(Beware, spoilers below?)
Barbara begins the episode as the most periled of the damsels in distress. Irrespective of thinly veiled threats, she’s resistant when Jim tries to send her away. He needs to take care of somethings and knows the safest way to do this is if Barbara is out of the way. She eventually assents.
There’s silence as Jim returns: he’s dared to be the cop that doesn’t assent to the rules. In the world of Gotham we’ve been made very clear that this doesn’t stand.
Fish Mooney is understandably furious, but Falcone is calm, doing no more than sending his top man Victor to fetch Jim. In these moments we truly see the kind of attitude that leads Jim into becoming the friend and ally to Batman. Despite an admirable shootout, Jim still gets shot several times before being rescued by the MCU. He wakes up in a rodent filled dissection lab.
When Moroni decides not give over Penguin, what begins is the crime war between the two clans. The show manages to well convey that Penguin might be (though I’m sure the word is is) playing them both. He leads the Moroni clan to hit one of Fish’s allies.In this moment we see the Penguin truly come into his own and rise up to slowly become the man he does one day. By managing to eliminate one of his henchmen Penguin is rising up the ladder even more. As he stands behind Moroni, symmetrical in place with Fish, it’s clear what this really means.
Bruce, being the insightful child he is, realises that Gordon expects to die for what’s happened. He demands to know the truth, but explains that everything (including the murder of the Wayne’s) is interconnected. Before Gordon leaves Bruce gives him a tight hug. Jim tells him of his plan to arrest both Falcone and the Mayor for the framing of Mario Pepper.
For Falcone, however, this isn’t enough. He claims to have Barbara – but won’t prove it to Jim. The lily livered mayor is the source of hilarity in tough times. Falcone changes his mind and decides to let them all go, but what’s the catch? The catch is that one day Jim will see that he was right. If any good has come out of this however, it’s that Barbara and Jim has become closer than ever. We can see how she’d be the mother of Batgirl one day.
Before the end there’s one more twist, one that I wasn’t expecting in the slightest. The Penguin has been snitching for Falcone since the first episode, worming his way into the Moroni clan on purpose. We also realise that it was on the Panguin’s orders that Jim was freed.
This episode of Gotham is far more than I thought it would be indeed makes the show all the more intriguing. Some of the decisions that may seem illogical earlier on are resolved or explained in some way by the end. There’s no villain of the week but instead a much greater sense of the big world of Gotham on an unstoppable ride towards an explosive finish. I’m surprised the speed at which the writers have arrived at this point and I for one hope this bodes good things. There are still questions, of course. Why did Falcone take in Fish’s girl so easily? Is this part of him playing her, now that he knows her game? Anyone else get the feeling that Victor will play a bigger part in future? Does the fact that his ringtone is Funkytown mean anything? Questions, questions…