This seems familiar.
The episode begins with Fish being brought into a makeshift lab in a parking garage. The two transporters strap her down. They won’t be handling her, though. That’s Bob’s job.
Gordon arrives at a warehouse crime scene and learns from Bullock that there aren’t any new leads on Fish’s case. Bullock introduces Gordon to Flass, who we learn this week works in the narcotics division. One of Flass’ connections tipped him off on the body at the murder scene: Pinky Littlefield, who worked this block. Flass figures it was a deal gone bad, so hey, it’s just another public service homicide. Bullock and Flass head off, but Gordon does a bit more snooping around. He finds some blue packets in the heel of Littlefield’s right shoe.
Bullock brings in their one witness: Leon Winkler, played by Willie C. Carpenter. He agreed to step forward because, as his wife, Louise told him, if you don’t step forward, you just step back. Well, this guy is an upstanding citizen. I wonder if he’ll make it to the end of the episode.
No dice. As he waits in the precinct, he’s killed by an unknown man with an ice pick.
Turns out that the security cameras inside and outside of the building were turned off. Nygma poses a riddle: what’s strong enough to smash ships, but still fears the sun? Bullock isn’t in the mood for riddles, but Gordon guesses it- ice! Gauging from the circumference of the wound, the weapon was a carbon steel ice pick driven in deep enough to mark the surrounding tissue. Winkler’s wounds are the exact same as the drug dealer from this morning.
So Bob, played by Michael Eklund, and Fish get to know each other. Well, sort of. Fish learns that Bob has two daughters- girls that she calls ugly little creatures. That earns her a slap across the face, which earns Bob a glob of saliva in the face. Why? Because he called her Fish. Remember, only her friends call her Fish and these two aren’t friends yet.
Butch is brought to a plant by two thugs. He escapes. Scene.
Of course, Essen isn’t pleased about this murder happening in her house. Gordon floats the idea that a cop could have murdered Leon Winkler, but Bullock and Essen tell him that pointing fingers at cops without concrete evidence could turn jeopardize his reinstatement and turn the other officers against him again. Gordon wants to start with the guard duty logbook and insists on taking this. After all, he’s the one who asked Winkler to come in and give a statement. Essen approves, but tells the two to proceed with caution. No big moves without her say so.
Bruce misses his girlfriend, so he has Alfred drive around Gotham. No sign of her. They do spot Ivy, though, who not only looks and sounds much better than last time we saw her, but is just walking through the streets of Gotham without a care in the world. I’m surprised she hasn’t been carted away yet. Anyway, Bruce has a gift for Selina and also needs to deliver a message. Ivy can deliver that message…for $20. Alfred? Give the girl $20. What’s Ivy gonna do with that money, anyway? She doesn’t have a place to live and if she wanted something, she could just steal it. I mean, she did get into an apartment building easily enough.
Fish isn’t daunted by Bob’s torture so far. In fact, she’s bored by it all. Bob has other tools at his disposal, but before he can move onto his next weapon, Butch outta nowhere and knocks the hell out of Bob. That was fast.
Gordon talks to various cops about the missing page from the logbook, but none are talking. They’re either protecting their own or don’t like Gordon. Bullock doesn’t buy the notion that a cop did this, but he eventually gives Gordon an angle. They talk to one of the previously interviewed cops and tell him that they have a reliable witness- Alvarez- that blames him for the missing page. The cop says that Alvarez is only lying because he had a thing with his wife six years ago. If it wasn’t him, then who was it?
So Gordon gets the name of his suspect, who is heading to the parking garage. The suspect, Derek Delaware, played by Niko Nicotera, tries to escape, but Gordon stops him. He checks Delaware’s trunk and finds more blue packets. So remember how Essen told Gordon and Bullock not to make any big moves without her permission?
Well, Gordon does just the opposite by bringing Delaware back into the precinct, handcuffed, and throws him in a holding cell. Gordon is making a statement.
Gordon is called into Essen’s office, where Flass also waits. Gordon doesn’t back down. After all, he found the same evidence found at Littlefield’s crime scene. That evidence, Flass says, is part of an ongoing narcotics investigation. Narco’s been deep in the drug trade for months. If Gordon’s stunt gets out, he will have unraveled the entire investigation, not to mention the illegal search. Essen is turning the investigation over to Internal Affairs and takes Gordon and Bullock off the Winkler murder. They are still on the Littlefield murder, though.
Nygma has another gift for Miss Kringle. This time, it’s a greeting card. She at least accepts this one the first time around.
Fish wakes up and is starving. Butch suggests that they hit the road, but Fish has some unfinished business that involves cutting Penguin’s throat.
Speaking of Penguin, he shows his mom around the club.
At a diner, Bullock tells Gordon that, years ago, Essen’s people started busting drug dealers and took over their stash houses. Bullock’s only telling him now because he responds to crises as they arrive. He’s not a forward planner and he didn’t want to get Gordon riled up. Flass is protected by serious people high-up, possibly even the Commissioner. If Gordon fools around them, he can forget about going to Gotham. He may face a much worse fate. The stash houses can give them evidence linking Flass to Littlefield’s murder, which can also link them to Winkler. Bullock makes a call.
The two enter the warehouse to find Delaware and other officers handling some boxes. Gordon and Bullock try to put up a fight, but they’re outnumbered. Besides, Delaware has a warrant giving him the right to search and seizure, as the building is being used as a home base by the uptown assassins. Hell, the commissioner himself even requested it.
Gordon and Bullock are back to square one with nothing that ties Flass to the drugs or murder, not murders, as Internal Affairs has just ruled Winkler’s death as a suicide. The body is being released to his wife. A ruling this fast means that the commissioner may have been involved. Going forward puts everyone’s jobs at risk. With men like Flass, Gordon needs results, so Essen tells him to move onto the next victim. Gordon heads off and tells Bullock that he’ll be back in an hour.
Also, Flass gets a hold of Nygma’s card to Kringle. He thinks Nygma is a creep.
While Mom dances, Penguin gets a visit from Jim, who needs a favor. He informs Penguin of his situation and how he’s hit a wall since Flass is too well connected. Since Maroni runs the drug trade, maybe Penguin could find someone with the goods on Flass. Favor is done, as Penguin won’t hear any more. He’ll make some calls. What does Gordon have to do in return? Nothing. Friends don’t owe friends, silly. They just do favors because they want to. Gordon doesn’t want anyone to get hurt.
So Bob’s still in a lot of pain from that beating that Butch gave him. No worry. Zsasz is there to put him out of his misery.
Penguin sends the musicians home and asks Gabe if he can take his mother home on the way to help out Jim. What does Penguin with the club all to himself? He drinks up and has himself a good old time! After all, it’s his club and he can do whatever he wants!
Wait, never mind. Looks like Fish wants to play ball.
Bruce plays chess with himself. Before I can even ask why a kid would do that, Selina Kyle enters and asks on our behalf. Bruce is glad to see that she’s safe. He’s been in Switzerland this entire time and has a gift for Selina- a snow globe. He also wants Selina to stay at Wayne Manor since he figures that it’s a better place to live. But Selina wonders what’s better about it. I’m guessing it’s a hell of a lot better than the boxes she and Ivy stayed in. Anyway, Selina is here to tell Bruce to stop hassling her. She admits to lying about seeing his parents’ killer- she just didn’t want to get carted off to juvenile detention. She can’t help him. With that, Selina leaves.
Gabe interrogates Delaware and we learn that Littlefield was light for two weeks. Flass killed him to send a message. That’s all Delaware knows. That’s all Gabe needs to know, so he lets Delaware’s wife out of the tub for now.
Penguin now finds himself kissing Fish’s boot. He knows that the two have their differences, but he proposes joining forces. Fish reminds Penguin of who he was and who he is. She found and made him. Penguin is nothing but a servant and an umbrella boy. Penguin isn’t afraid, though. For all of Fish’s smarts, she couldn’t even see that Penguin was working for Falcone the entire time.
Oh, hi, Zsasz.
Butch manages to down one of Zsasz’s henchwomen- I have no idea why the four of them stand in a straight line when they fire- and flees with Fish. Fish makes her escape through a window while Butch stands his ground. Zsasz puts a bullet in Butch’s knee, but rather than kill him, Zsasz and the girls contemplate taking Butch home to play with.
Miss Kringle visits Nygma, who is in the middle of surgically removing the onions from his takeout. Why didn’t he just ask for no onions? Anyway, she apologizes for what happened earlier. She didn’t give Flass the card, he found it in her desk. She did, at least, find the card thoughtful.
Gabe literally drops off the evidence Gordon needs right in front of him: the murder weapon and a recording of Delaware rolling on Flass. Flass gave Delaware the ice pick to throw away, but Delaware kept it in case he had to cover his own ass. Not a very smart guy.
Alfred gives zero cares about Bruce crying over spilled Selina, so Bruce heads back to work with his crime web.
Gordon very publicly announces that he’ll be arresting Flass for Winkler’s murder and dumps out the evidence. The knife and tape alone will earn Flass twenty years upstate. Flass isn’t afraid. These officers are his friends and won’t let Gordon arrest him. He’s been there for years, while Gordon is still just a rookie. Gordon refuses to back down, saying that Flass doesn’t deserve the badge.
Flass still murdered Leon Winkler, an innocent man who trusted them. Other officers start to back Gordon’s effort. The other officers can help Gordon or stand aside. Either way, he’s doing his duty. Flass’ protection crumbles around him as Captain Essen makes the arrest while Alvarez reads Flass his rights.
Bullock, meanwhile, drops Fish off at the Port of Gotham. Fish plans to leave town and lay low for awhile, but she’ll return to kill Penguin someday. She wants Bullock to find Fish and help him, if he’s still alive.
Gordon runs into Delaware, who asks him if the big guy dropped off the package. Delaware hopes this means that the two are even, so Gordon can back off of his family. Gordon, however, doesn’t know what Delaware is talking about, so Delaware drops to his knees and begs Gordon to just leave his family alone.
“Welcome Back, Jim Gordon” indeed, as Gotham re-establishes Jim in the GCPD. This episode had its moments, but it suffered from serious repetition.
While it’s nice to see Gordon score a win in his book and earn the respect of some officers in the department, we’ve already seen him do this before. We known Gotham’s finest are corrupt and crooked, but after the show reinstated Gordon in the police department, we don’t do anything new with it. At the very least, Gordon knows that he has more allies.
But, like he asks Captain Essen, why won’t anyone else help him? How is it that only the likes of Essen and Bullock back him when something bad happens? A murder happened in their own house without anyone noticing. And with the security cameras both in and outside being turned off, it’s pretty clear that even the security at GCPD is pretty lax. At the very least, the most interesting thing to come out of this episode is that even the commissioner himself may be involved. So we know he’s involved, as is the mayor at times, so who is pulling the strings here? That’d s a mystery worth looking into.
And the corrupt cops themselves aren’t all too smart, either. I mean, Flass’ voice isn’t all that hard to distinguish and it was easy to pin him as the man behind Winkler’s death. Also, as Gabe pointed out, Delaware had the murder weapon but chose to hold onto it. I’d question how people this incompetent even got to be in such positions of authority, but this is Gotham City.
It would be nice if other cops did start helping Gordon or, hell, if we just saw other good cops in general. Essen had to know that a hotshot like Gordon isn’t going to just drop a case just because he’s told to. He still has the drive to do good, even if he and Bullock have to go it alone. Hell, Bullock already gave that rousing speech during “The Mask” about how he wouldn’t allow anyone in the GCPD to stand aside while Gordon fights the good fight on his own.
Gordon sees the badge as a symbol of respect and trust- not something to be just be flashed as a symbol to abuse authority. He’s still fighting against a corrupt system that wants business to go on as usual, but he, again, runs the danger of getting in too deep himself. Not intentional, mind you, but the deal he makes with Penguin ends up having greater consequences than he wanted. Even if Penguin didn’t want anything in return, I think Gordon had to know that he was going to regret this decision.
By the end, he does, as Delaware now appears to be at his mercy. Gordon got the conviction that he wanted, but his already stained reputation is further dirtied. That would be interesting if we hadn’t already seen Gordon grapple with the notion that he’s a dirty cop back when he managed to convince everyone that he killed Penguin. Gordon is an optimist, but, as he did in The Dark Knight Rises, has to stick his hands in the filth to get dirty.
However, the circumstances with Gordon’s deal here are a bit different. Before, it involved getting rid of Penguin. I don’t think many in the GCPD would care if he had died or not. Now, it’s just about evidence, and I doubt anyone cares how Gordon got the evidence since it did lead to putting Flass away. Of course, going to Penguin for help in the first place isn’t exactly Gordon working within the confines of the law. It’s no different than Montoya and Allen using Penguin as a snitch, I think.
But onto Penguin, for a second. While the scenes with him, his mother, and Gabe at the nightclub didn’t add anything to the plot, I found it a nice change of pace for Penguin to just relish the fact that, for a moment, he actually bested Fish. And he wasn’t wrong about Fish never realizing that Penguin worked for Falcone the entire time.
Fish and Butch got out of their predicaments pretty quickly. It surprises me that Falcone didn’t take more precautious and the fact that Fish was willing to withstand so much torture seems like a waste since Butch rescued her in no time at all.
I do still like the mutual friendship between Fish and Bullock. It’s clear from the ending that Bullock cares for her, but we get more hints of it at the beginning when Bullock gets defensive after Gordon says that Bullock has a thing for Fish. I’m certain Fish will eventually return, but given Batman lore, I doubt she’ll be killing Penguin. Fish is an original character for this show, after all.
The Gotham Kids segment, again, didn’t add anything to the storyline, but it did help refocus Bruce on his detective work since it looks like he and Selina are through, for the moment. Why Selina is suddenly turning on a dime now, I don’t know. Again, neither Bruce nor Jim had any reason to trust Selina because she didn’t have anything concrete. I’m not sure whether she’s actually lying just to get Bruce out of her curly hair or if she really didn’t see anything. She still talks like she’s way older than she looks, though.
And why would Bruce be so trusting of Ivy? They’ve met one time before this and she doesn’t like or respect him any more than she did before. Sure, Ivy held up her part of the bargain, but I find it strange that Bruce wouldn’t just do more searching himself instead of trusting information with a person he barely knows.
It’s worth pointing out that this episode featured Michael Eklund, who also played The Dollmaker on Arrow. Now, we know that the universe of The Flash and Arrow doesn’t intersect with this and Gotham has even acknowledged its own Dollmaker, but I did find it interesting to have another actor, after Anthony Carrigan, come from the Flash/Arrow universe to play a different character in a different universe on Gotham.
So Gordon may yet again be in danger of garnering a dark reputation for something he didn’t intend to happen. Now to see how he’ll get out of this one.