If “What the Little Bird Told Him” was about things escalating and certain stories paying up. “Welcome Back, Jim Gordon” was truly about the consequences of those actions, and actions about to be made.
It was great seeing Gordon get back to “business as usual” with a case at the GCPD. Yet all too quickly it turned into a case of battling corruption within the department.
I’ve seen some people comment about how the corruption within the department is “too obvious”, or “too over the top”, I don’t understand that. If you look at Batman Eternal, the recent year long Batman story, we saw a similar event happen. Where the Commissioner (not Gordon, he was arrested falsely) was under the thumb of the mayor and Falcone, and decided to have the police focus on Batman and no gang related crime. So what’s the big deal about certain cops being on the take and using their power and influence to make evidence and nosy detectives go away?
This is meant to be a recurring theme of Gotham, the city is corrupt on virtually every level. If anything, this episode showed a new light on that with Flass and Commissioner Loeb (working behind the scenes) manipulate people to try and get Gordon off the case. It was beautifully corrupt, and it worked!…kind of.
Watching Jim struggle with the line between good cop and bad cop was very entertaining. He went from doing his job, to using dirty laundry to get names, to going to Penguin to get the evidence he needed to take down Flass. A dangerous thing to be sure, with repercussions I’ll soon get to. But in doing this, in going that extra mile, Gordon is starting to make changes.
The scene at the end with Flass almost became another Zsasz walkout scene. Instead though, Gordon’s speech rallied more than one officer to his side. A true sign that not all of the GCPD are corrupt, they’re just afraid of getting involved. But with Gordon now being a beacon of light in the dark, maybe they won’t be afraid anymore.
Which of course leads to the final scene. Gordon being begged not to hurt Delaware’s family (via the Penguin and his thug) again. This clearly shook Gordon to his core, and I hope it plays out in future episodes. If nothing else, it may make him gun shy about straddling the line once again.
The other big story was Fish Mooney. Her “punishment” was being dealt out, and it was only through sheer loyalty via Butch that she got out alive…twice! I loved how they showed the toughness of Fish here. She wasn’t afraid of pain, or torture, or death. Like Bullock said, tough as nails.
A fun scene that developed because of this was the confrontation between Penguin and Fish. It was hilarious to see Penguin all but begging for mercy again, then try to strike a deal in order to save his own skin. And yet, when he was insulted, he once again showed his darkness by mocking Fish’s blind spot when it came to him. How he manipulated everything and got her on the most wanted list by Falcone. You could tell that more than anything else, that was the sweetest piece of revenge for Penguin.
Bullock saving Fish at the end was an unexpected twist that could pay dividends later on. He clearly has true feelings for her, and that could either help or hurt him further down the line. We’ll have to see how this develops.
After a two episode disappearance, Bruce and Alfred returned to pick up their storyline. It was good to see them back, and though their scenes were short, they were packed with fun bits. Bruce encountering Ivy has funny, and the scene with Selina was fully of meaning in my eyes. It’s clear (to me that is) that Selina is trying to protect Bruce by not telling him about the killer. She obviously knows who it is, but fears what will happen if Bruce pursues it. I will admit that Bruce’s naivety is getting a bit grating, but Alfred is there to keep him on point, so I’ll let it slide.
In the end, “Welcome Back, Jim Gordon” brought some interesting notes to Gotham. The fight against corruption is becoming harder than Gordon thought, and hopefully that struggle will continue to be shown. There’s a lot of potential here.