I am well aware that I am not the biggest fan of the Jim Gordon character on this show. With all the oddballs and weirdos running around the city, the more-or-less straightarrow cop who snarls most of his dialogue is kind of an odd man out.
But when he has a good plotline, my god, does the show make the most of it.
Following the batspit insane season opener, I would argue the show calmed down a little. There’s some Riddler amnesia stuff going on, and Bruce makes a trip to go find “the Witch” near the park, and of course it’s Ivy. Wasn’t Ivy planning something big when last the show featured her? Sure seemed like it. Never mind all that. Bruce needs to rescue her from some vigilantes since Ivy, and only Ivy, might have a way to fix Selina’s severed spine. She does, and the end result is a Selina with cat eyes when no one is looking, and for TV, it wasn’t a bad effect.
But then there’s the main plot, one that seems equal parts The Warriors and Escape from New York. A kid stumbles into the precinct house, saying he and a lot of other kids were being held as slave labor for some gang that thinks they can see the future with drugs. Gordon, being Gordon, saddles up some cops including Bullock and what limited ammo they have and head off to rescue the kids. That requires first going to Barbara to get permission to cross her territory and borrow some vehicles. Small problem: the Penguin put a big price on Gordon’s head because reasons.
“Because reasons” could describe a lot of what happens on Gotham, and after all this time, it still doesn’t really bother me.
As it is, the cops have to cross another gang’s territory, this one some sort of day-glow Day of the Dead types, and then go into hostile territory to rescue the children, a task that they largely succeed at except that Bullock, Gordon, and three kids, one of a brother to the escaped kid or something, are stranded and alone with maybe four bullets to their names.
Here’s where I gotta give the show props: the season four finale featured some new psychos that got loose in the mess, characters I didn’t recognize from any Batman comics, and that I figured I would never see again. I was wrong there. The masked mother-and-son pop up in an abandoned hotel Gordon and his group briefly stop at to hide for a bit and rest. That has the moment when Bullock finds a basin full of human teeth in the basement, and that creepy mother sure is creepy…though not as much when the sun comes in and the mask comes off.
I even don’t mind too much that Barbara shows up to save the day. Yes, I still firmly believe that Barbara is no criminal mastermind, but she can have dramatically good timing. Pretty much every bad guy on this show and some of the good guys have that. I never questioned it when, say, the Penguin would just show up somewhere, guns a’blazing, and do what he had to do. I won’t question it here. Especially since Barbara has those warped jealousy-type feelings for Jim, they borrowed cars from her so she would know if the other cops came back without them, and Jim might make a good ally against the Penguin. That’s not the work of a criminal mastermind. That’s the work of any Gotham villain, and she most certainly is one of those, and at least she has in-character reasons to do what she did.
So, this time, I liked the Gordon plot best, and I didn’t even mind the other ones. There wasn’t enough to get more than a slight feel for whatever Nygma is doing, and Bruce is still more or less Bruce, even if he isn’t so naive anymore, proving at least one character on this show had something like a character arc.