Gotham: A Day In The Narrows

gotham

No, YOU’RE a jerk!

Things went badly on the last episode of Gotham, and “A Day In The Narrows” gets even worse. At times, I don’t think they could much more than they have to isolate Jim Gordon. I’m all for being self-sufficient, but this is getting ridiculous. In fairness, I guess he’s not exactly helping his own cause much.

Following up on Harvey’s hospital-bedside admission, Gordon starts off by laying into him as soon as they’re back in the office. Gordon’s attempt at an interrogation gets interrupted by a special delivery. Harvey admits he’s trying to change the subject, but they investigate and find a variety of bloody boxes from Professor Pyg, who’s been really busy. Aware they’re being threatened by the bizarre packages, the cops’ collective mood isn’t improved by the instructions that Gordon isn’t supposed to get one. It’s like being teacher’s pet when you don’t like the teacher.

Out at the Manor, Bruce is still struggling with the aftermath of his confrontation with Ra’s. Alfred tries to comfort him, but Bruce isn’t in the mood. There’s a fundraiser going on around them, which Bruce agreed to host as long as he doesn’t have to leave the house. Alfred warns him that he’s going to have to come to terms with his feelings soon.

As the delivery men get released, things get more tense at Gotham Central. Penguin has dropped by for a visit with his new temporary head of security. Zsasz is out of town, so Headhunter, a really goofy looking, annoying stereotype, is there, trying too hard to be dramatic and showy. Penguin announces that he’s going to help the GCPD take down Professor Pyg. After yet another argument between Gordon and Bullock, Gordon realizes he has no choice. Headhunter apparently knows of Gordon, and even seems to be a fan. The general argument and attitude fest gets interrupted when Detective Harper comes in, saying that three cops are missing in the Narrows, the worst part of Gotham.

At Guns-R-Us, Barbara is delivering some unwelcome news to Tabitha and Selina in the wake of Ra’s departure. Selina tries to make some decent points, and Barbara is pretty much a bitch to her. Annoyed, Selina stalks off to take care of things her way.

What could qualify as a military convoy in some places rolls into the Narrows, as the combined forces of the GCPD and Penguin’s thugs arrive. They find a bloody car that indicates Pyg has been at work. Bullock gives a speech that’s sort of a morale speech, but an unpleasant one, in which the Narrows’ Code of Silence figures prominently. People start tossing things out the windows at the men below, and Headhunter shows that he’s not just a pretty face. Things go badly inside, and Gordon is increasingly displeased with what’s happening all around him.

While Bruce makes a new friend at the fundraiser, Gordon tries to appeal to some of the residents of the Narrows to tell the police what they need to know for their own sake. Gordon’s approach might have worked, but he got some “help” from Headhunter. Eventually, they get their next lead. Bullock and Gordon argue some more, and even Bullock knows he’s wrong on this one.

Searching the warehouses they were directed to, they find two of the cops, one dead, one badly injured. Penguin gloats, watching the news, and he and Sofia discuss Penguin’s way vs. Falcone’s way. Penguin doesn’t take the comparison well, and has a bizarre interaction with one of the kids at Sofia’s orphanage.

Selina takes matters into her own hands and goes on a job alone. I have to say, while the mask isn’t a bad idea, I don’t know that it’s going to help with that very distinctive hair of hers. As our favorite cat burglar gets herself cornered, Gordon rides to the hospital with the wounded cop. They talk, and Gordon gets a clue from something the officer reports he overheard. Gordon also lays out a very ambitious agenda for himself.

Bruce’s new friend, Grace, brings him to some other cool kids. For the most part it just looks like an excuse to get Bruce in trouble, but one of the kids is Tommy Elliot. In the comics, that’s the real name of Hush, one of Batman’s more dangerous and obscure foes.

Gordon’s attempt to handle things himself is thwarted when Bullock passes on Gordon’s update to Penguin and Headhunter, who arrive all smiles and smirks. Gordon stews while Bullock shrugs. As this builds up to a bad scene, Selina manages to make a call, desperate for backup, and gets at least one person willing to help her.

Penguin boasts to the press about his “consulting” with the police, eager for the attention and credit. Gordon gets a disturbing phone call that makes him think this is going to be even worse than he thought. He also gets a warning, and scrambles to double check something he learns.

Bruce and his new “friends” go to a club and Bruce starts acting like the shallow, annoying playboy he’ll come to pretend to be in the future. He’s exceptionally irksome in this scene and it’s mercifully short. But while he descends to new lows, Gordon tries to warn Bullock about what’s going on. Bullock isn’t in the mood to listen, and, with added pressure from Penguin, orders Gordon to stand down. A smirking Penguin puts two guards on Gordon and orders the rest of the men inside.

Selina’s situation gets resolved with unexpected help and a lot of gunfire. That’s going to be a nasty mess for the cops to try and figure out later. At the abandoned courthouse they’ve been steered to, Gordon looks on from where he’s being essentially held prisoner as the GCPD and Penguin’s thugs charge the building. It’s a beautifully done setup, inflicting several casualties right off the bad and with a particularly morale-crushing trap Harvey Bullock falls into. In full view of, and not caring about, the press, Gordon charges in to the rescue, liberating some heavy firepower from one of the thugs. Gordon saves more or less everyone who actually has a name that we know, but that’s about it, and it’s not much of who went in.

The wrap up scenes are ugly. Penguin backpedals in front of the press, trying to distance himself from the cops. When they get to the Iceberg, Headhunter shoots his mouth off again, and I don’t think he’ll be back on the show. Bruce has another spoiled rich kid in a bar scene. Gordon calls out Pyg when the press come to him for a comment. Later, at the precinct, Harper thanks Gordon, and one of the few surviving “generic” cops takes an interesting stand on Penguin’s program, inspired by Gordon. Bullock sulks and drinks to end the show.

What I liked: Say what you want about Gordon, he stands up for his beliefs, and risks everything for them. He is consistently the most heroic character on this show. In this version of reality, I wonder how much of an influence he was on young Bruce. Selina and her friends in action was brutal, but effective. Pyg is an interesting bad guy, and I wonder about his back story and how he got focused on Gordon.

What I didn’t: Bullock is falling fast in my estimation. Selina needing help in the first place was a bit weird and out of character. Headhunter was irksome. Every scene of Bruce acting out was just eye-rolling. Penguin has always been overbearing, but he’s getting more and more annoying as time passes. I’m surprised more people aren’t trying to kill him.

I’ll give this one a 3.5 out of 5. It’s an interesting look at how far Gordon will go.

Taking the Week Off: Riddler and Solomon Butch must be off plotting somewhere. Lucius Fox was once again not needed as there was no tech component to this week’s problems. And we still haven’t seen Ivy since she downed all those potions.

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