Gotham ‘Welcome Back, Jim Gordon’ Recap – Episode 01.13

Gotham
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The Case

A man is murdered in a drug related killing and a witness comes forward to shed light on the case. Unfortunately, that witness is also murdered. Gordon, in his first case back on the force, investigates a corrupt ring of GCPD cops lead by Detective Flass, in an attempt to unravel the conspiracy and find the killer. Gordon knows it has to be another cop because the witness was killed inside the GCPD, but is warned away from the case by Captain Essen. Gordon pursues it doggedly, coming up against the willfully unhelpful officers of the GCPD in his quest for information. He finally manages to find out that Delaware was the guard on duty the night the witness was killed. Gordon handcuffs Delaware and finds drugs when he searches his car. Gordon attempts to arrest Delaware for the murders, but Flass claims that Delaware is part of an undercover drug operation and the drugs were part of his cover. Gordon is forced to let him go and hand over the witness’s murder to internal affairs, who then rule the death a suicide – though how the witness managed to stab himself in the back with an icepick is a riddle with an obvious answer.

Gordon is still in charge of the first murder and has Bullock do some digging to find Flass’s drug operation. When they go to investigate and try to arrest Delaware again, Delaware has a warrant to search the premises and seize the contents, thus explaining his presence at the drug facility. Gordon becomes desperate and asks Cobblepot to do some digging for him. Cobblepot happily agrees, though Gordon is uncomfortable about the arrangement. Cobblepot’s henchman threatens Delaware and his family until he gives up the evidence and a confession implicating Flass as the murderer. Gordon tells Flass he’s under arrest, who arrogantly shrugs it off, saying he’s protected. Gordon inspires the rest of the GCPD, including Sarah Essen, who has Flass arrested. While Gordon is satisfied with his result, he finds out that Cobblepot got the information by implicating that Gordon was threatening Delaware’s family. Delaware approaches Gordon in a dark alley and begs him desperately not to hurt his family.

Mooney

Butch and Mooney are separated – Butch taken away in a van and Mooney tied up in a warehouse to be tortured. Butch easily escapes his captors, beating Mooney’s location out of them and then proceeding to rescue her before any real damage is done. Butch wants to get out of town immediately, but Mooney refuses to leave until she kills Cobblepot. They arrive at Mooney’s club, now under Cobblepot’s management, and catch him while he’s alone. Cobblepot plays contrite, kissing Mooney’s shoe and begging for understanding. When that doesn’t work, he turns vindictive and contemptuous, telling Mooney that he’d been working for Falcone the whole time and that she was too dumb to see it. She becomes enraged, but right before she kills him, Victor Zsasz shows up to kill Mooney. Mooney gets away with the help of Butch, but Butch is shot and captured by Zsasz. Mooney leaves town with Bullock’s help, the two apparently having a closer relationship than their previous interactions imply. Bullock asks her not to come back, for her own sake, but Mooney promises she’ll return. They share a tender goodbye kiss and Bullock leaves Mooney standing on the dock.

While Butch’s fate is unknown, it’s unlikely that such a tenacious character would die off screen. It’s more likely that Zsasz took him home to do all the terrible things to him that his insane smile implies. Mooney asks Bullock to find Butch and help him, if possible, so it seems likely we’ll have more Butch to look forward to. As for Mooney, we definitely haven’t seen the last of her. As Butch says, she’s “one tough cookie” and a little thing like exile and possible death isn’t going to stop her from getting her revenge.

Cobblepot

As a reward for his services, Cobblepot takes over management of Mooney’s club. He surprises his mother with his new prize and holds a celebration where his mother gets drunk and dances the night away. Gordon is the only other person to show up during this celebration, which absolutely delights Cobblepot. In a strange way, I think he really does consider Gordon a friend, even if he’s an unwilling one. Gordon, in turn, knows that he can turn to Cobblepot for help, as uncomfortable as it makes him. For someone so observant and intuitive, Cobblepot seems completely oblivious to Gordon’s intense discomfort. Then again, he possibly did notice but decided to ignore it, feeling the exchange of favors was the more important step in their relationship.

Unfortunately, Cobblepot has precious little time to enjoy his new prize before Mooney shows up to take him down and reclaim her club. Once again, it is Cobblepot’s uncanny luck that saves him from death as Zsasz shows up to recapture or kill Mooney. Cobblepot laughs hilariously, perhaps recognizing the ridiculous persistence of his luck. He may get beat up and humiliated every now and then, but Cobblepot has so far not only been able to cheat death several times, but successfully advance in power and wealth. While Gotham is a pretty messy show overall, it’s good to see that FOX at least recognizes the characters that are working. Not only is Cobblepot one of the recurring highlights of the show, but they’ve also been showing these behind the scenes/car commercial segments hosted by Robin Taylor Lord. I say keep Cobblepot as a main character, then cut down the rest of the villains to case-of-the-week material until it makes sense to introduce a new recurring element to the storyline. Enough throwing spaghetti at the wall.

Bruce and Selina

These kids are adorable with their big doe eyes and hopeful friendships. Unfortunately, Bruce is just destined to be this lonely, tragic, heartless thing and has his hopes of budding friendship dashed by the independent and proud Selina. Bruce returns from his enforced vacation and roams the streets looking for Selina. He instead finds Ivy and asks her to tell Selina he’s looking for her. When Selina shows up, Bruce gives her a snow globe of where he stayed in Switzerland. So far, so good. When Bruce suggests that Selina live with him, however, as a mutually beneficial exchange – she can help solve his parent’s murder and she will have a better place to live – she becomes ruffled. Better than what, she asks. She gives him back the snow globe, tells him that she lied about seeing who killed his parents, and asks him to stop hassling her. Bruce is devastated by her rejection. Alfred, the tough as nails, stiff upper lip man that he is, asks Bruce if he should fetch a broom to clean up the now broken snow globe, or whether Bruce was planning to continue crying over it. Bruce wipes his tears away determinedly and turns back to his wall of clues.

Nygma

There’s not a lot of anything new going on here, but it might be worth it to mention that there’s more of the same. Nygma gives Kringle a greeting card, which he later finds being read aloud mockingly among a group of GCPD policemen. They mock him openly and he retreats to his forensics cave. When Kringle comes to see him later, Nygma is understandably cold. However, she apologizes and tells him that she didn’t show the card to the officers, but rather they found it in her desk drawer. He then tells Nygma that she found the card to be sweet. Nygma tries to take the opportunity to ask her out, but knowing full well what he wants to ask, Kringle cuts him off and dashes out of the room. Nygma turns back to his project, claiming to himself that there is still hope.

Nygma, particularly as played so vulnerably by Cory Michael Smith, is perhaps an underused character. It is heartbreaking, in a way, to see this brilliant, awkward man crave acceptance and admiration – and in the case of Ms. Kringle, love – only to be mocked, misunderstood, and overlooked. Smith has this transparent way of playing Nygma where there is the obvious façade of exuberant confidence that can be so easily stripped away to absolute desolation. His “Roger, Dodger” reply to the mocking policeman reads as an automatic, almost robotic response – an unusual, nonsensical glitch in the programming when the system is overloaded with incompatible information. He simply has no reaction available to that situation, so his thin façade of social competence collapses. He could be a fascinating character, if only there was more time to develop him.

 

The Case A man is murdered in a drug related killing and a witness comes forward to shed light on the case. Unfortunately, that witness is also murdered. Gordon, in his first case back on the force, investigates a corrupt ring of GCPD cops lead by Detective Flass, in an attempt to unravel the conspiracy and find the killer. Gordon knows it has to be another cop because the witness was killed inside the GCPD, but is warned away from the case by Captain Essen. Gordon pursues it doggedly, coming up against the willfully unhelpful officers of the GCPD in his quest for information. He finally manages to find out that Delaware was the guard on duty the night the witness was killed. Gordon handcuffs Delaware and finds drugs when he searches his car. Gordon attempts to arrest Delaware for the murders, but Flass claims that Delaware is part of an undercover drug operation and the drugs were part of his cover. Gordon is forced to let him go and hand over the witness’s murder to internal affairs, who then rule the death a suicide – though how the witness managed to stab himself in the back with an icepick is a riddle with an obvious answer. Gordon is still in charge of the first murder and has Bullock do some digging to find Flass’s drug operation. When they go to investigate and try to arrest Delaware again, Delaware has a warrant to search the premises and seize the contents, thus explaining his presence at the drug facility. Gordon becomes desperate and asks Cobblepot to do some digging for him. Cobblepot happily agrees, though Gordon is uncomfortable about the arrangement. Cobblepot’s henchman threatens Delaware and his family until he gives up the evidence and a confession implicating Flass as the murderer. Gordon tells Flass he’s under arrest, who arrogantly shrugs it off, saying he’s protected. Gordon inspires the rest of the GCPD, including Sarah Essen, who has Flass arrested. While Gordon is satisfied with his result, he finds out that Cobblepot got the information by implicating that Gordon was threatening Delaware’s family. Delaware approaches Gordon in a dark alley and begs him desperately not to hurt his family. Mooney Butch and Mooney are separated – Butch taken away in a van and Mooney tied up in a warehouse to be tortured. Butch easily escapes his captors, beating Mooney’s location out of them and then proceeding to rescue her before any real damage is done. Butch wants to get out of town immediately, but Mooney refuses to leave until she kills Cobblepot. They arrive at Mooney’s club, now under Cobblepot’s management, and catch him while he’s alone. Cobblepot plays contrite, kissing Mooney’s shoe and begging for understanding. When that doesn’t work, he turns vindictive and contemptuous, telling Mooney that he’d been working for Falcone the whole time and that she was too dumb to see it. She becomes enraged, but right before she kills him, Victor Zsasz shows up to kill…
Episode Score - 6.4

6.4

Gordon tries to take down a corrupt cop for murder, Mooney escapes punishment, Cobblepot celebrates his promotion, and Bruce and Selina have a moment.

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6
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About the Author

Bethany Lewis
My cinema education started when, at three years old, Charlie Chaplin's "The Gold Rush" became my earliest memory of cinema. Since then, I've been obsessed with film and television, learning more about it, analyzing it, researching it, and experiencing different kinds of it. After getting my BA in Theater, I went on to get my MFA in Film Studies. I now spend my free time watching and writing about movies.
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