Title: Mad City: New Day Rising
Director: Eagle Egilsson
Written by: developed by Bruce Heller, written by Robert Hull
Starring: Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, David Mazouz, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor, Camren Bicondova, Erin Richards, Jessica Lucas, Chris Chalk, Drew Powell, Michael Chiklis, Jamie Chung, Jada Pinkett Smith, Cory Michael Smith, Morena Baccarin, and more
Episode length: 42 minutes
After a stuttering start season 3 is in full swing with another eventful top notch episode in the story about the grim city.
Once again episode 4 tells its story in the hopscotch manner we have gotten used to with quick scenes that work towards blending all of its ingredients along the way until they begin adding up to a great story.
The main thrust of the narrative this time around was wrapping up the introduction of the Mad Hatter, Jervis Tetch, to the singular city the story takes place in.
Episode four had lots of developments in other areas too, and I have been wondering with all of the characters the show has been introducing and more or less wrapping up their story lines, what will happen in the future that will see their return? When, for example, will we see Firefly, Mr freeze, Ivy, Fish and Hugo Strange again?
Is the show stockpiling villains for some epically large event in the future? Or will they simply reemerge as needed in a surprising manner when a storyline needs a boost? Its interesting and fun to ponder these characters lurking in the wings awaiting the cue for their return to the stage that is Gotham, for return they most certainly will.
Here’s a recap of episode 4, laced with some comments (*warning, spoilers follow*)
New Day Rising begins with Harvey Bullock interrogating Hatter’s sister Alice (Naian González Norvind), at the GCPD. She’s obviously frightened about her brother coming to get her and what he is capable of.
A quick visit with Tetch (Benedict Samuel) in an undisclosed location that appears to be a warehouse for carnival attractions finds him speaking with another victim of his hypnotic powers as the man lays down so he becomes an easy target for a large mallet Tetch is holding and then uses on his mesmerized victim’s head with deadly results, confirming his role as a merciless killer.
The scene shifts to Penguin’s election headquarters, and its election day. Penguin looks a little different, because someone has finally suggested he comb his hair. There is a comment by Nygma that ruffles Butch’s feathers, and its clear they do not care for each tother, and in that contest there’s little doubt who will outsmart the other.
Next we find Lee in her new/old job as the GCPD medical supervisor taking a sample of Alice’s blood and Alice informs her more about her condition. Alice hints at the unsavory nature of her relationship with her brother being another reason she will never go away with him again.
We join Gordon walking, as reaches an intersection and the device that is used to make the lights change sooner begins clicking. It triggers the suicidal urges planted by Tetch in his mind and he goes into a trance-like state and wanders into the path of an oncoming truck, only to be yanked away at the last moment by a kindly stranger who questions his ability to think. Jim’s obviously still under the effects of Tech’s spell and he knows it. he seeks help for his condition first from Barnes and then Lee.
Next we join Bruce and Alfred at the estate as they discuss his double who has still not returned after stealing some of bruce’s clothes and a car. Bruce is smart enough to figure out he went out looking for Selena, and sure enough the scene shifts to Selena and the double walking together in town.
They arrive at a location and she goes inside telling him to wait for her in back in five minutes, and she goes into the place, a betting parlor and creates a stir as a distraction between two customers as she slips into the back room to rob the place.
She gets caught and the people that catch her are not happy about finding her, or friendly, and threaten to cut off her fingers. Things look grim when there’s a knock on the door and its Bruce’s double, he makes short work of the gangsters that are holding Selena captive. It turns out this kid is a lot more capable of dealing withe rough stuff than Bruce is, he kicks ass, but he gets stabbed in the process, and doesn’t even notice because he doesn’t feel pain.
Later, when Selena notices he got wounded, she realizes its not Bruce, and sews him up, and he explains he just wanted her to like him like she likes Bruce, which of course she denies.He kisses her snd she doesn’t seem to mind, at least she doesn’t try to kill him for it.
Meanwhile back with Jim he visits Barbara at Sirens in hopes of finding Tetch, and after behaving like the bitter, psychotic bitch she is, she tells him he was there earlier and asking where he could find some muscle for hire.
Next, we find Tetch at a local gyn where some wrestlers called the Tweed Brothers (Happy Anderson, Adam Petchel, Ari Barkan) are working out, and he goes to work on them with his special skills, after they ask him what he wants. These are obviously Gotham’s version of Tweedledee, and Tweedledum, Mad hatter’s henchmen of Batman fame, and this time around they are a grisly, and gruesome pair in XX large.
We see them next at the GCPD headquarters where they create a bit of chaos attacking police officers, during which Tetch escapes with Alice, Jim is there but is helpless to try to stop it because Tetch still has him under his spell, he blacks out, and when he wakes up he is handcuffed, and under Lee’s care. She won’t let him go because she realizes he is not himself and could get hurt, and they finally have it out about what went wrong with their relationship. He tries being a hard ass about it because he says she had no problem moving on without him, but she reminds him it was his fault too because he wasn’t around when she needed him most.
The Tweeds get away, but they leave one of their gang behind and in an amusing scene Bullock goes to work on him until he gets the information he needs as to where they went. Harvey goes to rescue Alice, and he picks up Jim on the way because Lee let him know where Jim was in a transport vehicle, and together they go to rescue Alice
When they arrive it becomes a standoff when once again Tetch puts Jim in a hypnotic state using a metronome, but somehow this time Gordon snaps himself out of it and a fight breaks out. Tetch has been collecting vials of Alice’s blood which I assume he’s planning to weaponize somehow. In the resulting gun battle Alice gets loose and when she struggles with her brother, she falls off a platform to her death when she is impaled on a pipe. Tetch and the Tweed brothers escape leaving only death and sadness behind.
Back with Penguin, Nygma, and Butch, Gilzean arrives in a frenzy just as the election results are being announced, he’s upset because he just found out that Nygma took back all of the bribe money Butch paid out to district supervisors as bribes to win the election, and Penguin is not happy about it either, he is ready to let Butch kill Ed when its announced Penguin won the election and is the new mayor of Gotham.
Nygma wanted to let Penguin experience winning without the bribes so he could experience what it felt like to be loved, and he managed to outsmart Butch in the process, although it might not be smart to make an enemy of Butch. Corny stuff, but still it made for an interesting plot twist.Later at his acceptance speech Penguin announces Nygma as his chief of staff and their partnership is cemented going forward, at least for now.
Elsewhere Bruce and Alfred arrive at Selena’s rooftop hangout and catch up with Bruce’s double who tells the real Bruce he’s blowing it and not paying attention to things that he should be paying attention to, and he tells him about the kiss. The doppleganger says he is leaving town and they will probably never see him again. He jumps off the roof, and lands on top of a truck below uninjured, and walks away. there is little doubt the double is the harbinger of Bruce’s future. Later Bruce mistakenly convinces himself that Selena probably let herself be kissed by his double because she thought it was him.
Back at the scene of Alice’s death Captain Barnes (Michael Chiklis) is inspecting the scene and as he looks up at the pipe that killed Alice, a single drop of her blood falls into his eye. The effects are immediate and his face shows the reaction to the toxic stuff as he mutters “Oh no” and we are left to find out what happens next in next week’s show.
Finally, Bruce’s double is walking alone down a dark street when a limo pulls up alongside him and the woman Kathryn (Leslie Hendrix), we have met before who represents the Court Of Owls asks “Bruce Wayne?” and he answers “No”. She tells him he could be, and Talon picks him up and holds him. Its obvious they have plans for him, and that spells trouble for Bruce.
All in all, I don’t think its any exaggeration to say this was quite an epic episode with all kinds of developments that will shape the show going forward. it was also a lot of fun in different ways. I especially liked the show’s interpretation of the Tweed brothers and it was heartbreakingly sad when Alice died. I am eager to know what happens next with Penguin as mayor in what will probably be one of the shortest terms in history. This episode is going to be a hard act to follow next week, but after all, its Gotham and anything can happen, so its bound to be good. Just when you think this show can’t get any better, it manages to do just that in surprising ways. Happy viewing.