Gotham: ‘Arkham,’ ‘Viper’ & ‘Spirit of the Goat’

Gordon and Captain Essen talk over a case

Spirit of the Goat

“Gotham’s golden rule, Harvey. No heroes.”

Harvey Bullock, white knightSo, a murderer believes he’s the reincarnation of a goat spirit that captures and abducts young women to sacrifice them on his altar. Alright alright alright. It’s a flashback to when Bullock was working with his previous partner, hunting the goat and not killing, but crippling him. Look at that, Harvey Bullock has a heart. And of course, after losing his last partner, who he was clearly close to, he won’t let himself care about Gordon. Ugh, manpain.

“This is the black box, we don’t open the black box.”

And, bam, the first breach of personal space. The touch of admonition and concern to the chest.

Barbara and Gordon finally have that talk

“I’m not apologising for my past.”
“I’m not asking you to, you’re not listening. […] I came here to be a cop. This city needs something else.”
“It’s ok. I understand. I’m just asking for one thing. Half of what you have to carry. God knows I dumped my half on you and you carry it.”
“Barbara, what I’m dealing with, it’s so dangerous.”
“Half. Of what you carry. If you think I care about the risk, then you’re forgetting who I am.”
“I swear I’m not. Are we ok? Are we still fighting?”
“We’re negotiating terms. […] You let me in. Then, we’re ok.”

It’s funny, because we don’t know who Barbara is. Apparently, she’s a lawyer — is she? I don’t know the comics. Of course, this was written for both DC Comics buffs and those who are new to the franchise (at least I hope so), so, writers, I got news for you: there are no shortcuts just because you’re too lazy to properly flesh Barbara out. We know nothing about her that doesn’t have to do with her relationship with Gordon. And before you say, “But we know about her and Montoya” — nope. That still pertains to Gordon’s plotline. We know nothing about her that doesn’t have to do with him. About her life, about her work as it is now. What does she do, how does she earn her money? Does she love her work? Who are her clients? What kind of law does she practise? Could she become a player in Gotham’s world?

MCU are hot on Gordon’s trail

“We got the son of a bitch. We got Gordon.”

Guys, I saw the photo. I know what you’re after. Stop spelling this shit out for me with those pseudo-dramatic one-liners when I’m perfectly capable of connecting the dots and the actors are perfectly capable of not using dialogue to convey what they’re thinking. Christ.

“Besides, why would the Goat take me? There’s no-one to take me from.”

Nawww, Bruce, you’ve hurt Alfred’s feelings, you little shit.

Nygma harrassing Kristin down in the archives — it’s not only creepy and sleazy, but it’s also the convention of 1950s glasses. Man, Riddler, you are terrible at flirting — and even worse at boundaries. It was inappropriate, you dick. Just as sniffing her is when she walks past. Oh boy, the women on this show are in trouble. Oh for goodness’ sake, he has a question mark drawn on his mug. Yes, he’s the Riddler, we get it, move on.

The epic romance of Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock

Going to see Harvey’s former partner is the first real hit of character development we’re getting for him. Again, it’s not done with the feather, but with the brick to the head, but in this case that actually makes sense — because we’re supposed to be as surprised as Gordon is.

“Watch out for him.”
“Oh yeah, why’s that?”
“He’s a loose cannon. He thinks he’s a white knight, jumping into the breach, like some idiot in the movies.”
“Talking about Bullock here?”
“We’re talking about Bullock here.”
“Harvey Bullock?”
“Harvey Bullock.”

Dawww, and Gordon will draw him back out of his shell, will make him want to be that man again, fighting to save Gotham, and openly caring about people (and each other). I’m foreseeing epic partner romance. That’s of course also when Gordon finds out that Bullock has been paying for Dix’s medical care (and magazine subscriptions). Just look at Gordon’s perception of his partner changing right there, on the spot. Isn’t that adorable? Ooh, and the second touch of camaraderie, the hand on the shoulder, which will at some point become the hand on the back of the neck, protective and grateful after the next scrape they come out of alive. But not before Gordon claps his shoulder at the end of his shift. When Bullock insists that they’re missing something, that’s when Gordon sees it. Bullock wants to make this stop more than anything, and something’s niggling at him, and Gordon, for the first time, sees that white knight. We see that white knight when he goes to interrogate the therapist — that’s when we see for the first time that he’s an astute detective, that he’s got bite, that he’s smart and knows how to trap someone in their own lies. We also see that he cares.

“G’night.”
“Good night, Jim.”

But if the writers think that this will draw me in and keep me watching if the ladies’ lot doesn’t improve, they’re wrong. There’s plenty of cop partner romances out there. (And I’m calling it romance because Jude Law was right when he refused to call Holmes & Watson’s relationship a bromance. He’s right.) I’m not here solely for these two idiots. What I love is that this episode’s villain was a woman, and fun one at that. (What I didn’t love so much was her screeching and wailing when she got shot in the foot.)

Ok, low lighting is funky and all, but that light in the rich young lady’s house is ridiculous.

And now, Selina is breaking into Gotham Manor to steal shit and watch Bruce sleep? God, no. That would be fun, though, if Alfred could take them both under his wing and they could grow up together.

The stakes are raised when Montoya and Crispus do arrest Jim for the murder of Oswald Cobblepot. Funnily enough, Harvey is the first to jump to Gordon’s defence — instead of, whatever, leaving him to his fate like he probably would have a few months ago. Of course, there’s always the danger of Gordon implicating him as well, so he’s not just doing it out of altruism, but he really doesn’t want the boy scout to go to jail, either. That’s of course when Gordon makes it clear that, yeah, it was all a lie, he really didn’t shoot Cobblepot, and Bullock realises what he’s telling him a second too late — now he’s under arrest, too, and things look really bad for all of three seconds. Right up until Cobblepot himself waddles in through the door and lets them all know he’s not actually dead. Now the question is: what the hell are Gordon and Bullock gonna tell the MCU about that particular scrape? “Falcone made me shoot him, but I didn’t, not really?” — “Oh, and I didn’t report him because, uh, I’m on the payroll as well?” Yeah, that’s gonna work out great.

“You son of a bitch.”
Harvey.”
“You son of a bitch!”

This is the first time that I’m actually curious about what’s gonna happen next episode, though. That’s a novelty on this show.

Next on GothamPenguin’s Umbrella.