Rise of the Villains: Strike Force Recap

A number of Gotham's criminals meet at Oswald's place, and he finally fires a shotgun into the ceiling to get their attention. He confirms that none of them know who orchestrated the Arkham breakout, and figures that one of them does know. When one criminal says that they thought Oswald did it, Oswald points out that they never had it better until the breakout, and now business is down because of the wave of terror Jerome spread. He says that they need discipline and utility, and tells them that there will be no more chaos. As Oswald tells them that they need to okay any violent activity with him, Tabitha comes in. She congratulates Oswald and says that her brother Theo wants to talk to him.

At the station, Captain Nathaniel Barnes comes in and throws a chair on the floor to get everyone's attention. He says that he's their new boss and orders everyone to attention, and talks about the history of the station. Barnes reminds them that an escaped convict just strolled into the station and murdered Essen and nine men, and asks if they're ashamed and angry. He tells anyone who isn't to reign if they're not angry and ashamed, and no one speaks up. Barnes calls the names of several officers and tells them that they're low-life criminals. He throws their files at them and fires them. One officer, Perez, objects, Barnes slams him onto the desk and arrests him. He tells the remaining officers that if they break the law then they will go to jail, and then calls Jim into his office.

In the captain's office, Barnes asks Jim what he thought of what he said. Jim agrees with him, and Barnes figures that he's a fighter and a troublemaker. When Jim agrees, Barnes makes him his second in command promises to fix the department and bring respect for law and order back to Gotham. Jim points out that they're short-handed, and Barnes confirms that he was a Marine. They exchange salutes and Jim leaves. Harvey warns that Barnes is making a mistake, but Jim sys that the department doesn't have to be crooked.

Theo is watching the news report about the disappearance of Mayor James and the murder of the deputy mayor. The people contending for mayor are Janice Caulfield and Randall Hobbs. There's been a surprise surge for Theo, who hasn't ruled out a bid for mayor. Tabitha escorts Oswald in, and Oswald figures that Theo set the entire thing up with Jerome. Barbara comes in and kisses Tabitha, confirming that Theo was responsible for the Arkham breakout and the station massacre. After she gives Oswald her drink, Barbara goes off to make another and Tabitha says that Oswald is the King of Garbage, not Gotham. Oswald reminds them that Fish and Marconi are gone and he controls their empires.

Theo says that Gotham is now a pigsty and it's time to move into a cleaner, brighter future. He reveals a model cityscape of the future, and Oswald points out that thousands of homes would have to be destroyed to make it. Theo says that to rebuild, first he has to destroy. He wants Oswald to be his destroyer. Oswald says that he has no flair for destruction, and points out that it would need the city's support. Theo agrees and says that a mayor with a landslide mandate could see it through, and assures Oswald that he will soon be mayor. He tells Oswald that his fellow candidates have to go, and Tabitha hands Oswald a file. Theo wants Oswald to take care of them and go after him as well--and miss. Oswald tells him to hire an assassin, and he's not assassin. As he starts to go, Theo has Tabitha bring up a monitor of an imprisoned Gertrude. The millionaire says that if Caulfield and Hobbs die then Gertrude will live.

The next morning, Barnes calls Jim and Leslie's apartment. Leslie answers the phone and the new captain tells her to prepare to be busy because they're going to be sending her a lot of dead guys. Barnes then has her put Jim on the line, and he tells Jim to meet him at the police academy at 0700.

An hour later, Jim waits at the academy and looks at the photo of himself in the trophy case. Barnes arrives and points out that Jim wasn't anywhere near the most gifted in his class, but finished at the top of it. He figures that Jim did it because he was a soldier, and warns that he can't carry on the way he has been. Barnes says that Jim needs help that he can rely on, and plans to offer him a team of young uncorrupted cops. The cadets graduate in a meet, and he plans to grab some.

Jim and Barnes go into the gymnasium and greet Gus Freeman, the trainer. He takes them to the ring where a woman, Josie Mac, is boxing. She finally knocks out her opponent with a few swift blows. They then talk to other cadets. One cadet, Luke Garrett, joined because thugs drove his father out of business. Another, Sal Martinez, is a crack shot. The third, Carl Pinkney, joined to get out of the gangs. Jim and Barnes select all four of them and appoint them Unit Alpha of the GCPD Strike Force under Jim. Once they leave, Jim warns that it's a big risk letting kids face what they'll be facing. Barnes says that they have nothing to lose.

The city of Gotham gives Theo the Medal of Honor and Bravery in a presentation outside of City Hall. As one reporter asks why he isn't running for mayor, a car drives by and a gunman fires a few shots. Theo spots them and yells at everyone to get down. Once the car drives away, Theo says that neither he nor the city will be intimidated by scum... and he announces that he is running for mayor.

That night, Caulfield is in her campaign office when a masked Oswald and Butch come in and close the door to Caulfield's office. Oswald removes his mask and introduces himself, and admits that he's there to kill her. Caulfield says that she's a mother, and Oswald says that he has a mother too and stabs Caulfield to death. Outside, Butch holds the office workers prisoner and admits that he has no idea why they're doing what they're doing. Oswald comes out and Butch tells the workers to think about their families and keep mum.

As Bruce leaves prep school, Alfred is waiting for him. Selina comes up over the wall and Alfred punches her, saying that he knows she killed him. He tells her that Bruce's life will be better without her, and orders her to go. Selina says that it's good and leaves the way she came, just as Bruce walks over. Bruce says that he doesn't want the other kids to see that he has a butler, and has made dinner reservations with Theo for the next night. As Bruce gets in the car, Alfred stops him and tells him that his training begins... and he's going to run home. With that, the butler drives off.

At the station, Edward practices invitations for Kristin. The hallucination of Nygma is watching and tells Edward to stop mumbling and reminds him that he saved Kristin's. He tells Edward to take what he deserves and disappears. Edward goes to the records room and shows Kristin a dinner invitation, and she accepts.

Barnes tells the new squad that Gotham is bleeding to death and no one gets a free pass. He says that the strike force will send a message that the epidemic of lawlessness will be extinguished with extreme prejudice. They take their new uniforms and weapons, and Alvarez tells Barnes that Caulfield is dead. Jim and Harvey go to the campaign office and Jim points out that Theo is alive but Caulfield is dead. One of the workers says that the killers have their names and addresses, and Jim reminds them that Caulfield was stabbed repeatedly and drowned in her own blood. One worker finally describes Oswald and Jim realizes who it was.

Theo and Bruce have dinner at a fancy restaurant, and Alfred excuses himself so that they can speak alone. Bruce thanks him for saving his life at the benefit, and Theo says that he wanted to speak with him about the Waynes' deaths. As they talk, Bruce sees a teenage girl playing in the fountain. Theo explains that the girl is his ward, Silver St. Cloud. Her father was his stepbrother and he died. He takes Bruce out to meet her, and says that they will be attending the same school soon since Silver has returned from abroad.

Edward carefully makes custard in his apartment. Kristin arrives with the introduction and admits that she was expecting a restaurant. He assures her that he's a good cook and escorts her in.

Butch and Oswald drive up to Hobbs' campaign headquarters. Oswald says that he has everything under control, and Butch asks for an explanation. His boss says that Theo and Tabitha have Gertrude and are making him do it, and they'll hurt Gertrude if they go looking for her. Butch assures Oswald that they'll find her. Hobbs pulls up and goes inside. His chief of security wants to move him somewhere secure, but Hobbs is confident he can handle anyone who comes after him.

Zsasz comes in and says that he came there to volunteer. Hobbs figures that it's a threat and tells him to get out. The killer pockets some cigars and then opens fire, taking out two of Hobbs guards. The other two get Hobbs out and down the stairs, and Zsasz takes out another one. Jim and the strike force arrive as Hobbs comes out, and Zsasz kills the last bodyguard. As they exchange shots, Jim recognizes Zsasz as the killer ducks for cover, and the squad move in while covering Hobbs. Zsasz turns and shoots three of them in their Kevlar, and Martinez manages to shoot him. Surprised, he shoots a fire hydrant and escapes in the confusion, and Jim tells them that Zsasz works for Oswald.

At Edward's apartment, Edward and Kristin have dinner. She apologizes for being mean to him, and Edward admits that he's been inappropriate to her. She remembers how she accused him of writing Dougherty' goodbye note, and Edward says that he's glad he's dead. Surprised, Kirstin points out that he just left town, and Edward claims that it's a figure of speech. She goes to the restroom and Nygma angrily tells Edward that he blew it. When Edward snaps at the hallucination, Kristin hears him and figures that he was talking to her. She starts to go and Edward says that he has an inner self who keeps him in line because he's such a klutz. Kirstin says that they all have a voice like that and asks what he said, and Edward explains that Nygma was mad at him for spoiling the mood. She says that her inner voice is saying that they can get back to the good mood and they kiss, taking off their glasses.

Jim goes to see Oswald and says that he knows he killed Caulfield and went after Hobbs. He wonders why he's trying to influence the election, and warns that the GCPD has new leadership. Oswald yells at him to walk away and figures that Barnes would be interested to hear how Jim killed for him so he'd get Loeb out of town. Jim says that he'll face whatever is coming to him, and Oswald says that he'll do the same.

At the station, the strike force members are joking about the bullet in Josie's Kevlar. Harvey tells them to never joke about a near miss, and Barnes calls them over. The captain has their first real mission against them: build a case against Oswald and take him down.

Bruce goes to the school and sees Silver. He tries to walk by but she calls his name.

Selina sits on the street and remembers what Alfred told her.

Theo is trying clothes and ribbons for Barbara and Tabitha. Barbara says that she's sick of waiting, and Theo assures her that her time will come. While the GCPD chase the penguin, he'll steal the mayor's office.

Penguin confirms that Butch hasn't found Gertrude yet, and screams in frustration.

Written by Gadfly on Oct 13, 2015