Batman can only become a necessity for Gotham when good men like Jim Gordon fail to turn around corruption within the police ranks or even defeat the local mobsters. At the end of “Welcome Back, Jim Gordon,” Gordon is basically friends with one of those mobsters and he is able to achieve a small victory against a corrupt cop.

But wait a second — this is only the 13th episode of the first season. And once again, producers of Gotham choose to rush, rush, rush storylines involving the only non-corrupt cop in the whole city. Luckily, the Bruce/Alfred storyline continues to move at a glacier-like, yet fascinating, pace.

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Gordon Takes Down a Cop

Bullock and Gordon are assigned a new case at the start of the episode. Bullock dubs it a “public service homicide.” Bullock and Arnold Flass, who was seen in the last episode mocking Nygma, seem pretty disinterested in the dead body, but Gordon notices a false bottom in one of the victim’s shoes and discovers some hidden drugs. 

A witness named Leon Winkler comes forward and he’s brought down to the precinct. Before Gordon or Bullock get a chance to question him, he’s murdered by an ice pick — the same weapon used on the victim from that morning according to Nygma.

Gordon right away wants to start accusing a fellow cop, but the Chief warns him not to go down that road. We’re then treated to another lame musical montage of Gordon interrogating cops and security officers and getting nowhere until Bullock offers to join in on one of the interrogations.

They then get a lead and are pointed in the direction of a detective named Delaware. Gordon confronts Delaware in the parking garage, and after placing him in cuffs, Gordon discovers the same kind of drugs in his trunk that he found on the victim earlier in the episode.

Bullock is furious with Gordon for not bringing in Delaware quietly. Later, Flass claims the drugs Gordon found in Delaware’s car are part of an undercover investigation and the Chief pulls Gordon and Bullock off the case. Bullock tells Gordon to give it up because Flass is protected by “serious people.”

They eventually get another lead and head to a stash house where they observe Delaware and other cops loading boxes. A fight breaks out and Delaware is able to produce a warrant to search, in Gordon’s words, their own stash house. Back at the precinct, the Chief tells Bullock and Gordon that Winkler’s death, believe it or not, was ruled a suicide and Jim needs to move on.

Instead, Jim goes to Penguin, who is overjoyed to see him. He even introduces Jim to his mother, who has already heard stories about her son’s “friend.” Jim asks for dirt on Flass, and Penguin says he’ll give it to him for free since they’re friends. He even promises not to hurt anyone in doing so.

One of Penguin’s enforcers confronts Delaware and his wife (I’m assuming it’s his wife.) He partially drowns Delaware’s wife in the bathtub while questioning Delaware with a pointed gun. The enforcer then goes to see Gordon and tells him that Flass and Delaware were working together. He even is able to produce the murder weapon. 

Gordon goes to arrest Flass in the precinct, who practically screams that there’s no way he’s being arrested. A crowd starts to gather to watch and I start to wonder why this moment, which should feel momentous, is being wasted on episode 13 as opposed to a season finale or, hell, a series finale.

Gordon gives a boring speech about how he’s arresting Flass no matter what. The Chief approaches and is actually the one to do it, while Flass’ friends shoot daggers through their eyes at Gordon. This should be a cheer-worthy moment, but it doesn’t feel that way because it all happens so, so fast. (Pretty typical with this series.)

At the end of the episode, Delaware visits Gordon in a dark alley and asks him to keep his wife and kids out of everything. He’s on his knees begging when the episode ends.

Fish Swims Out of Gotham

Fish, meanwhile, starts off the episode in a pretty bad situation. She’s about to be tortured by a family man, a man named Bob with two teenage daughters, when Butch, who escaped earlier, rescues her before Bob is able to destroy one of her kneecaps. When she regains consciousness in a hotel room, she demands she and Butch find Penguin.

Penguin, meanwhile, has taken over Fish’s club and restaurant. He even brings his mom to show off his new business. Butch and Fish confront him there after Penguin’s mother leaves and Penguin gets drunk and makes an ass out of himself in his new establishment.

Penguin wants to work together, but Fish refuses. She says she made him. Penguin laughs and tells her he was working with Falcone from the beginning. Victor then enters with some henchmen and gets into a shootout with Butch. Both Butch and Fish are able to escape, but one of Victor’s henchmen is killed.

In nearby tunnels, Butch helps Fish escape and offers to slow them down. When Victor catches up with him, he shoots Butch in the leg and says, “What do you think, girls? Should we kill him or take him home to play with him?” And with that, Butch’s fate is left up in the air.

Fish, meanwhile, heads to the Port of Gotham where Bullock catches up with her. Fish is going to leave town for a bit and then come back and kill Penguin. Bullock warns her not to come back, but she asks Bullock to find Butch — something that could result in an interesting plotline.

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Bruce Gives Up on Selina

Bruce and Alfred return to the show in this episode, and I for one couldn’t be happier. Alfred is driving Bruce around Gotham — they’re looking for Selina. Bruce wants to walk around the block, but Alfred is still worried about the assassins that tried to kill Bruce and Selina a few episodes ago.

While on the street, Bruce and Alfred run into Ivy who is willing to pass along a message that Bruce is looking for Selina in exchange for $20.

Selina visits Bruce later in the mansion where he’s playing chess by himself. He presents her with a present: a snow globe. He even asks Selina if she wants to stay in the house with him. All of a sudden, Selina switches gears and tells him to stop hassling her, even though she was enjoying his company a few moments earlier. She doesn’t seem to like the pressure he’s putting on her by offering her free room and board.

Selina then claims she lied and didn’t see who killed his parents. She basically breaks his heart. Later that night, Bruce has smashed the snow globe and is crying when Alfred comes in.

Alfred basically calls him a wussy and tells him to get over it. And I start to wonder why I initially hated Alfred in the pilot. What a great re-interpretation of the character and a fun way to prove that the Alfred/Bruce relationship is way more watchable than the Gordon/Bullock one.

Other Odds and Ends

— The romantic dance, if you can call it that, continues to progress between Nygma and Kringle. Nygma gives her a greeting card that Flass and other detectives openly mock. But it makes an impression on Kringle (she calls it “thoughtful”), who is slowly warming to the creepy future villain.

— Flass has been a pivotal, corrupt Gotham detective in past Batman stories. He was even in the movie Batman Begins. Learn more about him here.

— While we don’t see Dr. Leslie Thompkins this week, she is referenced by Bullock, who mocks Gordon for getting caught making out with her.

Gotham airs Mondays at 8pm on FOX.

(Image courtesy of FOX)

Alan Danzis

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV