‘Gotham’ recap: 5×07 “Ace Chemicals”

Gotham recap: Season 5, Episode 7, “Ace Chemicals,” Aired Feb. 21, 2019
Big things happening tonight in Gotham!

If the episode title, “Ace Chemicals,” didn’t clue you in, Bruce and Jeremiah did have a faceoff at the Ace Chemicals plant, famous for its part in the Joker’s backstory. With that, Jeremiah Valeska has almost officially morphed into the Joker.

Gotham 5x07 Ace Chemicals Jeremiah Valeska The Joker

I’m dying to jump right in (see what I did there?), so let’s do it!


Gotham 5x07 Ace Chemicals Barbara Kean Jim Gordon Lee Thompkins

Now that she’s back, Lee is working at a hospital in Gotham. Barbara came to Lee asking her to be her doctor through her pregnancy. They’ve both been in a relationship with Jim Gordon, and Lee was hesitant to take on this new patient. However, Barbara had a good point: Lee is the best doctor in Gotham, so the two embarked on this new doctor-patient relationship.

This is going to be amusing.

“Welcome home, Bruce”

Gotham 5x07 Ace Chemicals Bruce Martha Thomas Wayne murder

Jeremiah engineered the whole scenario – tunnels to Wayne Manor, bombs, plastic surgery projects turned into Martha and Thomas Wayne, hypnotizing Alfred, playing Zorro – because the murder of Bruce’s parents was, as Jeremiah put it, the most important day of Bruce’s life, and Jeremiah wanted to be a part of it.

Gotham 5x07 Ace Chemicals Jeremiah Valeska Bruce Wayne

Essentially, Jeremiah forced Bruce to relive the day his parents were murdered. Bruce rejected Jeremiah’s friendship, so Jeremiah decided to bond himself to Bruce by hatred.

And a bonus for Jeremiah: If he can pull off his plan, Gotham will be forever cut off from federal aid.

Ace Chemicals

Jim and Lee encountered the Ace Chemicals plant first, following some clues from a chemical attack on a gang from the Narrows. When they arrived, Jervis Tetch was in control, having hypnotized people to work at the plant. He commanded them to attack the visitors, and Ecco, of all people, came out (on roller skates) swinging. Together, with the help of the plant workers, they tied up Lee and Jim and hypnotized them.

Gotham 5x07 Ace Chemicals Lee Thompkins and Jim Gordon Morena Baccarin Ben McKenzie

Hypnotized, Lee and Jim ended up in the alley where Bruce’s parents were killed. Rather than kill the fake Martha and Thomas in front of Bruce, Jeremiah intended to kill Lee and Jim in front of his enemy. I WAS NOT READY FOR THAT TWIST!

“This ends tonight”

After a desperate “Bruce needs you” from Alfred, Selina came to Bruce’s rescue in the alley and saved Lee and Jim. With that taken care of, Bruce followed Jeremiah to the Ace Chemicals plant to end things once and for all.

Gotham 5x07 Ace Chemicals Bruce Wayne Jeremiah Valeska The Joker

I do wish there was a bit more to this faceoff, as the scene was very short after all that buildup.

But, yes, Jeremiah took the plunge into a vat of toxic chemicals. He’s still alive but has no brain activity. Welcome, the Joker.

Gotham 5x07 Ace Chemicals Ecco Jeremiah Valeska chemical spill fireworks

Meanwhile, Jim drove a car Jeremiah and Ecco loaded with toxic chemicals off a bridge, thereby polluting the water. He saved the people from a chemical explosion, but now the chemicals are in the water. With that chemical spill, government help to Gotham is postponed indefinitely. You win some, you lose some.

Gotham 5x07 Ace Chemicals Jim Gordon Ben McKenzie


Standing ovation for Cameron Monaghan. His performance in this episode, and throughout his time on Gotham, has been phenomenal. I hope we get to see him shine as full-on Joker. He deserves all the awards – all of them.

Gotham 5x07 Ace Chemicals Nygmobblepot The Penguin The Riddler Ed Nygma Oswald Cobblepot Cory Michael Smith Robin Lord Taylor

Second, I am LOVING this alliance between the Riddler, Penguin, and Barbara. I want so much more of that. SO MUCH.

Oh, and we got BatCat, Nygmobblepot, and Jimlee this week. Gotham is treating its shippers right.


Next week:

What did you think of “Ace Chemicals”? Let us know at @PureFandom on Twitter!

Gotham airs Thursday nights on FOX at 8/7c.

(Image: Fox)


Jordan Alperstein

Jordy has a degree in English literature and communication studies. When she isn't attending concerts, she's watching way too much TV for her own good and fangirling over Captain Swan. Jordy is a self-proclaimed optimist and bookworm, and she's a sucker for fantasy, superheroes, and good old-fashioned villains.

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