Perhaps Jim should have learned what happened the last time he made a deal with Penguin. With the return of Arnold Flass, Jim must now get his hands dirty again in order to go up against Commissioner Loeb.
The episode begins with Alfred now wide awake at the hospital. Gordon asks what happened, but Alfred doesn’t admit that who it is attacked him, and Bruce follows suit. A call from Captain Essen means Gordon must go, but when he does, Bruce demands to know why Alfred covered for Reggie. Alfred’s explanation is that Reggie is a mate, and you don’t send coppers on your mates, even if they stab you. Strange logic you’ve got there, Alfred. Anyway, Alfred wants to get to the bottom of this matter and even gets out of bed, but he’s still in pain. As such, Bruce orders him back to bed.
Elsewhere, Fish awakens and comes face to face with Dr. Francis Dulmacher, played by Colm Feore. Get it? The Dollmaker’s last name is Dulmach-oh, forget it. Anyway, Dulmacher here is a big fan of Fish’s constitution and is impressed with her over many patients. She hasn’t been around long, but she seized control of the basement, took a guard hostage, and then scooped out her own eye. Fish has a solution: Dulmacher should make her his right hand. Her association to Carmine Falcone doesn’t even mean anything to him, but wouldn’t he rather have her as a friend?
By the way, Fish has a new eye.
So just why was Gordon called into the department? Flass’ murder charges have been dropped. Harvey Dent was prepping the case for the D.A. when word came, though the press got word of this last night. Even though GCPD had the murder weapon with Flass’ prints on it, the defense apparently dug up a witness who cleared Flass of all charges. What witness? No idea.
Only the judge and the lead attorneys were in on it and the D.A. is staying mum. Not enough sufficient grounds for a subpoena, but Harvey did some digging. The witness was provided by Commissioner Loeb. Now Flass isn’t returning to his position as head of narcotics, but Loeb is backing Flass as president of the Policeman’s Union in the upcoming election. Essen won’t stand for this, but this is the Commissioner that they’re potentially going up against. To Jim, that just makes it worse.
Just as Jim prepares to leave, who should be there to greet him but Flass? There’s going to be a welcome back party and Flass invites Jim, but he turns it down. Flass is like the Phoenix: he’ll keep rising again and again.
So Jim decides to confront Loeb head on. Loeb expected to see him, but declares the matter closed. Jim believes that Loeb used his connections to pervert the system. No one else has enough credibility to trump Gordon’s evidence. However, Loeb turns on a tape and Jim sees Bullock being interviewed and stating that he presented false evidence against Flass.
Of course, when Jim meets up with Bullock, he gets right to the matter. Bullock won’t deny it, but if he didn’t do what Loeb said, he could have lost his job or gone to prison. It turns out that Jim isn’t the only one who was ordered to put a bullet in someone’s head at the end of a pier. The difference is that Bullock’s Cobblepot didn’t come back. Who, though? Just some scumbag mobster coming out of a club one night.
Bullock’s sergeant put a gun to his head and told him to make a choice. Bullock chose to keep breathing. Half the GCPD have a Cobblepot and Loeb has the goods on all of them. Jim declares that this ends now. Going after Loeb, Bullock says, could be suicide. Jim won’t be quiet and fall in line. The day he does that is when he quits being a cop.
Nygma pays Kringle a visit. He has a fun fact for us: humans attract members of the opposite sex through pheromones secreted through saliva, sweat, and urine. However, that’s not always the best method for finding a suitable partner. No kidding, Nygma! That is not how you start a conversation. Anyway, Nygma remembers that Kringle dated Flass, but he doesn’t get why. Regardless of the Nygma’s concern, Kringle realized that there are better men in the world than Arnold Flass. Don’t smile, Nygma. She didn’t say you.
So Dent and Gordon meet at a diner. Gordon thinks that Loeb’s control goes as high as businessmen and politicians. Dent doesn’t think there’s anything on him, though. If they find the evidence and destroy it, Loeb will be toothless. However, Loeb won’t keep it anywhere obvious. They could watch him, but there’s not enough time. Who would Loeb trust? Loeb’s wife is possible, but she died 20 years ago due to a fall down the stairs. There were rumors that Loeb himself did it, but nothing ever came of it. Just as he remarks about cops and their partners, something hits Harvey.
We then go back to the GCPD men’s locker room, where Dent brings in Charley Griggs, played by Michael J. Burg: Loeb’s partner back when Loeb was a private dick 20 years ago. I assume anyone can have meetings here so long as they let everyone else know in advance. Griggs covers for Loeb, saying that they were together when Loeb’s wife died. Gordon, however, says that they know about the secret files.
Gordon figures that Loeb has something on Griggs, too. Griggs claims to not know anything, but if he did, he’d tell Gordon and Dent to talk with Xi Lu- a Chinese bookkeeper. If you want to keep something safe, you give it to Xi Lu. As the two leave, Dent suggests enlisting Bullock’s help, but Gordon isn’t keen on that idea.
Fish is pleased with her new, blue eye. Dulmacher speaks briefly with a patient who we learn got a kidney transplant and new face. Fish understands that Dulmacher needs a steady supply of organs. Though Fish made that a problem, she can turn it into a solution. The folks in the basement trust her. Put her in charge and she’ll have a dependable flow. Or Dulmacher could save himself the trouble and kill everyone now. But, as Fish points out, if he wanted to kill them, he would have.
Dulmacher has something to show Fish. Though humans view themselves as unique, we are just a collection of parts. When do you stop being you and become something new? That’s what fascinates him. The deal comes with conditions. Fish will retrieve the guard and prove she can provide the bodies. If she fails, she can still be of use, just like Dulmacher’s former office manager.
He…has seen better days.
Bruce reads to Alfred. Selina shows up…just because. Ivy sneaks in a few times a week to steal food and happened to spot Bruce. And off-screen, too. Wait, if Ivy and Selina can sneak into a hospital, why don’t they just stay there instead of random people’s houses? Surely, hospitals would be better stocked. Oh, whatever.
Anyway, Bruce tells her about Alfred’s stabbing and thinks that Reggie’s involvement is because of Bruce’s meeting with the board of Wayne Enterprises. Some of Bruce’s files are missing. If Bruce finds him, he can find out who hired him. Selina, of course, is skeptical that Bruce can do this. She warns Bruce against this, but Bruce doesn’t want her help. He can’t have someone else being hurt because of him. Either way, Selina reminds Bruce that he knows how to find her. What, he has to give Ivy $20 again?
Gordon and Dent head to a Chinese restaurant and it’s as stereotypical as you’d get. There’s seedy doings in the basement, but Xi Lu, played by Perry Yung, does make himself known to the two. When asked about Loeb, Lu says he doesn’t know him. Just then, Lu gets a phone call and addresses the two by name. He barks an order to the men, who are all armed with knives instead of guns for some reason.
Dent and Gordon flee and almost find themselves trapped, but Bullock arrives to save the day! Bullock won’t return since he knows the place will be cleaned out in five minutes. Griggs set them up, meaning Loeb knows that they’re onto him. All you have to do with Griggs is scare him enough. So how does Bullock do this?
He hangs Griggs out of a speeding car and demands a name, and Bullock gets one: Falcone. He’s the only person who knows where Loeb keeps his stash. Going up against Loeb and Falcone will be dangerous. Assuming Griggs is telling the truth, Gordon and Bullock would need someone close to Falcone and Loeb who would talk. Bullock doesn’t think that such a person exists, but Jim disagrees.
So they pay Penguin a visit. Penguin is just as hesitant about this as Bullock is, as he’d be betraying Falcone just to uncover some secrets. If Penguin did help, he’d want something in return. Gordon tells Penguin that he’ll owe him a favor- no questions asked. Penguin offers a piece of information about the bottle in front of him: it’s Madre de Dios. 100 bottles are made once a year by monks in the Italian countryside.
Penguin figures that the detectives will find it useful one day. If he agrees to this, he’d want 10 minutes alone with the files to take what he likes. Bullock isn’t on board with this idea, but Jim bumps the time down to five and Penguin can’t touch anything that has to do with cops. Five minutes with the files and a favor from Jim Gordon? Deal!
Fish returns to the basement. Thomas Schmidt has been beaten around by the inmates. She’s none too pleased with this. She said she was coming back, but it seems the others didn’t believe her. Family is built on trust. As a show of good faith, Schmidt is to be returned to Dulmacher. However, Kelly and other inmates are taken away as well, as they’re on a list. She did say that everyone wouldn’t live. Some will be sacrificed so others can live. Her promise is the same.
That night, Bullock, Gordon, and Penguin arrive at a location that Penguin overheard Falcone mention to Loeb over the phone. Oh, but Penguin doesn’t get to wait in the car while the detectives work. A man taps on the window. This is Jude, played by Dan Ziskie.
Inside, Jude’s wife, Marge, played by Becky Ann Baker, serves tea. The two have been living here for 20 years ever since Loeb bought the place. Before that, Marge was a nurse at Arkham and Jude was working on the railroad all the live long day. Okay, he doesn’t say all the live long day, but he might as well have.
So why are these three random men here? Jim says they’ve come for an inspection due to Loeb’s concerns about security. This couple heard nothing about it, though. Odd that they didn’t get a letter. They should have gotten a letter. Marge wants to see some ID. Also, Penguin doesn’t look like a cop, but he’s secretly undercover. Some rattling noises upstairs get everyone’s attention. Jim and Bullock decide to continue the inspection, so Marge goes to get the keys.
She returns with a shotgun, which looks very different from keys. A quick shootout ends with Bullock putting a bullet in Jude’s shoulder, while Marge somehow manages to knock herself out. Anyway, Jim and Harvey head to the attic.
Inside, they find a woman: this is Miriam Loeb, played by Nicholle Tom. Huh. This is the second person from Masters of Sex I’ve seen on Gotham.
Back at GCPD, Nygma is all prepared to give Kringle a bouquet of flowers and asks if she has dinner plans, but it turns out she does, with Tom, played by Zachary Spicer. Tom has a riddle, and it’s an easy one: what has hands but can’t clap? A clock. Nygma congratulates Kringle, but it’s clear that he’s disappointed by this discovery. Regardless, Kringle leaves with Tom, who calls Nygma the Riddle Man and promises to stump him next time. Poor Ed. Now dump those flowers into a wastebasket in frustration. Do it.
There you go.
So Miriam has always been in the attic, but her father comes by to visit on Sundays. They listen to the radio and play checkers. He always lets her win. Bullock tries to change the subject to the files, but Jim tries another angle. He asks Miriam what happened to her mother. Miriam responds that she died, but she switches gears to her new hobby.
When asked about his play, Jim reminds Bullock that Loeb’s wife died 20 years ago from a skull fracture due to her fall. Miriam would have been a teenager. It’s possible that, if Loeb killed her, Miriam was a witness, which is why Loeb keeps her cooped up.
So what is Miriam’s new hobby? Necklaces made of starling bones. Starlings land on Miriam’s windowsill and she catches them if you’re very quiet. Miriam knows how to be as silent as a mouse. Miriam then crushes the back of their heads, which makes a popping noise. The hell?
Jim asks Miriam about her mother’s death, but Miriam just says that she’s a good person and good people make mistakes. That’s what Father says. Did Miriam make a mistake, like with the birds? No, she didn’t. Miriam had to use a candlestick on mother. Mother wouldn’t stop singing, even though she knew it was Miriam’s night to perform at dinner. Then, a noise from downstairs gets their attention.
The two head down and find Penguin on the ground. The two came at him and managed to drive off. Well, the detectives found what they needed, so Penguin wants Gordon to keep his end of the deal. Too bad all that Penguin ends up seeing is a deranged looking woman who loves birds.
Gordon pays Loeb another visit and presents him with a necklace. Loeb admits that Miriam is sick. She didn’t mean to hurt her mother, but she sometimes just has some urges. Loeb isn’t afraid of this information leaking out. He can weather this storm, and Jim knows this. Jim thinks that Loeb has just done everything he can to keep her out of Arkham, and he’ll keep doing it. Loeb finds Jim much colder than he believed if he’s going to hold his daughter hostage to achieve his ends.
However, Loeb won’t be resigning. If he does, Jim will have to deal with another of Falcone’s lapdogs. With Loeb, however, Jim has leverage. He wants Flass tried fairly and all evidence on GCPD’s cops sent to Harvey Dent. Dent will then decide who to prosecute. This is where Loeb draws the line. If he does that, he’s a dead man. He offers Bullock’s fine and only that. Okay, deal. Miriam stays where she is. There is one more thing, however.
During a press conference at GCPD, Loeb announces that he is backing Gordon for president of the Policeman’s Union. It’s a new day in the GCPD.
Jim hands Bullock the file that Loeb had on him. Though Bullock appears grateful, he imparts some words to Gordon. He tells himself that he’ll do one bad thing and the other good things will make up for it, but they don’t. There’s still that bad thing. He advises Gordon to be careful, because Penguin will come for that favor.
Speaking of Penguin, it turns out that he actually let the old couple go. They would then escape Loeb’s punishment after he hears of their failure. However, he only has one ticket to Arizona. It’s up to them to decide who goes. Again, it’s time for tryouts, but there’s no broken pool cue.
Penguin watches as Marge strangles Jude to death, but unfortunately for her, there was never a train. He just needed her help since he only had one shotgun shell left.
Fish returns to Dulmacher. She doesn’t think the inmates will like salsa night, but he disagrees. It’s the little things that matter, you know? Either way, Dulmacher likes salsa, so Tuesday it is. He’s glad that she has completed her task. The lines of supply are open once again. As such, Dulmacher welcomes Fish to upper management. She’ll like the view better than the basement. He’s not worried about Fish betraying him and escaping.
I mean, it’s not like she can get anywhere in a hurry.
Not too bad, really. I mean, not a great episode, but I did enjoy the main storyline with Gordon going after Loeb. Plus, not only did it bring Harvey Dent back, but it gave him something to do without shoehorning in the fact that, yes, this is the guy who is going to be Two Face later on. He felt integral to the plot because of how far Loeb’s influence spreads. As smart as Harvey may be, even he can’t be one step ahead of Loeb.
Loeb represents everything that Gordon wants to change in the GCPD. He’s corrupt, powerful, and will use his influence to pervert the system. He’s the kind of man that Gordon wants to take down, but Gordon is slowly becoming a part of that problem.
And Bullock can see that. We know Bullock can get violent and bend the law to get what he wants, but he’s not a completely bad cop. Neither is Gordon, but the difference in this episode is that Bullock is the one taking careful consideration into making deals with the devil, while Gordon just wants to keep going forward. Bullock has been at this business much longer than his new partner and knows the mean streets of Gotham well.
We don’t know how many bad things he’s done during his tenure as a cop, but we do know that he’s not proud of them. As he tells Gordon, the amount of good doesn’t erase the one bad thing that you did. It weighs on your conscience and eats away at you. Bullock knows that Penguin will come back to Gordon and look for that favor. Like Gordon, Penguin now has leverage.
The problem with all of this is that Gordon hasn’t learned anything from the first time he relied on Penguin’s help. He had Delaware at his mercy and was seen as a threat to another officer. Now he’s coming to Penguin again, damn the consequences, because he’s so focused on being finding Loeb’s secret. This is taking him down a dark path that he may not be able to pull himself out of, as he’s becoming the very thing that he detests. He only keeps Loeb around so he won’t have to adjust to someone new.
At the very least, this case felt more involving and didn’t just rely on the killer or antagonist of the week. Plus, it continued the storyline from “Welcome Back, Jim Gordon” by bringing back Arnold Flass and showing how much influence Loeb has.
Though we know how much he cares about his daughter. That entire scene between Gordon, Bullock, and Miriam was creepy to watch and appropriate for this kind of show. Nicholle Tom never teetered on ridiculous or over-the-top and her description of what she would do to the birds was unsettling, to be honest. Obviously, she would be a perfect candidate for Arkham, so we see just why Loeb is so intent on protecting his daughter. Of course, right now, Loeb is in Jim’s pocket.
But Jim is also in Penguin’s pocket and I’m glad that Oswald was given something to do instead of just mope around at the club. His pitting Marge and Jude against each other gave us more of the sinister Penguin we’ve seen glimpses of and, hey, at least he didn’t waste a bullet. I still get the feeling that Penguin really does want to be Gordon’s friend. As he said before, it’s better to walk a friend in the dark than have no friend in the light.
Penguin is that friend in the dark, but he’s also a part of that criminal underworld that and can provide Gordon with the intel that he needs. At the same time, Penguin can now call upon Gordon whenever necessary because of the favor owed. So now Penguin has his own leverage. It is strange, though, that Penguin now wants a favor when, before, he said that friends just did each other favors because they’re friends.
Bruce figured out pretty quickly that Reggie stabbing Alfred probably had to do with the Wayne Foundation meeting. I’m glad he’s committed to getting at the bottom of this and I would much prefer that he didn’t rely on Selina’s help. Why would Selina even want to help Bruce anyway? Last I checked, she wanted Bruce to stop hassling her. Perhaps Selina is being wise enough to warn Bruce against taking on the Foundation, but that’s not going to happen. He’s making a dangerous decision, but he’s smart enough to not just walk into this blind.
As for Fish’s story, Dulmacher giving her a new eye really makes that whole shock-factor scene from the previous episode completely pointless. If she’s able to play both Dulmacher’s right hand and still lead the folks in the basement, then fine, but I still feel she has little attachment to these people. Even more so, now that she’s reminded them that some will die.
But the CGI on the office manager was just horrible.
“Everyone Has a Cobblepot” had a lot of good to it. It gave some depth to Bullock, let Jim and Harvey Dent go up against Loeb, and made effective use of the Penguin. Now that Jim has crossed another line of the law, he owes Penguin a favor. And no amount of good that he plans to do during his tenure as a cop is going to erase that.