REVIEW: Gotham – Season 5, Episode 6 “13 Stitches”

Last time on Gotham, Dorrance’s true purpose in Gotham was revealed, Nygma’s story took a new turn, and Harvey gave the soon-to-be Batman some much-needed advice. As the players are about to take their rightful places in Gotham, it now falls to Gordon to become both the beacon of law and order the city needs him to be, as well as, perhaps, the over-protective dad we know from myriad other media.


We open the episode, titled “13 Stitches,” with Gordon running through the streets. Nygma, now under Dorrance’s control, is firing at him, and eventually catches up to our hero. Thankfully, Gordon gets the drop on him. Meanwhile, Penguin is settling into his new hideout when he runs into Magpie, who has stolen one of his diamonds. We cut back to Gordon, who has a gun trained on Nygma. Nygma wakes up, lamenting that he had another blackout. He begs Gordon to let him go, but Gordon can’t trust him. Bruce arrives at the GCPD and wonders where Gordon is. One of Dorrance’s men assures him and Alfred that Dorrance is out looking for him. I really like this scene because, once again, we get a glimpse of the world’s greatest detective. This unnerves Dorrance’s men, who then try to lure the young billionaire and his butler into a trap. Big mistake.

Nygma and Gordon make it to Barbara’s club and fill her in. Gordon wonders who he can trust and asks Barbara what her price is for stitching him up. She seems far more amiable than usual. After they tell Nygma to get lost for a bit, Dorrance arrives. Dorrance says Gordon made his choice and prepares to kill him. Luckily for Gordon, Dorrance doesn’t know Nygma is in control again. It was a lot of fun to see them working together again in “13 Stitches.” The three of them manage to get away from the Delta Squad. Penguin goes searching for the diamond and runs into Selina, who has been taking on people who want to make a name for themselves by fighting Jeremiah’s murderer. After haggling a bit with Penguin, they agree to team up to find the diamond.

Back at the GCPD, Dorrance is killing anybody who isn’t getting on board with his mission. Harvey tries to stand up to him but miraculously ends up in a jail cell instead of a coffin. Dorrance receives a call from Walker, who says there’s a plan in place to get Gordon and Nygma to come out into the open. Gordon, Nygma, and Barbara meet up with Bruce, Alfred, and Lucius, the latter of whom gets the chip out of Nygma’s brain. Just as they manage to figure out that the chip has recorded all the audio communications with the people in charge, Dorrance contacts Gordon and tells him they have Lee. Dorrance wants to trade Lee for Nygma, which Gordon agrees to, though Gordon assures everyone just he’s going to give him the chip; then they decide to broadcast it via a radio tower atop the GCPD. Gordon goes to get Lee and calls Dorrance on the carpet for all the death he caused, particularly during their time at war.

Gotham, 13 Stitches

“13 Stitches” rejoins Selina and Penguin, who track down Magpie, but she manages to escape. As Harvey tries to figure out how to get out of the cell, a Kevlar-clad Nygma arrives with what he claims is a bomb. Nygma gives everybody a riddle to solve, and the answer is the code to deactivate the bomb. Meanwhile, Bruce makes it atop the building to try to send the message and gets into a fight with a guard. “13 Stitches” then moves back to the battle between Dorrance and Gordon, where the former reveals that Gordon setting up Haven delayed relief, with the government believing Gotham wasn’t so bad off. Then he tells his soldier to take Lee out back and shoot her. Then he knocks out Gordon.

After Bruce transmits the message, “13 Stitches” cuts back to Nygma, where his plan literally goes up in smoke thanks to Harvey figuring out the riddle. Dorrance tells Gordon that all the people who he thought died during the war were actually captured, and only Dorrance made it out, thanks to Walker. Gordon fights Dorrance again and impales him. Before he can process what happened, Gordon hears a gunshot and runs to try to save Lee, who shoots her would-be killers. “13 Stitches” then returns to Penguin and Selina, the latter of whom is complaining how the diamond isn’t even worth anything in Gotham anymore. That’s when it dawns on her that it’s worth something on the mainland and that the former mayor is now leaving the city. They strike a deal, and Selina gets them out of Magpie’s supposed bomb threat.

Gotham, 13 Stitches

Everyone reconvenes at the GCPD, and Barbara wonders where Lee has been the whole time. Gordon and Lee talk and try to put the pieces together. Walker finally arrives and gives Dorrance the mask, telling him they had another operative besides Nygma. During their conversation, Lee is activated and tries to kill Gordon, who knocks her out. After briefly following Alfred, who is getting things from their apartment, Jeremiah captures him. Then “13 Stitches” goes back to our new villainous duo, as Penguin finds Magpie and shoots her in front of Selina as a reminder not to cross him. Gordon fills Harvey in, and Lee wonders what’s wrong with her. Barbara barges into his office and says she’s pregnant. Alfred wakes up, and Jeremiah tells him, “Today’s the big day.”

Writer Seth Boston handles the reveals of Dorrance’s backstory well. I’ve always loved when lead actors direct on their shows, going back to Tom Welling on Smallville. Gotham’s no different. McKenzie does a great job with the fight scenes. With this episode serving as his final directorial effort for Gotham, I can’t wait to see him step behind the camera in the future. “13 Stitches” is a great episode that embraces the campy nature of the show. With excellent story development and strong work from McKenzie behind the camera, I can’t wait to see what comes next, and what exactly Jeremiah has planned for Bruce.

Gotham "13 Stitches"

Plot - 10
Acting - 10
Progression - 9
Production Design - 9
Mythology - 9



"13 Stitches" is a great episode that embraces the campy nature of the show. With excellent story development and strong work from McKenzie behind the camera, I can’t wait to see what comes next, and what exactly Jeremiah has planned for Bruce.

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