Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) will someday be the hero that Gotham City needs when he becomes Batman. In episode 14 of Fox’s “Gotham” Season 2, Bruce took major steps towards that path when he came face-to-face with the killer of his parents, Matches Malone (Michael Bowen). Bruce found a way to avenge his parents in “This Ball of Mud and Meanness.”
When the episode begins, Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) hands Bruce the gun he asked for and he seems hesitant to take it. He then pockets the gun and gets ready to seek out Matches Malone. Alfred, who has no idea Bruce has a gun, takes Bruce to some sort of fight club run by a man named Cupcake (Jamar Greene), who knows where Matches is.
Alfred tells Bruce to let him do the talking, but Bruce doesn’t listen. He ends up making a deal with Cupcake that he’ll pay $50,000 for the location of Matches and Alfred has to beat Cupcake in a fight. During the fight, Alfred is able to outlast Cupcake and he chokes him out after taking a beating. Cupcake tells them to go see a woman named Jeri (Lori Petty) who knows where they’ll be able to find Matches.
When they go to leave, Alfred passes out after taking too many punches to the face. Alfred goes to the hospital and he tries to get Bruce to promise him that he’ll wait until he’s out of the hospital to go see Jeri, but he falls asleep before Bruce can answer. Bruce then disobeys and goes off on his own.
Bruce goes to a punk rock club where Jeri is and sees a bunch of people dancing around to a band, who is apparently inspired by Jerome (Cameron Monaghan) and the Maniax. After they’re done playing, the lead singer comes up to Bruce and says she’ll take him to Jeri.
She takes him back to her dressing room and he learns that she’s actually Jeri. He questions her about Matches and reveals that he plans to kill him. She says he’ll need to give her a good reason for her to reveal where he lives. Bruce isn’t able to come up with an answer she likes and he thinks she’s not going to tell him so he thanks her and goes to leave. As he’s walking out the door, she gives him Matches address and says Matches is going to be happy to see him.
Bruce runs into Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) while leaving the club. Gordon got a tip from Alfred about what Bruce was up to and he tries to stop him. Jeri goes back on stage and sees Gordon preventing Bruce from leaving. She has the crowd lift up Gordon as Bruce gets away.
When Bruce arrives at Matches’ apartment he pretends he wants to hire him to kill somebody. Matches is surprised to see a boy trying to hire him, but goes along with it. Gordon, meanwhile, arrests Jeri for her stunt at the club. After her interrogates her, she tells him where Bruce is and that based on the time he should get there “just in time for the clean up.”
Matches lays out his hit prices to Bruce and Bruce asks if he remembers him. He then pulls out the gun and points it at Matches. He tells Matches that he knows he’s the one who killed his parents, but Matches has a hard time remembering at first because he’s killed so many people. Bruce describes the night of his parent’s murder and Matches starts to remember.
Bruce demands Matches tell him who hired him, but Matches refuses to tell him because it would break “killer’s code.” Bruce decides the only thing left to do is kill Matches, who is more than willing to let Bruce do it. He’s tired of not being punished for the things he’s done and he wants it all to end.
Bruce can’t bring himself to pull the trigger and he throws the gun on the table and leaves. Out in the hallway Gordon arrives and sees that Bruce is alright. While they stand there they hear a gun go off inside of Matches apartment. Gordon goes inside and discovers that Matches shot and killed himself.
Back at Wayne Manor, Alfred finds a note from Bruce saying he’s going to live on the streets with Selina. He believes you can only fight bad things by not doing them and you can only fight evil where it lurks. He wants to learn all the parts of Gotham and the world other people live in because one day he’s going to “do something” to help the people of Gotham. He tells Alfred one day he’ll return home, but until then not to come find him.
Other Major Moments from Episode 14:
- Lee (Morena Baccarin) is worried that something happened to Kristen Kringle (Chelsea Spack) because she never picked up her final paychecks after “running away.” Gordon starts to look into it and questions Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) about her disappearance. Nygma is convinced that Gordon knows he’s the one that did it and is trying to guilt him into confessing. Realistically, Gordon doesn’t know but because Nygma is crazed he might have something evil up his sleeve for the GCPD detective.
- Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) is now a free man once again. After going through several cycles of Hugo Strange's (BD Wong) harsh “treatment,” Penguin appears to no longer be as angry and aggressive as he once was. Strange saw this as reason to cut him loose as an experiment. He understands Penguin might not be fully cured, but it’s a part of his greater plan for the “King of Gotham,” which has yet to be revealed.