Gotham (2013) season 1, episode 13
"Welcome Back, Jim Gordon"
WRITER: MEGAN MOSTYN-BROWN
DIRECTOR: WENDEY STANZLER
AIR DATE: January 26 2015
‘Welcome Back, Jim Gordon’ sees Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) once again partners in the Homicide precinct after Gordon’s time spent in Arkham on guard duty. Their case brings them into contact with a narcotics detective, Arnold Flass (Dash Mihok), who we’ve already seen last time out. And things go amiss when their prime witness is murdered within the precinct. Is it one of their own? Gordon’s question is one that carries great risk in pursuing. It might alienate him from fellow detectives, it certainly requires making an ethical compromise of sorts, and yet it also leads, perhaps, to the redemption of the Gotham Police.
With things having left off last week in a bit of a cliffhanger where the Mob was concerned, much of that storyline moves forward. Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) has been exposed for her plots against Carmine Falcone, and is seemingly in a very bad position where she’s going to be tortured by one of Falcone’s experts in the field. One might say at this point, given her actions, that, well, karma’s about to come down hard on her. Still, she has at least one loyal man in her corner (perhaps too loyal, one might say), and not all is quite lost yet. Where she ends up when it’s all said and done is in a very different place... saved by someone you might have expected. She doesn’t get what she wanted - revenge on Penguin, namely - and yet things could have gone very much worse for her.
It’s been a bit since we’ve seen Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), but he and Alfred (Sean Pertwee) are back again. We learn a reason for their absence, which in fact makes perfect sense, and we also see Bruce get hurt in an encounter with Selina (Camren Bicondova), who lies, seemingly to get him to back off and leave her alone. It’s an interesting touch - what really is her motivation, and how much of this plays into the standoffish Bruce Wayne we’ll see as an adult?
the original Batman Batwoman
Another small subplot, but also one that’s strung around rejection, takes place among the Gotham Police. Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith), the socially maladjusted forensics officer, has a bout of humiliation over a letter of affection for the clerk Kristen Kringle (Chelsea Spack) falling into the wrong hands - and yet Kristen’s sympathy for him afterwards still gives him reason to hope - even though we as an audience know better. It’s a curious character to watch, because we know at some point he’s going over to the dark side, and we watch how he’s mistreated by police colleagues, and find ourselves wondering, which one’s going to be the one that drives him to that point.
on the case
One of the aspects of the episode that stands out for me is the shifting status of Jim Gordon. As a detective who’s a bit of an outsider in a corrupt police department, he started this series as an idealistic but determined man. He’s had to make ethical compromises along the way, but still has his principles. What happens here - in a climax that is not one of action and violence but a standoff between principle and corruption - is that Jim Gordon is more and more becoming someone of authority, a better example for his colleagues who might well have given up on not being corrupt. As an audience, we can see this young character growing into the job that will one day be his.