In “Belly of the Beast,” the Gotham Knights play dress up, we get some answers about what the Court are up to, and Harvey unravels even further. Let’s recap!
Tacos to the Rescue
We open with a camera shot from inside the trunk of a car, peering out at two leather-clad men as they agree on making a deal. Suddenly, both men jerk backwards — pulled offscreen by something shot into their backs. Bodies fly back and forth across the narrow field of view, with no sight of the assailants, until the men fall quiet. Then Turner and Carrie step forward, looking down into the car trunk. Finally, we get a look at what they liberated from the men: a entire cache of guns, both shotguns and automatic weapons of varying kinds, and none of them looking particularly street legal. Enough firepower to arm every criminal in Gotham, Turner notes.
While Turner and Carrie examine the goods, Harper has been busy tying up the criminals, gagging their mouths with duct tape, and leaving helpful messages in Sharpie on the bad guys foreheads, just so the cops know who to thank: “Courtesy of GK,” “Guns in trunk,” and “Careful this one bites.”
The team nervously wait for Cullen to arrive, but as sirens begin to wail in the distance, they decide to run. Luckily, Cullen arrives in the nick of time with their ride — a stolen taco truck.
Watches All the Time
Turns out, Cullen was a little late because his watch stopped. One of the insanely expensive Court of Owls watches that the Knights ended up with after the near-bombing at the gala gave up the ghost, meaning he was without a timepiece.
Back at the Belfry, the Knights discuss whether handing over the painting they stole to the Court was a good idea or not, and Duela reinforces that instead of putting criminals behind bars and getting guns off the streets, they are supposed to be clearing their names.
Cullen interrupts with some curious news: its not just his watch that stopped. Every single watch that has one of the Court coins on the back is behaving strangely. They aren’t broken, they’re spinning very deliberately, though the Knights have no clue to what end.
Luckily for them, Stephanie is on the case. She soon works out that the watches stop at certain times. Duela expresses some doubts, but Harper quickly jumps in to back up Stephanie, much to Cullen’s surprise. The hours, minutes, and seconds of each time correspond to latitude and longitude, giving them a location: the old Gotham Light and Power facility.
Between some references to clandestine meetings in Bruce Wayne’s journals and Duela’s deduction that the Court probably wants to celebrate completing their stolen art collection, the Knights work out that the Court will be having a soiree that night. Eunice did say they liked to party in strange places!
Stephanie gets a call from the pharmacy, letting her know that her prescription is ready — a prescription that she knows nothing about. Suspicious, she bails, leaving the Knights to work out the details of their plan.
Playing Dress Up
Turner is all gung-ho about infiltrating the Court of Owls meeting. Harper, and even Cullen this time, are a little more cautious. They’re unprepared and don’t know what they’ll be walking into. He gives an inspiring speech, but the Row twins remain unconvinced. Duela has Turner’s back though, as she often does. She has an idea: dress up and infiltrate the party. Getting reluctantly on board, resident artist Cullen says that he can use the Gotham Academy 3D printer to rustle them up copies of the Court’s masks. The problem is that he’ll only have time to make 2.
“That’s the thing about owls. They have no natural predators, they don’t know what it’s like to be hunted. Which means they won’t see us coming.”Turner
Turner and Duela are, unsurprisingly, the Knights that get the short straw. Duela raids the Gotham Academy theater storage for a dress, leaving Turner a bit speechless when she appears in it, dressed to the nines. She asks him to zip her up, which hardly helps the poor guy get his act together.
Duela’s dramatic entrance doesn’t stun him for long, though, and they quickly discuss their roles in the deception. Tuner is used to hanging around “privileged asshats,” but Duela is quick to reassure him that she isn’t concerned. To her, the privileged are just con artists skilled enough to convince everyone else of their worth, and she learned from one of the best con artists in Gotham: her mother, Jane Doe.
The two bond momentarily over being separated from their mothers, albeit in different ways. Turner asks Duela to make him a promise, but she rebuffs his request not to do anything stupid — after all, she already volunteered to go with him.
A Revealing Recuperation
Rebecca helps a hobbling Lincoln to the bed in their home. He’s looking a lot better since his discharge from Gotham General Hospital, but he’s still weak and in recovery, using a cane to get around. Rebecca leaves to get something to support his back, and Lincoln drops his phone down the side of the bed. Unfortunately, his phone isn’t all he finds. Between the nightstand and the bed is a cufflink, an expensive black and gold one with a monogram inlay that reads “H.D.”
Lincoln looks furious, obviously immediately making the connection between Rebecca and Harvey. But when she reenters the room and asks him if he’s alright, he tells her that he’s fine, and thanks her for the pillows. As she leaves the room again he stares after her, a chilling, dark expression on his face.
Later, Lincoln decides to go on camera to announce that there is a suspect for his brutal assault: Turner Hayes. It seems that there’s nothing that can’t be pinned on the Bat Brat in this town! Lincoln, though, is mostly concerned with what he believes to be the real issue in the case: where is Harvey Dent?
Harvey has been busy taking Cressida to a very sketchy looking safehouse. He claims that she’ll be safe there while he works on getting a federal order of protection for her. She’s scared of what the Court of Owls will do to her, and what they’re planning. Harvey reminds her that he will help her, but she has to help him.
Returning to the office after dealing with his “personal matters,” Harvey lets the stress gets to him and snaps at his secretary when requesting for her to get the judge on the phone. He wants to set up a plea deal.
Harvey gets a call from Rebecca, asking if he’s seen Lincoln’s inflammatory video on the news. He confirms that he has, but seems relatively unconcerned, until Rebecca tells him that she believes Lincoln knows about their affair. She thinks it could be a good thing. Maybe it’s time for her and Brody to get out; she’s scared of Lincoln. Harvey promises to help her.
Harvey returns to the safehouse where he left Cressida to find her gone. On the bed, there is a tape-player with the words “Play Me” written atop it. He presses the button to begin the music, and familiar, eerie music fills the room.
From Bad to Worse
Stephanie has been notably absent while the rest of the Gotham Knights fine tune their infiltration plan. After getting the concerning phone call from her mom’s pharmacy, she goes to talk to her dad about it. Unfortunately, Arthur Brown’s response is anything but positive, as he angrily rebukes her for denying her mom the drugs and reminds her that, thanks to him being a celebrity, everyone is watching their family.
Going home and finding her mom drinking, Stephanie tries to reason with her, but it goes downhill fast. Her mom cruelly throws her concern back in her face and refuses to acknowledge that her behavior is a problem. When Stephanie grabs the offending prescription bottle, her mom blows up — yelling and chasing Stephanie to the bathroom. Stephanie flushes the pills behind a locked door while her mom screams and tears the house apart.
When Stephanie emerges later, her dad has just finished putting her mom to bed. The room is trashed. Instead of being supportive or even concerned over his wife’s addiction, Arthur Brown chillingly gaslights Stephanie, blaming her for being the ultimate cause of the mess.
In the taco truck that is the new Gotham Knights base of operations, the Knights prepare to send Duela and Turner into the belly of the beast. Harper has upgraded Carries bat goggles, and Cullen has produced eerily realistic Court of Owls masks to help them blend in.
Turner and Duela make it into the party, despite the Owls making some security upgrades to the abandoned building. Seeing a lot of couples, Turner reaches for Duela’s hand. (Just to help with their cover, of course….) The soiree is in full swing, complete with a masked band and a concerning display of ceremonial swords. There’s even a masked child playing with a creepy doll, just to complete the ambience.
Duela and Turner don’t have to wait long for valuable intel. A caped Court member, seemingly a leader of some kind, reveals one of the stolen paintings that the Court had been amassing. It has been burned away, revealing a map beneath — a map that the leader says will lead them to “electrum,” a substance they’ve been hunting for over decades which will grant them mastery over death.
“Great. So we have a murderous cult that wants to be murderous forever.”Cullen
Listening in from the taco truck, Harper researches electrum while Cullen questions her apparent change in attitude about Stephanie.
Inside, Turner and Duela decide to steal the map. They pretend that Turner is unwell (with a little help from a punch in the stomach) and slip out to where the painting is being held. Two masked goons try to stop them, but they go down quickly when Duela beats them around the head with one of the tall, metal candelabras the Court favor for decoration.
Map obtained, the pair make it back to the party. Once they arrive, the leader makes an announcement: there’s a traitor in their midst.
After a heartstopping moment, it becomes clear that the traitor is actually Cressida. She’s brought into the room by the Talon and judged by the court for her betrayal. The verdict? A decree of “kill her” issued by Gotham’s creepiest little girl.
Duela tries to stop Turner from diving in to save Cressida — she’s done nothing to deserve their help, after all — but Turner knows what Bruce Wayne would have done. With one of the ceremonial swords in hand, he steps up behind the Talon and decapitates him in one swing.
In the chaos that follows, Duela escapes with the map and Turner gets Cressida out. The pair agree to meet at the truck. Duela makes it back with a little help from Carrie, who was ready to cover their escape. As Turner and Cressida flee, she tells him the truth about his Dad’s will. He wanted to leave his fortune to the citizens of Gotham, to break the cycle of poverty that fuels the crime which the Court of Owls feed on.
Before Cressida can give Turner the name of the Court’s leader, the Talon’s blade pieces her chest. At the other end of the sword is the caped leader of the Court of Owls. Turner is quickly captured and hooded. The Court have plans for him.
Outside the taco Truck, the Gotham Knights argue over their course of action. Turner is missing, and Duela wants to immediately spring into action and go back to rescue him. Carrie points out that they need to regroup, and if the Court wanted Turner dead, they’d have killed him already. She promises a distressed Duela that they will find him.
In the woods, the Court of Owls leader carefully removes the tracker Harper had placed on Turner’s jacket and orders him to be taken away. As a lamplit procession of Owls escort their captive through the trees, the leader stays behind. He looks up at the full moon overhead, regarding it for a moment before removing his mask to reveal Lincoln March
Finally, we see an abandoned shack in the woods. On the floor amidst the dust and debris, a man in a blood-stained Court of Owls mask and beautiful suit lays on his side. We see him wake up and look around in confusion before pulling off the mask — revealing Harvey Dent. Horrified, Harvey looks around in terror before gazing down at his shaking, bloodied hands.
Gotham Knights airs on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT. Stay up to date with our coverage on the show here. Additionally, make sure to check out Your Bat Is Dead, a Gotham Knights podcast by Nerds and Beyond! As always, stay tuned for more updates.