We open this week on a LOL-worthy flashback showing Bullock as a Gordon-esque rookie detective with a heavy drinking partner named, appropriately, Dix. This proves that Harvey learned how to be one from someone who was actually named for his attitude.
They’re chasing a killer who calls himself “The Spirit of the Goat”, a shoddily-disguised Batman-looking criminal. Bullock’s partner falls through a trap door (released by The Goat) and falls about ten feet to career ending injury. Bullock opens fire and kills The Goat.
Cut to now, Bullock is “on the clock before the boy scout” as Gordon isn’t yet at their crime scene. A woman, rather ritualistically strung up on a small boat with spent candles lining the rail of the bridge. Harvey is freaked because this is the exact sort of murder The Goat perpetrated back in the day. Apparently, the goat preys on well-to-do first-born daughters. This one was a 21-year-old socialite.
We soon find out why Gordon didn’t make it in to work on time. Barb is chewing his ear off about keeping secrets. He says he’ll tell her the truth (everything he can, dun dun daaa) before storming out of their posh apartment to do his job.
He meets Bullock at the scene where we get another few playful glimpses at Ed Nigma, Bullock shows how freaked out he is by being nervous and standoffish (read: no different than usual). They leave the scene for the old, uber-rich parents of the murdered woman and the father claims he’s been having “strange dreams” while exhibiting either mild Parkinsons or alien hand syndrome. Bullock hides his fear behind dickishness when the family psychiatrist starts getting inquisitive.
Meanwhile, Nygma is investigating the old files. We prove that he’s a total creeper as he sniffs at the young female file clerk as she walks by then dissects her name (Kristen Kringle) and criticizes her filing system while attempting to hit on her in the most ineffective manner possible. I notice that they both have the same type of glasses which, in the Gotham universe, must be a flag for “really smart people”. Also, the file clerk dresses like a 50’s librarian so you know she has to be bookish. The stereotypes in this show just keep on coming.
Back to our intrepid team of dicks who are trying to figure out how the killer absconded with his victim from her locked home (another mansion bigger and better than what we’ve seen of the interior of Wayne Manor, by the way). Bullock remarks some more freaked-out history about the case and continues to hide behind his dick-shield. They figure that, like with the previous Goat, the killer may have some sort of janitorial or maintenance type access, granting him keys (as there was no sign of a forced break-in).
Oswald finally goes home to his crazy foreign mother. Mrs. Kapelput was worried that her son “was tangled up in some hussie’s demon purse” in what is clearly the best line of this show’s run to date. He explains to her that he’s been through hell and back. She blindly encourages him. The scene is hilarious.
Cut to the autopsy table with the dicks watching. Bullock suggests that they look under the scalp to find an incision at the base of the neck. It’s there, stitched shut, with a foreign object inside. Bullock calls that it will be a penny, and it is! He’s now committed to the idea that the original Goat is back from the dead! WOO SPOOKY!
Bullock explains, back at the main office, that it’s a specific kind of penny that was used by the original. They intentionally left this detail out of the file and the media so as not to inspire copycats. Chief Sarah Essen (God, that still bothers me…) forces Bullock to go talk to his old partner, Dix, as he was the only one besides Harvey who knew this detail and is still alive.
Cut to stately Wayne study where Bruce is watching coverage of the Goat murder. Alfred suggests that Bruce, as a first-born son of Gotham’s most powerful family, get out of town until the whole Goat thing blows over. Bruce, predictably, refuses siting that he “has work to do” and gets back to digging into his parents’ murder.
Back to Nygma, who is now rearranging Ms. Kringle’s entire file room. She’s predictably freaked out. You get that he likes her, she kinda likes him, he did what he did to try to help/impress her… blah blah, awkward flirting.
The dicks go to visit Dix in what looks like he shoddiest nursing home ever. Dix is in a wheelchair playing solitaire in a dimly lit room in case you thought he wasn’t lonely and sad enough. He lectures the dicks about Gotham’s “Golden Rule”: NO HEROES. Dix suggests a conspiracy of people rather than the one guy they killed so many years ago. Harvey doesn’t believe it and storms out. Dix tells Jim to watch out for Harvey because he’s a “real white-knight” type. Jim is obviously taken aback by this statement. We find out that Bullock has been paying Dix’s nursing home bill and ordering him dirty magazine subscriptions because, maybe, Bullock isn’t such a bad guy after all.
We then go to yet another place statelier than Wayne Manor and see a young woman preparing to go out and be The Goat’s next victim because she is stereotypically young, rich, and blonde. We’re shown that she leaves her cell phone on a table because why put it in your pocket, right? Her Latina maid gets taken down by the Goat right before the girl (SURPRISE!) gets snatched herself! We saw this exact scene on the horizon from about five-hundred miles away.
The dicks are still chasing people who would “have keys”. Bullock suggest bringing Nygma in on the case because he’s “freaky good with puzzles”.
Barb and Renee have an ex-girlfriend fight over Jim and Barb’s safety with him. Renee says she’s putting out a warrant for Gordon tonight and suggests that Babs leave town until shit goes down. Blah blah Barbara takes Jim’s side like a good little Stepford wife with a bisexual past.
Back at the station, Nygma comes up with another lead for the dicks (while showcasing the fact that he has a question mark coffee mug OMG FORESHADOWING) and the guys wind up at the giant empty house (still bigger than what we’ve seen of Wayne Manor) in which Dix was crippled during Bullock’s first encounter with the Goat ten years ago. The goat is prepping his victim when the dicks arrive, preparing her for the “sacrifice”. The Goat reveals himself in a very Batman way. Bullock goes to chase him down while Jim tends to the victim. Bullock and the Goat fight it out on a large sweeping stairway. The Goat keeps on about how he can’t be stopped and will always come back. Harvey gets his ass beat and Jim jumps in with the fists to take the Goat down, placing him under arrest.
After commercial, Selena breaks into Wayne Manor (through the window of the SAME STUDY! Does this house have ANY other rooms?) while Bruce sleeps on the couch (IN THE STUDY). She swipes something from Bruce’s desk, noting the massive conspiracy wall that Bruce has been accumulating. She beats it out of there as we hear Alfred tromping down the hall.
Oswald, at home, is being bathed by his mother which is NOT CREEPY AT ALL. She tells him that he can trust no one but his mother. He says he’s found someone else to trust. A policeman. A real friend.
At the station, we get some background on the Goat. He’s a maintenance man, with keys, something something criminal of the week behind bars but probably not really. Bullock thinks that, due to the similar circumstances, something “changed” the people who became the Goat. He’s noticeably shaken again and lets Gordon go home before the criminal seemingly wakes up from being The Goat, clenching his fist, to which Bullock responds “holy ghost on a bicycle”.
Barb warns Jim about Renee’s warrant claiming MCU now has a witness to the Cobblepot murder. Barb implores Jim to run (“Barb, I can’t run…”) just as there’s a knock on the door and Montoya and partner lead Jim away in cuffs.
Bullock goes back to the first victim’s house, interrupting a hypno-therapy session with the psychiatrist. He comes to the conclusion, in a roundabout way, that this hypno-therapist is initiating the Goat problem through her “public outreach” to the less-fortunate. She, as the real bad guy, claims to be doing Gotham a service by killing the children of it’s richest and most greedy. She pretty much confesses everything to Bullock for no good reason, apparently thinking she can get away with it. Bullock attempts to arrest her before using a hypnotic cue to send the old rich guy after Bullock as she calmly walks out. Bullock breaks free and shoots her in the leg and brings her in.
He’s explaining himself to the Captain when Montoya and partner bring in a very loudly protesting Jim Gordon who now openly admits to not killing Cobblepot. When Bullock rises to his defense, MCU takes him into custody as an accomplice. There is a bunch of fighting between GCPD and the MCU when suddenly… OSWALD WALkS IN! DUN DUN DAAAAAAAH! Cut to black.
I have to say, this week’s episode was the best so far. Only slightly cheesy, not too inaccurate, and much more of what I really want to see from this show.
The main good point: NO FISH MOONEY IN THIS EPISODE! Probably why it was the best one yet.
I’m not going to complain this time. This one was solid. Still not great, but MUCH improved over past weeks.
I continue to LOVE Oswald’s character. Nygma isn’t so bad either.
The only big problem I still have is that every structure in Gotham is more posh and expansive than Wayne Manor and that Jim Gordon lives in an impossible apartment.
Bidula’s Last Word: 5/10
Watchable this week. Hoping the show stays in this direction and, as long as it stays away from Fish Mooney, I have a feeling it’ll keep getting better. It probably won’t, because Jada Pinkett-Smith was already talking about the filming of future episodes in interviews. Maybe the writers will wise up by the end of the season and kill her off.
Keep fighting the good fight.