The episode opens as Bruce sleeps on a couch in the study of Wayne Manor. All of his notes and research about Wayne Enterprises lay strewn about on his lap as he sleeps by the fireplace.
At Penguins club, Oswald’s mother sings on stage as club goers look on unamused and bored.
Back in the prison camp, Fish wakes to the sound of people crying and moaning for help. She claps her hands as everyone gets up to take turns drinking water from a spigot.
Barbara finally returns to her apartment in Gotham, after staying at her parents home. She calls out for Jim but comes face to face with Selina and Ivy who have been crashing at her place. Selina tells Barbara that Jim dropped off his keys last week. Barbara sits on the couch with them and starts asking who they are.
Jim takes Leslie on a date to the circus where they watch they watch The Flying Grasysons perform. As the Graysons perform death defying Trapeze act, a clown car emerges from behind the scenes. A drunken Clown gets ou hand attacks one of the Graysons, resulting in an all out brawl between trapeze performers and clowns. Jim flashes his badge and is forced to break up the fight.
Back at Oswald’s, his mother continues to sing more songs to modest applause. A man at the bar boos her, which upsets Penguin. He charges at the man, and splatters his blood all over a woman in the bar.
At the Circus, Jim questions both clowns and trapeze performers, but no one is speaking. While John Grayson and his ex-girlfriend Mary are bickering at each other, we find out that there is a family feud between their families (the Lloyds and Graysons). The fight apparently was over a snake dancer by the name of Lyla, the snake dancer. Jim and Leslie go to Lyla’s trailer where they meet her son Jerome. He appears worried about his mothers whereabouts and notices that she left without her coat, purse and other personal items. The ringmaster warns Jim that Lyla is a bit of a party girl and is popular with a lot of gentlemen. Jim notices the snake that Lyla used in her act and asks to set the snake loose. The snake slithers all the way to a truck where they find Lyla’s dead body hidden under some canvas. Jim immediately suspects that The Ringmaster knew the body was hidden under the canvas. The ringmaster then shows Jim where they found Lyla’s body. The Ringmaster has a feeling one of the circus folk killed her. Once they find out, he tells Jim that they have their own system of dealing out punishment and will take care of the matter. Jim however does not share the sentiment of self justice and gathers up suspects and witnesses.
Fish rallies her prison gang that they need to unite and rise up against their captors. She tells them to do exactly as she says and that she can save some of them, although their will be casualties.
Harvey Bullock walks into the Gotham Police Department and scratches his head as he witnesses the whole cast of the circus being brought in for questioning. Jim pulls Jerome aside and asks him some questions about his mother and if she had any enemies. Jerome says she had many lovers and had a lot of casual sex. Jerome appears calm as he tells Jim that he didn’t mind what his mother was doing. When Jim asks if he has any other family, Jerome responds saying that the circus is his only family.
Through different interviews, we find out that Lloyd’s and Grayson’s have been feuding since world War 1…over a stolen horse. Jim holds the patriarch of each family for further questioning.
Back at the prison, the captors come to take another victim. Fish and her group line up and demand an exchange. She tells the captors that she knows they need the victims alive to be organ donors. She threatens that if they do not bring them food and other supplies, that she will have her mob kill the victim that the capture want. The head captor doesn’t believe Fish and calls the man to come forward. Her mob proceeds to beat the man to death. The men demand that Fish meet the “manager”. She refuses, and asks for him to come down to the prison and meet her. He says they will be back. As the captors leave, the group cheers in victory. Fish pays respect to the man who was beaten to death for his sacrifice.
At the GCPD, Leslie determines the time of death, making it impossible for the killer to be either patriarch of each family. Jim has other possible suspects head home, but tells them not to skip town. Jim and Leslie discuss continuing their date, but are interrupted by a blind man who walks into the department. The man goes by the name Paul Cicero and claims to have a message from Lyla from the “other side”. He says “the servant of the devil lies within the garden of the iron sisters”. Ohhhhhh…very Mysterious!
Leslie immediately becomes interested in what the man has to say and tells Jim they should look into what he said. Jim however, becomes very dismissive towards the man and believes he is a publicity hound.
At Wayne Manor, Alfred informs Bruce that his meeting with The Board of Wayne Enterprises is set. He warns Bruce that this whole thing is a huge mistake and that it could be dangerous. Bruce is unfazed by his comment and says that he has made up his mind.
Back at Oswald’s, business…is not exactly booming. The club is mostly empty as Penguin plays to a sparse crowd.
Back at her apartment, Barbara models off outfits for Selina and Ivy in hopes of getting Jim back.
Jim and Leslie resume their date by having a home cooked dinner at Leslie’s apartment. During dinner they talk about the murder of Lyla the Snake Lady and what the psychic said to them. Leslie deduces Cicero’s cryptic riddle about finding something under the Arkham Bridge. Jim begrudgingly agrees to go to the bridge to investigate. Jim and Leslie end up finding an bloodied axe with the markings “TGFC” on an axe handle. The inscription indicates that it belonged to “The Hellfire club”, which was a satanic cult is involved. Jim reveals that the cult hasn’t been active for years. He gathers a theory ad calls the station for people to be brought in for questioning.
Jim and Leslie bring Cicero the psychic in and interrogate him. Jim informs him that the axe was planted evidence. Both Jim and Cicero ague, as Jerome is summoned into the interrogation room. Jim believes that Cicero is protecting someone close to him. Jerome walks in and sits next to Cicero. Jim tells Jerome that he knows that Jerome killed his mother. Cicero let him clean up in his trailer and told Jerome to scratch the symbols into the hatchet and throw it over the Gotham bridge. Jim believes that Jerome’s father is in fact….Cicero.
Jerome does not believe this, as he says his father died at sea. Gordon challenges him to name any of the ships that he served on, but Jerome cannot come up with any names. Jim asks both to submit to a blood test, but Cicero breaks down and admits that he is Jerome’s father. Jerome is shaken, but sits still looking down at the table. Jerome’s attitude changes at the drop of hat. He begins to laugh uncontrollably and delivers an evil grin to Jim. He becomes verbally abusive towards Cicero and bad mouths his mother’s history. He admits that he killed his mother for being a nag. After that he continues his maniacal laughter as Jim and Leslie look on disturbed.
After the interrogation, Leslie thanks Jim for letting her see exactly what he does. Both kiss in the locker room as Barbara walks in on them. She is dressed to the nines and is clearly looking to get Jim back. She begins to tear up and leaves without Jim or Leslie noticing.
At Oswald’s, Zsasz enters the club and informs him that Falcone is disappointed that the club is not doing well and his numbers are low. He suggests that he has someone that has club experience that can help him. Butch Gilzean (Fish’s former right hand man) walks in looking emotionless and zombie-like. It turns out that Zsasz tortured Butch to the point where he is now obedient to any order given to him. Zsasz tells Penguin that he will be of no threat to him. Penguin tests this out by telling Butch to dance, and he does so. Zsasz and Penguin look on amused as Butch dances like a fool.
Bruce finally has his meeting with the Board of Wayne Enterprises He demands answers about the claims of chemical weapons manufacturing and the shady dealings of the Arkham property. The board at first seems condescending, as he is just a child. But when Bruce states his case you can see the board members begin to cringe. They aren’t messing with any ordinary boy. Bruce states that if the board does not reveal any information, that he will bring this up at the next shareholders’ meeting.
At the police department, John Grayson and Mary Lloyd swing by and reveal that they are engaged. John thanks Jim for helping bring peace to both families, and reconciling their decades of feuding. John says that when they have a son, they will name him Gordon. Mary elbows John and says that they won’t be so quick to decide their future sons name!
Back at the prison, “the manager” agrees to meet with Fish in exchange for leaving one of his men behind. She takes the man’s weapon and walks out of the cell, escorted by two guards. Meanwhile the man is circled by the mob – doesn’t look good for that guy!
So…I guess we just witnessed the early beginnings of The Joker? I’ll admit, Jerome ended up being a pretty twisted kid. His mom was a bit of a whore and Jerome witnessed her having sex with a bunch of circus clowns. That’s enough to mess anyone up, let alone a young kid. So all of this drives him mad and causes him to kill his mother. Okay, so does this mean that Jerome is going to grow up to be The Joker? I’m not quite sure. Joker’s backstory has always been a mystery, more like multiple choice because your guess is as good as mine! If Jerome IS the joker…then there was not much of a backstory because he’s ALREADY the Joker! He’s already a psychotic maniac minus the trademark makeup and purple suit. I thought it was a weak attempt. As far as Joker origin stories go – i’m a huge fan of “The Killing Joke”. The Joker starts out as a harmless man who quits his job as a chemical worker to pursue his dream at becoming a comedian. The only problem is that he fails at being a comedian and is having trouble supporting his pregnant wife. From their on the pressure builds and some horrible events take place causing him to become the clown we all know and love. I suppose i’m more of a fan of the “family man suffers one bad day that finally drove him insane” origin story. I will give credit to Cameron Monaghan who played Jerome, I thought he did a great job. The moment where Jerome flips the switch and reveals his true psycho-self was probably my favorite. The whole storyline was a little convoluted and was just an attempt to introduce a possible Joker and The Graysons.
The majority of the time was spent examining the relationship between Leslie and Jim. I can see things getting pretty stale quickly between them. She can’t tag along on EVERY job. Harvey warned ya Jim don’t get involved in an office romance! (At this point i’d rather prefer Leslie to Barbara!)
Speaking of Barbara, it seems that she found her way back into the story. I guess everything is okay with her parents…or not? She comes back and sees Selina and Ivy living there and giving her fashion advice. The thing that bothered me is that Barbara was perfectly fine with two random strangers just chilling in her apartment. Yeah, I know they are kids…..but common! A normal human being would have been pissed and would have told them to hit the road! Later Barbara puts Selina and Ivy’s fashion advice to good use and goes to the police station to win back Gordon (which comes off as kind of seems pathetic). She arrives just in time to see Leslie kiss Jim, that worked out too perfectly didn’t it? Did anybody care that Barbara was distraught? No, because no body cares that she is back.
We saw Bruce confront the Wayne Foundation board members (sketchbook and all) and he wasn’t playing around! It was a badass scene seeing all of the board members caught off guard by a child. There has always been one thing that has bothered me though – Bruce and Alfred’s relationship. It always seems that Alfred wants to act like a father to Bruce, but he never puts his foot down. Bruce always seems to get his way. Alfred lets him have his way and then makes a remark like – well don’t blame me if we end up in a ditch! WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? You are an adult and a primary care taker! If you are worried that your life will be in danger by meeting with the board members then tell the kid….NO. After all he is a….KID. Tell him to go draw more bats in his trapper keeper.
Fish’s prison adventure continues to be strange. Just because some lady gives a rousing speech about family, i’m not ready to go get beaten to death for her! I’m not sure what they are going for with the whole “manager” character. Whatever this whole prison is…it better have some payoff because so far it’s underwhelming. You know what else is underwhelming? The whole club story line with Penguin. Why did they even need to include him in this episode? We know he’s around, it’s okay if we don’t see him for an episode. Oh, but we saw him alright, along with Zsasz and a dancing Butch. That part was kind of weird and pretty corny. (It reminded me of the 1960’s Batman series) That scene alone almost took me out of the whole episode.
Photos via IGN