Another good title for this episode might have been “Slow Burn”, pun intended, but in this case, it was a good slow burn.
“Scarification” reinforced many of the key storylines going on throughout this season, all the while adding new layers to the mix, including the introduction of two very big names from the Batman universe.
First, I liked how Barnes, Gordon, Bullock, and the Strike Force made good on their promise to try and take down Penguin, starting with going after his operations. It was a fun start to the episode, especially that rocket launcher bit. “Welcome to Gotham” indeed! Barnes “no free pass” montra was used to good effect here, as Gordon gave him a tip on a place that had been given a blind eye because the City Council was corrupt. This guy is great. No one gets pants!
This of course tied into the new status quo for Penguin, being a “tool” for Galavan. I’m loving how they’re playing this story. As you know Penguin will get his revenge on Galavan for kidnapping his mother. It’s only a question of when. And to add to the great and epic “slow burn” I mentioned? We found out who Galavan is! He’s part of the order of St. Dumas! Which…in case you don’t know…is an ancient order in the Batman books that creates the epic warrior known as Azrael. Who no doubt will be showing up soon.
Add this to the backstory (that name dropped certain other key Gotham families…) that sparked the Dumas arrival, with the Waynes being the source of your pain, and you have a whole new ballgame, one with Bruce being the target! Then, Penguin finding out about this, and using very dark means to try and both find his mother and get back at Galavan? Man…this is getting good.
Then of course there’s the birth of Firefly. But not Garfield Lynns, no, no, no, Bridget Pike! This is another huge departure from the comics, but one I appreciate. For unlike certain other characters, we got to see why she turned into the Firefly, and I have a feeling her story is FAR from over. Also, her connection with Selina was great. I liked the interaction with them, it’s not unlike how Selina cared for Ivy in season 1. To the end that she saved her after she almost got caught by GCPD.
The death of the GCPD officer may not have been a “major death” but it is one that will certain cause this Firefly arc to get more intense. Barnes won’t have a cop killer on the loose, Gordon is fed up with criminals not “playing by the rules, or any rules”, which led him right into Galavan’s hands in regards to endorsing him for mayor.
There were some down moments, and ones I wish we could’ve skipped or gotten into more detail on, but overall, “Scarification” was another brilliant episode in an impressive season of Gotham. With the wheels turning, the fires burning, and the pieces falling into place? It’d take something massive for this to fall on its face.