Gotham Episode Review: "Spirit of the Goat"

by StevenHelmer

A review of the season 1 episode that first aired on October 27, 2014.

Synopsis: Ten years after Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) gunned down a serial killer calling himself the Spirit of the Goat, a copy cat is on the loose and, much like the original; is targeting the first-born children of Gotham’s wealthiest families. He and James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) are working against the clock as they try to figure out both who the copy cat is and how he knows things about the original murders that were left out of the police reports.

Three Characters Given Depth

I think the most memorable thing about this particular episode (which I finally had a chance to watch last night) was how it gave a little more depth to the Harvey Bullock character. When this show first introduced us to Gordon’s partner, we were introduced to a burned-out, corrupt detective that just seemed to be going through the motions while collecting on the side. After seeing this episode, however, it is now clear that, at one point at least, he was just as idealistic as Gordon and was ultimately changed, both because he felt guilty about his former partner (Dan Hedaya) and, overtime at least, Gotham simply got to him.

Another thing this episode showed us was he is still a halfway decent detective when he wants to be. The way he figured out who was really behind the murders simply by noticing a subtle hand gesture was fantastic and did leave me wondering what kind of person he would have turned out to be had he not been corrupted like everyone else.

The other part of this episode that really stood out for me had to be that scene between Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) and his mom (Carol Kane). I pretty much knew, from previous episodes, that they were close. But, when he was in the tub and she was giving him a sponge bath, I really started to wonder what kind of twisted relationship they have and how much that relationship has had on his personality.

I also did like how this particular installment of the series gave us a better glimpse at Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith), ranging from his obsession with riddles (to the point he is focusing on them even at crime scenes) to an awkwardness with women. Since I know he’s ultimately going to become a bad guy, it’s good to see him in these early stages so it’ll be easier to understand his decision to become The Riddler.

Unfortunately, I did end up having a complaint about this particular episode too. The case they were investigating was actually pretty interesting. However, I also thought it was relatively easy to solve, in part because we were getting this glimpse at so many of the major players. As a result of that, I do think it would have been better to have kept the emphasis on Bullock and saved the other character insights for later episodes. At least then, it would have seemed like the case took a little more effort than just going through some employee records and noticing a hand gesture.

Final Opinion

This is a good episode from a character development standpoint because it managed to give three of the major players much more depth. However, in doing that, it did ultimately sacrifice something and a very intriguing villain ended up being wasted.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 03/02/2016, StevenHelmer
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