We’re back with another Gotham recap! In the last episode, we got lots of set up for the inevitable mob war between the Falcone family and the up and coming Maroni family. Now it’s time to pay off all those stories that the last episode spent building up! Oh no wait, we’ve got to do an episode about Bullock. Sigh… okay then.
The episode begins with a creepy bald man putting on a lucha lebre mask. I doubt it’s Bane though because the guy is kind of scrawny, and he calls himself The Spirit of the Goat.
This might just be a flashback case considering that Bullock is with a different partner, and is actually trying to do his fucking job. They arrive at what they believe to be the goat dude’s lair, and Harvey goes on ahead without waiting for backup. Is impatience REALLY that heroic? I mean, we see this all the time where the bad ass or non-corrupt cop is the first one to jump into a dangerous situation without anyone to cover them. [examples] are all guilty of this, and it’s kind of a bullshit standard for good guys. So Bullock runs inside with his partner begrudgingly behind him, and they find one of his victims strung up on some sort of arch.
I’ll give credit where it’s due. This staging and art direction scene are very reminiscent of stuff like Saw and Dexter, where our heroes are on the killer’s turf and there could be traps with every step. Bullock’s partner (Dix) falls into one of the traps and dies of… falling I guess. It’s really not that much of a drop, but I guess they can’t put spikes there without making the show TVMA, so I’ll let it slide. Bullock caps the psychotic fucker and tries to help Dix before we cut to the opening and get back to present day. Honestly, the only weak part of the opening is the fact that “The Spirit of the Goat” is really fucking stupid. I can’t find anything that suggests this is a reference to anything in DC comics, so I’m going to blame them entirely for whatever the hell this dummy is supposed to be. I know I’ve said before that I think the show works best when it’s both serious and absurd, but the killer’s menace still needs to sell, whether or not he’s ridiculous or stupid looking (see Joker). They didn’t pull it off here, but if Goat Boy is what it takes to finally give me a reason to give a shit about Bullock, I’ll take it. Back in the present, the cops have just stumbled upon a murder scene that is just like the ones that The Spirit of the Goat used to leave. Bullock is on the case and the actor here is doing a damn good job right now. I believe it when he looks at this scene with a haunted look in his eyes as the memories come flooding back.
Gordon’s not on the scene because he’s talking with Barbara and they’re trying to build a truce. It’s probably the best scene Barbara has had in this series, but it’s still not great. For one thing, I don’t feel like this truce is earned because we haven’t seen her since she broke it off with Gordon. Has anything changed since then? If it did, then why didn’t you show it to us? Still, Barbara is a lot more understanding here than she has been in the past, but I’m still not sure if telling her anything is a good idea. I still remember the last time you did that, and she went straight to the newspapers with it. Now that Gordon’s love life is back on track (because we were ALL worried about that, right?) we cut to Montoy and Allen (Major Crimes Unit) who are searching the shipyard for a witness to Gordon shooting Cobblepot. If you recall, he was SUPPOSED to shoot Cobblepot in the first episode, but faked it by shooting next to the kids head and throwing him in the river. Allen says that today’s the last day they can look because Major Crimes is closing the case tomorrow, so obviously they find someone seconds later who witnessed the crime. Seriously, did that line accomplish ANYTHING!? The tension lasted for what, six seconds before they found a witness? Anyway, some Norwegian bum identifies Gordon which I guess is enough for Montoya to do a happy dance because she gets to arrest her ex-girlfriends’ boyfriend. Great.
Back at the crime scene, Gordon has just arrived at the scene of the crime where Bullock is extra grouchy. They head to the victim’s house where her family is in deep mourning. In fact, the dad says he’s been having bad dreams for a while now about some dark overbearing presence. Wait, what? There’s also a family therapist who’s there for some reason and seems to have the family wrapped around her little finger. Okay, that’s it. SHE obviously did it. I’m guessing that she probably “HYPNOTIZED” the father into doing it for reasons. Back at the Police Station, we get a scene with Nygma which… yeah they’re gonna make him the Riddler any day now. He’s being a huge fucking creep to this woman who works the evidence room.
It’s annoying how swiftly they’re pushing him as a bad guy considering how cluttered the show is already. We don’t have enough going on with the mobs, The Penguin, Montoya and Allen, and the crime of the week? We need to rush this shit as well? Wouldn’t it awesome if he didn’t become The Riddler at all in this series? How much of the Batman mythos do they plan to put in before Batman gets to show up? Anyway, we cut back to Gordon and Bullock who just thought of a new lead (might be a maintenance worker in the building) and are heading to the autopsy of the woman who was killed. We then cut to Cobblepot who’s just arriving home to his poor beleaguered mother.
This relationship between the two is amazingly strange. Her mother is REALLY worried that he’s running off with floozies, but is also the first one to sing her son’s praises. She seems to want the kid ALL to herself, but I doubt the show will ever go THAT far with it. Still, I like seeing these interactions between them which really help to develop pathos for The Penguin. Back at the autopsy, they find something they shouldn’t. Stitched underneath the woman’s skin right around the forehead is an old penny. This is a detail that was never released or even filed into the official report, which means that only two people could possibly know about it; Bullock and his old partner Dix. Apparently he’s still alive and the fall crippled. The Captain (Essen) orders them to go ask Dix if he ever told anyone which is something that Bullock clearly does not want to do. After that we get a scene with Bruce who’s watching a news report about the Spirit of the Goat, whose M.O. is to kidnap and murder the first born child’s of rich people exclusively. Alfred thinks they should leave town for a bit, but Bruce refuses and gives a super emo answer (There’s no one to kidnap me from). Ugh… while I’m not a fan of super whiney Bruce here, he isn’t really wrong about staying in town. Despite the news saying it’s rich kids who are being taken, it’s clear that all the victims are hot chicks in their early twenties. I’m sure Bruce is fine.
We get another scene with Nigma being an oblivious dick to the records lady and he gets completely dressed down by her. Now he doesn’t react in an overly angry manner; he just kind of sulks away in shame. I HOPE this means that he’s not completely insane yet and this brief excursion into his private life is just a red herring rather than the warning shots to an upcoming storyline. Like I said, it’s way too early (and the story is way too cluttered) for this to become a thing. Back at the actual PLOT of this episode, Bullock and Gordon arrive at the hospital that Dix is staying in. Dix tells them that he didn’t assay anything and that the answer is that the killer isn’t working alone. For some reason Bullock doesn’t like this idea and storms off leaving Gordon and Dix alone. Dix tells Gordon to watch out for Bullock because he’s actually a super duper awesome hero guy. Seriously? Okay fine, he MIGHT have come off that way in the flashback scene, but we know better. I don’t care if his “intentions are good” or if he’s simply “strayed off the right path.” Whether or not he has a good heart, the guy is still a scumbag who’s always lazy, and doesn’t give a shit about doing his job well. I’m almost certain that whatever characterization they give Bullock this episode; he’ll still end up be the exact same douchebag he’s been up to now.
We cut to some rich kid (female in her twenties obviously) who’s packing for a trip and is all alone in her giant mansion with only the maid to keep her company. OR IS SHE!?
Yeah, Goat Man takes them both out easy using chloroform. This however proves to be a mistake on his part because now the police can narrow their search pool to any type of maintenance worker who works at BOTH apartment buildings that the victims lived in. Unfortunately for the cops though, they now have a ticking clock to beat because The Goat has someone in his grasps that probably won’t live much longer. We cut to Barbara who confronts Montoya while she’s leaving the… building she works in. I don’t THINK it’s the Gotham PD because we never see her or Allen there unless they need to see Gordon. Any, Barbara’s trying to get answers about what Gordon is hiding from her, and in exchange she’ll give Montoya information that Gordon trusted to her. Nice. I know that Barbara thinks that Gordon did nothing wrong so any information she gives Montoya would only FURTHER prove his innocence (or something like that), but didn’t you two JUST have a conversation about trusting one another? Montoya isn’t buying into Barbara’s ploy, but does tell her that Gordon’s arrest is going to be tonight. Now why the hell would you tell her that? You KNOW she’ll just turn around and tell him!! Did you really think that Barbara would hear that and go “Oh. Well now I don’t love him. You were right the whole time. Please sleep with me.” For fuck’s sake, between these two and Fish Mooney, I’m beginning to think that Gotham is only taking the WORST aspects from Christopher Nolan. We can’t afford cinematic action or sharp writing, but by golly will we make all our female characters overly emotional manipulators of stoic men!! Ugh… back at the police station, Nygma has narrowed down the Spirit of the Goat suspects down to a single guy who JUST SO HAPPENS to live at the scene of the original crime. Hold on, WHAT!?
WHY THE HELL DIDN’T THEY CHECK THERE FIRST!? If everyone here is assuming that this is a copycat killer, than why wouldn’t they check The Goat’s kill house!? See, this is why Gotham is pretty weak as a crime show. Almost every Crime of the Week so far has been pretty damn easy four our heroes to solve if they would just get their head out of their asses. That and the criminals always leave a huge fucking trail of breadcrumbs for them to follow. Balloon Man in episode three carried around an official document with his fucking name on it. The hit man in episode four used the same name for both his secret identity and when he was on the job. The viper guy’s accomplice from episode five gave up every piece of information that the cops needed to stop him for no reason other than to gloat. It just comes across as lazy when there are huge and obvious details are overlooked by these bad guys that our heroes can pull out of there ass when the plot demands that our heroes find the crook now. Sure enough, they make it to the abandoned building and find the girl there. The Goat this time around has apparently not had time to set any traps because his big plan to take out the cops is to charge them.
Gordon’s helping the girl while Bullock is fighting The Spirit of the Goat. The Goat ends up pinning down Bullock, but Gordon comes out of know where and fucking annihilates this nutty bastard with a flying tackle!!
After that complete and utter ownage by Gordon, the two of them drag Goat Man to the police station. Wait, why the hell didn’t they bring back-up!? We cut from there to Oswald in the tub. We then cut to Selina Kyle who’s breaking into Wayne Manor for some reason. And steals one of Bruce’s… lighters? I think?
There have definitely been hints that Selina has had an interest in Bruce since she saw his parents get gunned down in the street, but by simply reminding us of that fact by having her steal mementos is just a way to fill time and remind us that she exists. It’s not like there’s any follow-up to this scene. Hell, we don’t even know if Bruce even NOTICES that something was taken, though they’re probably saving that for the NEXT episode. We cut from there to… wow. Wasn’t planning on seeing that.
It gets even better when his mommy comes in to coo him reassurances while he’s playing with his boner.
I’m not sure how this is going to play out. I mean if the show is willing to be THIS interesting then I’m all for it, but I doubt that Gotham of all shows is gonna go the Bates Motel route. Hell, Batman Returns is too edgy for this shit. We cut back to Gotham PD where everyone is dancing for joy over catching The Spirit of the Goat except for Bullock. In a completely out of character moment, Bullock actually wants to make sense of the case rather than immediately close it because they have a suspect. Oh no wait, it’s a case he’s got a personal connection to so that’s why he cares for once. Wait, I think I’ve made this point already. I’ve mentioned how annoyed I am that this character development will most likely be non-existent the moment this episode ends, right? Anyway, Gordon heads home and finds that Barbara has packed his bags and wants him to leave town. Smart idea Barbara. Nothing better for someone facing a murder trial than to flee the city to avoid arrest! Naturally Gordon tells her it’s a stupid idea and instead accepts his impending arrest.
So while Gordon’s off to face life without parole, Bullock has gone back to the family of the first victim because he’s been hit with an epiphany. The therapist who was there the first time he visited the family is there now and doing some Therapeutic Hypnotism on the first victim’s father. Big fucking shocker, it turns out that she hypnotized both the ORIGINAL Spirit of the Goat and the new one as a way to kill off rich kids because the one percent can go fuck themselves, am I right?
So let me get this straight Gotham. Vigilantes who fight against institutionalized oppression and corruption are bad. RICH vigilantes who will one day beat up petty criminals and guys in clown makeup are good. Got it. Glad we could get that all cleared up. The therapist admits all this to Bullock but isn’t too worried because she’s got an ace up her sleeve.
I REALLY hate hypnotism in TV shows and movies. Hell, it even drags down great movies like Oldboy, and that’s a god damn masterpiece! You want an excuse for some old rich fucker to tackle a cop? HYPNOTISM!!! Naturally Bullock is able to take on this old fart, and shoots the therapist in the leg during her valiant escape. So Bullock gets to close the case that’s been haunting him for years. Back at the police station though, things aren’t looking good for an arrest.
Oh hey! Let’s forget about that! Gordon’s getting dragged through the police station by Montoya and Allen. Everyone there (including Bullock and Captain Essen) find out that Gordon has been arrested for killing Oswald Coblepot. Essen tries to get Montoya and Allen to drop the charges on her officer, and the tension in the air only gets thicker and thicker until someone comes along to break it.
That’s right! Oswald has come to the Police Station for whatever reason (I’m guessing to watch at least four people in there crap their pants). While Gordon may be free to go (presumably), Bullock is absolutely livid with his partner who was supposed to kill Oswald in the first episode as a way to keep the both of them off of Falcone’s bad side. And so the episode ends with Gordon trying to explain himself and Bullock ready to punch him in the face, therefore losing all the good will as a somewhat competent cop this episode.
Another mediocre episode from a mediocre series. Bullock actually getting a chance to show some depth (which gives Donal Logue a reason to act), but nothing about this subplot implies any growth for the character once this case is closed. Even if we ignore that, The Spirit of the Goat is just a stupid persona and the final reveal (HYPNOTISM!!!!) is laughably stupid. That said; The Penguin’s badass moment at the end there will hopefully lead to SOMETHING other than Gordon getting in hot water with the Falcone family. Not bad as a character study for Bullock, but the fact that that aspect of the episode will most likely have zero impact on the future of this series makes it somewhat disappointing. Sorry Mr. Logue. You’re probably gonna go back to being a fucking moron.