REVIEW – Gotham Season 5 Episode 7 – “Ace Chemicals”


When you see a title like Ace Chemicals, as a Batman fan that automatically gives you a certain set of expectations.  You could even say that, even in it's final season, this is a place and event you never thought you would see on Gotham.  Question is, do we get that moment, and if we do, does it live up to the hype?  You've seen what Jeremiah has been planning, now let's find out how it all comes together.

I have to preface the start of this by saying, I so badly want to just skip to the end and talk about what happens...but I won't do that.  As you can imagine, Jeremiah has everything in place to recreate the night that Bruce's parents were murdered.  You saw that he had Thomas and Martha Wayne, and you also know that he has Alfred as well.  As it turns out, his tunnel goes to Wayne Manor, where he lures Bruce to see what he has created.  (If it's not obvious by now, Jeremiah enlists the help of Jervis Tetch to control everyone.)  Long story short, all Jeremiah wants to to bond with Bruce as a brother.  Apparently, that's all he has ever wanted.  Since Bruce has rejected him, he said they will have to be bonded in hate instead.  So he blows up Wayne Manor for good measure, almost killing Alfred in the process.  This sets up another great moment between Bruce and Alfred, growing THEIR bond and giving us fans a great feeling after all they've been through these last couple of seasons.  Alfred tells Bruce to go after Jeremiah, and that's when things really get interesting.

Jeremiah has staged a viewing of the same movie that Bruce went to with his parents the night they were shot.  By that, I mean Jeremiah literally made a Zorro movie and taunted Bruce in it.  Once that's over, it feels like we're headed for a final showdown between the two.  Off they go to the alley, where things are once again in place.  This is where the Gotham writers do something very quick, but very smart.  They actually make you think for a moment that Jeremiah reveals that he is the one that shot Bruce's parents.  Just when your head is about to explode with rage, they quickly pull it back.  Just wanted to see if they had our attention, I guess.  It's then revealed that Jim Gordon and Lee Thompkins are really the pair standing in the alley.  I get why Jim is there for Bruce, but I'm not sure that he and Lee have really built much of a bond to have much of an impact.  Lee is wearing the iconic pearls, which is the key to snapping them out of their spell.  Just when it looks like all hope is lost, Selina knocks the gun out of Jeremiah's hand.  This is another great callback, and a redemption moment for Selina with Bruce for what happened the night of the actual murder.  It really serves as a reconciliation for the two, which I'm sad to know that we won't fully get to see play out beyond this season.  After all this, it's still not over.

Jeremiah escapes (again) to enact another part of his plan to launch a toxic gas over the city.  Again, very Joker of him, but there is still one thing missing.  They finally both end up at Ace Chemicals for the showdown we have been waiting for.  David Mazouz told us in our interview that this moment was coming.  Jeremiah again talks about they being connected, as Bruce pummels away at him.  Of all of the Batman vibes we've been getting from David lately, I never felt them more than in this scene.  The setup for the moment was very well done, and then it happens.  After dodging a wild punch from Jeremiah, Bruce sends him down into the vat of chemicals.  He survives, but they think he's brain dead.  We know better, don't we?  While there is no real way to give every fan exactly what they want, as someone who loves Batman and loves Gotham, they very much did this moment justice.  Sure there was no cape and cowl involved, but that did not lessen the impact.  It also gives Jeremiah exactly what he wanted in a way.  They will forever be connected by that moment.  So does that mean, in a way, he wins?

This was very much the main focal point of the episode, but that's not all that was going on.  We also had Selina double cross Penguin, confessing to Barbara about his plan to leave Gotham and everything that he stole.  Speaking of Barbara, earlier in the episode she goes to Lee and asks her to be her OB for the new baby.  That was such a Barbara moment, and I would have done a spit take if I were unlucky enough to have a drink with me.  Barbara also tells Jim that she doesn't need him to be a father, and at one point, actually agrees to leave Gotham with Penguin and Ed.  Those two also have a reconciliation of sorts, as do Jim and Lee after some soul searching.  If there was a secondary theme to this episode, it was definitely reconciliation.  It's not that these moments didn't matter, and won't matter before season's end.  It's just that, this was the closest to a Batman vs Joker episode that we were going to get on Gotham.  How can I not put the spotlight on that?

Plenty of questions still linger as we approach the final episodes.  Now that the toxic gas plan has failed, will Gotham finally be saved?  Will Ecco pull a Harley and try to get to Jeremiah?  Will Jervis Tetch be dealt with, since he's still on the loose?  Will Wayne Manor be rebuilt?  Can Ed really build a submarine in just a few episodes with no time jump?  Will any of these reconciled relationships actually stick?  I'm not sure, but I cannot wait to enjoy what's left.

What did you think of this week's episode of Gotham?