Gotham Review S04E05 ‘The Blade’s Path’

Solomon Grundy,
Born on a Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Grew worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday.
That was the end,
Of Solomon Grundy.

Hello Gothamites, ready for another dive into the crazy city that is Gotham? The first scene of this episode is of Butch, apparently, he has been in a coma for about 6 months. Ever since Barbara put a bullet in the middle of his brain. The hospital has decided that all hope is gone for him and that they need the space he is taking up. So he gets dumped in the ‘Slaughter Swamp’ just outside of Gotham. What the hospital guys don’t notice (and we do) is that there is an old barrel from Indian Hill half laying into the water, and assumingly leaking some mysterious things into the water. Anything to do with Indian Hill never promises anything good.

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Back at the GCPD, Gordon is worried that Raz al Ghul won’t get a trial for killing Alex since he is the minister of a foreign country and can apply for immunity. Gordon walks into Bullock’s office to discuss it, but he is busy signing release paper for all the baddies Gordon arrested since they all possess a license from Penguin. Gordon gets pissed, but Bullock tries to tell him that it is simply his job to take orders from the commissioner and that he doesn’t have much of a choice.

In the Wayne Manor, Bruce is still obsessed with the knife. He has been studying the knife for days and hasn’t had a night’s sleep for a couple of nights. Bruce still believes that Alex’s death is his fault and that he should do all he can to plan revenge on Raz al Ghul. When Alfred walks in pissed to tell him off, Bruce says that he has discovered something. Apparently, the knife is intended for the one bathed in the healing waters. So together with Alfred, Bruce comes up with the idea that this knife is the only thing capable of killing Raz al Ghul. According to the notes that Alex´s grandfather left, there is some prophecy linked to the knife and Bruce starts to think it applies to him. But that means that Bruce has to kill Raz al Ghul, but he made a promise to Alfred to never take someone else’s life. Alfred locks away the knife and hopes Bruce will forget about it. A little later, Bruce and Alfred are at Alex´s memorial to pay their respect. Gordon shows up and wants to have a private talk with Alfred. Gordon tells him that Raz al Ghul will most likely be released somewhere that week and that Gordon has no way of stopping that. Alfred is not happy with him, but they both agree that it is better for Bruce if he doesn´t know. But, what Gordon and Alfred don´t know is that Bruce is listening in and he knows it already.

Talking about Raz al Ghul, he is locked in a glass square cell somewhere in Blackgate Penitentiary. With the help of a lighter and a lipstick, she can fabricate a gun and wants to break Raz al Ghul out of his cell. But Raz al Ghul doesn’t want to know anything about it. He just wants to say goodbye to Barbara, because he knows he is leaving soon. Barbara is becoming pissed because Raz al Ghul promised her great things ever since he bathed her in the Lazarus Pit. Raz al Ghul makes her put her hand on the glass of his cell, he does the same and he transfers something between their hands.

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Back at the swamp, Butch is slowly awakening. He looks quite different from how we know him. He has white hair and his veins show an unhealthy green colour. He looks disoriented and has no idea who he is or where he is. Near the swamp, some drunken guys have their camp set up and having a good time. Butch shows up and has a fight with the three guys, but due to his strength Butch wins and kills two of them. The third one runs off. When he is getting dressed in the guy’s clothes a music player is playing a song called Solomon Grundy. This is a poem and traditional nursery rhyme dating back to the 19th century England telling the story of Solomon Grundy, a man who, metaphorically, lives and dies his entire life in one single week. Born on Monday, each day of the week he is growing older facing a different stage of his life, and his life ends on Saturday. Because Butch hears that song and can’t remember his own name, he now thinks that his name is Solomon Grundy.

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Back in Gotham, Penguin has a meeting with Mr Penn about the licenses. He is shocked to hear that 14% of the criminals are still operating without a license, however, Mr Penn thinks it is a very reasonable number. As if it was coincidence, Sofia Falcone decides to show up at that time. She tells Penguin that he might think he has everything, but he is still missing one very important thing: the Falcone name. She offers to go on a public lunch with him. This will show that Penguin has the support of one of the old families and can help him get the remaining 14% of the criminals under his wings.

After Nygma’s mind tricks with Penguin last episode, Nygma is still trying to fix his brain. He knows that the riddles he made for Penguin were by far nothing compared with what he could do before being on ice. He breaks into a pharmacy to find some kind of remedy to reverse his symptoms and improve his brain function. After tying up the pharmacist he threatens the pharmacist to help him. The pharmacist tells him that there is a child’s drug that supplely boosts your natural cognitive abilities. They are blue pills called Smartivia and lay in the far end corner of the cabinet. As Nygma is searching for them, the pharmacist stabs a pin in Nygma’s hand and picks up the gun Nygma has dropped. The gun turns out to be fake and the pharmacist runs away to call the cops. In the meantime, Nygma frees himself and escapes. As he is trying to get away, Solomon Grundy shows up, knocks Nygma out and takes him with him.

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Later that night, Bruce enters his study, retrieves the knife and leaves his house. But he was not careful enough, as Alfred discovers that he is gone and goes to the GCPD (a.k.a. Gordon) to tell him that Bruce is gone. Their concerns are justified, because as they expect Bruce is going to Blackgate to kill Raz al Ghul before he gets released. Gordon and Alfred go to Blackgate as soon as possible. Bruce is already inside of Blackgate and skipped past security. He takes a look at the security camera’s before entering Raz al Ghul’s cell, but just as he walks away he doesn’t notice that the monitors jump to static. Bruce Raz al Ghul’s glass cell where he is deeply asleep. Bruce retrieves the knife and wants to kill him, but he stops himself realizing he can’t take someone else’s life. He backs off and walks away, but doesn’t notice that behind him, Raz al Ghul wakes and stands up. Raz al Ghul calls Bruce a weak and foolish boy for not being able to kill him. Raz al Ghul hits Bruce and nearly strangles him before pushing him heavily out of the cell. Prison guards show up and Bruce thinks they are there to help him, but it turns out that the guards are under Raz al Ghul’s payroll and capture Bruce. Some moments later, he wakes up in a basement beneath Blackgate. Raz al Ghul shows up with the knife and at that moment Bruce realizes that Raz al Ghul wanted Bruce to know that he applied for diplomatic immunity, so Bruce would show up with the knife. Raz al Ghul tells that while he was in the Lazarus Pit, he saw a vision of Bruce, who he calls ‘his heir’. According to Raz al Ghul, this means that Bruce is the only one who can end Raz al Ghul’s suffering by killing him with the knife.

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Nygma wakes up in an alley, with Grundy close by. Grundy took Nygma because of his reaction towards him. Nygma of course first thought that it was Butch, so Grundy asks Nygma if he knows him. Nygma now tells him he doesn’t know him, only to get away, but Grundy only wants to be friends and find out more about himself. Nygma tells him that he can’t help him since he doesn’t know who he is himself. He does notice however that Grundy’s hand has magically grown back when Grundy retrieves a stolen hotdog cart and offers Nygma one. They eat the hotdogs together. Afterwards, Nygma still wants to get away, but Grundy still won’t let him. The guy from the swamp who ran off shows up in the alley with his friends planning to punish Grundy for what he did to his friends. But Grundy is stronger and beats them all up. The last guy, however, shows up with a torch and Grundy’s arm catches fire. Nygma uses water to stop the flames and this makes Grundy hug him and see him even more as a friend.

Sofia Falcone goes to a restaurant from an old family friend, because she wants to have her public lunch with Penguin at this restaurant and make it a lunch he’ll never forget. Somewhat later, Penguin arrives at the restaurant where Sofia is already sitting at what she calls ‘the best table in the house’. Since Penguins mother is Hungarian she wants him to have a taste of home. Penguin lets his bodyguard taste the food first since he is worried for being poisoned. They start with a chicken paprika dish which Penguin doesn’t like that much. He and Sofia quickly move on to the next dish: goulash. Penguin doubts it is as good as his mother’s goulash since that one is made from a recipe handed down through his family for over 300 years. Again, he lets his bodyguard taste it first. He takes a couple of bites but then leaves almost immediately, because it is apparently too good. When he is gone we learn that Sofia hunted down his mother’s recipe to create an exact match. When Penguin is back at his club, Sofia shows up to apologize. She wanted to do something nice for him, but he thinks she is ‘buttering him up’. When Sofia sees that Penguins foot is hurting she tries to help him by warming up his foot. Something her mother once said to her was that ice and cold only increase the pain. Coincidentally this is exactly what Penguins mother always told him. He doesn’t know it yet, but Sofia is slowly palming him in and slightly winning his trust.

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©2017 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jessica Miglio/FOX.

Alfred and Gordon enter Blackgate, just to look around and find Bruce. Gordon finds it odd that they don’t go through the maximum security area, but the guards brush it off as a new rule implemented after Gordon left the prison. Gordon’s suspicion is fed even more when he spots a guard with a familiar name, but not a familiar face. Alfred, however, is the first to speak up about the suspicion and start a fight with the guards. Alfred shows his 007 skills and soon only one guard is still standing. They ask him about Bruce, but the guard doesn’t give a satisfying answer. The guard has his gun pointed at Alfred, but before he has the chance to fire, Alfred shoots first. Gordon remembers that Blackgate has an old subbasement which is accessible through the service elevator and they rush towards it.

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©2017 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jeff Neumann/FOX.

Bruce is shocked when Raz al Ghul tells him that he has walked this earth for centuries waiting for his heir (Bruce). Only he and the knife are capable of killing Raz al Ghul and ending his suffering. Bruce doesn’t believe him at first, but Raz al Ghul’s reflection in the water proves he is right. The reflection shows a very, very old and ugly man. Bruce refuses to kill him, since he believes Raz al Ghul deserves it for what he has done, killing Alex and his grandfather and all. Raz al Ghul is not happy with this response and starts to threaten Bruce. If he doesn’t kill Raz al Ghul here and now, he will disappear but eventually, he will show up again. Then he will kill everyone Bruce loves, his wife, his children, all in front of his own eyes. Something in Bruce snapped and Bruce stabs the knife into Raz al Ghul. The knife shows an immediate effect as Raz al Ghul grows very old and dies as an old decayed corpse. Shortly after, Gordon and Alfred enter the basement. The rest of the GCPD is called, but Bruce isn’t arrested since Gordon has no idea what happened in the basement and for all he knows Raz al Ghul’s men showed up and helped him escape. Bruce doesn’t think lightly about what he just did, he feels like he betrayed both himself and his parent’s memory. Gordon tries to comfort him by telling that he knows that Bruce is still the same kid as the night his parents died and that he’ll do good and do anything to keep the people he loves save while fighting for what is right. This message doesn’t land entirely by Bruce because as soon as he is back home he wants to burn his vigilante clothes. He feels like he is not the hero Gotham needs. But before it is too late, Alfred stops him and tells that he changed his mind about the vigilante role. Bruce might think that he is not worthy now, but as soon as he is, his clothes and Alfred will be waiting for him and Alfred takes the clothes with him.

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Despite Nygma’s earlier attempts to get rid of Grundy, they still hang out. Nygma wants to use Grundy’s muscles to make money and use the money to make Nygma smart again. After that they will figure out what happened to Grundy, at least that is what Nygma promises now. They go to an underground fight club since Nygma already knows that Grundy is one hell of a fighter. They meet the person in charge, Cherry. But before Grundy can step into the ring to fight, she wants the doctor to patch him up. After all, he still has the burn marks from when his arm was on fire. When we get our first look at the doctor, we see that it is no other than Lee Thompkins!

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Tune in every Thursday on Fox to catch up on the newest episode of Gotham!

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