gotham court of owls

Spoilers ahead for Episode 3 of Gotham Season 3.

Gotham has been upping the ante in Season 3 thanks to the increasingly evident interferences from the mysterious Court of Owls. The Court has gotten bolder and bolder ever since their introduction as the people holding Hugo Strange's leash back in Season 2. The secret assembly of the rich and powerful of Gotham has had to step out of the shadows as Bruce Wayne poked around for answers. The two sides seemed to come to a truce when Bruce agreed to stop investigating in exchange for the safety of his loved ones, but the latest episode has revealed that the Court apparently doesn't think too much of young Bruce's promise. In its boldest move yet, members of the Court snatched Bruce's doppelganger off the streets, presumably to reprogram him for their own designs.

Bruce 2.0 made the most of his time free of Indian Hill by making friends with Selina, meeting Bruce and Alfred, and showing the audience that he's an awesome fighter who doesn't feel pain. This latest episode saw him save Selina from torture, plant a kiss on her, then jump off a rooftop in a move that was pretty Batman-esque. His plan to leave Gotham for good didn't work very long as the Court caught up with him and took him back. It was a move that took the members of the Court surprisingly far out of the shadows and into overt action.

The appearance of Bruce Wayne 2.0 as one of the Indian Hill escapees was a huge "WTF?!" moment at the end of Season 2, and not just because David Mazouz was wearing a pretty crazy wig to play his own doppelganger. We'd seen some wild stuff in Arkham Asylum and Indian Hill, but an apparent Bruce Wayne clone looking about the same age as Bruce 1.0 was something entirely unexpected. The Court apparently directed Hugo Strange to grow them their very own boy billionaire.

The question now is of why the Court of Owls was willing to get bold and yank Bruce 2.0 off the streets. The simple explanation is just that he is a mess they made, and they feel compelled to clean it up before somebody spots him and realizes that there are two Bruce Waynes brooding their ways around town. Still, we've seen enough of the Court of Owls so far to know that the simplest explanation for anything to do with them is almost certainly not the whole story.

There are really two major possibilities for what the Court has in mind for Bruce Wayne 2.0. The first is that they want a backup ready in case they feel the need to bump off the real Bruce and replace him with a much more cooperative version. Bruce Wayne is too big a name for even the powerful Court to assassinate without drawing attention; a doppelganger could be the perfect failsafe for the Court in case they lose control of the real Bruce. As long as there's always one, the status quo for the rich of Gotham can continue uninterrupted.

The slightly more intriguing possibility is that the Court had plans for Bruce 2.0 to become one of their Talon assassins, and his escape from Indian Hill threw a wrench in their scheme. The Court of Owls in DC Comics lore uses killers known as Talons who are trained from a very young age to enforce Court rule in Gotham. Bruce 2.0 already demonstrated enough skills with fighting that he landed punches on the experienced Alfred, so it stands to reason that he's already had some Talon training, even if he doesn't remember the actual lessons.

Who knows? Maybe the Court of Owls wanted a twofer with Bruce 2.0 and created somebody who is both a possible replacement and a future assassin. A Bruce 2.0 who lives a double life as a killer could be a fun foil to Bruce 1.0's future double life as the Caped Crusader. Either way, I'm excited for whatever Gotham has in store next week.

Gotham airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.

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