'Gotham' recap, 'Under the Knife'

Barbara meets Jason Lennon, or The Ogre, at a charity ball.
Barbara meets Jason Lennon, or The Ogre, at a charity ball. (Fox)

The Ogre is on the loose, and Jim is on the clock to find him before he finds Leigh.

But Leigh isn't the loved one the Ogre has chosen to use as retaliation against Jim. That would be Barbara.


Social media doesn't exist in "Gotham," so he can't go based off a Facebook relationship status to see who Jim's with.

Instead, the Ogre discovers an old picture in the newspaper of Jim with Barbara at a charity event.


The Ogre finds Barbara at a bar and seduces her. She invites him back to her place, and he's ready to kill her until he discovers she tells him she doesn't have a boyfriend.

"If a bus hit me tomorrow, no one would care." Sheesh. Breakups suck, but it does get better, Barb.

Even with if she's unwittingly giving him the green light to kill her, the Ogre realizes that killing her would have no impact on Jim. So, he hides his knife and leaves — for now.

But there's something she says that sticks with him: "Once you see the real me, you would run screaming like everyone else."


At first we assume he relates to that because his victims are terrified when they realize he's a serial killer.

But when Jim and Harvey go to the Ogre's dad's house, they discover his face has been scratched out of every picture. Not out of anger or disgust from what he's become, but out of shame of what he once was.

The Ogre used to have a face deformity until he went under the knife (hey, that's the title of the episode!) to transform into a suave, handsome Ted Bundy-esque serial killer.

"The person I am now, I created him," he tells Barbara as they're dancing at the charity ball the following night.

He spins that into something she can relate to. "Aren't you tired of playing games? Of hiding?" he asks her intently. "Yes," she replies.

He brings her back to his S&M cave and she likes what she sees. Next week will be a different story.

I don't expect the Ogre to kill off Barbara in next week's episode. In fact, quite the opposite: Jim rushing to her rescue will probably rekindle his past romance with her.

It would be a seamless way to reintroduce her into his life as a love interest. After all, the comic books have them destined to be together in the long run.

Jim's love life and professional life are the least interesting thing to me on "Gotham" right now.

Instead, I liked how "Under the Knife" discussed how people create alter egos to protect themselves. It plays into the Batman mythos masterfully.

Sure, not everyone wears a mask like Batman or gets an entirely new face from surgery like the Ogre. But everyday characters like Barbara know the importance of putting on a façade to fit in or even just to get through the day.

That's why these stories have resonated with readers and viewers for several generations.

"Gotham" is more entertaining when they focus on relatable themes like this, rather than Jim's incessant march toward justice in GCPD. It gets tiresome after a while.

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm hoping we'll see more of Barbara and less of Jim.


Best line: "Everyone's staring at us," Cat says to Bruce at the ball. "Well, I am Bruce Wayne," he says as Cat shakes her head at his arrogance. "Well, I am," he states objectively.

Best Cat one-liner: "Am I really supposed to wear these?" she practically groans as she lifts up a pair of strappy stilettos amongst the piles of boxes of designer gowns that Bruce sent over. Pfht, if this girl can scale 4-story alley walls, I'm pretty sure she can handle 4-inch heels.

Bat vs. Cat: I knew Bruce would take issue with Cat shoving Reggie out the window last week. It doesn't matter if Alfred says it was "necessary" to kill people during his time in the army. To Bruce, taking someone's life is an unnecessary evil. That's what will separate him from the thugs on the streets when he becomes Batman. It was still adorable seeing those two team up to find Bunderslaw at the charity ball, but I wonder how much longer their friendship will last?

Sweet talks: "I do. Love you," Jim hesitantly confesses to Leslie. "It only took a serial killer to get you to say that," she replies.

Mommy issues: Watch out, Maroni. Never get between a momma's boy and his mother. Penguin wants Maroni's head on a stake after telling Mrs. Kapelput that her son is a bloodthirsty psychopath. Speaking of momma drama...

A face only a mother could love: The Ogre became psychotic because the woman he thought was his mother rejected him and told him he was hideous and unlovable. That's rough. But what's with all these Oedipal complexes? Can't they tone down the romantic tension (barf) between Penguin and his mom just a smidge? I'd like to keep my dinner down my stomach after watching a "Gotham" episode for once.

Leaving town: Why is everyone's solution always to leave Gotham? In this episode alone, Jim tells Leslie to leave Gotham, which makes sense because she's in danger from the Ogre. Then Ed tells the woman-hitting Dougherty to leave Gotham, which doesn't make sense when he could have told him just to break up with Kris Kringle. I realize Gotham has its problems, but isn't there another solution than hitting the road?

Down to "The Wire": Mr. Bunderslaw is played by another "Wire" alum, Michael Potts, aka Brother Mouzone! When are we going to see Bubs or Kima? My day would be made if they got Stringer Bell on board. Swoon.

Cheesiest scene: Ed murdering Dougherty. The gratuitous lens flare, the maniacal laughter, the melodramatic arching of Dougherty's back as he's on his knees crying out in pain — yawn. Seen it before somewhere else, and it wasn't good then either. Don't get me wrong; it's been a long time coming for Ed's evil switch to flip on. I just wish the "Gotham" writers hadn't resorted to stilted writing.

Where's Fish?: So, it's the episode after Fish makes her great escape, and there's not one mention of her. They didn't bother to include her in next week's teaser, either. I get that Jada Pinkett Smith isn't coming back next season, but the writers have got to give her a more finite sendoff than being shot in the stomach as she's flying a copter. This is Fish! If she can survive scooping out her eye and stomping on it, a nick from a bullet won't stop her from coming out on top. I expect a monumental farewell.

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