Gordon’s going to fix things if he can go the distance.
What They Say:
Everyone Has a Cobblepot – As Gordon investigates the recent controversy with Commissioner Loeb, the prisoners question Fish’s loyalty when she seems to join forces with Dr. Dulmacher.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As we get closer to the season finale of Gotham, there is that hope that the showrunners have figured out how to bring the episodes out smoothly. Sadly, for the most part, that hasn’t quite worked as there’s a really odd feeling and dynamic to them that just has them giving off a weird vibe. Amusingly enough, the previous episode was one of the better ones of the season so far as it focused on the Red Hood and how things started there, which made for some quirky aspects because it was one of the first times that we really got a sense of the city in the idea about the different levels of inequality and how hard it is to exist and survive in Gotham, which is what has a lot of the criminals doing what they do. There’s a lot of potential to work with there but it’s been ignored in favor of introducing aspects of potentials of high name value villains of the future. Thankfully, the other part of the episode that worked well was the whole Bruce Wayne storyline, with him dealing with one of Alfred’s former associates, as they brought a welcome harder edge without a lot of superfluous dialogue to gum up the works.
The cold open for this takes us to the follow-up of what happened with Alfred now that he’s in recovery and being monitored. Gordon’s trying to get some details, but while Bruce is ready to talk about what really happened, Alfred is keeping it to himself and that’s coming across pretty plainly to Gordon, though he doesn’t press the issue. For Alfred, a lot of this is that it’s an issue between mates that will be settled between them at some point in time. And that time is likely to come sooner rather than later as he’s not intent on just hanging around in a hospital to deal with it. His force of will is good here, but Bruce is the stronger personality at this point as his concern for Alfred outweighs other concerns. It’s good to see it play out like this as it’s one of those early moments where we see how Bruce is able to be a commanding presence.
The mainline plot for this episode looks to involve a good bit of corruption on the police side this time around as the commissioner has made his intent clear by bringing Flass back into play and nominating him for a higher position as well that would represent a lot of officers. Loeb’s playing a deep game here with Flass in order to push back on Gordon to keep him in place, especially since Gordon humiliated him. When Gordon goes to confront him, he realizes just how deep Loeb can reach as he got Bullock to admit that he falsified evidence in order to exonerate Flass. It’s a decent look at the way things work in Gotham as Bullock has plenty of dirt that he can’t get away from. He plays it out as his own Cobblepot story, which takes us back to the beginning of the show in how Gordon largely did the same, but had his own out. The truth of the matter is that Bullock is right in that most of the cops have their own Cobblepot story and that Loeb has the dirt on all of them, which is what keeps him in the position of power that he’s in.
Gordon and Dent do work together fairly well here to try and get some leads so they can push back against Loeb and try and end some of this corruption, which in turn has them going down to see a man named Xi Lu that supposedly has a sense of what some of Loeb’s secrets are. Suffice to say, it doesn’t go well since they just force their way in overall and it’s Bullock that blazes in to save them. Gordon isn’t exactly wanting to trust Bullock at this point, but there’s enough history between the two of them that he’ll accept his help in the end. Unfortunately, when they find out that Loeb and Falcone are tied together in all of this, it just ups the danger level even more. The only real avenue that have at this point is probably the most unusual one in that they have to go to the literal Cobblepot of the story since he’s got enough of an in with Falcone after all that’s gone on. Cobblepot certainly sees a lot of advantage here and works it well enough, though Bullock is properly freaked out by what Gordon is agreeing to. This leads to a fun little trip out to the countryside Loeb where Loeb has a house where he keeps things, and they play up as though they’re there for an inspection. It’s really amusing in how it plays out since the older couple there know that this isn’t right and we get a kind of old school shootout with some comedy to it.
The truth of what’s out there is interesting as the investigation gets further underway since there’s a lot noise upstairs. While they had hoped to find a lot of files, what they find instead is a woman named Miriam Loeb up there, which is the daughter that nobody has seemingly heard of. There’s a bit of potential for what her being kept up here means in relation to the death of her mother, which is something that her father was accused of but never dealt with for since there were no witnesses and everything was covered up well, but it’s all given a decent if kind of weird creepy vibe with it all due to her being basically locked up here for the past two decades. Gordon’s hopeful that she can be useful with all of this, but you also get a sense that she’s just so far gone that there’s only so much that they’ll get out of her in the end.
Gordon does manage to work things well enough here with what he wants done by keeping Loeb in power and using him to gain some advantage to make positive changes in the force. But what he wants is so high that he gets only so much of it, but enough to help save Bullock in the short term. The main thrust is that Gordon gets Flass out of the picture for awhile, but he doesn’t get the level of evidence he needs. What’s amusing though is that Gordon makes a surprisingly big and public play by getting Loeb to support him as the policeman’s union president position, which he hopes to use to really get a lot of changes made in order to clean up the department. It makes a lot of sense from the straightforward approach that Gordon uses, but you can see just how much it’s going to set others against him as time goes on and become a more divisive figure.
Fish’s storyline continues to work a pretty disturbing line of attack here after she sacrificed her eye. With Dr. Dulmacher making his appearance now, he’s showing his level of control in the fact that he put a fully functional eye back in her head, albeit a different color. She’s still trying to find a way to get into a position of power here, to be his right hand man for the time being until she can eliminate or control him in her own fashion, but she’s also getting to see just how twisted Dulmacher is when he shows off what he did to his former office manager from the previous episode. it’s poor looking special effects, which plagues a few parts of this episode, but it shows the twisted nature of Dulmacher and exactly how he gets his kicks.
There’s a number of awkward moments with the mainline plot here with Gordon and what he and Dent are trying to accomplish, but it has a certain kind of fun about it that rather works well. There’s still too much innocence to Gordon’s approach in this world when we really need something harder and more intense with it, but they’re trying to straddle the line too much with it all between serious and cartoonish. Sometimes it works, but when we get some silly moments here and then deal with what Fish is doing or the cruelty of Penguin towards the end, it’s all just kind of messy when you look at it as a whole. There’s an uneven nature about it that can be disconcerting rather than appealing. There are a lot of little pieces I like here, but it’s still a work that hasn’t found its voice in a good way here, which is really not a good sign by this point of the first season.