So when we last left the gentle citizens of Gotham, Eduardo Dorrance had revealed that he had been pulling Ed Nygma’s strings through the mine control chip Hugo Strange had lovingly placed in Ed’s noggin. He then ordered Nygma to go all Terminator on Gordon and kill him. That is how 13 Stitches begins.
Gordon is on the run with the Scarecrow like Ed on his tail. Not exactly an intimidating image. Whatever else, that chip makes Nygma pretty relentless. He ends up catching up to Gordon in an ambulance as Gordon is trying to stem the bleeding from a wound he received in his neck during the chase. For a frail looking guy, Nygma appears to be getting the upper hand until Gordon manages to grab the defibrillator paddles in the ambulance and zaps Edwards head, putting him down. Resourceful fellow that Jim Gordon.
We next find Jim and Ed in the Sirens Club as Barbara attempts to tend to Gordon’s neck wound. Ed for his part is trying to convince Jim that he was not responsible for his actions and that whatever control they had on him was ended when Gordon jump-started his cranium. Jim, on the other hand, is having a hard time trusting either of them, and with past history, it is not surprising. He doesn’t get to ponder long before Eduardo and his men make their appearance.
Jim tells Eduardo that he has evidence that Walker and him ordered Ed to kill innocent people when he took down Haven. Ed (showing he’s always thinking) pretends to still be under Eduardo’s control and approaches Jim with a large knife, winking at him, but then spins about and throws the knife unerringly into the head of one Eduardo’s men. A fire fight ensues as Barbara triggers a secret compartment, revealing two pearl-handled pistols, which she puts to good use. They are able to make their escape to a safe house and with the assistance of Lucious Fox, are able to remove the chip from Edward’s head. Just as Jim surmised, they found that they were able retrieve the data from the chip including, audio communications between the mysterious Walker and Edward’s chip telling him to destroy Haven. The trick is to get the information out.
Before this can happen, Eduardo messages Jim and tells him if he doesn’t surrender Ed (assuming that the chip is still in his head) that he will kill the long missing Lee Thompkins. She gets on the radio to prove to Jim she is there (Much to the chagrin of Barbara from the look on her face.) Eduardo tells Jim to bring Nygma to the GCPD but Jim counters by telling him to meet at what’s left of Haven, to see the destruction he caused. He agrees. Barbara warns him that there was no way Eduardo would ever let him go. Jim also realizes this but he needs to rescue Lee and he knows it is important to get the information about Haven to the mainland. He asks Bruce, who has since joined the party along with Alfred, if he has any newspaper contacts. Bruce says he does but the problem remains how to get it out. Lucious tells Jim he has a way to transmit the data, just not the antenna. Jim tells him he knows where there is an antenna big enough, the top of GCPD. They come up with a plan and Jim goes to meet with Eduardo at Haven.
But what would Gotham be without another story going on? Penguin returns home to find that someone has broken into his secret room of valuables. He goes down to find a young woman with a gothic/mime like vibe going through his things. He approaches her at gunpoint and discovers she likes to steal pretty, shiny things (gems, gold, etc.) and replace them with duplicates that explode. She uses one to almost do Oswald in as she made her escape. Not one to take such things lying down, Cobblepot seeks out Salina who is hiding out. Ever since she “killed” Jeremiah, she has become a target for any and all Gotham thugs looking to get some “Street Cred.” Oswald tells her he wants to find the thief and retrieve what she has stolen from him. Salina tells him she knows who the girl is, calling her Magpie. She agrees to help him find her IF she gets to keep the gem. He initially refuses but Salina, playing on Cobblepot’s vanity, says that he would never find Magpie without her help and then every two bit thug in Gotham would think it’s OK to steal from Penguin. He acknowledges her theory and agrees.
Back with Jim, who arrives at Haven to confront Eduardo but not before telling Bruce to execute their plan to send Ed’s data. Eduardo is standing with two of his men along with Lee. Jim tells him to let her go. Eduardo tells him he doesn’t think so since Jim didn’t bring who he was supposed to. Jim shows Eduardo the chip they removed from Ed’s head stating he knows that the chip was what they really wanted. He then breaks it and again asks him to let Lee go. Eduardo surmises that Jim most likely made a copy of the information and the breaking of the chip was just theatrics. Relying on what he knows about Eduardo, Jim then plays the psychological card. He shows Eduardo he is unarmed and wonders if the two men he brought were going to be enough. He then reminds him that he sent Ed to kill him because he didn’t want to get his hands dirty, just like when they were in the army. Eduardo contested this saying he was always first in line to go in. Jim told him his carelessness cost people their lives. This appeared to shake him as he pulled his gun and pointed it at Jim. Gordon told him to do it, put a bullet in his mouth to shut him up. It had the desired effect. Eduardo lowered his weapon, ejecting the clip and dropping it and telling Jim he didn’t need it to take care of him. He was going to shut him up once and for all.
We return to Salina and Penguin who finds Magpie. She tries to escape only to have Salina take her down. Magpie tells Salina she knows who she is. She killed Jeremiah, she is famous. “Not so scary. I could be famous,”she tells her. Salina inquired if she wanted a piece of her too. Magpie smiled
and told them to be careful because this is her workshop where she makes her “Boom-Booms.” She then throws a pocket watch at Penguin and makes a break for the door. Nothing happens, much to Oswald’s relief. Magpie tells them through the door that there are many things in the room that will go boom. So much for Oswald’s relief.
While Oswald considers his options, let’s return to Haven with Eduardo and Jim going at it Mano e Mano. The fight went back and forth with both Jim and Eduardo having their moments. Jim is starting to get the upper hand when one of the guards intervene. Eduardo told him to stop and he then told his men to take Lee away and kill her. He declares it a small mercy by not making Jim watch. Jim retrieves the gun that Eduardo had left lying on the ground amongst the rubble and shoots one of the men guarding Lee. He then dives for cover as the other man with Lee opens fire on him. Eduardo comes up behind Jim and hits him with a piece of rebar as his man leads Lee away.
Back at GCPD, Ed Nygma walks in wearing a bomb suit and carrying a brief case. They all pull their guns preparing to shoot. He tells them that they are wasting their time. The suits Kevlar armor is designed to withstand a bomb blast, bullets wouldn’t work. He proceeds to tell them he is carrying a bomb that will go off within 2 minutes unless they punch in the correct code. The answer lies in the solving of a Riddle, that he tells them. In reality, he is buying time for Bruce to go to the roof and to transmit the data from Ed’s chip. At the same time, Lucious, Alfred, and Barbara prepare to release a knock out gas he has developed into the fan exhaust system. They have to wait until Bruce has transmitted the signal and the fan’s stop and reverse so they are blowing in and not out.
Unfortunately for their plan, Harvey didn’t get the memo and he solved the riddle, much to Ed’s dismay. Eduardo’s men punched in the code and then shot Ed in spite of what he had told them about the bomb suits Kevlar armor. By the time that they realized that Ed was unharmed, Bruce had transmitted the code, but not without having to dispatch a guard who had discovered him. Once that was done Lucious released the gas just as they were prepared to shoot Ed in the head. As the gas started to take effect, he opened the case and pulled out a gas mask, donning it just in time.
Meanwhile the fight continues, with Eduardo taking the advantage a steel bar against your opponent’ s back gives you. During this time, in a segment that would make Frozone from The Incredibles proud, Dorrance goes into a monologue of what happened since Jim left the army and how the government let him down. I realize that it was probably necessary to fill in back story but it’s still kind of funny when a “villain” can’t help themselves but to monologue when they would be better served to finish the job at hand. Perhaps it was this momentary respite that allowed Jim to recover enough to knock Eduardo back and into a piece of rebar that impaled him through the chest. Thanks, Eduardo. Jim immediately took after Lee and then heard gunshots. He came up to the scene to see Lee standing over the guard with a gun in her hand.
As we return to Magpie’s lab, Penguin is stressing and Salina is chilling trying to figure out how to get out. Salina ponders why Penguin wants the gem Magpie stole back so badly. She then surmises that the gem must be worth a great deal. What else does he have stashed away? Perhaps, the gem in question is worth even more on the mainland. Thus, she deduces that Penguin is leaving Gotham. He acknowledges her detective work saying that he has done all he can there in Gotham, many of them twice. She tells him she will get them out of their predicament IF he takes her with him and they split everything 50/50. He refuses and counters with 10% and he “promises” he won’t murder her once they reach the mainland. She accepts, racing past him to the same door Magpie went through, kicking it open as Oswald expected the worst. Nothing happened. Salina explained, Magpie told them that things IN the room would explode, not the room itself. She then suggests they track down Magpie before she gets away with “their” stuff.
Back at GCPD, Jim has Lee lead to his office while Bruce tells him the data has been transferred but it will be a little while before he knows if it was received. Jim thanks him as Bruce sends Alfred to retrieve some of their things from their place. Jim and Lee talk about what has transpired and what she remembers.
Returning to Haven, Eduardo is still hanging around on the rebar (literally) as a local is sniffing around to see if Eduardo has anything of value when a shot rings out and he drops. A lone figure arrives and it is the mysterious Walker, who tells him that Edward’s data has been received by the press and soon everyone would know what happened. She assured him he would not die here. She had much more for him to do and Hugo Strange would fix him up. She places a familiar mask on his face and activates it. Bane is here. He asks about Jim and she says not to worry, there was another operative besides Ed as she presses a button on a transmitter.
We return to Jim and Lee and their talk. Jim asks Lee if she is cold and when he turns to retrieve his jacket, Lee’s eyes blank white for a second. The other operative is revealed. She grasps a letter opener and tells him it is time for him to die. He struggles with her, using his jacket to tie up her arm with the opener. As they struggle, Jim reaches for the cord on a desk lamp, rips it free and presses the bare wires against Lee’s head. Another free electrocution from Jim Gordon Electric. She collapses in his arms as he holds her.
A quick fade in to Alfred as he walks out onto the street after retrieving Bruce’s things. Alone in the streets of Gotham seems like a foolish thing, as he finds out. He hears a noise and pulls out a gun, only to be assaulted by Jeremiah who injects him with a syringe and puts him down. He says that he needed a butler, one with a military background was a plus. He had a job for Alfred Pennyworth. That can’t be good.
Speaking of not good, Penguin and Salina catch up to Magpie, who found out that Oswald had boobytrapped some of his possessions. This was much to the regret of Magpie who received a stomach of buckshot for her troubles. He told her he couldn’t let her steal anymore of his things, could he? She asked Penguin to clip her wings and set her free. He thought for a moment and decided otherwise as he shot her twice, much to the surprise of Salina. He turns to Salina and tells her that is the reminder to those who think they can steal from him. “Good to know…Partner,” Salina replies.
One last trip to the GCPD, Jim tells Harvey that Lee must also have a chip implanted and they should be wary of what possible other tricks Walker has in store for them. Lee awakens and Jim tells her he can explain what is going on, when Barbara comes in, telling Jim she needed to talk to him. He tells her this is not a good time but she carry’s on anyway, reminding him of their previous time spent together. She tells him she is pregnant, turns to leave and tells Lee it’s good to see her. Harvey, never one to be at a loss for words tells Jim, congratulations?! So we would seem to have a Batgirl on the horizon, or we would if this wasn’t the last season.
Finally, if that wasn’t enough to chew on, we return to Alfred who Jeremiah pulls a hood from. Alfred warns Jeremiah that if he harms Bruce he would bite his face off. Jeremiah laughs as only he can and tells him Bruce would be coming soon enough, but in the meantime, this place could use some “old-fashioned butlering.” But enough questions, as “today is the big day” as the camera closes in a Jeremiah’s face and then fades.
This episode had it all. Fights, twists, fights, reveals, fights, monologing, and did I say fights? Jim was a busy man on this night with at least three different battles (Not to mention that Ben McKenzie also directed this episode). He WAS a jack (or Ben) of all trades for this one. Two of his battles ended in a “shocking” manner. How fortunate for him to always have access to electrical appliances. In the end it was HIS turn to be shocked by Barbara’s pronouncement.
We also got to see the beginning of Bane, the announcement of Barbara Gordon?, the return of Lee Thompkins, an Ed Nygma Riddle, and Penguin showing why he’s…well Penguin. And in the end, we got a glimpse of Jeremiah looking more Joker than ever. I look forward to more from Cameron Monaghan.
Performer of the Night:
I give this to Shane West for a nice mix of pompous charm mixed with a measure of vulnerability about his role in the death of his compatriots. Pretty sure those doubts will be suppressed as Bane. Honorable mention to Sarah Schenkkan as Magpie. Part quirky, two parts crazy, a lot of that going around in Gotham. Too bad she was dismissed so quickly. Lesson: Don’t steal from Penguin. Special credit to Ben McKenzie for his work behind and in front of the camera.
Grade: Rock Solid A (even with the monologing…it still makes me laugh).
What did you think of 13 Stitches? Give us your opinions on it and how you think the final season of Gotham is going here at GVNation.
I am a 50 something child of the 70’s who admits to being a Star Trek/Star Wars/Comic Book junkie who once dove head first over a cliff (Ok, it was a small hill) to try to rescue his Fantastic Four comic from a watery grave. I am married to a lovely woman who is as crazy as I am and the proud parent of a 15 year old boy with autism. My wife and son are my real heroes.