When you start out with a guy tied to a chair dangling hundreds of feet in the air, only to be hanged for his troubles, well, it’s not a big leap to deem the perpetrator a bit cracked in the head. It’s another psychotic genius on the loose in a city who can’t catch a break from crime and corruption.

There should be no sercrets amongst friends, right Oswald?

While Bullock and Captain Essen are investigating the most recent murder while watching their backs for retribution for their arrest of Flass, Oswald Cobblepot is enjoying a bit of time with Maroni. The two men celebrate Fish’s untimely demise, a demise Cobbsie greatly exaggerates, only he doesn’t know it just yet. The hacked off Mooney drops a dime to Maroni about his problem of a birdie playing both sides and though he doesn’t believe her straight out, he decides it’s time for he and Cobblepot to have a bit more one-on-one time. They road trip to the Don’s secluded cabin under the pretense of him palavering with a “guy about a thing” and Oswald goes along (as if he had a choice) but can’t shake the feeling that something more ominous awaits him on the other side of Maroni’s odd behavior.

Back to the main case, Nygma spots a surgical incision in the victim’s abdomen and is ready to research it more but Essen reminds Nygma that he’s just the forensics guy, not the ME. Of course, his curiosities get the better of him and he ends up being suspended, though it’s safe to say he gets the last laugh as far as the ME’s concerned…but let’s not digress. Before he gets caught up to speed on the case, a newly reinstated Gordon catches Selina Kyle in his ex-fiancée’s apartment where the lil cat tells him of her lying regarding the Wayne murders. He returns to the Wayne Manor only to have young Bruce corroborate Kyle’s assertions. Gordon tries making sense about why she would change her story but Bruce refuses to listen, instead returning to the boring and decidedly non-childlike version of himself we’ve been fed a bit too many times (more on this later). Bruce absolves Gordon of any responsibilities into catching his parents killers and, hands tied, Gordon returns to the station and gets the lowdown on the victim from Bullock. The veteran detective has just spoken with Scottie Mullins, the dead man’s sponsor in a support group for people suffering from phobias (the victim’s was fear of heights). The flirtation between the grizzled Bullock and the redheaded Scottie is unmistakable, with the former “hypothetically” asking the ginger to dinner. Unbeknownst to them, the killer is at it again, taking another victim.

Gordon’s a bit out of practice insofar as wooing a woman

Using the shakiest of leads (the chair used to tie down the first victim), Gordon and Bullock are at an out of the way factory chatting about Gordon’s budding relations with Dr. Thompkins when a scream sends them running. They discover the second victim, tied to a chair, surrounded by pigs and a man dressed up in a pig mask. The two detectives take down the suspect and, for the briefest of time, believe they’ve nabbed the killer. Gordon’s not so sure about it but after discovering both victims were a part of the same phobia support group, Bullock wastes no time giving the message to his newly minted crush, Scottie. Bullock has never come across as the heartfelt, sharing type but in front of Scottie and a bunch of strangers, he admits to his fears about his job. “I’m afraid I’m gonna die in an alley, bleeding out while some scumbag goes through my pockets laughing at me…I don’t want to die alone in some gutter.” His deep confessions are followed by Todd, a man whose fear is “a horrible terror of failure.” After sharing, he runs from the room crying and Scottie follows him out. Bullock realizes they’ve been gone too long and follows them out in time to see the deranged man driving away with Scottie in the back.

While Gordon’s tapping Thompkins for help on the original victim’s autopsy, Oswald has found himself in quite the pickle. During their cabin conversations and the increasing vibes of dread, Cobblepot puts two-and-two together and tries to get the drop on Maroni. The Don is already ahead of him and, after a quick beating, Oswald Cobblepot finds himself in a car crusher and nearly left in Penguin pieces. But he’s a wily veteran and eventually talks his way out, much to Maroni’s disappointment and escapes the Don’s wrath. He’s eventually found on the side of the road by a woman’s church group who offers him a ride back to Gotham…and revenge.

Speaking of revenge, our fair Nygma’s not as helpless as we’d think. By planting autopsied body parts in the ME’s locker, Nygma finds himself back on the job, much to his delight and, by proxy, the difficult to read Ms. Kringle.

Moving back to the case, Gordon, Essen and Bullock race against time to find the abducted Scottie. After discovering her fear of drowning, they pinpoint the pool she nearly drowned in as a child for a possible location. It’s a good guess, for Todd, after telling his son Jonathan what he’s doing is “for the common good…for humanity”, pushes her in. Gordon chases after the off-balanced Todd but the man gets away. Lucky for Scottie though, Bullock’s not too late and saves her from her most feared fated.

A young Jonathan Crane…

Wrapping things up, Thompkins brings Gordon the news on the original autopsy. The killer removed the adrenal glands of his victim. At the point of death, the glands would produce an exorbitant amount of cortisol (what powers our flight or fight response). What the madman wants with this is anyone’s guess but, now that he’s in the wind, there are more immediate things up for discussion. Namely, Thompkins as the new GCPD ME and a bit more clarity of her relationship with Gordon. She puts it out there for him and Gordon, after a bit of hesitation, takes it, kissing her in front of the entire station. At least some good things are happening in Jim Gordon’s life.

For now…

Heavy-handed Reminders

  • For the first few episodes, my biggest complaint with ‘Gotham’was the apparent need to provide glimpses into the who’s who of the world of Batman. The most egregious of which was framing young Bruce Wayne as a serious, no-nonsense boy exhibiting the tenacious detective skills he eventually comes to be known by as his older alter ego. But midway through the first half of the season, the show stepped back, reminding us that Bruce Wayne, regardless of his future incarnation as Batman, was a lonely boy scarred by tragedy. Though only two episodes back from hiatus, it seems they are back on forcing him into the boring and overly mature man who will end up saving Gotham from itself. While I do not believe he will remain this way, it’s still a disappointing retread of the more forced aspects of the series.
  • Gotham has always been a city of corruption, but the brazen out in the open manner it’s portrayed in the police force is a bit over the top. We know there is corruption everywhere (in real life and our fictional worlds) but does it have to be so overt? If Gotham is this bad 20 years before the Dark Knight hits the streets, would there be anything left of it after two more decades of such blatant disregard?
  • It’s funny that Edward Nygma has always seemed like the harmless guy. A bit odd (understatement, I know) and brilliant, to date he’s never done anything aside from his love of riddles that made me say “that’s the rogue, all right”. Until this week. Though not as harsh as the murder perpetrated by many of the villains, framing the current ME with body parts in the locker is a nod towards his shift to a bit of the more macabre dabblings of his Riddler persona. It’s about time, too. I’m a bit tired of watching him take blow after blow with no real return fire. We’ll have to see just how much of Mr. Nygma’s dark side the show decides to explore.
  • And let’s not forget one Fish Mooney. Though we only see her briefly as she’s smuggled out of the city, despite her selling Cobblepot’s duplicity to Maroni, the most interesting development has to be the final scene as her escape vessel is hijacked by pirates. Though a bit over the top, her defiant snarl as she and one of the pirates race towards one another leaves us wondering to her fate and, more curiously, the role said pirates will have on her and ‘Gotham”s future.