Gotham Episode Review: “Welcome Back, Jim Gordon”

by StevenHelmer

A review of the season 1 television episode that first aired January 26, 2015.

Synopsis: A newly-reinstated Gordon (Ben McKenzie) once again puts his job (and potentially his life) in jeopardy when a witness is murdered in the police station and he pursues the dirty cop that was responsible. With nobody in the Gotham Police Department willing to help him, he turns to the one man that can, Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor), who is celebrating his victory over Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith).

Guest stars include Dash Mihok and Michael Eklund.

What I Liked About This Episode

As I mentioned last week, I’m a big fan of the new, edgier, Jim Gordon. I think he’s realized he has no real allies and, with nothing really left to lose, he’s pushing things as far as he can. This is a good thing for the series, in my opinion, because it means his life is always going to be in danger, whether it is from a criminal or one of his fellow cops.

The part about him going to Oswald for help is intriguing. Part of the reason for this is the fact “The Penguin” is a known criminal and Gordon going to him for help shows he has changed. At the start of the season, that would never have happened.

Just as important, however, is the fact this is something that I suspect that will come back to haunt him. At minimum, I’m certain he’s going to have a lot of guilt over the fact an innocent woman was harmed by one of Oswald’s henchmen in an effort to get him the information he was requesting. But, this is also the kind of information that tends to get leaked out and used against heroes.

Even though I’m still not a fan of Mooney, this episode did plant an intriguing theory in my head about her. After watching her almost welcome the abuse from Bob (Eklund) before escaping with the help of her henchman, Butch (Drew Powell), I’m starting to wonder if maybe she is the one who ultimately will become the infamous Joker. Sure, she’s technically the wrong gender. But, in every other way, she really is a good fit at least based on what I’ve seen in the movies and the few Batman comic books I’ve read. If nothing else, it would explain why the writers decided to create a character that isn’t mentioned in any other Batman source up until this point.

What I Didn't Like About This Episode

This show, overall, is entertaining and one of my favorite shows on television right now. However, one of my biggest pet peeves about it is the fact the writers tend to kill off characters that have the potential to be pretty awesome bad guys.

In this case, it was the sadistic Bob. Based, at least, on the short amount of time he was actually alive in this episode, he, at minimum, would have been a great henchman. He had plenty of torture devices and seemed to enjoy using them. Needless to say, I was disappointed when he was dead before the episode even ended.

I also wasn’t a big fan of that somewhat awkward side story involving Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) and Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova). Other than breaking Bruce’s heart (which maybe will come into play when he’s older and can’t stay in a relationship), those parts of this episode just didn’t seem to fit. It was almost as though they were written in as a way of reminding the viewer they were still around because, overall, they didn’t have any impact on the plot.

Final Opinion

I think the episode wasted a good villain by killing him off before we had a chance to get to know him. However, overall, it was decent and I definitely enjoyed seeing Gordon essentially take on the whole Gotham City Police Department just to catch one bad guy.

My Grade: A

Updated: 07/23/2017, StevenHelmer
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StevenHelmer on 01/29/2015

I personally have always thought this show should have gone a bit further into Gotham's history and started while Bruce Wayne's parents were still alive and before he was born (or still an infant). Mazouz isn't a bad actor, it's just he really doesn't quite fit at this stage. This would be slightly better if it were about Gordon forming a bond with Bruce's parents with the idea that they ultimately would be murdered.

dustytoes on 01/28/2015

This is a great show. I totally agree that the Cat girl and Bruce scene was odd. I almost forgot that they were actually part of this series.

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