'Gotham' Recap Season 4, Episode 5 - 'The Blade's Path'

It’s Solomon Grundy time! Gotham laid down a huge Easter Egg at the end of last season when we found out Butch’s real name is Cyrus Gold. I was super excited when that happened and lo and behold, a few weeks into the new season and the Grundy story arc gets going. The episode begins with two hospital workers taking Butch’s body out of the hospital and to a swamp outside of Gotham. Butch has been in a coma for 6 months after getting shot in the noggin courtesy of Barbara. Butch gets dropped into the swamp where apparently some radioactive chemicals have also been poured - anyone and everyone knows that all you need is a little radioactive material for some comicbook fun. Later on in the episode Butch slowly rises out of the swamp with his newly grown hand glowing green. He slowly lumbers off and runs into a few people camping nearby. After disposing of them, he hears the music they were listening to – the old nursery rhyme about Solomon Grundy, and his new persona is born.

After the death of Alex, Jim wants to make sure that Ra’s al Ghul’s status as a Minister of a foreign county doesn’t allow him to get away with murder. Harvey unfortunately doesn’t seem to share in Jim’s passion that Ra’s needs to stand trial for what he has done. A reoccurring theme of this season has been the continued friction between Jim and Harvey – let’s hope these two can get their problems sorted out!

Bruce is having a hard time dealing with Alex’s death, despite Alfred’s continued insistence that it is not his fault. Bruce is turning this pain into an obsession with Ra’s and his dagger. Based on the translation of the writing on the dagger, Bruce believes that the dagger is the only thing that can kill Ra’s. Alfred reminds Bruce of his vow – “no killing” – and enforces the idea that Alex’s death cannot change this ideology. At Alex’s funeral, Bruce overhears Alfred and Jim arguing about Ra’s and the fact that he may get away with the murder because of diplomatic immunity. Bruce decides to take matters into his own hands, takes the dagger, and is off.

In the meantime, Barbara goes to see Ra’s with the intentions of breaking him out of prison. Ra’s has other ideas in mind and says goodbye to Barbara. Barbara demands that Ra’s give her what he promised her, which was apparently a “gift beyond her imagining.” Ra’s passes some mystical light from his hand into Barbara’s and lets her know she will understand what the gift was in due time. As Barbara leaves the room, Ra’s stares after her with one of his ominous, and creepy, looks that we’ve come to expect. 

Sophia visits Cobblepot and suggests that they get lunch in a public place. Being seen with a Falcone will show Gotham that Cobblepot has the family backing and increase his standing with the criminals of the city. While Cobblepot is entertaining this idea, Nygma is desperately trying to get his mojo back by looking for drugs that increase brain function. After an unsuccessful heist at a pharmacy, he runs into Solomon Grundy who quickly knocks him out and takes him with him. Nygma wakes up and finds out that Grundy doesn’t remember who he is and what happened to him. Grundy wants Nygma’s help and it becomes clear that they are both in similar situations - struggling to try and get back to what they once were.

As soon as Alfred realizes that Bruce is gone, he knows exactly what he is planning and goes to get Jim’s help. By this time, Bruce is already breaking into the prison to confront Ra’s. Bruce enters Ra’s cell and stands over him holding the dagger – clearly contemplating whether killing Ra’s is worth breaking his vow. Everyone but Bruce knows that this is far too simple and that Ra’s must have other tricks up his sleeve. Bruce decides to spare Ra’s life and turns to leave. As he does so, Ra’s calls him weak and foolish and begins to lay the smack down on Bruce. Three guards show up and as Bruce pleads for them to stop Ra’s, they turn out to be Ra’s men and kidnap Bruce.

Jim and Alfred show up to the prison and the same guards tell them that Bruce hasn’t been there. Jim asks to have a look around and after a hilarious scene that shows Alfred armed from head to toe, they are granted access. Underneath the prison, Ra’s tells Bruce about the dagger and the story of his resurrection. Ra’s lets Bruce know that Bruce is his heir and is the only one that can end his suffering. Ra’s gives Bruce the dagger and begs him to kill him – which would set him free. Upstairs, Jim and Alfred realize that the guards are imposters and give them a good ole fashioned Gotham ass kicking. Jim remembers there is a basement level to the prison and that must be where Ra’s has Bruce. Underground, Bruce refuses to kill Ra’s so Ra’s lays out what he will do to Bruce. He says that he will disappear and let Bruce live his life, and then one day in the future he will return and kill everyone Bruce loves. As Ra’s is describing this horrific series of events, Bruce snaps and stabs him twice with the dagger, killing him.

Bruce immediately regrets his decision to take a life. He begins questioning himself and everything he stood for. Alfred walks in on Bruce getting ready to burn his new fancy “bat” suit as he proclaims that he is “not the hero that Gotham needs.” Alfred convinces Bruce to just use some time to reflect and get back on the right path instead of completely abandoning hope. Bruce's growth has been  pivotal to this season and it will be interesting to see where this will go next. Bruce has taken a huge step forward in his development this season compared to season's past. I do not expect that killing Ra's will derail him for too long, Gotham (the city and show) needs him. 

The episode winds down with Nygma taking Grundy to an underground wrestling match. Nygma may be dumber than before, but he is still smart enough to realize that Grundy is a powerful weapon he can use. His ultimate goal is to make money so he can make himself smart again, and with Grundy’s strength, that seems possible. Nygma enters Grundy into a wrestling match, but before he can fight – he needs to get his wounds patched up. The underground doctor comes to see him, and what do you know, Lee Thompkins is still in Gotham after all!

Next week’s episode introduces another new villain on the scene. It seems that a lunatic that goes by Pyg is targeting GCPD’s finest. From the preview it looks to be another dark episode and I cannot wait. This season of Gotham has been top notch so far, and I think it will only get better. Don’t forget, a possibly mutated Poison Ivy is still lurking somewhere!