Episode 13: “Welcome Back, Jim Gordon”
Fish comes after Penguin, Gordon tries to root out corruption within GCPD.
The Riddler’s past and origins aren’t brought up often. Writers prefer to focus on his distinctive style of puzzle-like crimes when crafting stories around the character. The main motivation behind his endless quizzing and crypto-graphing lies in a desire to prove his worth. However, it’s not always portrayed as a conscious habit. In recent years, Riddler has begun showing symptoms of serious psychological issues, even finding it impossible not to leave riddles after committing crimes. For whatever lighthearted nature the character may have had, at his core lies undeniable madness. He is capable of dangerous things and is not someone to ignore or dismiss.
“Welcome Back, Jim Gordon” indeed. The show may have resumed a few weeks ago, but this episode marks the first time the full cast is back together.
Gotham could do no wrong this week. Instead of focusing on one element or detail, this episode wins you over in its flawless execution of every piece of the puzzle. It’s dark, it’s compelling, it’s smart, and most of all; it’s just so much fun to watch. Building on last week’s loose ends, developing new storylines, and laying the groundwork for exciting possibilities to come; it’s an unassuming masterpiece.
Predictions were made last week that this could be the episode that Fish finally shines in. Waking up in Falcone’s torture chamber may seem an odd manner to project character strength, but it’s Fish’s best chance. It’s hard rooting for a character who relishes being in power without properly deserving it. But anyone who can stand up to torture and still find the grit to snarl at her torturer earns serious brownie points. At first it feels cut too soon when Butch comes to the rescue, but the show has some surprises in store.
Gordon is back doing what he does best; the collective work of the entire GCPD. Honestly, for the amount of cutting through bureaucracy and corruption that Gordon does, it should be renamed the JGPD. Cops, robbers, inmates, peers; there is no one Gordon will not punch in the name of justice. Up until this point his method has served him well. This week, however, he has found a foe he cannot overcome by sheer nerve and earnestness. This week, the very justice he fights for has turned on him. How terrifying to realize that crime is being committed in the headquarters of crimefighters. Gordon is left to ponder how much good he can accomplish within a department that may or may not care about enforcing the law. As good a cop he is, Gordon cannot run the justice system on his own. It’s a truly terrifying thought.
There has been some absolutely wonderful groundwork laid for Edward Nygma to go crazy. It won’t be next week, probably not the week after either. But one of these days, Ed Nygma is going to act out against the people who have tormented, mocked, and embarrassed him. The exact details of such a breakdown remain, appropriately, a mystery. A chance for love, a chance for rejection, a chance for secrets, a chance for something brilliant. Here’s hoping that day comes soon!
Episode Score: 9.2