REVIEW: GOTHAM – SEASON 1, EPISODE 13 “WELCOME BACK, JIM GORDON”

Is it normal to have your heart broken by a TV show? Because Gotham just stomped all over my feelings. Stupid show! This is why I can’t have nice things!

I’ll get into why I am a weepy mess later, but first – Fish is in a lot of trouble. Apparently this trouble is going to come at the hands of a guy named Bob. Isn’t that always the way?

Our Hero Jimmy and Bullock Who Makes All Things Better find a dude strung up in a warehouse. He has drugs in his shoe! Of course, Gordon finds this evidence while not wearing gloves or anything, and he pockets the drugs because he’s never seen how TV cops are supposed to process crime scenes. I’m sure he does it because Detective Flass says there are no drugs. But, still, how hard is it to pull on a latex glove and throw evidence into a Ziplock?

There is a kindly witness at the scene, who will of course be killed because no one nice can survive Gotham. Also – Kindly Witness says “My wife Louisa says, if you don’t step forward, you step back.” …what? That doesn’t even make any fucking sense! This guy is the Forrest Gump of Witnesses.

At GCPD headquarters, Forrest gets stabbed in the back by and ice pick because he’s completely incapable of turning around to face a door when it opens and someone talks to him. Nygma (who is smart enough to wear gloves while processing a crime scene) tells Gordon and Bullock that Forrest was stabbed by the same weapon that killed the drug dealer. Jim, always the smart one, deduces that this means the killing was an inside job and says, “Damn it. They’re in our house.” like this is some sort of surprise.

Bullock and the Captain think he’s out of line, like they always do, which just goes to show that those two don’t know shit. Jim has a redux of his Arkham interrogation with a bunch of cops set to throbbing guitar music and featuring an old cop who would have given him the finger if this show was on HBO. The old cop is my favorite person.

Gordon gets some info and chases down a guy named Delaware. He punches him in the face because punching is more effective than talking and then throws him in a holding cell because he found more drugs (collected, again, without gloves!) All the cops are mad and that makes the Chief mad (and Flass, who is getting to listen to the Captain yell at Gordon for some reason.) Since we still have a good 30 minutes of show left, Gordon is thwarted and he has to find another way to get the bad guys.

Gordon and Bullock try to shake down one of the cops’ stash houses (because of course the cops are running drugs) and they get told to fuck themselves harder than they’ve ever been fucked before because they can’t do shit. Oh, and Forrest? His death from several stab wounds to the back is ruled a SUICIDE. Captain is all, “move on! no need to actually change shit or get justice! Forget about Forrest just like we told you to forget about the Waynes!” This makes Gordon take matters into his own hands and he asks Penguin to shake down Delaware, because what a great idea for a cop who wants to clean up the city!! Penguin’s man tortures Delaware’s wife (because women are disposable and this is totally better than torturing the actual person who did wrong) and Delaware gives him the murder weapon…still covered in blood.

Jim goes to Flass and is all “I arrest you!” and everyone just laughs at him like they would at a two-year-old pretending to arrest daddy. All the cops just stand there and wait for Gordon to give what Rob Bricken on i09 accurately calls “a 5-minute Friday Night Lights speech.” The Captain does her job and actually arrests Flass, which is what she should have been trying to do the whole time instead of just standing there like this ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

After the arrest, Delaware begs Gordon not to hurt his family anymore and I’m not sure if Jim is about to throw up or have an orgasm. This cannot be the first moment where Jim realized asking a criminal with ties to the mob to help him get information is a bad idea, right? Hopefully this will actually have repercussions across the show and not be forgotten next episode. It’s getting really old for every episode of this show to be about Jim going rogue, burning bridges, and never having to pay for those consequences. This isn’t an 80s sitcom where everything has to be reset at the beginning of each episode.

And here is where I will state, yet again, what my biggest problem with Gotham is overall – Gotham should not be this corrupt this soon into the show. I think a much better and more interesting show, a show where we can watch Jim actually make a difference instead of ask mobsters for help, is a show where the Wayne’s murders marks the beginning of Gotham’s long slide into corruption. The good people start dying, or leave because they’re scared, or retire because they just can’t keep fighting any longer and more and more corrupt people step up to fill their places. Jim fights and fights but he keeps losing ground. He thinks, “After everything I’ve done, after everything I’ve been through…maybe I should just give up. What’s the point? It’s a losing battle.” And THAT’S when Batman appears. That’s the kind of narrative drive we need because, as much as I like this show, this episode was a disaster. It was all over the place.

In Other Plots:

Fish is delivered to Bob so he can torture her but she makes it weirdly sexual and I wonder if this is what watching 50 Shades of Grey is like. If I hadn’t already made the choice to pretend that movie doesn’t exist, this scene would do it for me. Butch saves Fish and they jump into Penguin’s plot, who, up until now, has been showing off his new club to his wacky (and horny) mother. Side note – his mother wears Liza’s scarf, the scarf that was the star of her final shot from last episode, the one that slid through her fingers as she fell to the ground after Falcone strangled her (it was a cool shot.) Guessing this means Mamma Bird isn’t long for this world.

Then, in a scene so strange it rivals those Ford Gotham tie-in ads, Penguin gets drunk. Counter hugging, champagne-out-of-a-bottle, dancing around to “Family” by Hanni El Khatib drunk. Fish interrupts him while holding a baseball bat, and it’s pretty fucking great. Except – Zsasz and his girl group with guns walks in and starts shooting. Fish and Butch run, Butch gets shot and captured. Fish gets away.

In Ngyma’s plot, he leaves Ornament a card that Flass and the others take and make fun of him for writing. This pisses me off because it makes me empathize with a dude who is acting beyond creepy and unacceptable towards his female colleague. I said it before; but damn it, if the Riddler’s origin story is “he got friendzoned!” I will punch my TV so hard whoever came up with that bullshit plot will feel it.

And, finally, Bruce & Selina. I don’t even know if I can talk about this without using a lot of CAPS to express my PAIN. Here’s something that’s not so secret about me – I ship the everloving fuck out of Bruce and Selina and have since I was about 7. They are my OTP (one true pairing), my first ship, my ship I launched before I even knew what “shipping” was. I am more invested in their relationship than I am in my own life. Even though I prefer them over 18 (I want them to fuck constantly) I have found myself really enjoying their innocent, sweet interaction on Gotham.  They’re at the age where just accidentally brushing the hand of the person you like sends your heart into your throat and makes you sweat like a pig. It’s scary and strange and exhilarating! And it’s beautiful because it’s so damn innocent and pure. For two characters who have been through the ringer (independently and together) for 75 years, they need something beautiful.

SO – After a trip to the Alps, Bruce makes Alfred drive around looking for Selina. Bruce finds Ivy and asks her to let Selina know he’s looking for her. Selina shows up at Wayne Room while Bruce is playing chess by himself. He gives her a snow globe, which is a very cute gift for a 12-year-old boy to give to a 13-year-old girl. Then he asks her to come live with him, but he does it in such a way that makes it sound like he’s only really interested in hanging out with her until she testifies against the man who killed his parents. Selina freaks. She lies to Bruce about seeing his parents killer and tells him to leave her the hell alone. She’s probably doing this to protect herself (she doesn’t want to get hurt when she has to leave after she testifies in court) and it breaks Bruce’s heart. I saw this on Tumblr and found it fitting:

Selina leaves, Bruce cries and the snow globe is broken. And then, in what is weird as fuck, fucking Alfred comes in and basically makes fun of him for crying. Good job, asshole. This makes Bruce go back to his detective work and makes Alfred happy (even though Bruce & Selina throwing breakfast pastries at each other was a relief because at least Bruce wasn’t reading police files anymore.)

UGH. WHY CAN’T THEY JUST HAVE THIS??

My heart. She is broken. I hate this show.

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