Gotham Episode 6: Spirit of the Goat Review

Well. I just finished watching the sixth episode of Gotham and it seems my prediction was true. A storm has definitely arrived. Maybe I should consider a job as a weatherman… Anyway, Spirit of the Goat was quite the interesting episode. Before everything goes to hell, it takes the time to explore veteran cop and partner to Jim Gordon Harvey Bullock’s backstory. An old case brings back some bad memories from when Bullock was in Gordon’s position. An innocent, optimistic rookie cop prepared to do whatever it takes to save the day with no idea of the extent of Gotham’s major problems of crime and corruption. Meanwhile, Gordon is desperately trying to hold on to his apparently still existent relationship with Barbara while Montoya and Allen attempt to unearth what exactly happened to Cobblepot and bring the hammer of justice down on Jim. Everything is crumbling rapidly and it can’t be long before it all comes crashing down on Jim, Bullock and Gotham as a whole with full force.

While Gordon doesn’t really have much of a backstory to speak of, considering that this entire show is basically his backstory, from the start we haven’t known much of Harvey’s past. In this episode, we learn that blunt Bullock wasn’t always so pessimistic and careless. Once, he cared just as much as Gordon, until his partner, Dix was paralysed from the waist down after a brief scuffle with villain of the week the Spirit of the Goat. Harvey, just like Jim is now, was persistent they go in as soon as possible to hopefully save a girl and stop the crazed murderer of rich kids. It was this that caused Dix’s injury and Bullock is still hurting from the wound in his heart today, paying for Dix’s retirement home funds and making sure he’s taken care of. I’m glad we got some explanation for why Bullock is so harsh on Jim and reluctant to get into trouble instead of just having him be an asshole from the start for no reason other than he’s an asshole.

When another guy starts acting exactly like the old Spirit of the Goat did ten years ago, Harvey is determined to close the case as soon as possible. It was nice to see Bullock take the lead for once rather than Gordon and show he can also be a hero when he wants to be. He has some pretty awesome scenes throughout the episode showing us a side of him we’ve never really seen before. However, I do feel like the case was closed a little too soon in the producer’s haste to get to the storm. Eventually Bullock finds himself wrapped up in yet another Gotham conspiracy and goes to apprehend the real culprit. It’s over pretty quickly and isn’t very climatic with Harvey just unloading a bunch of exposition about how he found them before the villain simply replies with “Yep, you got it right!” and runs for it quite stupidly resulting in a shot to their leg. Maybe it gave Harvey some closure, but it definitely didn’t give me some.

Surprisingly there wasn’t much of Penguin this episode, probably because the ending suggests he’s going to have a large part in the next episode and they wanted to take him out of the limelight for a bit. We got a few scenes of him and his mother who had a brief appearance a few episodes back and a foreboding entrance at the end but that was pretty much it. We did, however, finally get to see more of another manipulative future Batman villain. Ed Nygma, also known as the Riddler! Although he doesn’t really do anything of significance, it was nice to see how socially awkward he can be and laugh at all the riddles he enthusiastically throws at Bullock frustrating him to no end. Hopefully he’ll have a much larger role to the central story in the future because I honestly can’t get enough of him.

There was even less of Bruce who got two very brief scenes. In one of them, Alfred suggests he leaves Gotham for a while fearing that the Spirit of the Goat might go for him next but he simply replies unfeelingly with “He has no one to take me from”. At first, I started off with a great dislike for Bruce’s character but he’s developed a surprising amount in the first few episodes. Finally, there was a somehow even briefer appearance by Selina who is apparently skilled enough to break into Wayne Manor. No wonder Alfred’s worried about him! Luckily though, this night visitor had no malevolent intent and just came to steal some kind of silver box. Maybe she’s just doing her rounds on the rich neighbourhood or maybe it will have some kind of significance later on. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Overall, Bullock got most of the attention this episode but, if I’m honest, I’m completely fine with that. Although he definitely had a presence previously, the focus was never really on him specifically so it was nice for him to get some of the spotlight. The Spirit of the Goat story was pretty anti-climatic and, I mean, what kind of villain name is spirit of the goat anyway? This doesn’t detract all that much from the episode though and it even managed to keep someone with as short an attention span as me hooked for close to an hour. I just hope all this sudden development for Harvey doesn’t mean they’re going to kill him off. If they do, we riot!

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