The misadventures of Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzine) have become almost embarrassingly typical in this series; he’s clean, his peers are corrupt, and he and his peers clash over his insistance on taking down criminals too entrenched into the fabric of society, he inevitably wins at least a partial victory against both, lather, rinse, repeat. That holds true to an extent here; this time, Gordon stumbles onto the murderous handiwork of a drug ring, taking in a witness named Leon Winkler (Willie C Carpenter), and then, when Winkler is murdered within the station, McKenzie suspects Detective Arnold Flass (Dash Mihok) but he can’t get much done without more evidence, without which the GCPD opposes an internal arrest, most vocally Sarah Essen (Zabryna Guevara)–whom the show cannot quite decide has or has not seen the light yet.
Where things take a turn from the standard “Gordon is anti-corruption, others aren’t” fair is that this time, after he’s forced to watch Winkler’s widow (Phyllis Bash) sob as the GCPD does nothing to avenge her husband, Gordon caves in away from his own ethics and calls on The Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) to use his connections to the underworld to investigate Flass’s connections to the drug trade, which Penguin grants willingly. Penguin’s relationship with Gordon is rather amusing, and seems like the sort of thing that was obligatory at some place in this series. Given that it’s essentially portraying Gordon as (let’s not beat around the bush) the original Batman, it stood to reason that a particular villain should have a sick sort of relationship with him the way Joker has with Batman. In Penguin’s case, the relationship isn’t based on a love of tormenting the hero or seeing him as a go-to person to play “games” with, but it’s nevertheless a nearly one-sided fascination hatched in the villain’s warped mind. By all evidence, Gordon may be legitimately be one of very few people Penguin has no ill will towards–and it’s interesting that both men spend much of their time fighting others within their side of the law–but his devious, psychotic mind might not be able to comprehend that Gordon’s own mindset doesn’t see the world in terms of personal relationships, but rather principles, and that this puts Gordon on an inevitable collision course with him as much as with any other villain.
Meanwhile, the episode spends a bizarre amount of time doing what could crassly be described as “ship-teasing”, as Butch Gilzean (Drew Powell) mounts a daring rescue of Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith), Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) sends more creepy affections towards Ms. Kringle (Chelsea Spack) and she actually begins to return them, and Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) has obviously fallen in love with Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova). There is another romantic element that is far too much of a spoiler for print here, but it stands to complicate Gordon’s relationship with Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) in the future. Speaking of the future, a Valentines Day special wouldn’t be too surprising at this point.
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