More often than not, the privileged ones of societal hierarchy use their nefarious instruments to keep their status quo intact and to do so, they incriminate the hapless downtrodden ones. The sixth episode of the CW’s Gotham Knights reflects on that aspect, as the titular team of amateur crime fighters learn that they weren’t the only victims of the Court of Owl’s conspiracies. In the previous episode, we saw Harvey Dent gradually sinking inside the quicksand of the Court’s schemes, and the team recovered the ledgers of the McKillen crime family, which can help them prove the Court’s involvement in Gotham’s corruption as well as clear their names in the process.
Who Is Joe Chill? What Is His Last Request?
Gotham Knights Episode 6 begins with a news broadcast about the impending capital punishment of notorious criminal Joe Chill, who has already served half a century on death row. All those years ago, Chill murdered Thomas and Martha Wayne, an event that not only changed their son Bruce’s life forever but also sent shockwaves through the social structure of Gotham City. Criminals were emboldened by seeing that even the most powerful ones weren’t safe anymore, and the corrupt and affluent ones were relieved over the deaths of the straight-arrow couple among their ranks. Basically, the murder of Wayne at the hands of Joe Chill was a monumental event in the history of Gotham City.
As Harvey goes to Joe to talk about the motivation behind his past actions, hoping that he’ll confess during his last few hours, Joe reveals that the probable reason for the sudden decision to carry out his death sentence was related to the Court of Owls, as he shows their trademark owl insignia coin he had been delivered a few days ago. Harvey asks him to reveal any related information Joe might know about the Court, which Joe doesn’t answer and states that as his last request, he wants to meet the person who allegedly murdered Bruce Wayne, the adoptive son of Bruce – Turner Hayes.
Who Is Arthur Brown?
In the next sequence, we are introduced to the live premiere of Gotham’s longest-running game show, Quizbowl, hosted by the enigmatic Arthur Brown. After returning to his studio, Arthur meets his daughter, Stephanie Brown, who has come to meet him to seek help. Previously, we saw the team recovering the McKillen crime family ledger from a hideout of theirs, which turned out to be ciphered. According to Stephanie, the level of difficulty is significant, as even after running through the Nihilist, Enigma, and Pollux ciphers, she wasn’t able to break them down. Arthur doesn’t solve it outright but rather leaves Stephanie with a cryptic message as a clue. After Arthur leaves, Stephanie receives a phone call from Harvey Dent, who states that he wants to secretly meet Turner as Joe Chill has demanded his presence to share something about the Court of Owls. Stephanie goes to the Belfry clock tower and informs the rest of the team about this, and after initial hesitation, Turner agrees to meet Dent and takes Duela with him just in case things go awry. Harvey meets with the duo and plans with Turner to covertly let him inside the prison to talk with Joe Chill. They are also running against time as Joe is about to be executed within a few hours; therefore, Harvey decides to appeal for a stay of execution, which is initially granted too.
In DC comics, Arthur Brown, aka Cluemaster, is a Silver Age Batman villain who has a tendency to leave clues at the crime scene to taunt the authorities and the Caped Crusader (kind of similar to the Riddler, who leaves riddles). It remains to be seen whether he will resort to villainous tendencies in this iteration too, but for now, he unknowingly helps his daughter Stephanie in her crime fighting ventures by hinting at the way to decode the cipher. Fun fact: Ethan Embry, who played the role of Arthur Brown in Gotham Knights, previously also portrayed the golden age DC character Johnny Thunder in “Stargirl.” The multiverse is real, after all.
Why Did Joe Want To See Turner? What Did He Share?
Harvey disguises Turner as a prison guard, and they meet Joe Chill in his cell. Joe remarks that he empathizes with Turner, as much like him, Turner, too, got framed for a crime he didn’t commit, i.e., the murder of Bruce Wayne. Dent and Turner are in disbelief at this revelation and seem unwilling to believe Joe’s words. Chill remarks that he indeed went to mug the Wayne couple and carried an unloaded firearm to scare them, but it wasn’t him who killed them. Someone behind him shot the couple during the struggle, which appeared to a young Bruce Wayne as Joe murdering them. Like Turner’s situation, Joe got himself framed as every piece of evidence was carefully set in place by the Court, and he was kept alive for the past 50 years just to continue the prejudice against criminals belonging to the lower social strata, while the elite members of Gotham in the Court acted as puppeteers.
Joe also remarks that he shared this truth with everyone related to the case, but naturally, either by their own disbelief or being in cahoots with the Court, no one paid heed to his words. Anyone bold enough to even claim that they knew access to the Court was removed from the picture. Joe says he didn’t blame Bruce Wayne for hating him, but when the rest of the world came to know about his secret identity as Batman, Joe blamed him for not being able to realize that Joe was innocent, despite being the world’s greatest detective. Turner realizes the reason Joe called for him was to confess before his death and gain some solace. Turner remarks that he can sympathize with him, as within a couple of months, he too has realized what it feels like to be abandoned by the people who are close and even betrayed by some of them. Turner states that he believes Joe giving some comfort to his desperate self.
Turner asks Joe about what can be done to beat the Court, or at least expose them, to which Joe replies that giving up would be the best option, as they are never going to even come close to the all-powerful secret society that basically controls every sector of Gotham. A distressed Turner asks the reason why Joe asked for him when he didn’t want to share details about the Court, to begin with, and Joe states that he wanted to show Turner that his future will be similar to his if he goes down this destructive path, an existence from which even death seems a peaceful release. As Turner and Dent are talking with Joe, the prison warden reminds Dent that his interrogation time will soon be up, as the governor has declined Dent’s stay order on Joe’s execution. As Turner continues pleading with Joe to share something about the Court’s whereabouts, Joe’s final words for them are the repetition of the second line of the rhyme about the Court of Owls: “That watches all the time’. Harvey and a disguised Turner leave the prison and later reconcile as Harvey apologizes for considering Turner guilty earlier.
What Are Brody And Cassie Up To? Did The Team Decode The Cipher?
Carrie gets cut off from the team momentarily as her mother, Dr.Kelley tasks her with finishing homework and coming to Gotham Hospital every day after school until she does, a decision she made after she heard of Carrie missing classes on a regular basis (due to her crimefighting career). Brody has been tasked with court-mandated community service at the hospital, and he meets Carrie there, and the duo catch up a bit. Later, Brodie asks Carrie for help as a person gets admitted into the emergency trauma section, but no doctor is available for a checkup. Carrie sees her mother be extremely busy as well and decides to check up on the person herself. The person in question appears to be writhing in agony after a few of his stitches got opened, and Carrie successfully patched them up by using the basic surgical expertise taught by her mother.
Meanwhile, at Belfry, the team managed to decode the most recent cipher of the ledger after Harper and Stephanie realized that it’s a book cipher, the key to which is James Joyce’s “Ulysses.” The ledger directs them to a location coordinate, which Turner, Row siblings, Duela, and this time, in the absence of Carrie and Stephanie, go to check out. Turner also shares the truth about Joe Chill with the team in the meantime, which is off-putting to Duela, whose twisted perspective considers Joe Chill, some sort of hero.
What Happened To Joe Chill At The End?
In his office, Harvey is visited by Lincoln March, who accuses him of planting the coin of the Court of the Owls in his pocket. Harvey is confused by this allegation but tries to warn Lincoln nonetheless, as the Court has marked him for death. At the same time, we see the team discover the location to be a McKillen base of operation where opioids and other drugs are being trafficked and have medium-level security as some of the thugs and operatives seem armed. Turner and the rest of the team decide to bust the hideout by going in, and Duela once again bails out as she is unwilling to risk her life just to play the hero. The rest of the team ambushes the thugs, and in a parallel sequence, we see Joe Chill being escorted to the electrocution chamber.
In another nifty parallel sequence, we are shown three events happening simultaneously: the team fights the goons with all their might, the priest at the prison reads the last rites to Joe in his final moments, and Harvey is reminded by Lincoln that the same day the latter received the coin, a similar one was checked out of GCPD under Harvey’s entry. Stephanie seems overwhelmed by the situation where she is put into direct combat, and although she manages to swing hard a couple of times, she gets cornered when a thug points a gun at him. Harper acts quickly and saves her from imminent death, and a scared Stephanie goes into meltdown mode, destroying the drug stash in the process, which reminds her of her addicted mother. Joe Chill is seemingly executed, and at the same time, a blackout happens in Harvey’s office building, and Harvey sees the Talon emerging from the shadows and stabbing Lincoln March right through.
The team returns to the Belfry and rejoices in victory, but they also get reminded of Joe’s fate from the news broadcast. An innocent person had to perish even after doing penance for a crime he didn’t commit, and the team members speculate whether they are going to be next on the chopping block. An optimistic Turner remarks that their unity as a team will never allow that to happen. Later, Turner comforts a visibly anguished Stephanie, who got her first taste of the life of vigilantism. However, their chat is cut short when Brody, who witnesses his father, Lincoln March, being admitted to the Gotham Hospital, calls her. Dr.Kelley manages to save Lincoln’s life, and Carrie embraces her mother in happiness. In the last moments of Gotham Knights Episode 6, we see Harvey standing in his office, looking at the crime scene, when he notices his reflection in the mirror and, in desperation, punches it, causing the mirror and his reflection to crack in a way that foreshadows his Two-Face persona. In the next episode, we will see how the team manages to discover more about the McKillen-Court of Owls connection, while Harvey’s descent into personality disorder seems just a matter of time.