Gotham Episode 2.04 recap and a preview for next week
We meet Nathaniel Barnes, the new captain of GCPD. His military background means he is no-nonsense and swears to clean up not only the city, but the department. Rather than looking the other way or actively partaking in the felonies amongst the GCPD, Barnes swings to the opposite extreme, which has Jim a bit nervous (no matter what he tells Penguin). Within his first few minutes on the job, he has fired nearly a dozen officers accused of drug use, bribery, theft, and other non-violent crimes. One who argues is arrested. After, he meets with Jim in private. He sees Jim as a fighter, a younger version of himself, and Jim immediately becomes Barnes’ number two. “Fixing this department is going to be tough. Tougher than you think,” Barnes vows. Jim likes him. Harvey doesn’t trust him, doesn’t think his tactics will work, and doesn’t think that Jim should be so buddy-buddy with him.
Barnes has decided to set up a task force to clean up the city, and he enlists Jim to help. A week before graduation at the police academy, they go down and start interviewing cadets. They pick five, all of whom come from tough backgrounds who want to be cops to clean up the city. Barnes figures if they can get their grips on the officers before they get assigned to a precinct, they won’t be jaded or corrupt. They form Alpha Unit Strike Force (a little much, don’t you think?) and they all answer to Jim – and only Jim.
There is a power vacuum in Gotham, as the mayor is still missing and the deputy mayor is dead. There are two candidates running: the liberal, “speak softly” Janice Caulfield and the union boss that is more like a mob boss Randall Hobbs. But the public wants Theo to run. And he will… but not yet. First, he summons Penguin to him. After the requisite flattery is out of the way, Theo reveals his plans for a sleek, shiny, high-tech Gotham, one that would require the demolition of much of the residential areas of the city. He wants Penguin to do it, but Penguin is not a “destroyer.” Theo lays all his cards on the table: he wants Penguin to kill Caulfield and Hobbs, then attempt to kill Theo. With no one else in the running and public sympathy on his side, Theo can’t lose. Penguin graciously turns down the request, then Theo reveals his trump card: He has Penguin’s mother chained up. If Penguin doesn’t kill Theo’s opponents, he will kill Mrs. Kapelput.
Theo receives a medal of valor from the city, and at his ceremony, a drive-by shooting occurs. No one is injured, but Theo uses the opportunity to announce his candidacy for mayor, to the delight of the public. Shortly thereafter, Butch and Penguin (masked, of course) head to Caulfield’s campaign headquarters. Penguin stabs her mercilessly, and Butch warns the aides in the outer office that he knows their names and where they live. They are left alone. When Jim and Harvey investigate the crime scene later, none of the aides want to speak up. One finally does. All she knows is that he was short, well dressed, and walked with a limp. Jim knows.
Victor Zsasz is sent to off Hobbs. Despite being outnumbered five to one, Zsasz holds his own in the shootout. He eventually whittles his enemies down to just Hobbs, and they take the fight into the street, just in time for Jim and his strike force to show up. Zsasz is eventually shot (“Unexpected,” he muses before he drops) but he gets away. Later, Jim visits Penguin and accuses him of killing Caulfield and sending Zsasz after Hobbs. Butch still hasn’t found Mrs. Kapelput, so Penguin does not want to be f**ked with right now. Jim warns him about the new captain, and Penguin threatens to reveal Jim’s own misdeeds. Jim isn’t scared – at least, he says he isn’t.
Bruce is back in school, and it isn’t going well. He has no friends, and everyone stares and whispers. He makes Alfred park a fair distance away so no one knows he has a butler. (He is the wealthiest kid in the land; I think everyone already knows he has a butler. What’s more, at the posh prep school, I bet a few other kids have butlers as well.) While Alfred is waiting for him, he sees Selina perched on a wall, clearly waiting for Bruce as well. Alfred slaps her, knows she killed Reggie, and warns her away from Bruce forever. She goes without a fight, but is not happy about it.
The next day, Bruce has a lunch date with Theo, which he set up as a way to thank the man, in person, who saved his life. Theo wants to speak to Bruce as well, because he is disgusted that the cops haven’t found anything on his parents’ killer. Bruce is distracted when he sees a lovely blonde girl playing in a fountain outside. This is Silver St. Cloud, Theo’s ward (his deceased stepbrother’s daughter) who has conveniently just returned from boarding school. She arrived early and decided to wait outside. Bruce is transfixed, and eagerly accepts Theo’s offer of an introduction. Bruce is instantly in looooove, especially when he finds out that Silver will be attending his school. When the pair do return to school, Silver has already made friends, and Bruce is too timid to say hello. Luckily Silver is not. Clearly, this is all a set-up. Theo is using this girl (who may or may not be his actual ward; she could just be a street kid he dressed up to play the part) to distract Bruce so he can put his nefarious plans into action. Either way, this also seems to be setting up some jealousy in Selina.
Also: The “rough” side of Ed convinces the timid side (or maybe “takes over” the timid side) to ask Kristen on a date. He cooks dinner for them at his house, and things seem to go well until the topic of her abusive ex-boyfriend is brought up. Ed says he is glad he is dead, which takes Kristen by surprise. To the best of her knowledge, he merely left town. She excuses herself to the bathroom, while Ed talks to himself. When Kristen returns, she heard him and is prepared to leave. Ed admits to his “other self” and she understands. The tension is lost, and the two kiss.
Check out a preview for next week’s episode of Gotham, entitled “Scarification”