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"I am tired of sitting at the kids' table. If I'm right, we can have way more than vengeance. We can have it all. We don't need to go to war. All we need to do is start one."
Barbara Kean to Butch

"Mad City: Time Bomb" is the tenth episode of the third season of Gotham. It aired on November 21, 2016.


On the eve of their rehearsal dinner, a threat to Mario and Lee is exposed, and Falcone looks to Jim for help. Meanwhile, Nygma seeks revenge and Bruce learns more about The Court of Owls.[3]


Lee's and Mario's wedding is just two days away and they dine with Falcone for their rehearsal. They also discuss that Alice Tetch's blood is being tested to find a cure. They leave and Falcone gives the keys to a guard to bring up the car. The guard is then killed when the car explodes.

While the paramedics attend Lee and Mario, Falcone talks with Gordon, assuming that an old enemy may have had orchestrated the attack. Falcone is certain to take matters in his own hands and gives Gordon a day to find out. Meanwhile, Cobblepot meets with the five families to discuss the security issues in Gotham when their reunion is interrupted by Barbara, who holds them at gunpoint and demands to know where Tabitha and Butch are. He forces her to leave, threatening to kill her if she holds him at gunpoint again. Tabitha and Butch are revealed to have been kidnapped by Nygma, who begins to torture Butch with electric shocks, thinking he killed Isabella.

In Wayne Manor, Alfred is persuaded by Ivy to turn off the alarm so she can slip outside. Fox tells Gordon and Bullock that the explosive was a particular kind of high tech, and Bullock realizes that only a person he knows as Fuse could be responsible. They go to Fuse's apartment but find him dead. Concluding that the person who hired Fuse wanted him dead, they search files in his room and discover that the target is not Falcone but Mario. Mario is attacked at the hospital by bikers, but Gordon saves him. Barbara bribes Cobblepot's maid to reveal that Nygma bought several items from a local bondage store, but she doesn't know where he currently is.

Bruce, Selina and Alfred discover that the key has the emblem of an owl, meaning it belongs to the Court. They also realize that Ivy is missing and then receive a call from Luka Volk, who they believe to be the Court's enforcer. Volk demands the key in exchange for Ivy, whom his team has kidnapped. They meet with Volk in the sewers, where he explains that they don't work for the Court of Owls, but are actually opposed to them. He and his group are members of the Whisper Gang, a group of smugglers who were once partnered with the Court. The Court betrayed them, causing many of the gang's members to go back to Ukraine. The key opens a safe that has a device that could destroy them. Bruce proposes that they join forces in order to beat the Court, which Volk accepts.

Mario leaves the GCPD and sets off to a jewelry store to pick up the rings. Gordon intercepts him and they are attacked by the assassins. Mario kills one of the attackers barehanded with surprising strength. Nygma steps up his game by putting Tabitha's hand in a custom-made guillotine-like device. The device's blade is released by a 55-second timer that will stop early only if she presses the button he has placed in her hand. If she presses the button, Butch will receive a fatal electric shock but she keeps her hand; if she doesn't press the button before the timer runs out, she loses the hand but she and Butch will be allowed to leave without further harm. Tabitha regretfully tells Butch that she isn't in love with him. Before she presses the button, Butch reassures her that his recent time with her has been the best days of his life and he is happy to be with her even knowing that she doesn't love him. Believing he is about to die, he then taunts Nygma, claiming to have killed Isabella, but when his confession contradicts the actual way she died, Nygma realizes that Butch is innocent. Touched by Butch's admission of love and his bravado against Nygma, Tabitha decides not to press the button. The device's timer runs out before Nygma has a chance to shut it off, and Tabitha's hand is severed by the blade. Barbara shows up to rescue Tabitha, but Nygma hastily leaves, advising Barbara to put the hand on ice.

The GCPD arrests the surviving assassin and Falcone tortures him, removing one of his teeth, on which Falcone finds a symbol that indicates to him that the assassin worked for an old associate. Volk and his enforcer are attacked by the Talon, killing the enforcer and demanding to know the location of the key. Volk fights him but despite his efforts, he is killed and the Talon steals the key. Barbara and Butch rush Tabitha to the hospital, and Barbara figures out that Cobblepot had Isabella killed. Barbara tells Butch and Tabitha that they don't need to go to war about this—they only need to start one. Falcone meets with Kathryn, the person behind the attacks. He states that if Mario dies, then "Gotham will burn". That night, Lee visits Gordon in his apartment and kisses him goodbye. Mario watches from a distance and is then assaulted by thugs. He is revealed to possess the symptoms from Alice Tetch's blood and grows increasingly strong as he uses it to brutally dispatch the thugs after hearing voices telling him "She loves him". He then begins to repeat, "She loves me!"


  • This episode first refers to the mysterious "Court" as their comic book name The Court of Owls".
  • An outfit resembling Catwoman's suit can be seen in the background when Barbara Kean visits the bondage store.


  1. Final Adjusted TV Ratings for Monday 21st November 2016 - SpoilerTV
  2. ‘New Girl’ and ‘Quantico’ double in week 10 broadcast Live +7 ratings - TV by the Numbers
  3. Gotham - Episode 3.10 - Time Bomb - Press Release - SpoilerTV
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