Episode Title: Welcome Back, Jim Gordon
Original Airdate: 1-26-15
Some days I feel like I’m too much of a positive person. There’s plenty of Batman fans that didn’t like this show and still don’t. But there is enough of an audience to give it a second season and episode by episode I’m falling more in line with the fans of this show rather than the detractors. In fact, this episode is one of the first episodes where I didn’t have any major issues with any moment in the show. There were still a couple little moments, but they were brief and often made up for even within that same scene. This wraps up Fish Mooney’s story arc, puts some more much needed kick into Jim Gordon as a character, and gives a bit of play to several of the other supporting characters’ arcs. It may be that I’m just getting a better feel for the characters in the show overall, but I thought this was definitely one of the strongest episodes of the season so far.
Often, I haven’t been too fond of Mooney’s over the top acting anytime she’s on screen, but for whatever reason I absolutely loved how she played off being captured and tortured by random Falcone thug #23. Or excuse me, how Marine Mercedes Moon played off being captured. I said it before only recently and I’ll say it again here, I love Butch in this show now. And while I think it would be criminally stupid for them to keep him alive after everything he’s done to this point, I would like him to not be gone from the show for good. Penguin also gets his moment to revel in celebration, with his mother, with his club, with Jim Gordon, and especially with Fish Mooney. Even with his defenses down, he still has come far enough to stand up to Mooney now that everything has been taken from her.
As for Jim Gordon, he does come off as a bit too head strong and bullish in the beginning, but there are some nice little seeds planted in the episode. He doesn’t realize it until the end of the episode, but in his blindness to weed out the corruption in the police force, he reaches out to a corrupt source to solve his problems for him and as a result is not quite so clean as he would like which was a perfect note to end on his own realization of that fact. I imagine that Penguin & Falcone’s involvement in procuring the evidence will either come back to bite Gordon in the ass, or it will cause him to back off on his own. It’s just too soon in the story of this city for him to be making any sort of real progress. He has to make progress in very slow swaths, and there’s no way that this will stick and I’m interested to see how it will fall apart in the end.
As far as some of the other supporting characters, we do get a moment with baby Bruce and his young love Cat. I’m still not totally on board with baby Bruce as a character, but I thought that his two brief scenes did a lot to plant the seeds of his future self while still allowing him to be a child in this moment where he is completely naive about how to connect with Cat. And Alfred gets the best line of the episode “Shall I get a broom then, Master Bruce? Or would you rather continue crying over the shattered fragments of your young dreams?” It’s a bit on-the-nose like much of Gotham, but Sean Pertwee delivers it so well that I don’t care. Even Nygma’s stalker-ish relationship with the file clerk made some interesting progress with the added element of him getting picked on by detective Flass while getting the shred of compassion from Ms. Kringle. Really a great episode all around.