The trial of Jim Gordon will end with Killer Croc throwing a rock at him.
The episode begins at the precinct with Jim and Leslie arguing over the reunification process- specifically how the water is still infected with the chemicals. Leslie wants Jim to focus on one thing and not put himself in the crosshairs to the point where he may get himself killed. Leslie doesn’t want to just stay at home and raise the child with Barbara, and nothing may be different after reunification.
At City Hall, Barbara demands to know why she, Oswald, and Ed haven’t left the city, but it does take time to build a submarine. Also, Oswald is hosting the get-together of the gangs, and if they want to leave Gotham, then they need to keep Jim happy.
As if on cue, Jim and the GCPD arrive. Jim tells the gangs that the city is running low on clean water, so they have a choice: keep killing each other over what little water is left and then die, or they can agree to a cease-fire. The gangs don’t like this one bit, but the government won’t annex a war zone. They need to show that they deserve to rejoin the mainland, so they must survive until reunification. Life or death is the choice.
Suddenly, a shot is fired and it turns out that Jim himself has been shot. Harvey and Harper can’t get him to a clinic since it’s too far, so the officers help him out of City Hall. Well, who could’ve seen that coming?
Maybe not Bruce and Selina, who are in the middle of a scavenging mission at a fancy and abandoned home. Not completely abandoned. As Bruce plays some music, he beckons Selina to have a seat at the candle-lit table. Selina figures that this is a date, and Bruce hopes that’s fine with her. It is, so they eat.
The officers bring Jim into the precinct so Leslie can get right to work. Harvey assures the officers that Jim will pull through, but until then, he’s acting captain. He tells everyone that the gangs feel they can run wind, but the officers will take to the streets in a show of force. Harper will organize patrol teams while Harvey goes to find out who shot Jim.
In the medical examiner’s office, Leslie and another doctor get to work on Jim and fishing out the bullet. Luckily, there’s an exit wound, so Leslie encourages Jim to fight.
Jim suddenly awakens and finds himself in the GCPD Court to be judged for his many crimes. His life hangs in the balance and, according to the judge, waives his rights. So the Trial of James Gordon now begins.
But back in reality, Bruce and Selina enjoy their date, with Selina wondering how he’ll top it when things get back to normal. To Bruce, there’s no going back to normal. With Wayne Manor gone, part of him wonders if this was fate instead of Jeremiah. Perhaps it’s time for him to move past Gotham City.
Selina reminds Bruce that the city is his home, but many terrible things have happened because of him, like Theo Galavan and Ra’s al Ghul. If Gotham is his home, then maybe the best thing he could do is leave.
In enters Ivy, who fully agrees with Bruce’s assessment. I’m going to assume that Bruce forgot to mail her invitation.
Back at City Hall, Oswald figures that a dead Jim Gordon is the only way that Barbara can keep her child. Harvey storms in and slugs Oswald to find out who shot Jim, but Oswald maintains his innocence. But Oswald blames Jim for inviting every criminal in Gotham, so Harvey slugs him again.
Then Harvey questions Barbara, figuring that maybe she wants to keep the child for herself. Like Oswald, Barbara is innocent, but Oswald directs Harvey’s attention to the windows: the shot had to have come from outside. Following the trajectory, Harvey manages to find the bullet and swears to find whoever shot Jim. He wants Barbara and Oswald, meanwhile, to stop the gangs from tearing the city apart.
Anyway, Ivy crashed the date for Bruce, saying that he does not yet love her, but will. Oh, and Ivy’s not alone- she brought the not-dead Mutant Leader from the Dark Zone. Ivy seizes Bruce and manages to work her ‘charm’ on him. As Ivy prepares to leave, she reminds Selina that without her plants, Selina wouldn’t be walking. She made Selina strong. Well, some of that is true.
Leslie sits at Jim’s side, saying that this cannot be the end. She begs for any sort of response from him.
But Jim is too busy with his dream trial, and he’s even bleeding in his dream. Opening remarks come from…Jim Gordon, who says that Jim has failed Gotham City at every turn and failed to stop the bridges from being destroyed. In fact, Jim created this madness and couldn’t even protect Haven.
The prosecution says that the issue is how many more may die to satisfy Jim’s need to be a hero. The question is if the people in Jim Gordon’s life are better off with him alive or dead. With that, the prosecution calls forth the first witness: Leslie Thompkins.
Snap back to reality as Jim’s heart rate elevates. Harvey returns and Leslie tells him that he’s stabilized. The bullet fragments are out, but something keeps pulling at him. Harvey examines the bullet and find VZ scrawled on it, so he instantly figures that this was Zsasz’s doing.
Speaking of, it’s time for Zsasz to boogie, as he opens fire on a squad of GCPD officers. He’s only here for Gordon and orders the cops to stand down, but then suddenly, Alfred, who punches Zsasz in the face.
The Mutant Leader is ready to face off with Selina, as he remembers the scratches from last time. Apparently this Mutant Leader has a newfound love for Ivy, but Selina just wants to know where Ivy took Bruce.
Harvey hauls Zsasz into holding and wants to know why he would try to kill Jim, especially after Jim saved him. But Zsasz could always try to kill Oswald next. Harvey figures that Victor is working for someone, but Victor won’t give a name. Harvey names Ivy Pepper, and it turns out that Victor may be in ‘love’ with her.
Alfred joins Leslie to discuss Barbara and Jim’s child, with Leslie wondering how she’ll raise a child alongside a psychopath like Barbara. But more than that, if she and Jim will do this, they have to do it together. Alfred tells Leslie that Jim needs her more than he’s ready to admit, but Leslie needs to hear that from him. Alfred isn’t interested in being a father- he found himself unfit- but then Bruce’s parents were killed.
He’s aware that he isn’t Bruce’s flesh and blood, but the moments between the two of them have given him great joy. He’s confident that Leslie will figure it out and she will be a great mother. The child would be extraordinary because of Leslie.
Back in trial dream land, the prosecution lists off Jim’s crimes against Leslie, and yet she’s still with him because she loves him. Despite all the pain he’s caused. Leslie is asked if her life would be better without Jim or, more to the point, would Leslie be better off if Jim Gordon was dead. Leslie confesses that everything Jim touches dies. With that, the prosecution rests.
But let’s get more witnesses. A crowd of the dead arrive- victims from Haven who all trusted Jim. The verdict is in, and James Gordon is guilty.
At the precinct, Victor starts chatting with one of the officers when they’re shot dead by another officers who enters with Ivy. She wanted Victor to kill Gordon, and still wants that done, but she’ll do it herself. In the meantime, Victor will keep the cops occupied.
The other part of Ivy’s plan is going smoothly, as Bruce heads to a facility where he runs into Lucius Fox. Lucius tells Bruce that they’ll be under the threshold soon and the city is making great progress. Bruce tells Lucius that he has an intoxicating perfume and he sprays him full of it. Bruce admits that Ivy sent him to shut down the plant. Lucius will do that for Ivy.
Barbara gathers the gangs at the Sirens’ club for drinks. She’s brought him there to tell them that Jim is at death’s door, so they toast to Jim soon rotting in Hell. Oswald doesn’t see the point in this, but Barbara figures that this is their backup plan in case Ed doesn’t complete the submarine.
Then Barbara reveals the real reason: the gangs are to agree to an immediate truce. Like before, the gangs don’t like this, but the drinks are poisoned, so there’s that. One member dies, but the others have 48 hours. If they all return to their territories and hand over their guns, then Barbara will give them the antidote. For that, at least, Penguin is impressed.
Lucius goes through the process of making the plant inoperable because that will make Ivy so happy. That’s the biggest priority, you know? But the joyous occasion is interrupted when Bruce and Lucius spot Selina on the surveillance cameras. Bruce heads off to confront her.
Harvey arrives and reminds the officers not to get hypnotized by Ivy Pepper again, but then Victor comes out, guns a-blazing, telling them that Ivy came for him, but he’s just a distraction so she can finish off Jim. But he immediately realizes that he shouldn’t have said that. Oh well.
While Alfred leas the doctor’s office to deal with Victor, Leslie remains at Jim’s side. We return to Jim’s dream as he’s now in a cell for his wake. Harvey shows Jim the turnout as everyone sings in his honor. While Jim isn’t dead yet, it would be bad to have a wake after he died. Jim wants to know how to protect his child when everything around him dies, but then Harvey vanishes.
Then Jim sees a vision of Will, who trusted Jim to keep him safe in Haven. Will tells Jim that this best is never good enough, but yet he still frees Jim from his cell.
Jim flatlines, but just before Leslie can give him a shot of adrenaline, Ivy arrives while the officers continue to take on gunfire from Zsasz. Ivy tells Leslie that the city has a chance to be born anew before people ripped down the trees and paved over the Earth. Ivy calls reunification a return to filth and pollution. The two women continue to fight, with Ivy admitting that killing Jim is only the first part. Bruce will take care of the rest.
Leslie shoots Ivy point blank, but rather than react to that, Ivy smashes the adrenaline that Jim needs.
At the plant, Selina confronts Bruce, who tells her that the plants will live on after the toxins. Having had enough of Bruce’s brush with nature, she hits enough times to snap him out of his trance.
They head to Lucius and Selina snaps him out of it with one kick, but they still need to contend with Ivy. Selina really needed to hit things this week, didn’t she?
Harvey arrives in a radiation suit to take on Victor, and the suit, combined with the extra padding, are enough to let him get the drop on Zsasz and punch his lights out.
Back in the dream, Will leads Jim to room where his execution will take place. He’s strapped into the chair, but suddenly Leslie arrives with a baby in her arms. This is indeed his child, and she offers a chance for Jim to hold the baby, but he doesn’t know that he can. So Leslie just drops the baby and just vanishes. With that, Will flips the switch and Jim is electrocuted.
With that jolt, Jim awakens. This time, it’s for reals. Leslie tells him that it’s okay to be afraid, but Jim is only afraid of doing this without her. He then asks her something that we as an audience do not hear.
One month later, everyone has gathered at the precinct for Jim and Leslie’s wedding. As Leslie descends the stairs, Harvey promises a very short wedding so they can all get to the bar. He tells everyone about his first meeting and how now Jim is not just his best friend, but only friend. Leslie, meanwhile, has always been by Jim’s side, except for the time she was infected with the Tetch virus and tried to kill him. That’s love.
As Jim takes Leslie’s hand, the two promise to be there for one another, until death do them part, you know how this goes. So by the power vested in Harvey, by absolutely no one, he pronounces Jim and Leslie as husband and wife.
Then Bruce kisses Selina because why the hell not?
That evening, Oswald congratulates Barbara on keeping the city together while Jim and Leslie ended up married. He tells her that controlling the gangs was never a back-up plan, but she wanted to prove to Jim that she changed. But Jim will never see her as anything but a dangerous woman. More than that, Jim will hunt her to the ends of the Earth. For that, Barbara is willing to let him do just that.
So after last week’s sort-of filler episode, we push forward with the reunification plot and get deep inside Jim Gordon’s head this week. While it does move things ahead with Jim and Leslie’s relationship, as well as Barbara trying to exert control over the gangs, I sort of feel that there was a bit too much going on in this episode.
Again, by virtue of this being the last season with a shorter episode run, Gotham has to move things along as quickly as it can. As such, this may have been the one time where it was convenient for Ivy to pop back up into play. It is coincidental that now is when she makes her play to return Gotham City to the plants.
Admittedly, it sort of ties into the main plot in that she’s against reunification, but given Ivy’s penchant for plant life, she could’ve done this at any point. Having it done here felt like a way for the series to give her a bit more to do. At the same time, I can’t deny that the episode found a way to tie it into the plot with the GCPD.
Obviously Ivy isn’t going to get her own hands dirty- with this, anyway- but by getting the likes of Zsasz under her spell, she can keep the officers occupied when they would otherwise be trying to help Jim. In addition, from a story perspective, it does work as far as roping Zsasz back into the plot. Indeed, Jim let him go, so he would have no reason to try and kill him unless it was under someone else’s orders.
I maintain that the timing is flimsy, but the show sort of finds a way to make it work. I’m not a fan of the execution, but it’s not sloppy. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t get some laughs out of characters expressing their adoration for Ivy yet again. Somehow that never gets old.
Ivy aside, there were some good parallels in this episode that I’ll get to in a moment, but for now, let’s put the focus square on Jim Gordon. Throughout the episode and mostly during the trial, we witness how much Jim puts on himself and how so much of what he touches ends up dying or in ruin.
While it was fun to see Jim face a jury of his peers, and even himself as the prosecution, this is nothing new. Gotham has had this conversation before about how Jim puts the weight of Gotham City on his shoulders, yet there’s still so much destruction around him. We even touched upon this in the Scarecrow episodes last season. The only new angle here is the inclusion of the Haven victims.
To be fair, that was a pretty big deal. Haven was supposed to be a…well, haven for those seeking shelter in Gotham. Until Ed blew it up. That’s not on either his or Jim’s hands, and there is an added layer of tragedy when you factor in all of the dead, Will included. But the fact of the matter is that we’ve already been inside Jim’s head and have heard many times how much pressure he puts on himself.
That’s not to say that the trial wasn’t a nice addition and change of scenery. Between Ben McKenzie’s writing and Erin Richards’ direction, we got some very stylish direction in the dream sequences.
Indeed, between the stakes and the time jump, there was sort of a feeling of finality to this episode, what with Jim and Leslie tying the knot. Though that could more be the real-life circumstances of this being the last episode produced, not necessarily the last one to air. Though the two of them being wed is quite humorous when you consider that Ben McKenzie and Morena Baccarin actually are married in real life.
But…why the hell was there a time jump? Seriously, what happened in the month between Jim’s proposal and the marriage itself? I assume the likes of Zsasz and Ivy were locked away? It’s just very jarring that we abruptly jump forward by a month when, as far as I can tell, there was no reason for it. A lot can happen in a month, especially if Barbara’s quick pregnancy was any indication.
Hopefully it’s addressed, but the reunification, Bruce’s journey, the submarine plan…did all of those plot lines remain in the same place in the month between the proposal and marriage? It’s strange that Bruce would just randomly talk to Selina about stuff that she said a whole month ago.
It’s the one black spot on an otherwise good episode because, as far as I can tell, there’s no narrative reason to jump forward in time by a month.
Going back to parallels, though, Bruce, like Jim, also sees himself as the blame for bad things that have happened in Gotham City. But rather than stay and make things work, Bruce figures the city would be safer without him. I don’t entirely disagree with that assessment, but he’s as entrenched in Gotham City as Jim is, so there’s no leaving for Mr. Wayne.
Plus, we’ve already got a Gotham City without Batman in the upcoming Batwoman series in the Arrowverse. At least one of these universes needs its Dark Knight to stick around for the long haul.
In other parallels, we got to see Leslie and Alfred have a nice moment when they talked about being parents to children that aren’t biologically theirs. It’s something that Alfred can easily relate to and share some wisdom with Leslie as she grapples with caring for Jim and Barbara’s child. Plus, given how Alfred initially had the hots for Leslie, good that he can now drop some knowledge and encouragement on her.
When it comes to characters, Harvey was on fire this week. Loved how he instantly took charge and was on top of the investigation into who shot Jim. He literally didn’t pull his punches when it came to Barbara and Oswald either, and his plan to take down Zsasz worked.
Plus, Harvey is a man who knows that weddings are far too long for their own good, so nice on him for cutting through all the bullshit so everyone could get to the bar. Have this man officiate every wedding ever.
But what’s Barbara going to do, though? Is she truly just looking to save her own ass, or does she want to prove to Jim that she’s turned over a new leaf? Given Oswald’s warning that Jim will come after her, perhaps she’s preparing herself for anything that Gordon could throw at her.
In addition to reunification, we’ve still got Eduardo and Theresa out there. Have they been making any noise since we last saw them?
“The Trial of Jim Gordon” wanted to be more than the sum of its parts, but we’ve gone through some of these waters before and in the final season, it’s a bit disappointing to get a somewhat repetitive A-plot. Ivy’s inclusion didn’t help much, and though I’m making it seem like this was a bad episode, it was not. It was fun to watch, but in the grand scheme of things, I’ve seen a lot of these elements done better.
Until then, catch you in two weeks when we return for more Gotham.