‘The Trial of Jim Gordon’ starts off as many episodes of Gotham have, the city is in a dire time, Jim is gearing up and heading to the front lines to face the problem. This time the problem is the city’s water supply. With only a few months of drinkable water left, the gangs at chomping to gain control of it. Jim calls a meeting, with all the various gangs, at Penguin’s stronghold, to discuss a cease-fire. Despite Lee’s warning, he’s walking into trouble, Jim heads out with the GCPD.
At the meeting, he almost gets the gangs on his side. That is until a bullet hits him in the chest. They rush him back to the GCPD. Lee operates on him, removing the bullet fragments. Meanwhile, Jim’s mind takes him to his own personal purgatory. He’s on trial, being persecuted by himself for failing the city. This trail is a projection of his conflicts. Would the people close to him be faster if he wasn’t around? Would the city be better protected by someone else? And, perhaps the one he’s most worried about, is he ready to raise a child?
Meanwhile, Bruce has been having thoughts of a similar train. Between villains like Theo Galavant and Ras Al Ghul, Gotham has suffered because of him. After losing Wayne Manor, he wonders if it will be for the best that he leaves the city. He voices these thoughts to Selina while on a date. Unfortunately, their date is cut short by Ivy. She enthrals Bruce and sends the leader of the mutant gang after Selina.
Harvey’s detective work uncovers Victor Zsasz was the shooter. Zsasz himself turns up at the precinct, looking for Jim. He holds down the cops in a shootout, but Alfred gets the drop on him from behind. Harvey quickly realises Zsasz is working for someone. When Zsasz’s taunts are more flowery than usual Harvey puts it together than Zsasz is under Ivy’s control.
An enthralled Bruce goes to the water filtration system Lucius Fox set up to clean the river. He enthrals Lucius, commanding him to destroy the filtration system for Ivy. Selina comes to rescue, literally knocking sense back into Bruce and Lucius in time for them to stop the filtration systems meltdown.
Back at the GCPD Ivy’s broken into the building, freeing Zsasz. She has him distract the cops while she goes to kill Jim. Lee manages to fight her off, shooting her. Meanwhile, Harvey stops Zsasz with the same bomb suit Ed used a few episodes ago.
Barbara meanwhile has taken it upon herself to keep the peace in Gotham. She poisons the heads of the various gangs, only giving them an antidote is they swear to a truce.
While all this has been happening, Jim’s mind has him at his own wake. He sees his past enemies toasting to his death. He’s also faced with the burnt image of one of the children killed in the Haven explosion. The boy takes him to his execution. However, once he’s in the chair, he realises he wants to live. He wakes up next to Lee, with a renewed will to survive and help raise his child.
He asks Lee to marry him and a month later Harvey is officiating their wedding at the GCPD. It’s a moment of genuine happiness in the chaos that is No Man’s Lands. Even when Harvey mentions the time Lee, under the influence of Javis Tech, tried to kill Jim. It’s the kind of thing that could only get a laugh at a wedding in Gotham.
It’s truly beginning to dawn on me these are the last days for Gotham. Every episode of this has been on par with the best of the series. It’s been this wonderfully weird experience to watch Gotham, both city and show, evolve over the past seasons into the twisted, insane home of the Batman. ‘The Trial of Jim Gordon’ almost feels like a swan song. Almost. There are still three episodes and several more loose threads to tie up before Gotham can say goodbye. But for Jim Gordon and Bruce Wayne, this episode had them both introspecting on their city and their place in it. By the end of the episode, they’ve both seem to come to terms with the fact Gotham is their city and it’s their duty to protect it.
It seems likely that Bruce will leave Gotham for a short time, like his comic counterpart. Exploring the world, learning various skills that will serve him when he eventually dawns the cape and cowl. These past few episodes have been setting up the ultimate culmination in the arcs for the characters.
Characters like Selena and Harvey we see how they’ve been influenced by Bruce and Jim. How they’ve both been pulled away from the corrupting nature of the city and onto nobler paths. Selena goes after Bruce of her own violation when she would have once only protected herself. When Jim was down, Harvey stepped up to lead when prior he’d actively turned away from leadership.
Even some of the minor characters got a chance to shine. Gotham has thrived on the eccentricity of its characters and Victor Zsasz is one of the most eccentric. His charisma makes him infinitely likable, even when you’re rooting against him. I hope we can see him again before the finale, but if not at least he got to hold up the entire GCPD one more time.
Similarly, turning the spotlight on Ivy for the episode led to an entertaining hour. Ivy’s character hasn’t always gelled with the show, which is probably the reason the character has had so many revamps. But here, her goals could have been ripped from the pages of a comic and it worked for her. Seeing an Ivy so close to her comic counterpart added some focus the character needed. The series as a whole has balanced staying true the comic versions and allowing the characters to develop in the best way for the series. A character like Barbara is the perfect example of Gotham straying miles from the source material for the better. But for Ivy, grounding her (pun intended) in her comic persona worked in her favour.
There remind only three more episodes before Gotham says its goodbyes. If the series keeps this momentum, the series will surely end on a high.