(WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD FOR GOTHAM SEASON 5 EPISODE 3)
So...what the HELL just happened!? Gotham cranked things up for the third episode of the final season with a moment that I think most fans have been waiting for. While I won't get in to every detail of the episode, there are certainly a few things that need to be discussed.
Let's skip ahead to what we are all to believe is the debut of Harley Quinn on Gotham. I know it seems pretty obvious, but nothing is certain on Gotham, so we don't want to be too presumptuous. Bruce and Selina have traveled to the "dark zone" where they believe that Jeremiah is hiding out. They do encounter some resistance, in the form of a pretty cool tribute to Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns. I would say that the Mutants we saw were pretty comic book authentic. Once Bruce and Selina reach the "church", they come in to contact with some potential followers and a woman waiting to guide them to Jeremiah. You can see from the photo above that she was wearing a mask at first, but the color scheme was all I needed to see. After a test of faith, Selina realizes she can't hide who she is and fights the mystery woman. Once the mask was off, and I heard "puddin'" for the first time, I did have a bit of a fanboy moment. This Harley had a very hard edge, cocky and crazy, but kept the darker tone that we have come to know from Gotham. Sure there was no back story or setup, but after last week's episode, Gotham is clearly done wasting time. While it was only for a few minutes, this tease was certainly enough to build excitement for Harley's next appearance.
Possibly even bigger than that was what was happening with the battle for true sanctuary in Gotham. Penguin thinks he has his people wrapped around his finger, but that is clearly not the case. After Jim Gordon's heroic save, he is seen as the true hero and refugees are flocking to Haven. Once Penguin finds himself deserted by his people, he decides to lash out with help from the Outlaws. The moment where Penguin's crew crashes through the gates of Haven probably should have been a bit more tense than it actually felt. At the same time, as a viewer it was nice to see Penguin not fall for Jim's bluff, because it wasn't a very good one. That's not a criticism, far from it actually. Penguin does let his ego get the best of him at one point, when the Outlaws turn on him and throw him in a cell with Gordon. Long story short, the boy that Gordon saved last week ends up saving the day himself by slipping a key into the cell. This was the start of a very crazy final 5 minutes of the show.
Penguin gets the respect and admiration of his people, but Gordon is left to keep his people in Haven feeling safe. That is when it happened, and I did not see it coming. Earlier in the episode, Jim sends Harvey to get Barbara's assistance to fight Penguin. Little did he know, everything would work out and Barbara would end up being too late. When Barbara tries to take Penguin down, Jim won't let her. During a very critical point in the standoff...it happened. Haven suffers a massive explosion, and I was shocked. The assumption is that no one would be left alive inside. The major players in the story appear safe, but this leads to quite a few questions.
Who planted the bombs inside Haven, and who set them off? What will happen to Selina now that she is off to look for Jeremiah on her own? Where does Jim Gordon and company go from here? Where was The Riddler during all of this? We only have a few episodes left to find out!
(Photo Credit: ©2019 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: FOX)