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Gotham: What the Little Bird Told Him – Episode 12

Fish uses Liza to make her move on Falcone and Gordon makes a move to get back on the police force.

Recap

Jack Gruber and Aaron Helzinger are still on the loose after escaping from Arkham. Things have gotten bad enough that Commmissioner Loeb has appeared in the GCPD precinct. Still arguing that it’s his case, Gordon shows up at the precinct and is called into a meeting with the Commissioner. The two work out a “deal”, if Gordon can bring the two men in within 24 hours, he’ll be reinstated as Detective First Class. If he can’t, both he and Bullock are pretty much done professionally as cops. Unfortunately, Gordon has no idea what exactly the “Electrocutioner” is up to. Meanwhile, Gruber is going around Gotham gathering technology and leaving a trail of crispy (or lobotomized) victims in his wake.

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The episode’s other major storyline involves Falcone and Liza. Falcone is carrying on business as usual and Liza is continuing to endear herself to him. The episode even shows us a flashback of Falcone’s mother, who looks to be played by the same actress playing Liza. Given how fond he is of Liza, Falcone even offers her a chance to get out of Gotham, which she declines in order to stay near him. Fish decides that it’s time to make her move on Falcone and has Liza “kidnapped” off the street. She calls Falcone to offer him the chance to leave town with Liza in order to save her. He then chooses to let him stew for a while. Falcone decides to call in Penguin before making a situation. Realizing his opportunity, the Penguin makes an excuse to leave Don Maroni and go meet Falcone.

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Penguin doesn’t make it far, as he’s interrupted by an attack from the Electrocutioner. Gordon and Bullock had just figured out that Gruber is hunting Maroni because he went down for life for a crime they pulled together. Penguin is caught up in the attack and he and Maroni are taken in by the police to be used as bait. On the way to the precinct, a half-conscious Penguin lets it slip that he has urgent business to attend to with Falcone. While Penguin is held up at the precinct, Falcone makes a call in to Fish. He lets her know that he knows she’s behind this and the two drop the pretenses and set a time to meet. Even though Fish seems to have the upper hand, Liza admits that she has become fond of Falcone. Even Fish doesn’t take personal pleasure in taking her mentor down. Falcone seems resigned to take the out Fish has given him, despite the urgings of Victor Zsasz to fight back. Fish’s plan seems to have worked as Falcone only cares about leaving with Liza.

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In this week’s installment of “the Awkward Edward”, we see Nigma continue to try to endear himself to Ms. Kringle, the file clerk. He presents the poor girl with a cupcake topped with a bullet as a riddle. As expected, the gesture isn’t well received and Nigma is spurned again. Later he tries to make amends and seems to be getting somewhere before he’s interrupted by a macho officer. As he leaves, he over hears Kringle saying how weird he is. That blow to his pride stops Nigma from investigating a strange sound. That sound just happens to be Gruber hacking in to the GCPD’s wiring.  Fortunately for Gordon Nigma did take some time off from failing with women earlier to do his job. Knowing Gruber’s M.O., he suggests that the detectives wear their uniform issued rubber boots to help protect them. Gordon takes him up on the offer. When Gruber launches a huge charge through the precinct to get to Maroni, the boots are what allow Gordon to stay safe from the attack. Even though he’s conscious Gordon is left one on two with Gruber and Helzinger. After he takes out the big guy, he shorts out Gruber’s electrical equipment and easily takes him captive. Gordon gets the win and his shield back. He also tells the Commissioner that the next person who tries to take his badge from him, he’s going to make them eat it. Gordon’s clearly not trying any harder to make friends at this point, much to Bullock’s dismay.

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With the business with Gruber concluded, the Penguin is finally able to make it to Falcone. Falcone tells him that he was right about Fish, but Penguin one ups himself by telling Falcone that Liza was planted by Fish and that he’s being set up. Falcone doesn’t want to believe him, but Penguin points out that he hasn’t been wrong yet. Falcone ends up figuring it out and brings Zsasz with him to the meeting. Falcone confirms what happened and then strangles Liza to death with his bare hands in front of Fish. Having taken out all of Fish’s men, and made his point, Falcone reveals the source of his information. He brings Penguin in to allow him to gloat before he takes Fish away, pressumably to suffer a slow and painful death.
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Back at the precinct, Dr. Thompkins has come to see Gordon. There’s a little bit of small talk leading up to the two kissing. Their make-out session is interrupted when an officer opens the door to tell Gordon about a bunch of people found dead at Fish’s place.

Commentary

First of all, I call B.S. on Gordon getting out of Arkham after just one episode if his deal with the commissioner holds up. That was the fastest “punishment” ever. The show had made it seem like this half of the season was going to be dedicated to the inner workings of Arkham and the beginning of it becoming a kind of breeding ground for chemicals. Instead, it seems like Gordon just dropped in for a visit and left with one criminal and one new love interest. Jim’s stint in Arkham is about as significant as Barbara Keane’s story in the season. She has been pretty much a complete waste of screen time. It’s not to say that the stuff that’s happening to her couldn’t be interesting, but there’s just not a time for it and it seems completely tangential to what’s going on in the show. I’m sure that the writers must have some kind of payoff planned for her later on but I’ve gotta say that it’s probably going to be disappointing. In a few short scenes, Baccarin’s Dr. Thompkins has been a much better romantic counterpart to Gordon. Their chemistry is so good that I can’t see a way that they could reintroduce Barbara into the situation without me feeling disappointed that she’s replacing Thompkins.

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Speaking of disappointments, I was not thinking this was all they were going to do with the Liza/Falcone story line. I thought there was space for something really interesting to happen with them on screen. Instead, the show handled that relationship almost completely off screen. Turns out it was just a way to keep Falcone in the periphery while the show focused on other stories. Now that it’s time for Fish and Falcone to come front and center, Liza was snuffed out. It was an understandable decision, but still disappointing. I did appreciate the symbolism of Falcone reestablishing himself as “the Don” by snuffing out something precious to him with his own hands. After everything that’s happened in this series to this point, it looks like most of it is going back to normal. That is except for Fish and Barbara.

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