Gotham puts both Bane and Jeremiah on hold this week, in favour of introducing some new faces. The main story took a back seat for a Jane Doe, a Dummy and insane mutant. The main plot of the episode focused on Harvey, someone who doesn’t get to shine nearly as much as he should. When two former cops appear to be killed by Harvey’s old partner it brings up his past as a cop before Jim came to Gotham.
The two cops were killed in Barbara’s club by Dix, Harvey’s partner before Jim. There’s only one problem, the Dix who murdered the men was walking, while Harvey’s partner has been paralyzed since he left the service. Since a man getting up and walking after being wheelchair bound for more than a decade is the most mundane thing that can happen in a city like Gotham, Jim and Harvey pay Dix a visit.
Dix’s dodgy demeanour and shoot first attitude isn’t winning him favour with Jim, despite the man being in a wheelchair. That is until another Dix shows up at the door. Harvey stops the walking Dix from shooting and grabs their face as they escape.
Jim and Harvey take Dix back to the GCPD for his protection while they figure out who the real killer is. Harvey admits the two cops along with Dix and himself worked on a case together. The case was a murder, a wife killed her husband and went to jail on the testimony of her daughter. There was a suspicious lack of physical evidence, despite Harvey’s insistence the case was clear cut.
The daughter, Jane still lives in Gotham. When Jim goes to question her she turns into one of the cops that came with him. After her mother went to jail, Jane was sent to Arkham Asylum where she was experimented on by Hugo Strange, giving her shapeshifter powers. Jane, now calling herself Jane Doe blames Harvey and the other cops for what she went through and is now exacting her revenge.
She escapes from the interrogation room, killing Dix while disguised as Harvey. Then, she disguises herself as Barbara to escape the GCPD. Harvey tracks her down, killing her when she tried to shoot him. Later Harvey admits to Jim while they knew the mother had committed the murder they couldn’t back it up with evidence so they leaned on Jane for the testimony. It was only later Harvey learnt Jane’s father was abusive to both the mother and Jane. For Harvey, that case marked the beginning of a long list of dirty deeds he did before meeting Jim.
Meanwhile, Ed is busy building their escape submarine and Oswald is busy not helping. Their argument is interrupted by the return of Mr. Penn. Penn is taking orders from a new boss, Scarface. Yes, Scarface is a dummy. Mr. Penn is The Ventriloquist, a classic Batman villain. Scarface wants Penguin’s stolen loot and is willing to kill for it. Ed buys them time by telling Scarface and Penn about their escape plan.
Scarface and Penn still want Penguin dead for being such a poor boss and friend. In a surprising show of self-awareness, Penguin agrees he’s not always the best friend to people, but his confession is a guise to get close enough to Penn to wrestle away his gun. Penguin shoots Scarface and Ed shoots Mr. Penn. Oswald and Ed may have a history of being horrible to one another, in their own way, their relationship works.
Bruce and Alfred, meanwhile are looking for a man who went missing in Gotham’s sewers. The sewers run right next to the river, which was recently contaminated with Jeremiah’s chemicals. Because this is Gotham the chemicals have started to affect persons who were down there too long. They find the missing man, but they find someone else who’s been driven by mad by the chemicals. Bruce and Alfred subdue the man, but doctors say the effects aren’t reversible.
Their mission into the sewers also gives Bruce and Alfred a moment to reflect on the loss of Wayne Manor. In a reversal of their usual dynamic Bruce is the one consoling Alfred.
It was surprising to see a filler episode when the final season is already so short, but not a bad surprise. Any Harvey centric episode is a welcomed treat. This episode continues the season’s trend of call-backs to early seasons. Here it’s back to Harvey’s days as a corrupt cop.
Penn’s return was short-lived, but what a triumphant return it was. Penn was Penguin’s verbal punching bag for so long it was satisfying to see him stand up for himself this one time. Even if the dummy was the one doing most of the talking. The Ventriloquist is such an iconic Batman villain it’s a coin flip is he’s going to stay dead or if someone else is going find Scarface.
Penn’s presence also forced Oswald to face his loyalty or lack thereof to his companions. As always, Oswald’s and Ed’s rapport was pitch perfect. Equal parts amusing and heart-warming to see them working their way back to unambiguous friendship.