SPOILER WARNING! The following recap contains spoilers for tonight's Gotham episode, "A Dark Knight: A Day in the Narrows."
Last week, you may recall that we talked about how, after four seasons, Gotham finally decided to let Leslie Thompkins be, you know ... Leslie Thompkins.
Well, gang, this week continues the trend, because for the first time in a very long time, James Gordon is the stand-up dude one could actually believe will someday be the stalwart commissioner of the GCPD.
Also, because this was another stellar week in Gotham City, there's a second topic that's big enough to not be relegated to the "Humorous Observations" section. Exciting!
But first ...
WILL THE REAL JAMES GORDON PLEASE STAND UP
Who would have guessed that Professor Pyg would be the one to draw out the best version of James Gordon we've seen in years on Gotham? And all he had to do was believe that Gordon is capable of being a good cop. That's a weird way to break that particular story, but I think it works.
So while James Gordon is trying to convince everybody to shrug off the dominating hand of Penguin, Harvey Bullock continues to lead the remainder of the GCPD on a team hunt for Pyg along with Penguin's thugs. And we get a few solid layers as a result.
For one, we see Gordon convince a dirty cop (who turns out to be Pyg) that it's possible for the GCPD to be the beacon of light for Gotham City again. And for another, we also get to see Gordon be right about Pyg's manipulations and actually successfully step in to save all the cops who had ignored his pleas in the past.
What I like is that throughout, both Bullock and Penguin point out that Gordon has not been the greatest of white knights in the past. And Gordon admits it to Pyg as well. In one episode we see people finally doubt Jim out loud, we see Jim truly doubt himself, and ultimately we get to see Jim rise above all of that and 100% do the right thing.
And it all happens thanks to a psychopath wearing a pig mask. Which, from where I'm sitting, makes a lot of sense. You'd be crazy to think James Gordon had been a good cop all along, what with the corruption and the murders and all. And Gordon would have to be crazy to take the word of a serial killer with a pig fetish as impetus to make him the man he always claims to be. But that's a big part of what makes Gotham Gotham.
And it works! The cops reject Penguin's Burger King Kids Club membership cards as an excuse to commit crime, and we get this ongoing conflict between the rising Gordon and the falling Bullock.
GOTHAM CITY GETS SOME SIRENS
If the Gordon plot hadn't taken up so much real estate and done something so important for Gotham as a show, the top topic this week would have most certainly been the formation of what I can only call a proto-Gotham City Sirens.
We've had many years of male-dominated crime on Gotham since Fish Mooney went away. Penguin. Riddler. Theo Galavan. Hugo Strange. It sometimes feels a little like a boys' club.
Thankfully, this week saw the official formation of a girls' club that consists of Selina, Tabitha, and Barbara. They had originally worked together under Ra's al Ghul, but in his absence they go through the growing pains of figuring out that they can keep working together on their own. Selina steals money from a biker gang, gets stuck, and then Tabitha shows up and also gets stuck. BUT THEN Barbara shows up and asks the gang if "you guys ordered Thai" before whipping out a gun and blowing them all away. It's a dope way to begin a lady villain team-up, and I am here for it.
Between this version of the Sirens, Sofia Falcone still successfully manipulating Penguin, and Lee finally being the good doctor she was always meant to be, Gotham's streak of getting women right is still going. No one is more shocked than I.
HUMOROUS OBSERVATIONS TO ELICIT SOFT CHUCKLES FROM THE READER
- Penguin's new bodyguard, Headhunter, says using two guns is his signature. And since he's been around since 1992, he should probably reach out to Lara Croft and tell her to stop biting his style.
- I respect Selina very much, but she's gonna need more than a mask to cover her identity with that giant and instantly recognizable mop of hair on her head.
- In fact Penguin's hair is bigger than ever this week, too? WHAT'S WITH THE '80s HAIR, GOTHAM?
- I know Bruce Wayne is sorting through some murder feelings, but I'm not sure "billionaire rich boy gets into prick-waving competition with other wealthy kiddos" is my fave Gotham plotline.
- While we can all appreciate Selina's costume as homage to Batman Returns, I could literally hear it squeak when she moves. That cannot be comfortable burglary wear. You're better than this, girl!
- We're all assuming Sofia is secretly behind Professor Pyg, right? That's why Pyg is defending only Gordon and everyone else is fair game for pig murders? Just want to make sure we're all on the same page here.