At last, the Wayne-Dumas conflict is finally resolved.
In “Unleashed,” we said goodbye to Gotham’s worst mayor and most outdated villain with the help of one of Galavan/Azrael’s countless enemies. The killer shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention this season (hint: It was Penguin), but it was a satisfying, if not over-the-top, farewell for the show’s most contemptible villain.
We’ll get into his explosive death later, but first, let’s start with Jim and Harvey’s hunt for the man “dressed like a ninja from medieval times.”
Azrael has gone rogue while Jim, Harvey and the rest of the GCPD are desperately searching for the mayor-turned-”uber villain.” They start at Dr. Strange’s Arkham office with a warrant only to find a bag of shredded papers.
“Spring cleaning,” Dr. Strange shrugs. Ugh, go figure.
With Barnes in a coma, there’s no captain to lead the GCPD. So Harvey steps up and gives a rousing speech. YAASSS! Last week was missing serious Harvey one-liners, and now he’s got an inspiring monologue.
“It’s like the bad guys in this town just keep getting weirder and weirder,” Harvey tells his freaked out colleagues. “But under that mask is just a man, and he can bleed — just like you and me. And if he bleeds, he can be beaten.”
But first they have to find him. And how do you find a 12th-century assassin? Ask someone who knows the subject well: his 21st-century sister.
Jim and Harvey head to Tabitha and Butch’s den to find her skipping town. Jim might be No. 1 on Azrael’s hit list, but Tabitha’s up pretty high on Galavan’s for leaving him for dead at the mid-season finale. That is, should he remember his past as Galavan.
It takes some convincing, but Tabitha agrees to join Jim and Harvey to her grandfather’s grave, the current safe box of Azrael’s true — and supposedly supernatural — sword. The one that broke last week was a cheap replica.
Once Jim and Harvey pry open her grandfather’s tomb, it’s not long before Azrael arrives at the Dumas mausoleum prepared to take the sword and kill Jim.
After a quick rumble with Jim, Tabitha tries to have a heart-to-heart with her troubled brother. She jogs his memory back to a happier time filled with horses and dogs on the beach. (Sigh, what a life.)
He remembers, instead, the monks and his true calling.
“Death to the son of Gotham,” he says plunging the sword into his sister’s abdomen. “Thank you for reminding me, traitor,” he spits at her, walking away. Ouch.
And now he’s back to hunting Bruce Wayne.
Jim hightails it out of the cemetery, calling Wayne Manor to warn Bruce about Azrael. Only problem is, Bruce isn’t there; he’s with Selina asking her to break into Arkham Asylum.
After Bruce gets back home, he and Alfred split up (does that boy have a death wish or something?) to lock all the windows and doors.
Like locks can keep him out. Azrael breaks through a window and has a sword fight with Alfred.
Azrael then follows Bruce into the garage. There, Bruce gets into one of the cars and runs him over. Ordinarily, that would break his “don’t kill anyone” rule, but this is Azrael we’re talking about, and the man is virtually immortal.
Azrael dusts himself off, then cracks his whip around Bruce’s neck, forcing him on his knees. As Azrael is ready to execute Bruce, Jim comes to the rescue and shoots Azrael repeatedly in the back.
This, of course, isn’t enough to kill him, so that’s when Penguin strolls in out of nowhere to save the day.
It was a sudden and somewhat shocking death (a bazooka — really?), but what else can kill a seemingly immortal 12th-century assassin, and who better to pull the trigger than Penguin? He doesn’t let that go unnoticed, either.
“You’re welcome,” Penguin tells Jim and Bruce.
The heavy artillery with thumping metal music playing in the background was too Action Jackson for me. For a second it felt like we wandered onto a Schwarzenegger set only to be shooed back to Gotham-land with Penguin’s emo hair and pinstripes.
Otherwise, I’m glad Galavan’s dead, again, and we can finally put this Wayne-Dumas plotline to rest, again.
Now that Jim’s name has been cleared, will he rejoin the GCPD? Or will he wait until Dr. Strange has been killed or arrested?
More highlights from “Unleashed”
Best Harvey one-liner: “And while you’re at it, explain to me this: why Victor Fries, last seen here, very dead, is alive and kicking and dressed like a spaceman!” — Harvey to Dr. Strange about the reanimation of Gotham’s notorious villains.
Grossest moment: Grace’s rotting corpse is still — STILL! — at Penguin’s dinner table. I mean, I hate taking out the trash, too, but jeez, how can he not smell that stank?!
Dumbest thing to do when a madman has it out for you: Remind him of his past, in which you betrayed him, then hand him a sword. You were just running away from him, Tabitha. Why would you trust that psychopath with a weapon?
Dumbest thing to say when a madman is on the hunt for you: “Let’s split up.” Bruce, you’re not some dumb jock in a B horror flick. You’re smarter than that.
Best moment: Selina, who’s breaking into Arkham, runs into Ed, who’s breaking out of Arkham, in the air vents. Then there’s this priceless exchange: “Forensic guy?” Selina says to Ed.
“Street trash girl?” Ed replies.
“You tried to frame Gordon!”
“You tried to get a reward by turning him back in!”
Selina responds with a shrug.
Most uncomfortable moment: Butch professing his love to an unconscious Tabitha (sweet), then trying to kiss her (creepy) before Penguin pops in and kills the mood (whew!).
Funniest line: “My last one got stuck in your throat, so I’m thinking about shoving this one somewhere else,” Penguin says to Azrael while holding his signature umbrella in his hand.
Bird call: Last we saw Selina, she was about to get scorched by Bridgit, err, Firefly. My guess is Selina will save herself at the last second by reminding Firefly of her pet birds, and how she’s been taking care of them all this time.
Spoiler alert: Fish is making a return next week. I figured she would come back after seeing her incubating in one of the Indian Hill test tubes earlier this season, but it takes away all the fun when they reveal major plot points in sneak peek. Show some restraint, “Gotham.”