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'Gotham' recap: Gallavan on the loose in 'The Son of Gotham'

Gallavan goes Medieval on Gotham.

"The Son of Gotham" had everything that makes a great "Gotham" episode: Creepy villains wreaking havoc, Bruce and Selina working together and Jim kicking serious ass. Best of all, it sets up next week's fall finale with so much suspense.

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The episode begins with a gripping and horrifying start.

"The blood of the nine shall wash away the sin and Gotham will be cleansed," Father Creel says before he slits the throat of robber into a basin. So. Much. Blood. Gah!

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The bloodfest doesn't stop there. Father Creel sends his sinister monks to kill nine criminals – as his cryptic message promises – ultimately leading up to the Son of Gotham. More on whose identity that is in a bit, but I'm sure you can already guess. (Hint: His parents used to rule Gotham and he's loaded.)

As the monks run amok (heh) in the city, Gallavan goes to court on his kidnapping and torturing charges. Former Mayor James takes the stand and testifies that it wasn't Theo but Penguin who held him hostage.

No wonder Theo looked so relaxed when Jim visited him in jail. Did he brainwash or threaten James into lying? Since there's no other evidence, Gallavan is now free to go.

(Sidenote: Are we ever going to find out what Jim accidentally knocked out of that painting at Theo's apartment during "A Bitter Pill to Swallow"? That, and I bet Gertrude Copplepot's body will turn up for the fall finale. Both should send Gallavan to the clink for a long time.)

Jim replies with a swift punch to Gallavan's face. Two cops escort him out of the courthouse and onto the docks where Gallavan is waiting for him. We then learn Tabitha isn't the only Gallavan (Dumas?) who can kick some serious butt. Theo has moves!

After revealing his sinister plot to Jim – as all criminal masterminds are wont to do – Theo pummels Jim to the ground with a series of beautifully choreographed punches, blows and a roundhouse kick to the gut. Oof.

Jim's left to die at the hands of Gallavan's goons until Penguin comes to save the day. Theo, meanwhile, heads to Wayne Manor to pay a personal visit to the Son of Gotham, Bruce Wayne.

I'm curious to see how Bruce is going to handle this. He doesn't have Batman's signature fighting moves yet to defeat Gallavan (Jim can attest to that).

But from this episode alone, we've seen Bruce change his game a lot. He's no longer the naive kid who will believe any doe-eyed blond who "has him wrapped around her finger." He's earned the title of "Son of Gotham."

Just as the classic villains are transforming into their evil personas this season, so is Bruce, quietly evolving into Batman. He's not gaining the muscle mass Batman will someday need, but he's learning real-world experience to make him the mature and level-headed superhero we love.

His latest lesson: How to lie to discover the truth. It's not the most ethical method, but when it comes to solving who murdered his parents, nothing will stand in his way. And besides, who likes a hero without flaws?

Bruce enlists Selina to help find out who killed his parents, and they make a great duo. She hires the Knife, a hardened criminal with a Glasgow smile, to kidnap Silver and Bruce and take them to an abandoned warehouse.

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There, Bruce learns the name of his parents' murderer, and confirms that Silver isn't the least bit concerned about him or his safety. When Bruce is being tortured (or fake tortured), Silver doesn't give up the murderer's name. Instead, she only blurts it out when she's "under the knife," as Selina points out.

Good riddance, Silver. Glad to have you back, Selina.

Every villain molds Bruce in some way to become Batman, but it's usually through overcoming a moral conflict or hand-to-hand combat. Rarely do they impart their own words of wisdom on how to stay a good guy.

"It's good you're changing. Just don't change too much," Selina warns him.

She sees a hint of a bad streak in Bruce, but she won't let it take him over entirely. This is what makes Bruce and Selina's relationship so fascinating: She's not purely good or bad. Sure, they might butt heads, but deep down they'll always have a connection.

"I told [Silver] I've never met anyone like her," he admits to Selina. "I told her I trusted her with my life, and I felt tied to her in a way that I couldn't explain but wouldn't change, ever."

Only he wasn't really talking about Silver; he was talking about Selina. After all, "the best liars always tell the truth."

Most striking about this scene is how confident Bruce is when he interacts with Selina. He sheds his shy, boyish side and gets the guts to tell her how he really feels.

"Um, I'm gonna steal one of your cars to take to the city," Selina bashfully responds. Aww, young love is so sweet!

More highlights from "Son of Gotham": 

Best Harvey one-liner: "Just when you think Gotham has shown her last jewel, she reveals herself like a flower." – Harvey

"You're mixing metaphors." – Jim

"I'm in a freaking sewer." – Harvey

Best line: "Does the universe usually like you this much?" – Barnes

"First time." – Jim

Grossest moment: Jim cutting his hand (wince) and dripping the blood into the monk's mouth. Barf. And they're in a sewer! Double barf.

Cattiest line: "I was just glad to see the two-faced bitch get served." – Selina on Silver. Oh snap! But, uh, "served?" See, it really is impossible to figure out when this show is set when they randomly drop lingo from 2004.

Truest line: "Kid, you really need better taste in women." – The Knife to Bruce

Find your match: Who is M. Malone? The only thing that comes up in the “Batman” universe is Matches Malone. In one storyline, Malone dies and Batman assumes his identity to go undercover in the criminal world. That’s not going to happen in “Gotham.” Bruce already needs enough therapy as it is, and he doesn’t need to impersonate his parents’ murderer added to the bill. 

Odd couple: How cute was it when Penguin called Ed at work to find the spicy mustard? Supervillains: they're just like us! Except, you know, without the moral conscious.

Harshest line: "Do you think that one hurts because you're a kid or because you're you? How'd that work for your mommy and daddy?" – The Knife to Bruce after slapping him a couple times. Ouch.

Take it easy: Poor Alfred. This is the second time he's been stabbed by an assassin. On top of that, Tabitha chucks a knife into his back and he collapses into the garbage truck he was riding to escape her. Ew, I hope his wounds don't get septic lying in that filth.

Back to work: Just as Cory Michael Smith said in our recent “Gotham” interview, Ed’s still working at GCPD. Now he’s dodging Lee’s questions with a flimsy cover-up. How long will it take for his co-workers to realize she didn’t run off with her abusive ex Dougherty?

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