Season 5, Episode 9: “The Trial of Jim Gordon”
Directed by Erin Richards
Written by Ben McKenzie
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Nothing’s Shocking” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “I Am Bane” – click here
Captain Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) has to deal with escalating aggression in the streets while the water supply’s dropping, and continues to put himself in the line of fire. He’s not considering he’ll be a father soon via Barbara Kean (Erin Richards)— even Dr. Lee Thompkins (Morena Baccarin) reminds him. Doesn’t stop him from suiting up with Dt. Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue).
Meanwhile, Barb and Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) are biding their time before escaping Gotham. They receive a visit from the cap looking to negotiate an “immediate ceasefire” so they can convince the federal government to reunify the city with the mainland. It’s “life or death” at this point. Suddenly someone fires a shot into Jim’s gut.
Across town, Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) and Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) are scavenging. Or, what she thought. Young Master Wayne’s taken them to a fancy, private place where they sit at an elegant table. Date night? Might be better if Ivy Pepper (Peyton List) weren’t lurking around the place.
While Dr. Thompkins does her best to save Jim, the captain slips into a dream world where he’s put on trial for his crimes— a figurative purgatorial space, where “the Trial of James Gordon” is a battle between life and death against himself. Out in the real world, Dt. Bullock heads to see Penguin for answers about who shot Jim. Cobblepot has none, other than the shot came from outside and through the window.
Who’s responsible? Victor Zsasz (Anthony Carrigan), of course.
Bruce is busy feeling so much of the destruction in Gotham has come about because of him. He wonders if he should leave the city for good. Selina tries to talk him out of it. Then Ivy comes out of the shadows. She’s brought the leader of the Mutants to make sure Bruce leaves with her. Ivy takes the young Dark Knight and lets Selina face-off against the big, scary dude. Turns out, Ms. Pepper’s pulling strings around the city, including Zsasz. Uh oh.
Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee) does some ass kicking to take Zsasz into custody, as well as gives a slice of amazing life advice about parenthood to Dr. Thompkins. He talks about his pride in Bruce, despite not being “flesh and blood” related. It’s enough to convince Lee she ought to hang onto what she and Jim share. That is, if Jim can survive the trial he’s putting himself through in gunshot Limbo.
“Everything he touches dies”
Ivy keeps pulling those strings. She has Bruce working her magic over at Wayne Enterprises, spraying Ms. Pepper’s perfume in the face of Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk). He wants Lucius to shut down the filtration plant. It’ll reverse the effects of the toxins in the river and the filters keeping everything clean.
At the Siren’s Club, Barb poisons a few people to convince the other criminals to “agree to an immediate truce.” Works well, too. They have 48 hours before an antidote’s needed. Enough time for the gangs to collect their guns and bring them back to Ms. Kean. Damn, girl!
Victor keeps the GCPD busy with gunfire while Ivy heads back to find Jim, where she comes up against Lee. The two women go toe-to-toe. Ivy rants about “a return to filth” by going back to the mainland, hoping to let her plants rule the city and take the urban landscape back to nature. She escapes, but Lee’s left with a flatlining Jim and no drugs to help her.
At the plant, Selina tries to stop hypnotised Bruce from turning the toxins back onto Gotham. The friends fight one another— the Cat and the Bat having the first of many fabled fights. Selina beats on Bruce until he snaps out of his perfumed mania, then they go back to stop the system shutdown.
The big question: can Jim make it through his trial? Or will he slip into death? He begs with his subconscious to let him live. He sees the burned victims from Haven. He sees all the supervillains he’s had to go up against in Gotham. He watches Lee drop his newborn baby to the floor. And after all that, he crawls back to reality.
Skip ahead one month.
There’s a wedding about to be held at the GCPD. Everyone’s in attendance to watch Lee walk down the makeshift aisle to her new husband, as Dt. Bullock presides over the ceremony. An emotional, beautiful, and cathartic moment for them all. Not something that happens often in Gotham.
It’s only a brief moment of brightness. In this city, darkness still reigns.
“I Am Bane” is next. That title should be an indication: shit’s about to go down!