The case continues on from last week, in which Gordon finds himself in pursuit of a serial killer who retaliates against investigation by killing the detective’s loved ones. Understandably, Gordon is afraid that the Ogre will come after Leslie – prompting Gordon to admit to Leslie he loves her. With Leslie’s blessing, Gordon pursues the Ogre, tracing him back to his serial killer origins after he apparently met a nurse at a cosmetic surgery clinic who would become his first victim. After Gordon discovers the Ogre is following him and keeping track of his investigation, he discovers that the Ogre is the disfigured son of a wealthy woman’s housekeeper. After the son comes to believe the wealthy woman is his real mother and is in turn rejected by her, he kills the woman and keeps it a secret in order to use her money – and uses it to fix his face and lure women to their death. The Ogre lures Barbara, thinking that she and Gordon are still together. Once he finds out they are no longer an item, he drops his plan to kill her, and instead seems to find in her a kindred spirit. After he seduces her at the Wayne Charity Ball, he takes her to his apartment and shows her his torture room, which seems to intrigue her. Gordon realizes that Barbara is the Ogre’s target and rushes to her apartment, only to be told by Selina that she left with a man matching the Ogre’s description.
Bruce and Selina
Predictably, Reggie is officially dead after Selina pushed him out a fifth floor window. Bruce is aghast at her actions, telling her there is a line that he could never cross. She seems to feel no remorse, saying that she did what had to be done to ensure their survival. Clearly, this is the barrier that will forever separate them, but which somehow binds them together. They continue their investigation, planning to go to the Wayne Charity Ball together in order to steal a copy of Bunderslaw’s safe key so they can search for further clues. Bruce and Selina awkwardly dance the night away as they wait to make their move. Bruce distracts Bunderslaw as Selina picks his pockets and makes an imprint of his key. They make a perfect team, if only they could stay on the same side. Selina catches a glance of Barbara slipping away with the Ogre.
Barbara is a weird, self-loathing type of character. She has her looks, but not much else going for her – but only because she’s been made to believe that and so its the only virtue she’s cultivated. When Gordon turned out to be more interested in her character than in her looks, and then she proved to have absolutely no strength of character, she clearly found herself in a crisis. I mean, how can she compete with Leslie, who is not only beautiful, but has personality, intelligence, moral strength, and selfless bravery? If she actually needs more than her looks to get (and keep) what she wants, how is she going to do that? The Ogre relates to Barbara’s self-loathing and her feeling that she has to put on a mask to be loved. When they meet again at the ball, he tantalizes her with promises of freedom. She might just be the woman he’s been looking for. Maybe Barbara is a villain now? That would be cool.
After Cobblepot secures the services of a gang of hitmen to kill Don Maroni, Maroni himself shows up to Cobblepot’s club. He charms Cobblepot’s mother, boozing her up, and insisting that they all spend the evening together. In the end, Maroni turns poisonous, insulting Cobblepot’s mother and revealing to her that Cobblepot is a psychopath who has killed countless people. Cobblepot swears to his mother that it’s not true, but you can tell she doesn’t believe him. An enraged Cobblepot kills a flower messenger as a message to Maroni as he prepares in earnest to do away with the Don.
Nygma’s trigger turned out not to be the sting of a spurned lover, but the need to protect a woman he loves. While Nygma may not have given up on courting Kringle, he did accept with respect her choices and desires. When he found out that her current policeman boyfriend was abusing her, he refused to allow harm to come to Kringle. He warned the officer once, staked out Kringle’s house until the boyfriend came stumbling drunkenly to her door, warned him a second time, and then stabbed him repeatedly until he died. Up until this moment, Nygma’s words and actions had been tightly controlled. In fact, they had been too tightly controlled. You could see the barely restrained fury vibrating through his body – an excellent performance by Cory Michael Smith – so you just knew it was unsustainable. The stabbing of Kringle’s boyfriend had the distinct sense of irresistible compulsion to it, to the extent that Nygma’s hand seemed to be moving of its own accord, independent of his mind or body. When it’s all done, Nygma is stunned by his own actions, unable to comprehend what he has done.
Can this show be about the Ogre instead? It’s more interesting and better organized. Or was the Barbara/Ogre subplot a pitch for a 50 Shades of Grey television series?