Gotham Season 1 Episode 13 Review: Welcome Back, Jim Gordon

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Can we agree that the Gotham City Police Department is not the safest place, contrary to what Jim Gordon seems to think?

Victor Zsaz, Sal Maroni and The Electrocutioner have definitely blown Jim's theory out of the water, and after Gotham Season 1 Episode 13, Arnold Flass can definitely be added to that list.

In a city so steeped in corruption (and it can only get worse before Batman decides to show up), if someone wants to find you, they will, no matter the hiding spot.

So it wasn't really a surprise that a witness was murdered right in the department, and it wasn't really surprising that it was Arnold. He might as well have been holding a sign that said he did it, even before Jim learned he was "protected."

The corruption of the police force could be fascinating to explore (the concept has been done in countless movies and shows, i.e., The Shield), but by the time Jim solved the case and prepared to arrest Arnold, it all felt so bland. These characters keep getting brought in only to be taken out right away, and Arnold never has a chance to be anything more than a slimy and corrupt cop taken down by Jim.

Wouldn't it be more interesting to see this explored throughout the season? Wouldn't it be interesting to see Jim not tie everything up with a bow by the end of the hour?

Plus, why wouldn't Montoya and Allen, who were super set on trying to bring down a "corrupt" Jim, not try and get evidence against someone like Arnold? Or maybe they have been and we'll just see that take place later on, that is unless Montyoa is still stuck dealing with Barbara drama.

And that always feels like a continual thing with Gotham, having interesting ideas but never really fully fleshing them out.

I'd like to assume that we'll get to see some repercussions for Jim messing with someone as protected as Arnold, and even Arnold's associate begging Jim to leave his family alone was an intriguing turn of events. It sets up something beyond just cleaning up the streets, and further establishes the larger forces at work amidst all of Jim's efforts. What if someone like the chief or the commissioner is more locked into the corruption of the city than we realize?

Who is top dog of the corrupt? Carmine? He seems to have returned to power. Sal? He's slowly pushing for more. Fish? She messed up her position in that fight.

Yet, Fish seems poised to make her own return.

It wasn't really a surprise that she and Butch managed to escape their capture (the classic villain mistake of not just killing off their opponents), but the stretched out torture sequence was clearly just so Jada Pinkett Smith could ham it up. She did manage to smack Oswald around (after a very weird celebratory party at the club), before Victor showed up to clean up the problem.

Butch stuck true to his loyalties to Fish, taking a bullet for her and letting her escape. However, without him, I'm not quite sure how Fish will ever attempt to regain power.

Maybe, Harvey Bullock? I've certainly been enjoying his quips far more and his exasperation with Jim's head-on approach to fighting the bad guys, but when it came to his kiss with Fish, it felt forced. I understand there was a connection between them, so I guess it made sense he would help her (that time when she had him tied up and ready to be executed? That must have been her way of saying she loved him.), but it really feels like Fish's time should be done. She got a chance to live. Or maybe, she'll come back with another future Batman villain to help her actually take our Carmine? I don't know...

I kind of enjoyed seeing Bruce and Alfred, especially Alfred as he's ridiculously underused, but their scenes reminded me of Barbara's in Gotham Season 1 Episode 12: What did they really add? Could we have cut the scenes and still made sense of what was going on with the characters later on? Sometimes I feel like the show tries to cram too many characters into the hour as if it feels it has to.

You could argue that Selina telling Bruce she didn't really see his parents' murder was some news (if she's telling the truth), but, if so, does Jim have any real leads into finding the killer? Is that a storyline we'll get back to?

We certainly see Edward and his romantic affections for Kris Kringle far more often. But that odd relationship feels so one sided even with Kris trying to be nice to him during this hour. Perhaps she sets him on the path to becoming the Riddler? Just where does the show want to go with that relationship?

If you've been liking what Gotham has been doing so far, then you're probably going to enjoy this hour as well. I see "Welcome Back, Jim Gordon" as a continuation of Gotham's focus on cases of the week and maintaining characters and story that are great in concept, but just haven't been executed well enough yet. There's still time, what with 22 episodes for Gotham Season 1 and the series getting picked up for Gotham Season 2. Let's just hope the show soon takes advantage of its time.

What did you think of the hour? Can Fish make a triumphant return? What will the repercussions be for arresting Arnold? Sound off below, and watch Gotham online for all the pre-Batman action.

Welcome Back, Jim Gordon Review

Editor Rating: 2.6 / 5.0
  • 2.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.6 / 5.0 (16 Votes)

Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.

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Gotham Season 1 Episode 13 Quotes

Friends don't owe friends, silly. They just do favors because they want to.

Oswald

That's all you got? You are going to bore me to death.

Fish