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Gotham Ep. 6 (Spirit of the Goat) Review

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The Spirit of the Goat is one of the most interesting episodes of Gotham thus far.  We get insight into just what makes one of the main characters tick, a serial killer with a unique method that serves as another excellent precursor to the Gotham to be and a major development in the life of James Gordon.  As always, spoilers follow.

We begin ten years in the past with Bullock on a case with Detective Dix,his previous partner. Against his partner’s advice, Bullock charges in to apprehend the killer going by the unusual name of the Spirit of the Goat.  They subdue the killer but at the cost of severe injury to Dix (played excellently by the little known but always welcome Dan Hedaya).

The Spirit of the Goat
The Spirit of the Goat

All of this is brought back to Harvey when another killer with the exact same M.O. surfaces in the present.  At first, it is assumed that the killer is simply a copycat but the autopsy reveals a detail that no one but Harvey and Dix knows and it becomes clear that something else is going on. During the investigation, Dix reveals to Gordon that Bullock considers himself something of a White Knight, taking on the forces of evil, which certainly surprises Gordon.  It seems clear that the previous case is what started Bullock’s slide from “White Knight” to “slovenly, lackadaisical, cynic.”  It also provides a cautionary tale to Gordon about how easy it is to fall while also showing that there is more to the jaded detective than meets the eye.

While this is going on, Oswald Cobblepot makes a visit to his very creepy mother. This is one of the aspects of the show that I am not particularly fond of, the way Mrs. C. comes off as a crazy gypsy fortune teller out of the old Tales from the Crypt series.  That said, the sequence gives some insight into the young crime-boss-to-be.  It seems she has always isolated him from others, encouraging him to only trust her, making him always very eager to please and yet with a degree of resentment lurking under the surface.  It is this resentment towards everyone that gives Penguin his viciousness, which we have been able to see at multiple points during the series so far.  It is this viciousness, coupled with his brilliant criminal mind that is allowing him to play Gotham’s various factions against each other.

The Penguin
The Penguin

We also see Montoya and Allen finally lock their case against Gordon for the alleged murder of Cobblepot and framing of Barry Pepper for the Wayne murder.  They even show up to arrest him and Bullock at the end of the episode, only to have their entire case blow up in their faces as Cobblepot literally walks through the door of the GCPD.  Now, since Bullock thought (along with everyone else) that Gordon has killed Cobblepot, he does not react too kindly to this little revelation.  It is definitely going to be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few episodes, given that Falcone, Fish, Gordon’s fiancé Barbara and many others will all be affected by the fact that Cobblepot is alive and kicking.  How will the mob react to Cobblepot announcing his presence?  They are all sure to find out since most if not all of the GCPD is on the payroll of either the Maroni or Falcone crime families.  And what does Cobblepot hope to gain?  While he does seem to genuinely respect Gordon and his unusually strong moral center, he doesn’t do anything unless it is of benefit to himself.

As a side note, we see a bit more of the evolution of Edward Nygma, aka the Riddler.  His role in the series is that of a brilliant forensic scientist working for the GCPD.  His riddle obsession is frequently on display, as is the dismissive way in which most people treat him.  This includes the young woman who works in records that Nygma is attracted to.  However, the woman has no idea of this as his social awkwardness makes her think that his clumsy advances are evidence not of attraction but of a desire to drive her from her job.  This, coupled with the total detachment from humanity that glimpse in his reaction to death from the Viper drug in the previous episode makes it easy to see how he might be pushed over the edge and become the question mark obsessed villain that we are all familiar with.

 

Gotham airs on Fox every Monday at 7:00 PM EST

About thefairytaletraveler

Catholic father of five and life-long nerd, theviking began nerd life as a socially awkward Star Wars fan who then branched out into comics thanks a boring summer vacation. These days, he reads most anything, watches a number of nerdy shows, plays with his kids, works as a proofreader for the fine folks at Grail Quest Books and volunteers at his parish and kids' school.