Fox’s Gotham returns from its season three winter break with episode 12 which finds a familiar character returning from the dead and another one on the verge of being resurrected by the episode’s end. Airing on January 16, 2017, season three episode 12 titled ‘Ghosts’ begins with Mario’s funeral and a shot of Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) slowly walking through the cemetery. He’s not a welcome guest and doesn’t join the crowd around Mario’s grave. Harvey (Donal Logue) arrives to remind Jim that Carmine Falcone (John Doman) will be out for blood, even though Jim was forced to shoot Mario because he was infected and about to attack Lee (Morena Baccarin).
Elsewhere in Gotham City, Mayor Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) is greeted with a standing ovation by the press following reports the market is up and crime is down. Of course, Ed Nygma isn’t there to join in on the celebration and instead it’s Oswald’s Deputy Chief of Staff Tarquin (Dave Quay) who’s at the mayor’s side. Tarquin wants Oswald to meet with Margaret Hearst (Jan Maxwell) to promote the mayor’s accomplishments to a nationwide audience.
Jim returns from the funeral to find Victor Zsasz (Anthony Carrigan) gulping down milk in his kitchen. Victor’s there to deliver a message that even though Don Falcone wants him dead, he personally believes Jim’s a “good egg” and he’s happy Mario is dead. (Totally bizarre little scene!)
Selena (Camren Bicondova) and her mom, Maria (Ivana Milicevic), have a chat at Selena’s hideout, and Selena wants to know why she’s returned after an 11-year absence. Maria says she grew up in the same orphanage where she left Selena and then changes the subject to ask if she’s really dating Bruce. Maria claims she had to leave her baby at an orphanage because she was wanted by the law. She says she loves Selena, but Selena just wants her to leave.
Oswald and Tarquin meet with Margaret Hearst who demands an exclusive interview with Oswald at City Hall that will air live, and she’s not taking no for an answer or taking Oswald’s suggestions into consideration. Margaret says she’s not a fan and won’t hold back, and Oswald seems willing if not eager to take on the challenge. He yells, “Dig deep! I have nothing to hide!” as she leaves. Just then he sees the ghost of his dead father, Elijah Van Dahl (Paul Reubens), following Margaret out of the room.
Over at the GCPD, Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk) shows Jim and Harvey the dead body of Melanie Blake, a young woman found naked on the train tracks who apparently died from having 1000+ volts of electricity sent through her body. But, there’s much more to Melanie’s story… She was stabbed and pronounced dead three days ago and two days ago she was in the morgue, dead. “Doesn’t anyone die in Gotham anymore?!” asks Harvey while Jim wonders if maybe she was only mostly dead. Harvey throws in one more one-liner – “It’s not a morgue, it’s a motel” – before he and Jim take off to investigate. They’re stopped on the way out by Lee who, as the acting captain, wants Harvey to arrest Jim. Lee realizes Mario was infected but she’s angry Jim was able to spare Captain Barnes’ life but not Mario’s. Looking at Jim with pure hatred, Lee calls Jim the “real virus,” someone who destroys people’s lives.
Over at the Cobblepot place, Oswald awakens to find his dead dad holding a candle and asking for help. His dad warns him he’s not to be trusted but Oswald doesn’t know who “he” is. The police arrive just then to let Oswald know someone stole his father’s remains from the cemetery.
Jim and Harvey make it to the morgue and ask Dwight Pollard (David Dastmalchian), the night manager, why Melanie Blake walked out of there alive. Dwight pulls open the drawer where her body was being kept and, of course, it’s gone. He has no idea what happened and there aren’t any video cameras because nothing ever happens in the morgue that needs to be recorded.
At Wayne Manor, Bruce (David Mazouz) and Alfred (Sean Pertwee) are still trying to figure out why a glass owl is so important to the Court of Owls. They come to the decision to hide it and are interrupted before they’re able to by a knock on the door. When Bruce puts the owl down on a table to investigate the knock, the sunlight pierces it and reveals something’s inside. Unfortunately, Bruce had already walked away and didn’t see it.
The disturbance turns out to be Selena’s mom who wants to leave a box for her daughter. Bruce thanks her for her help, but Alfred wants to know what’s in the box. Selena doesn’t want anything from her mom, but Alfred and Bruce say they’ll make sure she gets the box. Bruce asks her not to leave, telling her he’ll speak with Selena.
Harvey and Jim find out Dwight worked at Indian Hill and follow him when he leaves the morgue.
Lee and Carmine meet to discuss their plans for Jim. Don Falcone admits he actually cares for Jim and loved him like a son, but it should be blood-for-blood. Lee says she hates Jim and Carmine tells her they’ll both carry the weight when Jim dies. He hopes she’ll be able to live with that.
Bruce pays a visit to Selena, delivering the box from her mom. Selena looks incredibly sad and Bruce says he can’t even imagine how she feels but that she should try to forgive her mom. Selena’s in no mood for forgiveness but opens the box anyway to find her baby shoe and other toys. Maria arrives then and they hug, crying.
Back out on the streets, Jim and Harvey have followed Dwight to Paramount Theater. It looks abandoned and is up for sale, but inside there’s a crowd gathered. A light comes on as Dwight takes the stage. He works up the audience, getting them excited for the arrival of a man with no fear. A video plays of Jerome (Cameron Monaghan) and the crowd is enthralled. Jim and Harvey make their presence known then and tell everyone to disperse, but part of the crowd fights them as the rest flee. Soon everyone runs outside and Jim spots Victor right before he and a couple of his goons begin shooting.
Jim saves Harvey and then takes off to draw their fire. The two goons follow Jim and he takes out one as Victor accidentally shoots the other. Victor stalks Jim, telling him he’s “had a good run” but Jim manages to distract Victor long enough to engage him in hand-to-hand combat. Jim gets the best of Victor and walks away leaving Victor knocked out.
Another night and another visit from Penguin’s dad. He wants his body back so it can be reburied and again tells Oswald “he” can’t be trusted. This time he calls this person who can’t be trusted “the birthday boy.”
Lee visits Captain Barnes (Michael Chiklis) at Arkham to find out if Mario would have killed her because of the virus. Captain Barnes says he loves the way he feels, calling the virus the antidote rather than the disease. Barnes pretty much proves Jim had to kill Mario by declaring how much he wants to kill all the human garbage in Gotham. He will be the city’s Executioner!
Maria and Selena join Bruce and Alfred for dinner at Wayne Manor, and it’s obvious Alfred has fallen for Maria. Bruce suggests she spend the night because it’s late, promising Alfred will take her back to her hotel tomorrow.
Oswald believes he knows who the birthday boy is from his dad’s warnings after watching the City Hall staff sing Happy Birthday to his Deputy Chief of Staff. He follows footprints to a closet where he finds his dad’s decaying body in a bag. Tarquin walks in just then and Oswald screams at him that he’s a sick man for digging up his dad. Tarquin claims to have no idea what’s in the bag or how it got there. Oswald beats Tarquin to death, smashing in his head while screaming.
Lee races over to Carmine’s place, demanding he call off the hit on Jim. She tells him Barnes is completely insane from the virus, but Carmine wonders if Lee really hates Jim. In fact, he believes she still loves him.
Oswald is late to his interview with Margaret Hearst after killing Tarquin and shows up, agitated, minutes before they go live. Margaret’s first question is how Oswald made the city a safer place. After covering a blood spot on his cuff, Oswald answers.
Meanwhile at Jim’s place, Gordon almost shoots his partner when he shows up unannounced. Harvey has brought Jim a shotgun which is immediately put to good use when bullets fly through the front door. Victor breaks in and blasts the place, switching guns rather than reloading. (Why didn’t Jim kill him earlier when he had the chance?) Victor gets the drop on Harvey and then Jim gets the drop on Victor. Victor tells Jim to put down his weapon or Harvey dies while Harvey yells at Jim to shoot Victor. The stand-off comes to an abrupt end when Carmine arrives to tell Victor the job’s cancelled. Victor readily accepts the news and leaves with a smile on his face. Jim apologizes to Carmine for Mario’s death and Carmine, not accepting it, tells Jim he’d be dead if it was up to him.
Margaret continues the interview by pointing out many people died so that Oswald could rise to power, reminding the viewers it was murder that got Oswald sentenced to Arkham. Oswald tries to turn the conversation around, saying he rescued Gotham from Theo Galavan. Margaret calls Oswald’s release from Arkham controversial and suggests that the deaths of Oswald’s father, mother, stepbrother, and stepsister are suspicious. She asks if he had his siblings killed to inherit his father’s money just as Oswald’s dead father makes an appearance clutching the statuette used to bash in Tarquin’s head. Oswald begins panicking and demands to end the interview, saying “to hell with the people” when Margaret reminds him everyone wants to know his secrets.
Oswald races back to the office and Tarquin’s body and his dad’s corpse are missing. The room is neat and tidy, without a speck of blood. Upset and confused, Oswald runs from the building as across the street Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) smiles. Tarquin’s body and Elijah’s corpse are in the trunk of his car and Edward congratulates his accomplice, who had made himself look like Elijah, for his good work.
Barbara (Erin Richards) and Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) arrive and are happy Penguin went crazy on live television. Edward walks everyone through exactly how they pulled off the stunt, and Tabitha wonders why he just didn’t leave the bodies in Oswald’s offices. Nygma explains he wants Oswald to have a “slow, painful death with a 1000 deep cuts.” After that, they’ll take over his empire.
Alfred drives Maria to her hotel and receives a kiss on the cheek for his kindness as Selena looks disgusted. After Alfred drops her off, Maria and Selena head to Maria’s hotel room and find the door’s open. Maria tells Selena to wait outside and enters the room where she’s confronted by a man who demands money. Selena enters and tells the man she can get the money from a friend. He wants to know who the rich guy is, and Selena assures him Bruce will give him the money. After he leaves, Selena wants to know who this man is and Maria says they need to warn Bruce and Alfred.
Dwight meets with his cohort in bringing the dead back to life. Since Jim and Harvey are onto him, Dwight says they must move quickly and get “him.” And who is this man they need to retrieve? Jerome, obviously.