The heat is on in the city of Gotham, for the white hats and black hats alike. Jim Gordon’s back on the force while Fish Mooney, thanks to one Oswald Cobblepot, finds herself in the most precarious of situations, namely in the crosshairs of Don Falcone’s wrath. Both hero and villain take center stage this week, reminding us just how cruel and terrible a place Gotham City is and how every single person’s life is balanced on the edge of a razor.

To start things off, a blindfolded and bound Fish Mooney is wheeled into what one could best describe as a torture cage and into the hands of Bob. His job is simple, have a bit of torturific fun with Fish before she’s taken for a ride to swim with the… well, you know the rest. As far as the rest goes, she’s not there for long before Butch, though trussed up and scheduled to be incinerated, tracks down Fish’s location and saves her before Bob can really go to town. Though the smart play woule be for her and Butch to get out of town, Fish has other things on her mind. Or should I say ‘someone.’

Apparently, one can commit suicide by ice picking one’s self in the back. Twice.

On the Jim Gordon front, he and Bullock are called to the murder scene of Pinky Littlefield, a dealer for the Uptown Assassins. Gordon shows a bit of detective skills when he finds drugs in the victim’s hidden heel. Things look promising when a man named Leon comes forward, a witness to the murder. Unfortunately for Leon, he becomes a victim himself, stabbed in the back with an ice pick, the same murder weapon used to killed Littlefield. Gordon is incensed and immediately points fingers at it being an inside job, a supposition Bullock and Captain Essen caution him in making known. Gordon doesn’t care and lets the only two people in the force who could be classified as his allies know his position. Essen warns him to take care in the investigation and, with Bullock’s help, interrogates a desk sergeant who gives up the name Delaware. He tracks down Delaware and, after finding the same drugs in Delaware’s car as he did on Littlefield, Gordon believes he has his man.

Enter, Detective Flass. Already setting himself up as a jerk, he tells Gordon the drugs are a part of a larger narcotics investigation and this forces the Captain’s hand. She turns the case over to IA and it’s not long before we are reminded of the impossibly high levels of corruption in Gotham when IA rules Leon’s death a suicide…yes, a suicide by way of ice picking himself in the back. Twice.

Cowardice and Corruption, thy name is Gotham.

Moving on to Gordon’s investigation of Flass an Delaware, courtesy of Bullock he finds a drug stash housed in which Delaware curiously has a warrant for search and seizure, signed off on by the Commish and Judge Bam Bam. Gordon knows he’s playing with one hand tied so goes to the unlikeliest of sources: Oswald Cobblepot. He finds Cobblepot entertaining his mother at Fish’s old club. Gordon asks for the goods on Flass and Cobblepot, considering himself Jimbo’s friend, agrees. He dispatches Gabe to strong arm Delaware on the evidence but, after finding himself alone in the club, finds himself face to face with Butch and the woman he betrayed: Fish Mooney.

Gordon and Cobblepot: a most unlikely pair of ‘friends’.

While Gabe is shaking Delaware down for leverage on Flass, Fish is reasserting her dominance over the terrified Cobblepot. “You’re a servant, an umbrella boy. You’re a nobody.” Her taunts stiffen Cobblepot’s spine and in an eye blink, the cowering Penguin disappears, replaced by a jittery madman who’s not to be underestimated. “This nobody still outfoxed you at every turn,” he tells her seconds before Viktor Zsasz and his gun wielding female hit squad, fresh off of putting a bullet in torturer Bob’s head, arrives. In a shootout that leaves one of the girls dead, Butch is able to smuggle Fish out of the club but he himself is shot and finds himself at the mercy of the insane Zsasz who wonders aloud if they should kill Mr. Gilzean or take him back to play.

Using the information provided by Gabe, Jim confronts Flass in front of the entire station. There is a mountainous divide in the GCPD—an over the top segment who pisses on the rules of law and openly flaunts how protected they are while the other, more noble faction is afraid to stand up for what they know to be the right thing. Gordon’s not afraid and, after dumping the evidence against Flass on the desk and reminding everyone what they, as police officers stand for, gets support from Captain Essen, who leads the arrest of Flass. As they take him away, Gordon gets a few less than friendly glares from Flass’s crew, a promise that it’s not over just yet. When Gordon is accosted by a terrified Delaware who begs for his wife and kids to be kept out of it, he realizes just how much work is left to be done.

To end things, Fish Mooney is helped out of town by Harvey Bullock, the detective whose relationship with her has only been hinted at and never fully explained or explored. One thing we know is there is something deeper between the two but whether it’s respect, admiration or something a bit more romantic, we’ll have to wait to find out because Fish plans to head out of town for the time being and only asks one thing of Bullock: to find and help Butch, if he’s alive.

On Corruption and Welcome Absences

  • Stories are allegories to life and are often presented in an overly dramatic fashion. Though corruption in politics and law enforcement are a very real thing, as a comic venture, ‘Gotham’’sportrayal of the in-your-face flaunting of the rules while others cower goes a bit off the deep it. The blatant disregard for right and wrong by characters like Flass sometimes detracts from the message being conveyed. The same can be said for Gordon’s virtue amid the cesspool of corruption.
  • I’ve always had a peculiar interest in Fish Mooney’s character—a like/dislike relationship, truth be told. While Jada Pinkett Smith plays the role well, there are times where it seems the character doesn’t bring enough to the table. And then scenes like the one between her and Cobblepot (hands down the best villain in the show) reminds me she still has a very integral part in the story going forward. Her getting out of town for a few episodes can only reinvigorate her character, just as Bruce Wayne’s absence may help bolster his return. Absence, as they say…
  • Speaking of Young Master Bruce, it was a wise decision to relegate him to the background for a few weeks and, as the season continues, I believe the best idea would be a light sprinkling in of his character (along with Alfred, Selina Kyle, and Ivy) and solidify the fact that this is a story about Jim Gordon and not a just a camouflaged piece in Bruce Wayne’s transformation into Batman.