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"Spirit of the Goat" (Aired October 27, 2014)

Samantha Wessel

The episode opens with a flashback to Gotham 10 years earlier. We see a killer, who calls himself the Spirit of the Goat, kidnapping a young girl. While this is happening, news footage plays in the background stating that the Spirit of the Goat is out killing the oldest children of Gotham’s elite families.


We then see Bullock and his old partner, Detective Dicks, searching for the Spirit of the Goat. This version of Bullock is reminiscent of Jim; he’s optimistic and still thinks that people can be saved. His partner on the other hand feels defeated and doesn’t have the same hope as young Bullock. Bullock shoots and kills the murderer, Randal Milkey.


In present day Gotham, Bullock is on the scene of the murder of a girl, displayed in a similar way as Milkey displayed his victims. He has a look of sadness and disbelief on his face. He’s shaken from his thoughts by Ed Nygma and one of his riddles. Bullock is not interested and tells Nygma that the killer is a Spirit of the Goat copycat.


At Barbara’s place, Jim and Barbara are arguing. Barbara tells Jim that she wants half of what he has to carry. Why does she want to know so bad what’s happening? Does she for real not understand the danger she’s in if he tells her? Who is she working for? Jim tells Barbara he’ll tell her everything that he can, and he leaves, and Barbara has a guilty look on her face.


Montoya and Allen of MCU are at the docks trying to get some information on Jim’s alleged murder of Oswald. One of the guys sitting on the docks tells Montoya and Allen he saw Jim kill Oswald, and Montoya is thrilled that they have the evidence to nail Jim to the wall. 


Back at the crime scene, Bullock is freaking out on Jim. He’s pissed about their being a copycat, knowing that the press will come down on them hard.  Bullock believes that the victim knew her murderer. When Jim and Bullock go to see the victim’s parents, Mr. Hastings, the victim’s father, says he’s been having a feeling of darkness lately. Both Mr. and Mrs. Hastings appear rather drugged up, and as Mr. Hasting is talking to them, his hand begins to twitch in an odd manner. The family therapist, Dr. Marks, tells Bullock and Jim that Mr. Hastings is in a delicate state and may not be able to process the information right now. She seems oddly protective of the Hastings, and something about her bothers me.


Jim and Bullock go to see the body. The coroner tells them that the victim was chloroformed. Bullock tells the M.E. that there should be an incision at the base of the head, stitched closed. The M.E., being the best M.E. there is, missed this in his prior assessment of the body, but finds it now. There’s a penny in the wound, which was Randal Milkey, the original killer’s M.O. Bullock is convinced it can’t be a copycat, as this information was not made public during the original murders.


After the obligatory check-in scene with Captain Essen, she tells Jim and Bullock to go see Bullock’s old partner to see if he told anyone about the coin in the incisions. Dicks is in a rehab facility. Dicks refers to Bullock as the “Golden Boy,” further proving that Bullock was once like a young Jim Gordon. Dicks has a messed up liver, which Bullock blames on Dicks’s constant drinking, a foreshadowing of Bullock’s inevitable future as we pretty consistently see him drinking or with a flask. Dicks tells Bullock and Jim he never said anything about the Liberty Head pennies being stitched up in the victims’ bodies. Dicks says that they were wrong, that Milkey wasn’t acting alone, that it was a conspiracy. Bullock refuses to believe this and leaves Dicks and Jim. To really drive home the point that Bullock used to be like Jim, Dicks tells Jim that Bullock thinks he’s a white knight. And Jim is in disbelief. We see Bullock talking to the hospital administrator. He’s settling the bill for Dicks’s care. It’s a moment meant to show that Bullock isn’t the hard-ass, uncaring cop that we may have previously believed.


After the second victim, Ember Copley, is taken, Bullock tells Jim that there was no sign of breaking and entering, to it seems he would have had keys. Jim tells Bullock that he’s looking into employees that worked in both Amanda Hastings and Ember Copley’s buildings. Bullock suggests Nygma take a look at the list.


Outside the Gotham Police Station, Barbara is waiting for Montoya. She promises to tell Montoya what she learns, but that Jim won’t tell her everything. Montoya tells Barbara that who Jim knows may end up in Barbara being killed. She also tells Barbara that she’s going to get a warrant for Jim’s arrest that night. Though I see that Barbara is trying to protect Jim by offering to tell Montoya what she learns, really the only thing I feel is betrayal, further reinforcing my growing dislike of Barbara.


Nygma went through the lists and found one employee that fits the profile, a Raymond Earl. Nygma holds up his coffee mug with a question mark on it in case you were concerned he wasn’t going to be the Riddler.  Bullock and Jim arrive at the same building where they found the last victim 10 years ago. Bullock is haunted by what happened to Dicks there, he feels guilty. Jim and Bullock run in to the building. Jim frees Copley while Bullock is off to find Earl. Earl tells Bullock that the Goat will always come back. This time, as Earl is about to hit Bullock, Jim saves the day and knocks him out.


At Wayne Manor, Bruce and Alfred are watching the news reporting the copycat Spirit of the Goat killer. Alfred is worried about Bruce’s safety as Bruce is the first child of one of Gotham’s rich families. Bruce isn’t worried, he doesn’t believe there is anyone to take him from, clearly hurting Alfred’s feelings and a clear set-up to a later heart-warming moment between Bruce and Alfred.


Later on, Selina Kyle/Cat makes her appearance for a rather pointless scene, though I’m guessing it’ll come up in a later episode. So much for my guess about her being our inside to the seedy underbelly of Gotham, huh? She sneaks her way into the Wayne Mansion and spots Bruce’s vision board of revenge. She’s intrigued by Bruce, even stopping to watch him sleep for a minute. And in case you were worried about her being catlike, she pops up on a bench like a cat for a minute.


At the police station, despite catching Earl, Bullock is concerned. It doesn’t appear that Milkey and Earl knew each other, and the similarities between the two bothers Bullock. Bullock thinks he’s missing something, and as long as he’s missing it, he’s worried the murders will keep happening. Jim leaves, and after he does Earl seems to come out of a trance. As eh does so, his hand begins to twitch in the same way as Mr. Hastings, the father of the first victim’s hand did. I KNEW I DIDN’T TRUST THAT THERAPIST!


Jim gets home and Barbara tells Jim that Montoya has a witness saying he killed Oswald Cobblepot. Barbara knows something happened to Jim a couple of weeks ago, and she wants to know what it is. Barbara is packing her stuff to leave, and begs Jim to go with her, but he refuses, telling her he can’t run. Right then, there’s a knock on the door and its Montoya and Allen there to arrest him.


Bullock is off to see the Hastings’ therapist, Dr. Marks. It turns out she’s a hypnotherapist and does pro bono work at a clinic and she treated Earl.  He accuses her of using hypnotherapy on Earl and Milkey to turn them into the Spirit of the Goat. She admits to the hypnotherapy, saying she was trying to help Gotham. As Bullock goes to arrest Dr. Marks, she uses her cue to sick Mr. Hastings on Bullock. After fighting him off, Bullock shoots Dr. Marks.


Meanwhile, Oswald goes to visit his mother. She accuses him of being taken in by some woman, but he tries to tell her he doesn’t even date. He tells his mother that he was taken advantage of by people he thought he could trust. He promises her that he’s going to be someone in Gotham. During a bath, in which is mother bathes him (because apparently this is “Bates Motel,”) Oswald tells his mother that he can trust Jim.

Back at the police station, Captain Essen gets a third relatively unimportant scene complaining about Bullock shooting Dr. Marks. Her inability to understand the words Bullock is telling her shows her complete irrelevance in the show. (I’m sorry, but if you’re going to have a female police captain, can you at least not make her a dipshit and maker her scenes relevant. Ok, thanks.) As she and Bullock are talking, Montoya and Allen bring Jim in to the jail cell. They ten arrest Bullock as well as an accomplice. Right then though, Oswald shows up, clearing Jim’s name, but pissing Bullock the eff off.


In a somewhat random sub-storyline, Nygma heads to the records room, which is run by Kristen Kringle. He’s clearly got a little crushy, but she’s wigged out. He’s there to find more information on the Spirit of the Goat murders from years before. He finds the record room to be unorganized, and offers Kristen his help, but she refuses. Nygma decides to take matters in to his own hands, and create a whole new system for Kristen Kringle to use. She is not pleased at all. He almost tells her that he likes her, but covers it up by saying he’s just trying to help her keep her job. She tells him that he’s odd, and he leaves the record room defeated.


Closing Thoughts: I’m kind of glad the writers haven’t kept the fact that Jim didn’t kill Oswald secret the whole season. It makes it way more interesting to see how Jim is going to work, or not work, with the criminal underbelly to help cleanup Gotham. On some level, Jim is going to have to compromise his values a bit if he wants to achieve his end goal. On the other hand, he deplores the criminal element so much; it seems to go against his nature to work with them at all. It’s going to make for an interesting show. 


Also, does anyone else find it interesting that the murderers in this episode were two mentally ill men who maybe could benefit from proper treatment? Perhaps from an improved Arkham Mental Hospital? I mean I know it may be a stretch, but I just wonder if there isn't going to be an overarching theme here.