'Mommy's Little Monster'

Best Moment: When Bruce consults with Alfred on selling Wayne Enterprises for the purposes of finding the man who murdered his parents.  This is the one scene that made the episode watchable.  It’s amazing how the simplest things are the most important for a show such as this.

Final Thoughts: It’s no wonder that criminals run rampant in Gotham City.  The police force is completely disorganized and takes no precautions whatsoever.  Since Jim and the rest of Unit Alpha know that Barbara was baiting them for a trap, they didn’t even think of using air support?  Seems a bit ridiculous don’t you think?

And let’s talk about what the writers didn’t have the stomach to do tonight: kill off Barbara Kean.  I still can’t believe that they had her fall, but had a deus ex machina life-saving bush break her plummet.  Talk about a boring episode.  If Gotham wants to go ridiculous and off-the-rails, they should do it with no shame.