This article contains spoilers for the Gotham season 4 episode ‘A Dark Knight: One of my Three Soups’.
The latest episode of Gotham opens inside of Arkham Asylum as a guard with a headset on goes to check on Jervis Tetch (Benedict Samuel), aka the Mad Hatter. The headphones are to prevent him from hypnotizing her. The problem is he already hypnotized a different guard, who then kills the new one and sets Jervis free. He in turn releases Jonathan Crane (David W. Thompson), aka Scarecrow, who has concocted an acid that eats through the lock to free Jerome Valeska (Cameron Monaghan). Then the three of them release everyone else, and there is a big breakout.
Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and the recently returned Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) arrive to discover 87 inmates have escaped, but Gordon knows that Scarecrow, Hatter, and Jerome are the worst and sends the men off after them. He then gets a call from Tetch telling him where he was. Once there, they find a couple in wedding clothes surrounded by cars. The people in the cars start after Jim and Harvey while Tetch tells him that he’s after revenge and then drops a wrecking ball on the couple. Tetch gets away and Gordon realizes that he’s hypnotized a lot of people and they’re standing on the roof, ready to jump at midnight.
Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) feels Jerome is his responsibility and gets Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) to break into Gordon’s office to get the file on Jerome. At the Siren’s club, Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) is still having migraines except she realize they’re memories trying to fight their way back into her mind and she remembers Ra’s al Ghul (Alexander Siddig) bringing her back to life and telling her she will be the Demon’s Head and the leader of the League of Assassins. She knows the glow in her hand is a beacon calling the League to her. Gordon and Bullock realize that there are people on every roof in Gotham ready to jump. Bruce figures Jerome will go see his uncle who owns a diner and drops Selina off, telling her Jerome is his responsibility. Selina tells him to check his ego before she goes.
Two cops interview Jerome’s uncle, who claims to not have seen his nephew. When they leave, Jerome comes out from under the table. There are three soups between them. One is too cold, one is too hot, and one is just right. And while Jerome is trying to get information from his uncle, a former circus strong man arrives and starts beating Jerome. The three soups were for a reason. The just right was for the strong man, the cold was for the uncle — he likes gazpacho. He heats up the too-hot one again and pours it down Jerome’s throat — but this is stopped when Bruce shows up and tells them to let Jerome go and call the cops. Bruce ends up fighting with the strong man. Jerome gets away from his uncle and gets the information he wants before killing him. Then he watches the strong man choking Bruce until Selina shows up to save him. Jerome runs off, leaving the address he wanted behind.
Side note: the gazpacho might be an Easter egg to Batman Returns where Michael Keaton‘s Batman is served cold soup, complains until he’s told it’s gazpacho, then he eats it.
The League of Assassins are already at Sirens and Barbara calls them out. One of them talks about how a woman can’t be the Demon’s Head and tries to kill Barbara, but she dispatches him easily and then stares down the others, calling them weak and in need of her leadership. When they all take a knee, five female assassins kill the bunch the swear loyalty to Barbara.
Meanwhile, Gordon figures out that Tetch is hypnotizing over the radio, so Bullock locks himself into a car and goes through the stations until he hears the right one. Tells Gordon and then goes up to a roof himself, waiting to jump. Gordon has radio cars set to broadcast all over the city then confronts Tetch, even shooting him in the hand in an attempt to get him to stop the people. But he built in a failsafe that if they’re told to save themselves, they’ll jump. Time is running out, and Gordon tells the people of the city that he can’t save them — that they should save each other. That snaps them out of it and everyone helps everyone else off the ledge.
Harvey and Jim have a drink, and Jim says he doesn’t belong in the Captain’s office. Harvey tells him he has a much worse past than Jim knows of, but he’s trying to do things right and that there are no heroes there. Bruce calls and tells Jim about St. Ignacious, where Jerome is going, and that he’s going there too. Gordon and Bullock head off to help. And we see Tetch in the back of a police van that is stopped by Scarecrow and Jerom, both in their villain costumes. They set Tetch free and give him his costume. We learn that the whole thing with the people on the ledges were to distract Gordon and the GCPD while Jerome got his information and Crane got his fear gas. Now their real plan can begin.
It was kind of a refreshing episode in that we got to focus on three different villains than in recent episodes. There was no Penguin, Riddler, Mr. Freeze, etc. It was also nice to see Bruce and Selina working together again, and the Gordon/Bullock dynamic is always a highlight. It felt like someone hit a switch on the train tracks and a different set of storylines got to move forward. And just a reminder: the crazy blonde Barbara that has come back from the dead, killer her own parents, and now leads the League of Assassins? In the comics she’s Batgirl’s mom.
You look at Jerome, and other than the red hair he’s about as close to the Joker as you could possibly get — yet we still don’t know if he is the Joker. The trailer below mentions that Jerome is looking for someone, and that the whole escape was about him finding this person. And the trailer even asks, “Who is the Joker?” Will we get a definitive answer?
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