Wrath of the Villains: This Ball of Mud and Meanness Recap

Gertrud fusses over Oswald and wonders why he doesn't eat. Tied and gagged, Oswald is unable to do anything. She assures her son that he is special, and another Oswald comes in with a bat and beats Gertrud to death.

Strange and Edith watch Oswald in the chair as he screams from his hallucinations. The head of Arkham is pleased that matching the Crane formula to their Rem stimulation is providing the desired results. Edith assures Strange that Oswald is docile and friendly during the day, and Strange says that they should move on to the ice cream test.

Later, Oswald is given a serving of ice cream with his meal and sent into the mess room. Another patient, Aaron Helzinger, wonders why he has ice cream when no one else does, and complains that he doesn't have ice cream. Helzinger advances on Oswald, screaming, and throws him onto a table. Strange, watching, is pleased that Oswald isn't showing any violent reaction. The guards pull Helzinger away as Oswald curls up in a fetal position.

Bruce meets Selina in an alley and she gives him the gun that he asked for. He hesitates and insists that he's not scared, and then takes the gun. Selina assures him that it's loaded and says that guns are only intended for one thing. Bruce agrees and pockets the gun.

At the station, Leslie visits Jim and he tries to apologize for what he said earlier. She doesn't want to talk about it, and shows Jim Kristen's paychecks. She never picked them up and don't know where she is, and points out that Kristen said Doughty hurt her. Leslie didn't want to worry Edward, and just wants to know that Kristen is all right. Jim agrees to look into it and let Leslie know what he finds.

Bruce returns to the manor and finds Alfred in the study. Alfred warns that they're on the hunt for an extremely dangerous man, and Bruce assures him that he's ready. The butler then goes over Matches' file and notes that he's hung out with an old man named Cupcake on the East Side. Matches eventually turned evidence on Cupcake, putting him away at Blackgate Prison. Cupcake is now out and runs a strong-arm firm called The Mutants, and Alfred figures that they'll start with them.

At their base of operations, the Mutants watch as two of their own fight blindfolded. Bruce and Alfred arrive, and Alfred interrupts the fight to ask for Cupcake. Cupcake steps out and asks what they want, and Alfred introduces himself. He explains that they're looking for Matches and figures that Cupcake wants revenge. Cupcake notices Bruce and asks who he is, and Bruce introduces himself. Bruce offers him a lot of money if he can find Matches, and explains that Matches killed his parents. Cupcake demands a million dollars, and Bruce says that it's too much. Alfred tries to interrupt, but Cupcake demands $50,000 to let them leave unharmed. He dismisses it as a joke and says that he'll give them Matches for $50,000... if Alfred fights him. Alfred tries to refuse, and but Cupcake insists that they fight. Bruce offers him $100,000 for no fight, but Cupcake refuses. The butler agrees and has Bruce take his coat, and complains that Bruce didn't let him talking. He tells the boy to pick his battles, and then has Cupcake swear that he'll keep his word. He then walks over and punches Cupcake repeatedly. Cupcake quickly recovers and beats him, slamming Alfred to the floor and beating him. The Mutants hold Bruce back, and Alfred waits until Cupcake tires himself out and then puts him a choke hold. Cupcake finally surrenders and Bruce offers a check. The gang leader takes it and tells them to talk to Jeri at Celestial Gardens. Alfred says that it's a pleasure doing business with him and then passes out.

Later, Alfred wakes up in the hospital and assures Bruce that he'll be fine. He tells Bruce to stay there until he's back on his feet, and starts to make Bruce promise. However, he passes out before he can get Bruce's word. Bruce apologizes and walks out.

Strange does word association with Oswald, and then talks about remorse. Oswald says that he feels remorse for what he's done, and Strange assures him that remorse is a normal sign. The doctor assures Oswald that he can tell he's telling the truth, and assures him that his real self is emerging. When Strange says that it will take a few more therapy sessions, Oswald panics for a moment and then assures Strange that he wants to get better.

Jim goes to the lab and asks Edward if he hears from Kristen recently. Edward tells him that he's heard nothing, and Jim explains that he hasn't cashed his last few paychecks. He insists that he hasn't gotten to the point that he's worried, and avoids mentioning Leslie's involvement. Jim asks about Dougherty, and Edward says that Kristen left a note that she was leaving with the detective. He claims that he didn't keep the note, and Jim steps aside to take a call. He quickly leaves, and Edward figures that Jim is trying to play him for a fool.

Jim and Harvey go to the hospital in response to Alfred's call. He tells Jim that they got the name of the Waynes' killer, and figures that Bruce is going after Matches solo and kill him. Him asks where Bruce is.

Bruce goes to the Celestial Garden and the bouncer lets him in. Jeri is on-stage performing for the crowd. She dives into the crowd and they take her to Bruce, and Jeri wonders what took him so long. She leads him in the back to her office and asks if he liked the show. Bruce says that he did and Jeri wants him to say why he's looking for Matches. He tells her that he's going to ask Matches some questions and then kill him. Jeri chuckles and warns that Matches has killed dozens of a people. She isn't going to tell Bruce where Matches is without a good reason. He offers justice and then money, but Jeri isn't interested. Bruce says that he has a gun, and Jeri grabs it and has him point it at his head. He tells her that he only points the gun at people he wants to shoot, thanks her for the meeting, and starts to leave. Jeri gives him an address, and Bruce asks why she told him. She says that Matches will be happy to see Bruce, and Bruce is the childish hand of fate... which makes her God in a way. Bruce looks at her and then leaves.

Jim enters the clubs and sees Bruce, and grabs the boy when he tries to run. The detective says that it's as far as Bruce is going to go, just as Jeri starts up a new song and identifies Jim as a cop. The crowd grabs Jim and drags him back, and Bruce runs out. Bruce has escaped. After Jim calls for reinforcements and arrests Jeri, he realizes that Bruce has escaped.

Bruce goes to Matches' apartment and knocks on the door. Matches opens it and Bruce holds up a wad of money and says that he wants to hire him. The killer chuckles and tells him to wait, and Bruce says that he doesn't want to wait. The boy insists that he has to know the right man, and asks if Matches has killed a lot of people. Matches closes the apartment door and says that he's killed a lot of people in a lot of different ways. Bruce figures that he's the right man.

At the station, Jim asks Jeri where Bruce is. She figures that Jim considers himself Bruce's surrogate father, and says that Bruce will grow up to be a strong man some day. Jeri knows about Jim by reputation, and wonders why Bruce has his special attention. He insists that it isn't about him, and Jeri asks what time it is. She says that Bruce should be at Matches by then, and says that Jim should get there in time for the cleanup.

Matches quotes Bruce his rates and asks who he wants dead. Bruce realizes that Matches doesn't remember him, and aims his gun at him. He tells Matches that he killed his parents, and Matches assures him that he won't jump him. The killer says that he's too tired, and doesn't recognize Bruce's name or when they met. Matches vaguely remembers killing the Waynes, and recalls more when Bruce describes how they died. Bruce asks who hired him, and Matches claims that he just killed them because they wandered into a dark alley. He says that he made Bruce who he is, just like Gotham made him, and the Waynes made Gotham. Bruce threatens to hurt him if he doesn't say who hired him, but Matches says that his killer's code means Bruce will never know his employer's name no matter what he does.

Bruce pulls back the hammer, and Matches offers a toast. The boy wonders why Matches wants to die, and Matches finally tells him that he's tired doing wrong and going unpunished. He instructs Bruce in how to shoot him, and tells him to pull the trigger. Bruce refuses and Matches taunts him, insisting that he's a monster and Bruce needs to kill him. The boy wishes that Matches was a monster, but says that he's just a man, sets the gun down, and walks out. Jim finds him just as they hear a gun shot from Matches' apartment. Jim goes in and discovers that Matches has killed himself.

At Arkham, an orderly locks Oswald in the treatment room. Helzinger is blindfolded and strapped to the chair, and a knife is laid out on a table. Oswald picks it up and removes Helzinger's blindfold, and reminds him that he knocked him around pretty good. He offers to cut Helzinger free, and makes him promise to be nice. Once Helzinger does, Oswald frees him. Hugo and Ethel, watching through the one-way mirror, applaud in satisfaction.

Later, Strange gives Oswald an official document confirming that he has passed all mandated tests and is declared sane. Now Oswald is a free man. Oswald insists that he's fine in Asylum, but Strange assures him that Oswald is just concerned about change. He says that good things happen to good people, and Oswald thanks him for being a kind mentor and friend. Ethel ushers Oswald out, and then asks Strange if he's sure what he's doing. Strange admits that Oswald is an experiment, and has deeper plans for Oswald that he can't tell her... for her own safety. Ethel says that it's on his head and leaves.

Oswald leaves Arkham, tucks the certificate of sanity in his jacket, and leaves.

At the station, Harvey tells Jim that Matches' name never came up in the last few years so they never tied him to the Waynes' murder. Jim is satisfied with the confession that Matches gave Jim, and Harvey isn't interested in knowing who paid Matches. Once he leaves, Jim spots Edward and asks how he's doing. Edward asks if he's learned anything about Kristin, and Jim tells him not to worry. Once he leaves, Edward figures that Jim is playing him. He insists that he can make plans of his own.

At Wayne Manor, Alfred goes to the cave and finds a letter from Bruce. It says that he's going to live on the streets with Selina for a while, and fight evil in the streets and slums where it lives. Bruce will learn how to live on the streets and promises that he will come home eventually. He asks Alfred to trust him and honor his wishes.

In his apartment, Edward looks at a newspaper article of Jim. After a moment, he draws a green question mark on the photo of Jim's face.

Written by Gadfly on Mar 15, 2016