Gordon and Bullock continue their investigation into the phobia killings when a high school teacher shows up dead with his adrenal gland missing. They find a match to their suspect while searching through the high school yearbooks for a connection and discover the killer is named Crane. They find out that Crane had a theory about the use of adrenal glands in curing fear. Meanwhile, Crane perfects his fear serum and treats himself, eliminating his fear response, and then beginning to treat his son Jonathan, who is reluctant but compliant. Gordon and Bullock learn that Crane’s wife died in a house fire a few years back and that it was due to Crane’s fear that he was unable to save her – explaining his obsession with curing his and his son’s fear response. Gordon and Bullock investigate Crane’s old house and find him and Jonathan. Crane, determined to finish his son’s treatment, gives his last injections all at once before charging the police with a gun and being shot to death. Jonathan gets help just in time to save his life, but because of the overdose now lives in a state of constant terror of scarecrows.
Fish, having been kidnapped off her boat by what are presumably pirates, wakes up in a dungeon type prison and must navigate the hierarchy and rules of this prison culture. She first scares off her would be rapists and then seduces the boss and kills him, taking his place. Just as she is about to assert her authority to the other prisoners, a woman is returned to the dungeon with her eyes having been taken from her. What kind of prison this is or why Mooney and the others have been brought there is left vague, but the guess is that it is a kind of black market prison. Perhaps these people have been kidnapped off the sea by pirates and imprisoned to be harvested for organs. Mooney has been thrown a lot of curve balls lately, and this one’s a doozy, but it looks like she has a plan well in hand based on next week’s preview.
Cobblepot returns to Gotham to see Falcone’s protection. Falcone orders Cobblepot to get Mooney’s old club ready for a grand opening and promises his protection. Falcone meets with Maroni, who wants Cobblepot dead more than anything – or almost anything. He makes a deal with Falcone for the head of a troublesome judge and $200,000 that he’ll leave Cobblepot alone. Falcone counters the offer by showing Maroni that he currently has the judge in a very compromising position with a dominatrix and dead young man – and pictures being taken. Maroni agrees to leave Cobblepot alone, but makes a threatening visit to Mooney’s old club – now called Oswald’s – and warns Cobblepot that Falcone better have a very long life, because the minute Falcone dies, Maroni will kill him.
Meanwhile, Cobblepot is busy renovating the club for a grand opening. As the invitations are sent out, Cobblepot delivers one in person to Gordon at the GCPD. Following an awkward and unnecessary interaction between Cobblepot and Nygma, there follows another awkward interaction between Cobblepot and Gordon, where Gordon rejects Cobblepot’s invitation and tells him he never wants his help with anything again. Cobblepot is clearly offended, but encourages Gordon to think it over before throwing away a beneficial relationship. Later, no one shows up to Cobblepot’s grand opening party.
Bruce continues a yearly tradition where he would take a hike with his father and watch the sunrise. Alfred offers to go with him, but Bruce says it wouldn’t be the same. Alfred, as always, is a little hurt by Bruce’s careless dismissal of Alfred’s importance. Bruce goes on his hike, occasionally stopping at a rune and thoughtfully touching or pocketing the stones. When he reaches a significant pile, with a rock marked with the initials “T.W.”, Bruce angrily starts throwing the rocks. He then falls down a hill and sprains his ankle. After some struggling he manages to splint his leg and begins the climb back up the hill. When Bruce finally makes it up the hill, Alfred is there waiting for him with a lit campfire. Bruce is angry at first, annoyed that Alfred didn’t help him, but Bruce realizes his foolishness and they watch the sunrise together.
Gordon and Leslie’s relationship seems to be going well, having their third date and getting along just fine. However, Leslie gets the job at the GCPD as the Medical Examiner and Gordon has to adjust, balancing his romantic relationship with his work relationship. Leslie is affectionate and flirty, giving Gordon a hard time for not wanting to display his affection at work. Gordon is adamant that they keep their work relationship professional and Leslie promises – with a kiss – that she’ll be discrete. Bullock, meanwhile, swears that Gordon’s office romance is doomed to fail.
Next week is the episode where we finally get the beginning of the Joker story. It’s difficult to really tell anything from the preview – even the laugh could just be incidental and completely innocent in the context of the story. All I can say is that I’m looking forward to see how they handle it. Unfortunately, any Joker in any Batman adaptation has some very big shoes to fill, especially for anyone from my generation. After all, we have Batman: The Animated Series and Mark Hamill’s perfect Joker forever emblazoned in our hearts.
Come to think of it, though, I’d maybe be more interested in seeing Harley Quinn’s story before the Joker. The depiction of Quinn is pretty varied throughout the comics and adaptations. Some portray her as just plain stupid, while I rather like the more complex characterizations of Quinn – in which she’s actually a brilliant young psychologist, who just happens to be a little bit ditzy. Her ultimate corruption says a lot about the power of the Joker to manipulate, made all the more striking and tragic if Quinn is the intelligent woman she is sometimes written as.