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"I implore the people of Gotham: If you love your family, if you love your children, find Fish Mooney. Until then, no one is safe."
Oswald Cobblepot talking to citizens of Gotham

"Mad City: Better to Reign in Hell..." is the first episode of the third season of Gotham. It aired on September 19, 2016.


Gordon works in a monster-ridden Gotham as a bounty hunter and seeks to find answers about the Indian Hill escapees, and why their powers appear to be killing them. Meanwhile, Bruce’s doppelganger roams the streets, and Barbara and Tabitha open a new nightclub called The Sirens.[3]


Jim Gordon arrives at Lee's address, but watches through the window and sees her kissing another man and leaves, heartbroken. 6 months later and after the events of the season finale, Gordon has returned to Gotham City and has been working as a bounty hunter, chasing down a ridgeback monster that attacked a pharmacy. Gordon manipulates the monster to step on the road and the monster is hit by a truck.

In the GCPD, a Gotham Gazette reporter named Valerie Vale questions Captain Barnes and Mayor James and their efforts in catching the monsters. During the press conference, Bullock tries unsuccessfully to persuade Gordon to rejoin the police. Lucius Fox is also revealed to be working as a scientific expert in the GCPD after the corruption within Wayne Enterprises. He states that the monsters were looking for a drug only available in three pharmacies. Cobblepot, accompanied by Butch Gilzean, interrupts the press conference, accusing the GCPD of doing nothing to stop them and reveals to the press that the monsters' leader is Fish Mooney.

Cobblepot and Butch then visit Sirens Nightclub owned by Barbara and Tabitha. Cobblepot is proposing that they can use the club as a shelter for his business and also tells them to spread the word that he is offering a million dollars for whoever catches Fish Mooney. Butch is also heartbroken as Tabitha left him for Barbara. Selina Kyle tries to cheer him up and then steals his wallet. She meets with Ivy Pepper in an alley and gives money to a boy passing by. Unknown to them, the boy is none other than Bruce's doppelganger. Meanwhile, Bruce and Alfred return to Gotham after leaving and trying to avoid the secret council while Bruce intends on confronting the Wayne Enterprises board members.

Vale encounters Gordon in the bar and offers to write a story about him but he is not interested. She then abruptly tells him of Cobblepot's reward for whoever brings Mooney, surprising Gordon. Cobblepot meets Nygma in Arkham Asylum to discuss his next move while leaving a puzzle as a gift to him. Nygma quickly solves the puzzle and reminds Cobblepot that "Penguins eat fish." Mooney, Selina, and her gang break into Gray Pharma lab to retrieve the drugs they are looking for. Gordon is given a lead by Fox and arrives at Gray Pharma and confronts Mooney but he is then attacked by a member of her gang, affording the others an opportunity to escape.

Bruce confronts the Wayne Enterprises board members and threatens to reveal the information and connection that they have to the Secret Council, if they do not contact him within 24 hours. The White-Haired Woman is notified of this and sends a Talon to kill Bruce. Vale meets again with Selina, who tells her about Mooney's next move, to which she meets with Gordon and convinces him on getting the lead. Bruce meets with Selina and warns her of the imminent threat against him but she is convinced that she is safe, not knowing they are being watched by Bruce's doppelganger.

The lead takes Gordon and Vale to a house but Gordon handcuffs Vale in the car to prevent her from being injured, explaining that she had been used as bait by Mooney and goes inside the building alone. Gordon finds Ethel Peabody. She had been released as she agreed to testify against Hugo Strange. Mooney's monsters arrive and take Peabody while Gordon once more, faces the monster from the labs. The monster tries to flee through the window, but as Gordon grabs him during the struggle, the monster reveals that it possesses bat wings. Gordon and Bullock are chastised by Barnes, and Bullock tells Gordon to stay away from the hunt as well as him. After speaking with Selina, Ivy is approached by Bruce's doppelganger who demands to know more about Bruce but she flees in fear, believing that she is speaking with the real Bruce Wayne.

Peabody is brought before Mooney, Selina, and her gang, to inform Mooney that her cells are rejecting the changes made to her DNA and the only way for Mooney to stop being attacked (following Mooney using her powers) and recover is to stop using them. Mooney responds by using her powers on Peabody who eventually reveals that the only person who can save her is Strange. Afterward, Mooney has a monster use his powers of aging to kill her, horrifying Selina. Soon, Ivy is caught after she has been following Selina. Ivy escapes while Selina tries to stop the monsters from harming her. As she reaches an alley with a sewage drain, Ivy is touched for a moment by the aging monster Marv before she falls down into a sewage pipe.

Bruce and Alfred begin to set an alarm system in Wayne Manor and after Bruce leaves the room, Alfred is confronted by Talon. Although he does his best to fight him off, Alfred is defeated and knocked unconscious by Talon. Bruce finds Alfred unconscious and is then taken away.


  • The title is taken from Milton's Paradise Lost, in which Satan declares that it is "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven."


  1. Final Adjusted TV Ratings for Monday 19th September 2016 - SpoilerTV
  2. ‘Designated Survivor’ is your premiere week DVR champion: Broadcast Live +7 ratings - TV by the Numbers
  3. Gotham - Episode 3.01 - Better to Reign in Hell… - Press Release - SpoilerTV