After reaching a near-breaking point with last week’s eye-popping episode, ”Everyone Has A Cobblepot”, is a nice return to some steadiness. The series places itself in a good position by the episodes end, leaving audiences on a good note, while the show takes a few weeks off, in preparation for the final four episodes of the season this coming April. If anything, it once again shows how Gotham is very good at treading water for a few weeks, before delivering something quite solid. With this episode, that something quite solid comes in the form of allowing for an engaging storyline that is convoluted, but well thought out, in terms of how to handle the characters involved.
A key part of this episode’s success was returning us to an aspect of this show that deserved more development. Weeks ago Gordon managed to put a corrupt cop behind bars with the assistance of Penguin. It led to a final scene that had Gordon getting a look at the dark side. This week returns us to that concept, as Gordon must now deal with the corrupt Commissioner Loeb. After learning how corrupt Det. Flass is back on the streets due to Bullock’s sudden testimony, Jim sets it upon himself to take down the commissioner. He is successful, but at a price. Jim now owes the Penguin a favor, which is something even Bullock is aware is a bad thing.
This whole plotline worked though. We see some work done between Gordon and Harvey Dent to try and find intel, before Bullock decides it is time to be a help in the fight against corruption and aid Jim himself. Jimmy & the Bulls then enlist the help of Penguin, leading the three to a secret location owned by Loeb. Faster than you can say Becky Ann Baker unloads a shotgun, we learn what kind of skeletons Loeb has in his closet, leading to the ultimate resolution of Gordon now having leverage over Loeb.
There was some goofiness in the lead up to the ultimate results here, which also found Gordon in the position of running for Policeman’s Union President with Loeb’s support, such as the whole setup involving Shi Lu and his underground accountants/knife fighters, but Gotham actually committed to this plotline in terms of tone, which is always welcome. Rather than take too many left turns on the way to results, we had a sense of urgency here, which had some good moments between our lead characters in the midst of things, before arriving at a strong conclusion of this storyline. The bonus of a twisted, secret evil daughter was a nice touch as well.
It benefits the show in all sorts of ways when it decides to deal with Gordon and the nature of Gotham’s corruption. I have written before about how committed this show is to too many things (the world, the Batman winks and nods, the goofiness, the detective stuff, etc.). Having an episode like this, which takes time to focus on Gordon and Bullock’s philosophies in regards to their work is much more worthwhile, as it develops these characters and gives reason to have us caring more, even if the future episodes rely on less plot-heavy or character-heavy work.
As we watch Jimmy & the Bulls do their thing, elsewhere we have Fish Mooney, who has recovered from her dramatics (otherwise known as the time she GOUGED OUT HER OWN EYEBALL AND STEPPED ON IT) and is now fixed with a completely new eye, albeit a different color. That in mind, she does get to meet the boss, Dr. Dulmacher (the always welcome Colm Feore), who is very welcome to seeing what Fish can provide for him. It goes the expected route of Fish doing what she can to come out on as high a level of power as possible for her and ultimately undercuts the buildup form previous weeks, but I will be curious how this eventually all connects back to Gotham City.
Lil’ Bruce gets a bit of time this week, though only a setup for the episodes to come. We learn that Alfred has survived, which was obvious, but less obvious is how astute Bruce actually is. Knowing the position he put his company’s board members in, Bruce has gleaned from the situation that Reggie Payne’s crimes were a smokescreen. The man was actually sent to inspect what Bruce knows, which is now understood by us and Bruce (as well as Cat). I like that we aren’t dragging out the mystery here, as it will be much more interesting to watch Lil’ Bruce handle those who are attempting to come after him and Alfred.
We are in a good position to see this season end on a high note. I would like to believe enough plotlines have been setup at this point to get us away from villains-of-the-week and allow us to watch various characters make their move. Gordon could be dealing with pushback from members of the GCPD. Penguin has Butch, his club, and Gordon in his pocket to a degree. Bullock is joining the side of good. Fish is on an island, but certainly still scheming away. Plus, Falcone and Maroni certainly have actions they could take at any point. It has been a wobbly season, but as a friend of mine has pointed out, it has been weirdly entertaining. I can only hope that when we return from this break, Gotham keeps up the good work done here and properly finds its way to a solid end.
From Det. Jim Gordon’s Police Files:
- Nygma had a storyline this week as well and while not as significant, it does do more to setup his eventual turn to the villainous side of things. That said, not the best flowers Edward…
- The reveal of Dr. Dulmacher’s former manager was pretty week and awkward-looking and the reveal of the prison being on an island was not so surprising. I want this nonsense to be worthwhile and Pinkett and Feore are certainly trying, but hopefully more good eventually serves as a better payoff for this diversion (aside from just Salsa Tuesdays, of course).
- Alfred was great, even while recovering in a hospital bed!
- “Super-Secret Blackmail Horde” – This week Penguin had some funny lines and some sinister moments, given the end of this episode.
- Again, the character work and the actors involved make up for some of the weekly issues of this series. Donal Logue, for example, is quite strong as Bullock and I love the hints at his past, rather than a show that spells it out completely.
- No Barbara this week!
- This week’s Classic Gordon Clip