Jim Gordon’s no longer a cop and Gotham City’s under attack by the Indian Hill escapees in the season three premiere of Fox’s Gotham. Gordon left the Gotham City Police Department to try and find the love of his life, Lee (Morena Baccarin), and has returned to the city under siege to work as a bounty hunter. The first episode of the season also catches the audience up on the Fish Mooney/The Penguin feud as well as what’s going on with Bruce Wayne’s mysterious doppelgänger who was briefly seen in the season two finale.
The third season premiered on September 19, 2016 at 8pm ET/PT with an episode titled ‘Better to Reign in Hell.’
Season 3 Episode 1 Recap:
Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) approaches the front door of a beautiful home carrying flowers. He hears laughter inside and peers through the window. He sees Lee…but she’s not alone. A stranger is holding her and kissing her, and he’s the reason why she’s laughing.
Flash-forward to six months later, a pharmacy is being broken into in Gotham City. The pharmacist picks up a shotgun and promises not to call the cops if the burglar leaves. The burglar turns out to be one of the genetically altered monsters let loose in the season finale of episode two. Jim Gordon’s outside waiting to take on the monster who doesn’t want to be arrested. Gordon’s quickly disarmed of the metal bar he’s using and just as quickly learns hitting the ridge-backed monster doesn’t work either. Just when it looks like Jim could lose the fight, the monster fails to notice a truck barreling down on him. Bye, bye, monster.
Captain Barnes (Michael Chiklis) addresses the press to discuss the monster that robbed the pharmacy. He reveals the “individual” is another Indian Hill escapee. Reporter Valerie Vale (Jamie Chung) wants to know why they can’t see the escapee and Barnes says they’re still picking up the pieces. Bounty hunters have been rounding up the escapees, but Barnes takes issue with Vale’s assertion most of the work is being done by bounty hunters. Mayor Aubrey James (Richard Kind) steps in to say the escapees are actually victims of Hugo Strange and to please keep that in mind. Vale reminds James that the escapees were all inmates and judged criminally insane before they were altered by Hugo Strange. He dodges that question.
Jim Gordon’s brought in six escapees at $5,000 per escapee. His ex-partner and friend Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) wants to know what he’ll do when they’re all rounded up, and Jim doesn’t think that will happen anytime soon. Harvey wants Jim back on the force, but understands something happened between him and Lee (Morena Baccarin) which caused Jim to step away. “You are a cop in everything but name,” says Harvey. Jim replies, “Yeah, except I don’t have to listen to Barnes.”
Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk) arrives to tell Harvey the drug the monster stole was an immune suppressant. Lucius is the new resident scientific expert after leaving Wayne Enterprises and is now part of the GCPD. Lucius says the big question is actually why are Indian Hill escapees robbing pharmacies. Harvey wants to work the case with Jim, but Jim’s not into it.
Valerie Vale is still peppering Mayor James and Captain Barnes with questions, wanting to know why Hugo Strange is the only one who’s been arrested and what’s up with Wayne Enterprises. The Mayor’s trying to say everything’s under control when Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) interrupts, calling him a liar. He strides through the crowd, demanding they tell the truth. Penguin says the creatures are dangerous and he knows who’s leading them. He begged the police to look for Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) and now he wants the people of Gotham to look for her because no one is safe while she’s on the loose. On his way out, Penguin tells Jim he’s surprised he hasn’t found Fish. Jim responds by telling Penguin he hasn’t made it worth his while yet.
Penguin and Butch (Drew Powell) meet up with Barbara (Erin Richards) at the nightclub. He compliments the way the place looks and she says she knows he’s there about his offer. She turns him down, not needing his protection. Just then Tabitha walks up and Butch gets all tongue-tied. Penguin sends Butch off to collect himself, and then he tells Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) that he offered to kill her. She murdered his mom and now she’s broken Butch’s heart. Penguin says he didn’t kill her because Butch is still in love with her. Back to business, Penguin wants the word spread he wants Fish Mooney dead or alive (or chopped into pieces) and he’s offering $1 million.
Selina (Camren Bicondova) takes a seat next to Butch at the bar. He tells her to scram because she’s too young to be there. Penguin walks up, tells Butch to get over Tabitha, and informs him that Selina just stole his wallet. Butch can’t believe he was tricked.
Selina passes money from the wallet to a kid in the alley – a kid she doesn’t notice is Bruce Wayne’s doppelgänger (albeit a goth version with long hair).
At Wayne Manor, Alfred (Sean Pertwee) and Bruce (David Mazouz) are settling in after a long trip away. Bruce wonders if they were right to leave and Alfred reminds him he knows why they left. Alfred also thinks a “lovely cup of tea” will help.
Jim’s thumbing through the newspaper at a bar when Valerie Vale catches up to him. She tells him someone should do a story on him, and wonders why no one is being arrested over the Arkham thing. Jim tells her likes quiet bars, but she won’t quit pestering him. Talk turns to Penguin, and Jim says he’s a liar and a murderer. Valerie gets up to leave, dropping the news of the $1 million bounty Penguin’s offered on Fish before taking off.
Meanwhile at Arkham, Penguin hands Ed Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) a present. It’s a puzzle and the trick is opening it. Apparently it’s the most difficult puzzle ever made. Ed opens it in less than a minute. Penguin’s been sending him lots of presents and Ed wants to know why Penguin’s been so kind to him. Penguin says he needs their talks, especially with Fish out there somewhere. He wants to know what she’s doing and why she didn’t kill him. Ed says, “Details can be distracting. Sometimes a simple solution is best.” He tells Ed to just remember penguins eat fish.
And now we see Fish who’s walking with Selina and two other associates. Selina opens the door to a warehouse and Fish’s people kill one of the scientists there and steal supplies. Fish takes care of a security guard by making him drop his gun and knock himself out, but using her power drains her and she collapses.
Lucius and Jim are on the phone discussing the only warehouse in town where the drug the escapees need is manufactured. Selina sees Jim approaching, but Fish is casually leaning against a counter when he walks in. Fish knows Jim is there to collect the bounty and puts her hands out to be cuffed. Jim tells her to cuff herself and asks how many people she has with her. Her henchmen gets the drop on Jim but Jim fights him off. Fish and her fiends (which, by the way, is a great name for a band) flee.
Alfred and Bruce visit Wayne Enterprises where Bruce will be speaking to the board. Bruce takes his seat at the head of the table, immediately addressing the Indian Hill problem. He says he rejects the conclusion Hugo Strange acted alone. Bruce explains why he left Gotham, but he’s interrupted by a board member named Crowley who Alfred quickly shuts down as you would an ill-mannered child about to throw a tantrum. Bruce says he has proof a secret group inside Wayne Enterprises is behind it all and they’re on the board and in this room. If they don’t contact him within 24 hours, he’ll make all the details public via the media.
A phone call’s made and Bruce Wayne’s in deep trouble.
Barbara is working on the nightclub’s books when three men arrive to tell her she built the club in their territory. She’s slapped and told the place is theirs. Barbara starts crying but it quickly transforms into a maniacal laugh. Tabitha slits the throats of two of the men while Barbara takes out the leader, repeatedly hitting him while chuckling.
Selina tracks down Valerie Vale and says she has info on Fish Mooney. Valerie takes the info to Jim, telling him she knows where Fish will be next. She needs something from the cops and Jim’s her in with Harvey Bullock.
Jim visits Harvey and Harvey gives him a tip, asking him to do his best not to get him fired over the info.
Now it’s Bruce’s turn to visit Selina. She’s cold to him even though Bruce says he tried to find her before he left. Bruce tells her to be careful because powerful people know they’re friends. She takes off, still angry, while around the corner, unseen, Bruce’s doppelgänger looks on.
Jim tells Valerie he got the info from Harvey but instead of taking her with him to find Fish, he handcuffs her to the car. He promises her the story and walks away. He’s barely a foot from the car when she begins to attempt to set herself free.
Jim impersonates dispatch and sends the team on duty at an apartment complex back to headquarters. The cops had been guarding Ethel Peabody’s room, and he wonders why she’s not in jail. Jim tells Ethel he’s there to find Fish Mooney because eventually Fish will come after her since whatever she and Hugo Strange did to her in Arkham is making her sick. Jim’s visiting her because he expects Fish’s people have set this whole thing up. Jim’s using Peabody as bait, knowing full well Valerie’s source was using Valerie. Two escapees are at the door and Jim can’t take them down before they grab Peabody. In comes the monster he was up against at the warehouse and the fight is vicious before the monster tries to get away by leaping out the window. He has wings (Man-Bat!!!) and Valerie – having escaped the handcuffs – is down below snapping pictures.
Back at GCPD, Captain Barnes yells at both Jim and Harvey, telling Jim he’s done with him. He tells Harvey he used to be proud of him but not anymore. “You both better pray that we find her,” says Barnes.
Harvey sends Jim away and Valerie walks in, pissed. She tosses the handcuffs at Jim and asks if he knew they were being used by Fish. Jim says he knew Fish was using her because that’s what she does.
Selina won’t let Ivy go with her when she goes to meet with Fish, leaving her on the roof of the building by the pigeon coop. Bruce’s doppelgänger makes himself known, saying he wanted to talk to Selina since she was kind to him. Ivy thinks he’s Bruce Wayne and the doppelgänger angrily demands to know who that is.
Back at the nightclub, the thug Barbara beat up is being questioned by Penguin. He says they’ll work something out, asking Barbara what she’s willing to give up. Barbara thinks Butch is behind the whole thing and it’s just a set-up to make her and Tabitha turn to Penguin for protection. Butch denies it and then finally comes clean. Yes, he did it. Penguin shoots the thug in the face and tells Barbara to go ahead and run the club as she sees fit. But, he warns Tabitha that as soon as Butch gives him the word, he’ll kill her.
Fish and the monsters surround Peabody, and Peabody says she knows their bodies are starting to reject the DNA. Fish wants to know how to fix it and Peabody says they have to stop using their powers. Their bodies will regenerate. Fish thinks there’s another way and she grabs Peabody’s hand to make her tell the truth. Peabody says Hugo Strange can fix them, but Peabody doesn’t know where he is. Fish also wants an army and wants Hugo to create it for her. Marv, the fountain of youth in reverse, kills Peabody.
While Fish and her gang are still standing over Peabody’s now dead body, Ivy is brought in because she was outside spying on their meeting. She followed Selina to tell her Bruce is acting all strange. Ivy asks if these are the monsters everyone is talking about, which isn’t a wise move on her part. She threatens to tell on them, also not a wise move, and then breaks away before Fish can sic Marv on her. She races off and Marv barely touches her before she falls down into what looks like running water. Selina starts crying.
At the GCPD, officers are readying their weapons.
Valerie develops pictures of the escapee with wings.
Jim continues drowning his sorrows in alcohol.
At Wayne Manor, a masked man attacks Alfred. Alfred fights back and lamps, glasses, and other household items break before the masked man knocks out Alfred. Bruce rushes in and doesn’t see the man. The masked man knocks out Bruce, slings him over his shoulder, and walks off.