As Jack Gruber reestablishes himself, reconnecting with an old associate and gaining access to his old electrical equipment, Gordon uses Gruber’s escape to extort his way back into the GCPD. He makes a deal with the Commissioner and has twenty-four hours to prove himself and catch the bad guys. They discover that Gruber’s real name is Buchinsky (coined “The Electrocutioner” by the press) and that he finagled his way into Arkham after his partners in crime sold him up the river. Gordon and Bullock get word that the Arkham van in which Buchinsky escaped has been found abandoned outside an electronics shop. When they investigate, they find Buchinsky’s former associate, brainwashed and compulsively writing “I will not betray my friends” on the wall. Dr. Thompkins pays Gordon a visit at the GCPD and brings him a hex doll that Buchinsky gave to a supposed witch at Arkham to curse. The doll looks suspiciously like Don Maroni. Meanwhile, Buchinsky attacks Don Maroni and Co. with some kind of electrical bomb. When Gordon and Bullock respond, they hypothesize that Maroni was one of Buchinsky’s treacherous partners. They take Maroni into protective custody and wait for Buckinsky to attack. He eventually does, electrifying the GCPD building and stunning everyone into unconsciousness – everyone except for Gordon, who is wearing rubber galoshes given to him by Nygma in case of electrical attack. Gordon confronts Buchinsky and throws coffee on his electrical weapon, disabling it before he can harm Maroni. Buchinsky is captured to great fanfare and the return of Gordon’s shield. Gordon tells Commissioner Loeb secretly that if anyone tries to take his shield away again that he will personally make them eat it. Gordon and Bullock go out to grab a beer to celebrate. A little later, Thompkins seeks out Gordon at the GCPD, ostensibly to retrieve the hex doll. This leads to an awkward encounter between Gordon and Thompkins that ends in them kissing.
I know I’m not the only one bemoaning the end of the short lived Gordon/Arkham era. The tone was delightfully dark and twisted with a touch of wry humor and the narrative possibilities there seemed intriguing. Alas, Gordon is back at the GCPD and is leaving Arkham behind. Perhaps, considering Gotham has been renewed for a second season, there is a potential for an Arkham spin-off. I’d totally watch that. In any case, not only has Gordon returned to the GCPD, but he predictably got himself a girl as well. It’s not like we didn’t know where things were heading with Gordon and Thompkins. Perhaps now we’ll get some more backstory and character development now that she’s a solid part of the overarching narrative.
Speaking of Gordon’s love life, Barbara has found herself without a home or a support system. In what seems like a last resort attempt, she visits her parents and asks to stay a few days with them. Her parents seem cold, somehow disapproving, and reluctant at the thought of having Barbara in the house. They are clearly higher-class and very rich, so their disapproval could have any number of sources from Barbara’s drug use, to her relationship with Montoya or her relationship with Gordon. What we do know is that it’s probably not the best situation for Barbara to be in and that her cowardly retreat from Gordon seems to have been an extremely bad decision, especially considering he seems to have been her only source of stability and emotional support.
Meanwhile, things in the Falcone family finally come to head when Fish Mooney takes Liza and anonymously ransoms her safety for Falcone’s retirement. Mooney pretends to barter the deal, arranging for Falcone to meet with her to sign some papers, leaving his position to Mooney and guaranteeing his resignation. However, Cobblepot arrives just in time to tell Falcone about how Liza was groomed and planted by Mooney to play on the memory of his mother in order to gain his affections, and that Mooney in turn is the one ransoming Liza. Falcone, betrayed, arrives at his meet with Mooney and mournfully strangles Liza, then has Mooney and Butch restrained. Falcone thanks Mooney for reminding him of his purpose, with a look in his eye that warns he is renewed as a dangerous adversary. Cobblepot is allowed to come in a gloat before Mooney and Butch are carried away. Meanwhile, Maroni is starting to suspect Cobblepot is splitting his alliance when he involuntarily mentions an important meeting with Falcone while he’s unconscious.
While Nygma is for now one of the good guys, you can see that he’s becoming more and more alienated as his misguided courtship of Kristin Kringle falters at every step. The latest gift he leaves her, a disgusting looking cupcake with a live bullet sticking out of it, is meant as a romantic riddle to say that she is dangerously sweet. However, Kringle finds the gesture slightly threatening and extremely off-putting. When Nygma comes to apologize for the misunderstanding and to explain his riddle, she seems awkwardly regretful but still unresponsive to his attempts to charm her. A policeman who happens to be in the records office shoos Nygma away, but not before he overhears Kringle tell the policeman that she thinks Nygma is creepy. One can see how his discontentment is growing and from where it arises. A combination of Kringle’s rebuffs and the GCPD’s constant lack of appreciation are bound to trigger a vengeful response sooner or later. The only question is, what will be the straw that breaks it?