The Narrows tends to bring out the worst in Gotham’s finest.
The episode begins at the GCPD with Jim in the captain’s office when Harvey arrives, against Jim’s insistence that he rest. Jim reiterates that Harvey stop taking Penguin’s money, but the conversation is interrupted when boxes are wheeled into the precinct. Jim opens one and finds a severed pig’s head. There’s 44 in total, but the precinct has 45 cops. Pyg provided instructions that Jim not receive a pig.
Wayne Manor hosts a cocktail party, where an on-edge Bruce chews out a man who bumps into him. Alfred knows that Bruce is hurting since what happened with Ra’s. Bruce snaps, saying he can’t stop thinking about what he did. He should feel guilty, but Alfred knows that Bruce needs to face his anger or it will consume him. Yes, Alfred knows what Bruce is capable of and doesn’t want him or anyone else hurt.
Back at the precinct, the delivery men are freed just as Harvey summons Jim. Penguin and a henchman, Headhunter, played by Kyle Vincent Terry, have come to offer help. Headhunter always shoots twice- the first one always hits. Penguin offers Headhunter’s services, but Jim doesn’t want that. However, cops on Penguin’s payroll are being killed, so he has a stake in this. However, Jim isn’t the captain.
Harvey insists that this isn’t about the money. Half the precinct has left, but Jim still doesn’t want Penguin’s brute force or gangsters to keep the city safe. If need be, he’ll solve this himself. Then Harper tells the two that three cops went missing.
Barbara tells Tabitha and Selina that they’re closing up shop now that Ra’s is gone. Naturally, Tabitha hates the death of the partnership while Selina insists that this can work. Barbara tells the two that in this life, you’re on your own. She wants no part in this team operation. Selina then informs Tabitha that she followed a buyer and wants to hit the location, but Tabitha isn’t interested.
GCPD along with Headhunter and his goons arrive at the Narrows, where they find a cop car with blood on the seats. Harvey informs everyone that they need to scare the Narrows out of silence, and then random items start falling out of a window from above. Everyone rushes inside, though Jim keeps everyone from beating on the witnesses. Harvey is just focused on results.
Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce receives a visit from Grace, played by Samia Finnerty, who is an old schoolmate of Bruce’s. Grace, noting Bruce’s boredom, invites him to go out somewhere with her.
Jim speaks with a elderly couple. The wife says that she saw nothing, but Jim figures that she had a good view of whatever happened. He assures her that no one will know she talked to him, but then Headhunter enters. He picks up the old man, who is on an oxygen tank, and brings him outside. He then holds him at gunpoint and threatens to kill him and everyone else, but then Jim holds Headhunter at gunpoint.
GCPD and Penguin’s men get into a standoff until the wife admits that someone did come to take away the three cops. She then tells everyone that the man headed west near Hoover Island, which only has a few abandoned buildings. Harvey knows that this doesn’t look good, but no one got hurt. Everyone heads out to the location.
They soon arrive and file out as they begin searching a building. Jim quickly finds two cops, one of whim is still alive. But there’s no sign of Pyg or the third cop.
Penguin is watching the news of this unfolding. One of the orphans gets in front of the television and refuses to move, so Oswald does it himself. He’s focused on how great it was to co-opt the police, but Sofia is more concerned with the orphans. In Sofia’s opinion, though, Carmine wouldn’t align with the incompetent and unreliable GCPD, as they will soon fail. And Oswald will fail with them.
Oswald thanks Sofia for showing him what not to do, so he’ll get more involved himself. Sofia, though, tells Oswald not to ask for her opinion if he doesn’t want it.
Selina, now wearing a mask for some reason, slips into the aforementioned spot. She steals a stash from a car as the alarm goes off. And the henchman responsible for watching the staff now has to pay the price through motorcycle.
Harvey calls Jim for an update just as the officer starts coming to his senses. Jim asks if the officer saw the pig’s face, but he wore a mask. With one missing cop, the officer says that the man tortured him for hours and talked in nursery rhymes. He asks why the man is doing this, and Jim says that it’s more than insanity. The man must have hit a breaking point due to the corruption in Gotham. Sometimes, you feel like breaking.
The cop said that being on Penguin’s payroll started small, but got worse. After taking down the pig, Jim promises to take down the Pax Penguina and all dirty cops in the city. But he can’t do that without this cop’s help. The cop remembers that the man said he would bring justice to where there is justice no more, like the abandoned court house in the Narrows. As Jim leaves, the cop tells him that he’s one of the good ones.
Grace brings Jim to meet Emma, Brant, played by Tommy Nelson, and Tommy Elliot, now played by Gordon Winarick. Tommy isn’t sour about the punch from his last encounter. They offer Bruce a chance to sample some ‘party favors,’ but Bruce isn’t interested. After all, he used to get on rooftops and fight crime.
At the mention of Alfred, Bruce envisions beating up Brant, but it’s all just in his head. The group then gets ready to head to a club.
On the streets, Jim finds Headhunter following him, as Harvey felt that Jim might need help. As if on cue, GCPD arrive on the scene, along with Penguin, who offers to take it from here.
As Barbara counts Tabitha’s money, Tabitha gets a call from Selina, who is still at the Demon’s Place. The men there have called backup, so Selina needs some rescuing. Barbara has no interest in helping Selina, but Tabitha knows that Selina just wants a purpose. Tabitha is disappointed that Barbara hasn’t changed and only cares for herself, but Barbara isn’t moved.
While Penguin tells the press that the Pax Penguina has been a success, Harvey tells Jim that he wouldn’t let him go in alone. He’d prefer to just let Penguin handle this. But then Jim receives a blocked call from Professor Pyg, who explains how he spells his name. Pyg is creating a better Gotham and new Jim Gordon, except there’s a hitch: Pyg can’t recreate Jim if he’s dead, which he will be if he enters the courthouse.
Pyg won’t allow Jim to enter the location because he knows that Jim is a good cop. Jim tells Harper to call Gotham General and find out what happened to the cop.
Bruce and pals head to a club, where Brad is denied entry. However, Bruce talks with the bouncer and, after talking with one of the employees, welcomes everyone in except for Brad. Brad wants to talk to the owner, but Bruce Wayne now is the owner.
Jim tells Harvey and Penguin to call off the raid because Pyg fed them the trap and the cop in the ambulance was just a trap. Plus, Gotham General can’t locate the ambulance or the officer. Jim again asks Harvey to trust him, but Harvey sides with Penguin for the sake of the officer. On his authority as captain, Harvey demands that Jim stand down while the others enter the courthouse.
Tabitha arrives at the Demon’s Place to rescue Selina. Tabitha opts to draw some fire, but Selina insists that they work together. However, then Barbara enters as the three jump into action and put down the men. She’s still not interested in the team dynamic- but she does tell the two to return to her spot so they can get back to work with the business.
Back at the courthouse, Harvey and a few other officers enter and immediately shoot who they believe is Pyg, but the officer turns out to be a dummy. It turns out that they’ve shot the third officer. Just as they realize it’s a setup, a machine gun starts opening fire.
Outside, none of Penguin’s men offer to go in, but Jim does. Inside, as Headhunter is shot in the eye, the other officers manage to rescue the hostage while Jim rushes in and fires at the machine gun, stopping its bullet spray. So yeah, Jim saves the day.
Back at the precinct, the press goes from Penguin to Jim as they ask how he had the courage to go in and save the officers. Jim instead says that the GCPD will take down Pyg. The downed officer will pull through. Harvey thanks Jim, but he’s still upset that he was foolish enough to shoot a cop.
Jim then receives another call from Pyg, played by Michael Cerveris, who is in the middle of unmasking himself. Pyg congratulates him on his work and tells Jim that they want the same thing. Jim promises to find Pyg, and Pyg hopes that he does, as he wants to thank Jim in person. The next step in Pyg’s plot will be a saga, an epic, a spectacle, and Jim Gordon is the muse. With that, Pyg will see Gordon soon.
Penguin returns to the Iceberg Lounge, where he immediately stabs Headhunter.
Over at the club, Bruce tells Grace that he’s going to enjoy trying out this new side to him. The two toast and knock back a drink. With that, billionaire Bruce Wayne pops some bottles and embraces his wild side.
Harper thanks Jim on behalf of the other officers just as a perp is brought into the precinct. He does have a license, but another officer walks up and rips up the license,telling the perp that the GCPD won’t be accepting those anymore. Sounds good, but the future of Jim and Harvey’s relationship remains uncertain.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Jim goes against direct orders from his superiors, but ends up saving the day and winning the respect and trust of his fellow officers. But this time, they all join in with him on the hunt. It doesn’t matter if you’ve seen it before, but this is a pattern we’re all too familiar with on Gotham.
We’ve known since the start that the GCPD is corrupt, and having them beat up potential witnesses in the Narrows, while also working with Penguin, doesn’t help. That Jim is the one voice of reason at this point baffles me. I get that Harvey’s in a hard place right now, but Jim can’t be the only officer with a moral conscience on the force. Hell, what about Harper? She’s just been here to provide updates.
So by episode’s end when the officers decide that they’ll no longer accept Penguin’s licenses, it does feel like some earned validation for Jim, who had to get it once again by saving the lives of officers who were too foolish to heed his caution.
To be clear, this doesn’t make Jim any better and I like that, even if brief, Penguin called out the fact that Jim himself can be crooked. It’s as if we need reminders that Jim can skirt the line between good and bad, but the show is also trying to make it seem as if Jim has always been on the side of justice. More so than others, but he’s had his darker moments.
Anyway, Pyg’s plan did accomplish the goal of putting the officers in peril, though the machine gun felt out of place compared to him just leaving officers as bait.
And the bond between Harvey and Jim is further divided as it looks like Bullock is headed down the path he started on when the show began. Maybe. I hope that Jim talks some sense into Harvey because it’d be a huge slide backwards for his character to devolve back into the corrupt cop we saw back in the early part of the first season. It’s good drama, but I don’t want it to come at the expense of Harvey’s development.
Plus, how long will the GCPD remain in Jim’s corner? Penguin isn’t one to give up and I imagine that, despite this setback, he’ll lean even harder on the officers. The status quo at the GCPD always seems to change, more so with officers who aren’t Jim or Harvey, so it’s difficult to determine just how long the officers will stay away from corruption.
There’s not much, if anything, to say about Barbara, Tabitha, and Selina. For one, I don’t get why Barbara even needs to rely on them when she must have tons of better resources. But with Ra’s gone, they’re back to where they were before he entered the scene since Barbara had already agreed to work with them. So her saving Tabitha and Selina proves what? That she’ll come through in a pinch?
Oddly enough, the Bruce storyline is one I could’ve done with more of, given that we don’t get to see this side of him very often. Like the bidding war between him and Barbara, it’s a refreshing change of pace to see him unwind. I don’t get the reason behind the recasting of Tommy Elliot, right on the heels of learning that Poison Ivy will be recast yet again, but it’s minor.
But this sort of fun stuff gets Bruce away from brooding so much and allows him to embrace the billionaire brat side. Who would suspect a kid that parties like this and buys night clubs of going onto rooftops and fighting crime? No one. Although you can be certain that Alfred won’t be pleased with these developments.
“A Day in the Narrows” help put the precinct back on the right path, for now, with a pretty average plan as far as Pyg is concerned. Jim looks to have the officers on his side except the one that may matter the most with Harvey still walking the line between good and bad. Also, yes to more spoiled brat Bruce Wayne.