Fox’s Gotham season three episode eight finds Captain Barnes fighting the effects of Alice’s blood, Ed Nygma freaking out over a pair of glasses, and Lee and Mario hosting an engagement party. Airing on November 7, 2016 and titled ‘Blood Rush,’ episode eight begins with Captain Barnes (Michael Chiklis) spotting a suspicious man getting into a van and following him into a dark building where the guy gets busy disposing of a body by cutting it into pieces. He claims to just be “the cleaner,” not the murderer, and rather than taking him in, Barnes wants to punish him. The cleaner gives up his boss’ name, The Toad, but Barnes doesn’t care. He attacks the man instead of arresting him.
Mario (James Carpinello) and Lee (Morena Baccarin) joke about their huge wedding guest list and although they seem to be all lovey dovey, Lee takes this opportunity to tell Mario that Jim Gordon’s coming back to work at the GCPD. Mario says it’s fine but he obviously isn’t being truthful, and Lee asks him to trust her. Mario admits he’s just worried because of Tetch and what Gordon said.
Jim (Ben McKenzie) doesn’t receive much of a welcome back from the GCPD and Harvey (Donal Logue) as it’s basically just business as usual. Harvey tosses Jim his badge as a welcome and off they head out on an investigation, officially partners once more.
Ed (Cory Michael Smith) whips up a tasty breakfast for Isabella (Chelsea Spack), telling her he’ll miss her when she’s away at a conference. He’s done the math and has calculated she’ll be gone for 44 ½ hours because, you know, he’s Ed and that’s just what he does. Isabella reads him her schedule, putting on a pair of glasses that match Kristen Kringle’s. Ed’s shocked and asks where they came from, and she says they’re her back-up pair. He starts shaking and when she grabs his hand, he pulls it away and flees the breakfast table. He tries to collect himself in the bathroom, but he sees Kristen in the mirror standing behind him which does nothing to calm his nerves. Imaginary Kristen’s wearing the glasses and once seen, he can’t stop seeing her. Ed tries to tell her she’s different from Isabella and Kristen points out the obvious – she’s dead and Isabella’s alive. He swears he won’t hurt Isabella but Kristen tells him he’s a killer and one day he’ll murder his new girlfriend.
Jim and Harvey’s first case back as a team finds them walking into a room that looks like a slaughterhouse, but with two men as the source of all the blood. One victim is Paulie Pennies from the Gotham underworld, and the crime scene’s so grotesque they decide to call Barnes about the case.
Meanwhile, Barnes has issues of his own to deal with. He visits Tetch (Benedict Samuel) in prison and Tetch is happy to know his deceased sister Alice is inside the captain. Barnes wants to know if there’s a way to beat the virus, but Tetch won’t give up the info without something in exchange. He tells Barnes Alice’s blood brings out the darkness in people, and wonders what it tapped into inside of Barnes. If Barnes tells him that, then Tetch will tell him everything he knows. Barnes reveals it brought out his anger at criminals, and Tetch corrects him that the virus brought out violent, bloody rage. Tetch says there is a cure, shooting with glee, “You give in and let my dear sister win!” Barnes grabs Tetch and Tetch asks him if he’s been hearing voices from deep within himself, whispering. Apparently Barnes will be gone when that happens and it will just be Alice in his place. Tetch also realizes Barnes has already done something while in a rage.
Jim and Lee run into each other at the station, and it’s as awkward as you’d expect. Lee asks after Valerie and Jim swears he doesn’t want this to be awkward. Lee tells him about her engagement party and then they hurriedly leave that subject behind to discuss the two bodies found this morning at the horrific murder scene. The man in the acid had his face removed with a scalpel or something similar.
Harvey and Jim meet with Barnes in his office, and Jim lets him know the victim had his face removed. It’s weird because the acid would have done the job, so removing it wasn’t necessary. Barnes decides he’s running point on this case, angrily sending them off to follow the physical evidence. After they leave, Barnes learns the identity of the criminal known as The Toad.
Ed is so worried he may hurt Isabella that he discusses the situation with Oswald (Robin Lord Taylor) who can’t help but smile as Ed lays out his problem. Ed calls him out about smiling, and Oswald tries to cover by saying he was thinking about how much Ed must love Isabella to be willing to break up with her in order to protect her. Ed agrees that’s probably the right course of action, but then he immediately changes his mind and says it’s Oswald who needs to be the one who breaks up with Isabella for him. Oswald very happily agrees.
Barnes asks about The Toad at a bar, and when The Toad’s henchmen attempt to attack him Barnes lets his newfound powers take over. He holds a broken bottle to The Toad’s throat and demands to know who the body belonged to that Paulie was trying to get rid of. The Toad says he’s just a go-between and Barnes again demands a name. The Toad would rather squeal than have a smile carved into his face, so he gives up a plastic surgeon named Dr. Symon who has a side business supplying new faces to people who get in trouble. Barnes is on the verge of cutting The Toad but reins himself in, demanding to be taken to Dr. Symon.
Oswald shows up at Isabella’s to break the sad news Ed wants to end their relationship. He blurts out, “It’s over,” and tells her to not contact Ed ever again. Isabella gasps for air and Oswald asks what they have in common, because he doesn’t think Isabella’s on Ed’s level. She says she doesn’t deserve him but refuses to let him go. Isabella proclaims she loves Ed and he loves her, and then she figures out that Oswald loves him, too. Isabella’s not jealous and she even knows Ed wants to break up because he’s scared he’ll hurt her like he did Kristen Kringle. Oswald demands, again, that she let Ed go but Isabella, again, refuses. He threatens her and leaves.
Barnes pays a visit to Dr. Symon (William Abadie) who’s about to cut off a beautiful woman’s face to be used on a client. Barnes busts in and tells him he’s under arrest and as he notices other faces in a jar, Barnes starts to lose control. His rage takes over and Barnes hears voices, just like Tetch said he would. He attacks the doctor and then tries to restrain himself.
Lucius (Chris Chalk) points out how much strength it took to severe Paulie’s head from his body, and he tells Jim and Harvey there’s still no word on the identity of the other victim (the one without a face). As Jim and Harvey are talking about Lee’s engagement party, Barnes brings in Dr. Symon. Barnes cryptically says, “You know that feeling, Jim, when you’ve won the battle but know you’re going to lose the war?” Jim reminds him wars are fought one battle at a time. Before Barnes walks off, Jim wants to make sure he has it right: Dr. Symon killed the John Doe but not Paulie Pennies. Barnes confirms that’s correct.
In his office, Barnes places his badge and gun on a photo of Paulie Pennies’ decapitated head.
Lee and Mario’s engagement party is packed, with Mario telling all of their friends he’s loved Lee since the first day he saw her. Barbara (Erin Richards) shows up uninvited and Lee tells her to leave, but Barbara claims to be someone’s +1, though she has no idea what man she came with. She wants to bury the hatchet, but Lee’s understandably not ready to forgive Barbara for kidnapping and trying to kill her. Before she leaves, Barbara asks if Lee misses the heat of being with Jim Gordon. Lee says she doesn’t and thinks Mario is a good man who will be a good father to her children. Barnes stops Lee from hitting Barbara, and although he wants to leave he agrees to stay for one drink if there isn’t any work talk.
Lucius and Jim are just about the only people not at Lee’s party. They’re going over the tests from the victims when Harvey, another non-invitee, barges in and announces Dr. Symon’s been set free. Lucius says the toxicology ties John Doe to Symon, and Jim and Harvey need to track him down again.
Carmine Falcone (John Doman) introduces himself to Captain Barnes, and Barnes isn’t impressed. He tells Carmine he’s not above the law, and Carmine says Barnes sounds like he’s trying to convince himself. As Carmine walks away, Barnes puts down his drink and calls the station, leaving a message for Jim that he’s bringing in the man responsible for Paulie Pennies’ murder. As Barnes turns around, he sees Dr. Symon enter the party. The rage is back and Barnes mutters, “Guilty.”
Ed visits Isabella’s apartment and isn’t sure why she’s invited him there since she needs to leave for her conference. She’s busy in the bathroom, and from the living room he says breaking up is for the best. Isabella enters the room and she’s dressed exactly like Kristen, including hair and makeup. She’s forcing him to face his fear and truly believes he won’t hurt her. She places Ed’s hand around her neck and he begins to squeeze, but then loosens it and they kiss.
Jim and Harvey don’t want to interrupt Mario and Lee’s party, but they want to grab Dr. Simon before he escapes. Jim wonders how Mario’s father knows Dr. Symon, and Mario’s not about to get into this with Jim right now. Harvey breaks away and enters the party without Jim, promising he’ll be discreet. Mario asks for a moment with Jim and Lee, reluctantly, leaves them to deal with their issues without her there to referee. Mario wants Jim to admit he sacrificed Valerie for Lee with Tetch, and admit he still loves Lee. Jim wants to leave and Mario threatens him, saying, “I love Lee and I’ll do whatever I have to to keep her.” Jim tells him to stop being jealous because it’s a sign of weakness. Mario punches Jim in the face but Jim doesn’t hit him back out of respect for Lee.
Barnes encounters Dr. Symon in the bathroom at the party, and the doctor makes a joke which doesn’t go over well. Barnes slams Dr. Symon into the sink and then into a toilet stall. Barnes says he’s seeing things clearly for the first time as he attacks Symon again. Barnes tells Dr. Symon the whole city is guilty and when Symon reminds him he’s a cop and has to follow the law, Barnes proclaims, “I don’t have to do anything. I am the law. I am judge, jury, and executioner!” launching him through the wall and out of the building. Dr. Symon lands on a car and Barnes says, “Sentence served.”
Ed reports back to Oswald and tells him everything is wonderful. Ed says he was worried over nothing and Isabella’s now on her way out of town for the conference. Oswald gives him a huge hug, congratulates him, and then sends Ed off to bed. After Ed leaves the room, Oswald’s demeanor changes. He’s angry but gives Isabella credit for fighting for Ed. However, he thinks she’s underestimated her opponent. Oswald asks his goon if the job is done, and the guy’s a little sad because he likes librarians.
Isabella’s humming as she drives to the conference, but her mood shifts as she approaches a railroad crossing and her brakes don’t work (Oswald had the brake line cut). There’s a loud crash as car and train meet.
Harvey and Jim don’t know where Dr. Symon is, and Barnes acts disappointed Jim and Harvey didn’t apprehend him during the party. Jim asks about the guy who killed Paulie Pennies, and Barnes lies and says it was a dead end. Harvey heads back into the party while Barnes tells Jim they’re going to make a difference in this city. They will clean it up. As Barnes returns to the party, he hears the voices again and sees demons in place of some of the partygoers.
Jim finds Dr. Symon on top of the car on the street outside the party. He’s bloody, injured, and barely alive, and he struggles to make sure Jim knows Barnes is the one responsible for his injuries.