REVIEW – Gotham Season 5 Episode 9 – “The Trial of Jim Gordon”


After a chaotic final season, it almost seems like Jim Gordon and company are winning the battle.  Things ALMOST feel like they are finally starting to stabilize in Gotham, but the government still isn't ready to support them.  That leads to another impending crisis, and a very tough road for Jim Gordon.  In an episode written by Ben McKenzie himself, and directed by Erin Richards, let's find out what led to "The Trial of Jim Gordon".

The clean water supply in the city is running low.  By low, I mean Gordon says they only have a few months left.  So he's organized a meeting with every criminal element in Gotham to try and negotiate a cease fire.  Lee thinks this is a crazy and unnecessary plan.  This leads to a pretty big blow-up between them, where Lee says that Gordon won't be happy until he sacrifices himself for the cause.  He's clearly affected by the statement, but still presses on to the meeting.  This definitely ends up being one of those moments where you are reminded that the last words you say to someone really could be your last, but more on that in a minute.

One thing I have always loved about Gotham is when Jim Gordon stands up in a room and owns it.  He gives a speech that actually seems like it's getting through to all of the criminals.  Just when it seems like a cease fire is imminent, a shot is fired and Gordon is hit.  No one knows where it came from, and chaos ensues.  I should mention that this all happens at Oswald's stronghold, so the assumption is that he was somehow involved.  Look, this was an impactful moment, but it was hard to really think that Gordon would die from his wounds.  I know that no one has been safe on Gotham so far, but it's way too soon for this to be the final bell for Jim Gordon.

So now the hunt is on for the person responsible.  You also have Lee, who is now pressed into action to try and save the love of her life with limited resources.  Bullock tracks down a bullet fragment, and matches it up to the ones that Lee removed from Gordon.  That leads them to their prime suspect, Victor Zsasz.  Something does feel off about that though, considering what happened the last time Gordon and Zsasz were in the same room together.  That suspicion ends up being warranted, and I'll tell you why in a moment.

I want to talk about the sequence that is dubbed The Trial of Jim Gordon.  It's pretty much all happening in Gordon's head, where he is prosecuting himself for all of the things he feels like are his biggest failures.  A lot of this is focused on this season with the Haven explosion, not being able to stop other attacks, but also what has happened with Lee in the past.  It's interesting that Gordon won't even give himself a fair trial in his own head.  A lot of this pretty much validates what Lee was talking about, as it's almost like he's trying to convince himself that he should die.  I'd be lying if I said this all wasn't a bit bizarre, but it's Gotham, and bizarre is something that is very much in their wheelhouse.  He even has a wake for himself.  All I have to say is that there had better be a deleted scene coming with more of that Robin Lord Taylor and Cory Michael Smith musical number!  As you can probably guess, things work out in the end, but the real person responsible almost finishes the job.

It turns out that Zsasz was under the control of Ivy Pepper.  Ivy would even recruit Bruce Wayne to do her bidding (and interrupting his date with Selina in the process.)  Ivy pretty much wants to kill ever human in Gotham and let the plants take over.  Part of her plan is to re-release Jeremiah's toxin back into the water, which Lucius Fox was filtering out.  Bruce helps Ivy infect Lucius, but it's short lived, since Selina shows up to snap them both out of it.  I took two things from this.  The first is that Peyton List makes an incredible Poison Ivy.  I really wish she could have come to the role sooner, and I really hope this isn't the last we see of her on DC TV playing the character.  I don't care where, just find a spot for her!  The second thing is that, a lovesick Victor Zsasz may be one of the most hilarious things they have ever done on Gotham.  I could have watched that the entire episode and been entertained.

Not to be outdone, Barbara is actually the one that kept the criminal element in Gotham from tearing the city apart in Gordon's absence.  It was a simple but effective use of poison that did the trick.  The interesting thing here is, she still plans on trying to leave Gotham.  The fact that everyone thinks she could have been responsible for trying to kill Gordon, the father of her child, only reinforces this.  Little did Barbara know that keeping Gotham in check would also lead to something I didn't expect we would see in this episode.

We got ourselves a wedding!  Maybe this should have been titled, "The Wedding of Jim Gordon".  After everything that happened, Gordon whispers a proposal to Lee and we have ourselves a station house wedding.  Harvey Bullock himself was the Justice of the Peace, or self ordained officiant, I'm not sure which.  It was a quick ceremony, no real fanfare, but I think this was a nice way to give us closure to that storyline this season.

What happens with baby Gordon is still up in the air.  There was a really great scene with Alfred and Lee, where Lee talks about how she has no idea how this baby will be raised.  Alfred talks about being an unexpected father, and how much joy it brought into his life.  He really sets Lee's mind at ease, as only Alfred really can.  This was a great piece of writing by Ben McKenzie and everyone in the Gotham writer's room.  I never would have thought to put those two characters together, but from it we got one of the most meaningful scenes of the season.

What's next up on the list of problems that Gotham will need to deal with?  Will we finally see Walker and "Bane" make their return?  Where is Ecco hiding out?  Will Nygma make enough progress on the sub to get them out of Gotham?  What about that kiss between Bruce and Selina?  The countdown to the finale is on, but there is still plenty to look forward to!

What did you think of this week's episode?