‘Gotham’ Recap: ‘The Court of Cowls’

Just how many characters in Gotham are going to get mind-control powers? When Fish Mooney rose from the dead she discovered she could touch someone and POW, they had to do whatever she says. Then the Mad Hatter used his pocket watch, and some kind of super hypnosis, to ZAP your brain and force you to do whatever he tells you to do. And now girlishly goofy Ivy Pepper uses her plant-based perfume, and BAMM, you have to do whatever she says. Mind Control has become an overused plot device this season, and each time it’s introduced it feels less compelling and more ridiculous. And now Bruce’s newly appointed Zen-ish mentor uses ancient acupuncture needles to POP into Bruce’s head. And I heard a rumor that Fish Mooney may return before the season ends. Holy Mental Manipulation Batman! I’ve had enough!

Here’s what happened this week: Bruce is a prisoner in a maze-like complex somewhere that isn’t Gotham. The Court Of Owls sent him there to train with a mysterious Zen-like master. They think Gotham needs a symbol, a hero, and they think Bruce Wayne could be the dude. Does this mean that the Court Of Owls creates Batman? We’ll just have to wait and see. A big part of his initial training seems to revolve around Bruce’s obsession with his Parents’ murders. The Master thinks that Bruce hasn’t dealt with those emotions, which is holding him back. So he uses mystic acupuncture needles to send Bruce into his own memories, forcing him to witness the murders over and over again. He watches, like a ghost, as the scenario plays out. And each time he’s more devastated than the time before.  I guess this teaching method is all about tough-love, without the actual love.

Meanwhile; Jim’s Uncle Frank finds out from the Court Of Owls that they plan on using a super weapon to trash Gotham, so that they can rebuild and start again from scratch. And if that sounds familiar, it just means that you saw ‘Batman Begins’, because the same thing happened in that movie. Anyway, Jim doesn’t trust Uncle Frank, so when he warns Jim about the Court’s doomsday devise, Jim doesn’t believe him. But Jim and Harvey do some investigating and validate Uncle Frank’s claim. Then Jim calls Barbara, and convinces her to check things out at the docks. And we don’t hear the call, which makes me wonder what he traded for her cooperation. She is the new crime boss now. And Barbara never does any favors, unless she gets something in return. Well, she goes to the dock and finds a big crate marked Indian Hill. And after torturing some henchman, she finds out that the weapon is inside the crate. But before she can open it and take possession, a Court Of Owls assassin shows up and pretty much kills all Barbara’s goons. So Barb and Tabitha skedaddle, barely escaping with their lives.  Yeah, Jim owes her big-time!

Uncle Frank was telling the truth. But it’s hard to know which side he’s on, until he makes the ultimate sacrifice. The Court orders Frank to kill Jim Gordon, and at first it looks like he’s going to do it. But Uncle Frank turns his gun on himself, telling Jim to take credit for his murder so that he can infiltrate the Court. Of course Jim begs his Uncle not to pull the trigger, but Frank tells him to finish what his Father started, and he shoots himself in the head. Jim is devastated. But when he gets the call from the Court Of Owls, he lies, telling them that he killed Uncle Frank as payback for his father’s murder.  The Court believes him, and invites him to come over for a talk….

Elsewhere, Ivy wants to play house but The Penguin doesn’t want anything to do with her. And it’s not because he’s gay, it’s because she’s so dog gone annoying. But when Penguin tries to rally some of his former thugs and they turn on him, he’s glad she’s there. Because thanks to Ivy’s magical perfume, she can make those thugs kill themselves. But now Penguin doesn’t have the army he needs to take down Ed Nygma and Barbra. He wants to be Gotham’s crime boss again. And maybe step back in as Mayor, but I’m not sure about that. So Barbra suggests that Penguin recruit an army of freaks; like Firefly, Mister Freeze, Man-Bat, etc. And Penguin looks intrigued by the notion. SO STAY TUNED…

LAST WORDS: Jim runs into Lee at the cemetery. She’s mourning the loss of her husband. And she’s still obviously upset at Jim for his part in Mario’s demise. I think that’s great. I’m glad she didn’t just jump back into Jim’s arms ready to forgive and forget. She loved the guy enough to marry him. Her character shouldn’t be moving on so soon, just to return to the status quo. I hate when shows do that.  I’m looking at you Flash.  Caitlin seems to have a new man every season.  I’m just saying….