‘Gotham’’s mid-season finale is here and things heat up as Dent and Gordon put the pressure on the underworld as the search for Thomas and Martha Wayne’s killer continues. Things don’t go as planned for our white hats as we find when assassins hit the streets and young Bruce Wayne finds his inner hero and forges the bonds of a relationship that follows him throughout his lifetime as the Dark Knight.

Unlike previous episodes, there’s no slow buildup to action in this one. A trio of assassins, led by a mysterious beauty, track Selina Kyle to the Wayne Manor. They mean to take her out but Alfred’s extracurricular skills afford the young thief time to get away, with Bruce following close by. Though Alfred gets shot, he takes down one of the three assassins and when Bullock and Gordon arrive, they find Selina’s picture in the dead man’s pocket. Gordon is forced to come clean to his partner about the Wayne murder and the strongarming of Lovecraft. The veteran rebukes the younger detective but they don’t have time to waste and the two go their separate ways (with Alfred paired up with Bullock) to find out just how the assassins found out about Selina. It doesn’t take long for Gordon to pull from Dent the latter’s mistake of whispering the detective’s name to a handful of confidential people. They know Lovecraft’s behind it and Dent points Gordon to a couple of separate safe houses the land mogul may have used to hide out. Gordon finds him on the first try but Lovecraft’s not the one behind the hit. He’s also been targeted; “I know too much,” he admits to Gordon and proceeds to show him information on the Wayne stocks just before the couple’s murder. He doesn’t get too far into the info as the mystery woman and her partner arrive. Gordon makes the mistake of fighting them off—instead of putting a bullet in one—and is overwhelmed. With the detective out, Lovecraft doesn’t stand a chance and, after waking up from an impromptu nap brought on from being choked out, Gordon finds Lovecraft with a bullet in his head. A bullet fired by Gordon’s own gun.

On their side of the hunt, Alfred and Bullock find their way to Fish Mooney on an attempt to find a fence Selina’s been known to use. Though she rebuffs their initial advances, Alfred appeals to her “honor and compassion.” Something in his plea reaches her and she helps but not without reminding them to “remember this kindness.” But Fish also has her own problems. After speaking with Cobblepot on the armory heist, Falcone believes there’s a mole in his organization, but not who—Liza’s secret is safe for now. Still, he makes a brutal point to Fish, killing Bannion at the dinner table, the man who was responsible for security at the armory. In addition, he raises the tariffs of all his folks to 25%, a move that’s not well received, but what can they really do about it?

Bruce Wayne’s new clothes

Now that we’ve got the grown folks out of the way, Bruce and Selina are making their way to safety on the streets of Gotham. Earlier she had told Bruce the killers were after him but eventually comes clean about their intended target. She tries disappearing on him after the admission but Bruce ends up following her, even taking an impossible leap between buildings to keep up with the adolescent thief. Surprised—and more than a bit impressed—by Bruce’s leap of faith, Selina takes him down to the Flee, a lil hideout for the runaways and outcasts. They run into a creepy and off-balanced Ivy but quickly make their way to Clyde the fence. Selina wants to sell some of Bruce’s stuff for some cash to help their flight but someone’s already been in touch with Clyde and he locks the two up in an upstairs room. It doesn’t take much thought to guess the identity of the other person; mystery woman and her cabal of killers arrive at the Factory, ready to take Selina into custody. Lucky for her that Bullock and Alfred arrive and start shooting it out with the killers. Alfred rushes in while Bullock awaits backup, with Gordon being the first to arrive.

In the Factory, Selina and Bruce use a bit of subterfuge to get out of the room and they attempt to hide from the killers. Bruce is able to distract the hitmen (and woman) long enough for Selina to escape. Since he’s not on the contract, the mystery woman lets him go but not before telling him “don’t ever mistake bravery for good sense.” She flees the scene and Alfred comes upon his charge and though both try to maintain the stiff upper lip of British ways, the young boy eventually wraps his arms against his friend and lone family member. Later, to Bruce’s surprise, Selina pays him a visit at the manor, returning his stuff “to keep things honest between us,” and before he can appreciate the gesture, she lays a big, fat kiss on him. There’s no ulterior motive behind it and Bruce is left speechless as Selina disappears into the night. Alfred arrives in the aftermath and Bruce is still trying to wrap his head around what just happened. Alfred remarks on how quiet the house has become since Selina’s relocated to parts unknown. Bruce can only nod in agreement, his lips still tingling.

Gordon and Dent see the Mayor’s true colors shine through

If only things ended on such a high for all of our characters. Gordon and Dent are brought before Mayor James and get lambasted for their actions. “You’re hacking away at the very foundations of this city,” he tells them and shows his true colors when he provides Lovecraft committing suicide as the angle to disappear. But Gordon must be punished and he is, given a demotion from hell. He’s now a security guard though not for just any place.

Say hello to Arkham Asylum, Jim Gordon. You’re new place of employment.

A New Direction

  • Like any new show, ‘Gotham’ started on shaky ground but, as the last few episodes have shown, the primetime genre drama has found its voice. Starting off with Detective Gordon taking the hit for a weasel of a mayor and losing his fiancée to her former lover (though temporary). Though it may be a bit unbelievable just how pervasive and overt corruption is in Gotham, one thing we can look forward to is a new set of characters we’ll soon meet through Gordon’s employment at Arkham. He’s tried so hard to stay on the straight and narrow, will some time shacked up watching the crazies and eventually finding out about Barbara’s betrayal affect the honor and goodness with which he carries himself? Or will the next few experiences only strengthen his convictions?
  • It’s sometimes difficult to admit when we are wrong but not in this case. Through the first few episodes, we were constantly reminded of Bruce Wayne and his delving into more adult pursuits as we were battered over the head of his eventual transformation into the Caped Crusader. The writers created too much of an adult early on and used him too much. Though I still stand by my thoughts on the former, the last few episodes have showcased Bruce even more than those first handful of hours and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Why? Even as Bruce continues to learn about fear and how things work, we’ve been exposed to the youthful aspects of his character. Yes, he experienced a horrible trauma, one that would force anyone to mature hard and fast but, underneath it all, he’s still a kid and would behave as such. This understanding has been masterfully handled lately, especially during his interactions with Alfred and Selina. Bruce is no longer a robotic and unbelievably adjusted mini-adult. He may have an adult train of thought as it pertains to certain things but his youth will always overshadow that maturity. It’s a point the writers understand and, in highlighting it, have created a more balanced experience.
  • While Falcone’s actions have angered some of his followers and Fish believes it’s to her advantage, Ms. Mooney fails to appreciate just how thin of a line she’s walking. Cobblepot’s discovery of Liza’s role infiltrating Falcone’s inner defenses will be a major part of Fish Mooney’s downfall and, to paraphrase one of the greatest lines from a movie trailer…she’ll never see him coming…