It really did take Gotham a while to find its footing, but it’s been on one hell of a roll lately. This week’s episode was full of surprises. First of all, who knew that Gotham could be so funny and so dark at the same time? Teaming up the Penguin, Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock is a brilliant move – it allows the show to be outlandishly fun, but still criminally bleak at the appropriate moments. Also, Gotham finally seems to be learning when to cut out unimportant characters (*cough-Barbara-cough*) and when to have minor characters drop by in a meaningful way (*cough-Selina-cough*). Plus: Harvey Dent is back!
I don’t think anyone was worried – I mean, we’ve all seen at least one Batman movie, right? – but you’ll be relieved to know that Alfred is not dead. Big duh. The thing is, Bruce knows that Reggie most likely went all stabby-stab on Alfred’s ass because of their investigation into Wayne Enterprises. This Bruce kid, he’s a smart one. Of course, he’s also a pre-pubescent boy. When he runs into Selina Kyle in the hospital, they reconcile and she gives him a hug, making him stammer and blush. It’s pretty cute. But did she say she was there to steal food from patients? Because that’s pretty low. Even for Gotham.
When we last saw Fish Mooney, she was gouging her own eye out with a spoon to prevent Dr. Dulmacher (AKA the Dollmaker) from selling the set on the black market. Or something. She gouged her own eye out, is what I’m saying. This week, she wakes up in a hospital bed with none other than Dr. Dulmacher at her side. It seems like he’s saved her life – and given her a brand new eye. Bright blue, in fact. She’s lucky that color blocking is still in style. After some coaxing on Fish’s part, Dulmacher agrees to take her on as his right-hand man. She will keep his flow of human bodies steady and he will give her some perks and power. But Dr. Dulmacher does make a few things clear. First of all, if she screws up, she just might end up with her head on someone else’s body – like the Manager from the last episode. He now resides on the body of a woman. Second, Dulmacher is not really afraid of her escaping since they’re apparently on Gotham‘s version of Shutter Island.
Poor Ed. This guy is going to need to start getting evil soon or I’m just going to feel bad for him all the time. After months of painful flirting with Kristen Kringle, she finally seems to tolerate his presence. Maybe she even likes him, like in a fond-but-apprehensive kind of way. But when Edward finds out that she’s newly single, he thinks she might like him a little more than that. Of course, she doesn’t, instead introducing him to her new, ridiculously not awkward, Ken doll of a boyfriend. Twist that knife a little harder, Kringle. Sheesh.
This week, we get some of the old Harvey – the save his own ass first, make excuses later Harvey. Jim Gordon is devastated to learn that it’s none other than his own partner who’s helped exonerate crooked cop Arnold Flass. Why would he do such a thing? Well, it turns out that Commissioner Loeb (no relation to Lisa) has a stockpile of blackmail material, including some dirt on Harvey. As Harvey says to JIm, “Everyone has a Cobblepot.” It’s just that most Cobblepots end up dead like they’re supposed to. Naturally, Jim goes on a crusade against Loeb with Harvey Dent as his ally, but Bullock ends up saving them both from a knife fight just in time – honestly, it doesn’t make a lot of sense, but whatever. Bullock then uses some of his own – ahem – more extreme methods to help get the info they need.
What is that info, you ask? Well, Commissioner Loeb is working with Carmine Falcone. This is where the Penguin comes into the game. Gordon and Bullock pay Cobblepot a visit, knowing that he can help get the dirt on Falcone and Loeb. They want to know where Loeb is hiding his “Super Secret Blackmail Hoard,” which is also the name of my new band. Penguin helps them find it – sort of. It’s actually the home of a hilarious old couple who also happen to be henchmen. They’re housing a secret, but it’s not files – it’s actually Loeb’s crazy daughter. Loeb’s been hiding her in the attic since she accidentally-on-purpose killed her mother. It’s not the secret they went in for, but it works! Meanwhile, Penguin gets something pretty sweet out of the deal himself: Jim now owes him a favor, no questions asked. Considering the twisted way Cobblepot handles the old couple, Jim should probably be a little nervous.
Finally, Jim goes on a mission that actually pays off. After obtaining sufficient blackmail on Loeb, he has the fuel he needs to make a set of demands. First, Flass gets a retrial – a real, fair one this time. Second, Loeb hands over his stockpile of blackmail material on all members of the GCPD. Third, he endorses Gordon for president of the policemen’s union. It’s a pretty hefty list of demands, but hey, Jim has something pretty big on Loeb and Loeb actually has nothing on Jim. So it works. Mostly. Jim gets a new trial for Flass and his endorsement, but Loeb isn’t willing to give up his blackmail files. He does relinquish Harvey Bullock’s, though. For Jim, I would call this a major win. Let’s just hope Cobblepot’s favor isn’t too horrific.