TV Review: Gotham - Season 1 Episode 13 "Welcome Back, Jim Gordon"
Episode 13: "Welcome Back, Jim Gordon"
Synopsis: When the key witness in a homicide ends up dead while being held for questioning by the police, Gordon suspects that it’s an inside job and looks to an old friend for information. Meanwhile, Oswald Cobblepot takes control of one of Fish Mooney’s prized possessions, as she gets a gets a small taste of her own medicine.
Recap: Last week, Fish Mooney's plan to dethrone Carmine Falcone came to a screeching halt as the Don discovered her plan and removed her from power, replacing her with The Penguin. Naturally, that means this week we will see more scenes of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, bringing yet another unnecessary plot back to the forefront. But fear not, intrepid viewer! We also get Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock investigating another bizarre crime.
The episode opens with Fish being prepped for some sort of seedy surgery, part of her punishment from Falcone. The man responsible for her torture, Bob, questions Fish with a series of control questions. Fish and Bob share some words before striking Fish who in turn spits in his face. Oh boy, this is gonna be interesting.
Gordon and Bullock have nothing new on Mooney's whereabouts but have picked up a case of a murdered narcotics informant. They meet Detective Arnold Flass (another Batman: Year One character) who seems to have a friendly rivalry with Bullock. Inspecting the corpse, Gordon discovers a false heel in the informant's shoe which houses little blue packets. They also locate a janitor who claims to have seen the killer. But, when he is waiting at the precinct, he is murdered by a mysterious man in a hat. With security cameras disabled and murder by ice pick, Ed Nygma deduces the witness was killed by the same person who took out the informant. Gordon launches an investigation despite warnings from Bullock and the Captain it could alienate their fellow officers. Per usual, Gordon is willing to take the chance.
Back to the "long awaited" Bruce Wayne story arc. Wayne has Alfred circle the streets of Gotham, looking for Selina. Despite not finding her, Bruce insists on continuing to look. They come across Ivy Pepper who says she knows where Selina is. Bruce asks her to give Selina a message, which she does for twenty bucks. Alfred does not seem to share the same confidence in Ivy that Bruce does, but they return home anyway. Selina eventually visits Bruce as he plays chess with himself. Bruce gives Selina a snow globe as a gift and asks if she would like to stay with him at Wayne Manor. Selina is caught off guard and tells Bruce to stop hassling her and claims she didn't see who killed Bruce's parents. We then find Bruce crying with the shattered snow globe in front of the fireplace. Bruce tells Alfred that Selina was lying and Alfred tells him to buck up and keep trying.
Butch pursues Falcone's men to find Fish who by now has her head wrapped in plastic. As Bob removes the bag and Fish gasps for air, she quickly challenges Bob and asks if that is all he's got. Clearly, Fish is ready for this game but Bob is not impressed. Bob readies a hammer to strike Fish's kneecaps when Butch knocks him out to save his boss. When she regains consciousness, Butch has her in a safe house and says they should leave town, but Fish refuses. Now that she knows Penguin revealed her plans to Falcone, she wants vengeance. Victor Zsasz arrives later and dispatches the injured Bob for letting Fish get away,
Gordon begins questioning GCPD officers who all claim ignorance as to who was on guard duty when the witness was killed. Gordon assumes they are protecting a fellow cop and Bullock is not surprised but still doesn't believe it was a cop. Tricking a beat cop into revealing it was Detective Delaware on duty, Gordon follows him to the garage where they tussle. Gordon cuffs Delaware and finds more of the blue packets in his trunk. He throws the dirty cop in a cell, the other GCPD cops looking on with disdain. Gordon meets with the Captain and Flass who reveal a fourth month undercover narcotics operation is in jeopardy because of Gordon who refuses to believe they are overlooking a cop involved with a murder just to catch some drug-dealers. The Captain turns the case over to Internal Affairs.
Bullock tells Gordon that Flass is in charge of several drug stash houses he has taken over through the years and is backed by serious people in Gotham. Bullock warns Gordon that these people do not mess around but Gordon instead asks for the location of the stash houses so they can find evidence of his connection to the murders. At the first house, Gordon and Bullock find Delaware and other cops and think they have them red-handed. Instead, Delaware produces a warrant, signed by Commissioner Loeb giving them the right to clear the stash house and revealing who else could be involved. Internal Affairs rules the witness' murder a suicide, despite his being stabbed in the back, which tells the Captain that the Commissioner was involved. Gordon is pissed but the Captain says despite wanting to help them, Gordon's actions risk alienating all of those on his side.
Penguin brings his mother to Fish's club to show off his new domain. Clearly enamored with the club, Mrs. Cobblepot finds Liza's scarf and puts it on and basks in her son's success. Cobblepot watches his mother dance with a henchman as Jim Gordon walks in. Penguin shows Gordon off to his mother but Gordon needs to call in a favor about Flass. Penguin agrees to look into Flass and says he will accept no payment as they are friends. Penguin sends everyone home and basks in his success, drinking copious amounts of champagne, spitting and destroying reminders of Fish, and singing on stage. But, then Fish arrives with a baseball bat in hand. While Penguin's thug gets proof of Flass' involvement from Delaware, Fish makes Penguin kiss her feet and beg for mercy. She beats him but he quivers and offer to combine their forces and Fish calls him out for being weak and a nobody. Penguin reveals he was working for Falcone the whole time but before she can strike him, Zsasz arrives and goes after Mooney and Butch, leaving Penguin cackling like a madman.
Fish and Butch barely make their way out. Butch pushes Fish out a window and is shot by Zsasz. Instead of killing him, Zsasz and his girls decide to have some fun with their prey. The episode closes with Bullock taking Fish to the port where she decides to leave town, recoup, and come back to kill Penguin. Bullock tells her not to come back but she says she will and, in the meantime, asks him to find and help Butch.
Edward Nygma's wooing of Ms. Kringle continues as he makes a card for her which is then read aloud by Flass to a group of GCPD officers who laugh at it. Nygma overhears and is clearly embarassed. Later, Ms. Kringle visits Ed Nygma to apologize and said Flass found the card in her desk and that she found the card thoughtful. She then quickly leaves before he can say anything else.
As Gordon sits at his desk, Penguin's thug arrives with the ice pick used to kill the two victims as well as a taped confession from Delaware admitting Flass gave him the ice pick to dispose of. Gordon thanks the underworld thug and contemplates what to do next. His decision is to arrest Flass is met with laughs as the dirty cop proclaims he is protected. Soon, the GCPD sides with Gordon and the Captain herself cuffs Flass. As he leaves the station, Delaware begs Gordon to leave his wife and kids alone. Gordon is left shocked at what his actions have wrought.
Review: Why do you do this to me, GOTHAM? Why do you come to the brink of being a good show and spoil it with the goddamned Batman? Yeah, the inclusion of Bruce Wayne and his boring story arc nearly ruined this episode that was, otherwise, very well done. The development of Jim Gordon's desire to be a white knight received it's first blemish tonight as he sought the help of Penguin. The repercussions of this choice are going to echo for the rest of this series and has forgiven some of Benjamin McKenzie's bizarre facial expressions. the follow-up to Fish Mooney's betrayal of Falcone last week lived up to expectations but I just hope that Jada Pinkett-Smith is not gone for too long from GOTHAM. Zsasz has grown into one of the more intriguing villains and even the small build-up for Edward Nygma was intriguing. Flass was a nice DC character to include but the Bruce Wayne/Selina Kyle story remains not only week but very forced. If those ten minutes had been excised, this would have been one of the best episodes of GOTHAM to date.
Next Episode: "The Fearsome Dr. Crane" airs February 2nd: Fish Mooney reveals a secret of Oswald Cobblepot's, prompting Maroni to take him on a trip to test his loyalty. Meanwhile, Gordon and Bullock hunt down a killer who targets victims with severe phobias and Bruce Wayne confronts Gordon for failing to make progress on his parents' murder case