‘Gotham’ 5×02 Review: ‘Trespassers’

“Trespassers” gives us more of the weirdness we love in Gotham, while advancing the stories of two of Batman’s future adversaries. We also get more of Jim Gordon’s heroism, Harvey Bullock’s faithful support and Barbara Kean’s quest for revenge against the Penguin.

We don’t get any Penguin in this episode, though. Instead, we get a little taste of the various other criminal gangs and psychopaths that have taken over much of the city.

The Bat, The Witch And The Mystery Root

I got one of my wishes for the season with this episode — Poison Ivy came back! (And now I have a new wish… I want the costume they gave her this time!)

Ivy is the “witch” who supposedly can cure Selina. Bruce finds her living in a park, killing men and then using their corpses as fertilizer. She does have a cure for Selina, but isn’t willing to give it. Ivy’s still angry at Selina over what happened with the Lazarus water last season. Bruce doesn’t want to trust Ivy, either, but he’s desperate.

Eventually, Ivy changes her mind, giving Bruce a root to fuse Selina’s shattered spine and let her walk again, but only so he’ll leave her alone.

I got a sense that we won’t see her again. If so, it’s too bad. Peyton List’s version of Ivy has been a powerful one and we got so little of her.

We were also reminded how far Selina and Ivy go back, and how much has changed. In Season 1, Ivy Pepper was an orphan younger than Selina, living on the streets. Selina took her in and took care of her until Ivy was exposed to a metahuman who aged her (bringing us the Maggie Geha version of Ivy). Then Ivy swallowed a pharmacy’s worth of strange herbs that transformed her into the List version of the character. Despite all that, Selina remembers the original Ivy and says, “She’ll always be that little girl to me.”

I was glad Selina didn’t know Ivy told Bruce, “Let her suffer.” Give Selina something to hold onto, because she’s going to lose so much so quickly. As Ivy had warned, the root is changing Selina.

“We’re all slowly dying.”

Jim Gordon’s been doing all he can to save Gotham. Never mind that he’s not getting any help from the outside world. Never mind that Penguin’s put a price on his head. And never mind that even his closest friend has some doubts about the risks.

This time, Jim puts himself on the line again to save children from slave labor. It means he needs help from his ex-fiancee Barbara, who blames him in part for Tabitha’s death. Barbara is even more doubtful than Harvey about Jim’s heroic efforts. She tells him she’s already too late to save Gotham, but she does her part to help rescue the kids.

It’s interesting how both Barbara and Ivy feel betrayed by the people they are asked to help, but still wind up doing the right thing. It may be the last “right” thing either of them ever do, considering Ivy’s future history and Barbara’s thirst for revenge against Penguin.

The Riddle Of The Riddler

It’s still not clear what Riddler’s alter ego is up to. But it does seem to involve murder and mayhem (well, what else is new?) and the launching of a gang war, with Penguin being set up as the fall guy.

But otherwise, we are as mystified as Riddler — or is it Ed? — by what’s been happening. We first she him waking up in his home for once, chained to a table in an effort to stop his sleepwalking. But we quickly learn it didn’t succeed, because the first thing he finds is a gangster chained up in his bathtub.

Riddler’s efforts to learn what’s going on are by turns funny and macabre, and it’s really hard to tell whether he is indeed Riddler or Ed. I look forward to more clues.

A Hint Of What’s Ahead

There was a little balm for all of us BatCat shippers who got our hearts broken last week. Selina is cured, and she accepts Bruce’s embrace at the end of the episode. But as Ivy had warned, the root is changing Selina, and the promo for next week gives us a little hint of just how much. Here’s a look:

Things We’re Still Waiting For

  • More of Bruce and Alfred working together (we’ve gotten only a little bit)
  • Whatever happened to Lee Thompkins?
  • Who is the mysterious GCPD ally in the outside world?
  • Where is Jeremiah?
  • The unveiling of the Bat Suit.

Gotham airs Thursday nights at 8/7 Central on FOX.

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