Gotham: The Trial of Jim Gordon review S5 E9

The Trial of Jim Gordon took a while to get going, but once it did, this episode proved worthy of inclusion in Gotham’s final season.

This episode was also noteworthy as it was written by Jim himself Ben McKenzie. McKenzie has directed three episodes and this was his second screenwriting credit. Fortunately, McKenzie doesn’t have this rampant ego to make the episode 100% about Gordon despite the title. Interestingly, this was the first episode directed by Erin Richards aka Barbara. This won’t be Richards’ last episode as it looks like she’ll be directing the final episode of the series. She must have made some impression.

gotham - the trial of jim gordon review -bruce and selina

Jim has the crazy notion of calling a cease fire with the gangs in order to preserve the drinking water supply. This makes no sense as with less gang members around there has to be more drinking water, right? No, apparently ending gang violence is the latest dangling carrot the government is putting in front of Jim’s face before they agree to reunification. They really keep changing the goalposts on him with this deal, which keeps getting worse all the time.

Lee rightfully calls Jim out for being needlessly reckless as usual especially with a child on the way. And does Jim expect Lee and Barbara to raise the kid together after he manages to get himself killed? Fair question.

Penguin agrees to host the meeting as Barbara complains about being a walking egg timer. If there’s an episode where Barbara doesn’t have a killer line now it can only be but so good, right?

Just when it seems like Jim has successfully negotiated a truce, a lone gunshot echoes and bullet connected with Jim. This begins this kinda goofy, but perfectly in line with Gotham, trial of James Gordon where the prosecutor is none other than Jim himself. It’s too bad the show couldn’t have gotten Nicholas D’Agosto to reprise his role as Harvey Dent. Yeah, it was a bit of stunt casting while Gotham was still finding its way, but this would have been a nice reminder of one of the few villains Gotham didn’t revisit after debuting them.

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Jim argues he’s responsible for so much pain for his loved ones while in the real world, Lee operates to save his life. Bullock goes on the hunt looking for the suspect. After Penguin’s jaw doesn’t offer much assistance, Bullock takes Barbara up on her offer to help by asking her to keep the gangs in line. He does get a promising lead by lining up the bullet’s trajectory from outside and finding some fragments. That leads him to Victor Zsasz who’s looking to finish the job he started. That’s an odd direction considering Jim stuck his neck out to save Zsasz’s just a few episodes back.

Bruce is away from all the confusion and making Selina a priority with a candlelight dinner. It’s a cute moment between two characters who haven’t been able to be too romantic. Like Jim’s dream, Bruce is questioning if Gotham wouldn’t be better off without him. Poison Ivy agrees, but has a purpose for Bruce first. With the same perfume she used on Zsasz, Ivy hypnotizes Bruce into shutting down the factory purifying the water. Selina gets a rematch with the mutant leader who’s also under Ivy’s control. This subplot has the feel of Tom King’s Everyone Loves Ivy arc in the main Batman title and is just as fun here. Zsasz and Lucius are both very funny in these scenes.

Barbara makes good with her cease fire by poisoning the gang leaders and promising an antidote if they stay in line. That’s one way to do it. Jim fails to make a convincing case in his defense, but Lee’s urging gives him the will to pull through and ask her a question. A month later it’s time for a wedding! Hilariously, Bullock officiates the ceremony by the power vested in him by no one. I love Harvey. Turns out he can deliver a pretty good wedding ceremony too. If this were any other show this would have made for a pretty good series finale. For Gotham, we’ve got a few more ducks we need to line up first.

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Penguin casually calls out Barbara for her plan of creating the cease fire was really just to get on Jim’s good side. She’s been on this interesting redemption arc and I’m curious to see the endgame. Still, I am a little upset that we didn’t get what would have no doubt been some amazing scenes of Penguin and Barbara crashing the wedding.

We’re down to three episodes left of Gotham. I’m not ready for this, but next episode features the debut of Bane. That design hasn’t won me over yet, but maybe I’ll come around seeing it in action?

Rating: 8 out of 10

Photo Credit: FOX

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