written by Omar Castillon (@omar_castillon)
The spirit of the goat is strong in this unsettling yet appropriate Halloween episode. But remember the golden rule of Gotham City, no heroes. Right off the bat, this is a flashback to the early days of Harvey Bullock partnered up with a familiarly cynical Detective Dix. The haunting setting of an abandoned building houses a helpless woman and an insane person that believes in the spirit of the goat. Jump forward to the present day with Gordon and it appears as if the killer returns doing the same ritualistic kidnapping/murder as “the goat” did all those years ago.
The look of “the goat” does have a similar resemblance to Batman's cowl but don’t worry, this is just a strange coincidence. I do commend the idea of a psychotic vigilante of sorts coming back from the dead and wrecking havoc among the elites of Gotham. The only way to describe the feeling is if the Zodiac Killer came back after years of not sending cryptic notes or killing innocents just for the thrill of it. It makes sense for Bullock to take the reins a little more in this episode which is a nice change from the mostly Gordon centric scenarios.
Another fine detail from Bullock’s former partner was the golden rule of Gotham being “no heroes.” As foreboding as that sounds, this is probably used to discourage young cops to be righteous while on duty since there is already an implied corruption in the city. This might be more of a shot in the dark rather than it being based on the lore of the show but it does explain how Bullock went from being a gung-ho cop to a "slovenly, lackadaisical cynic" as Gordon mentioned in a previous episode. It’s easier for them to survive and easier for the corruption to spread even further.
Cobblepot shone once again in this episode paying a visit to his mother and mentioning his new police friend. The interaction he has with his mother is a lot more “touching” so to speak than the back-story that was presented in the comics or even in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns. It was a nice change in tone from the overall dark and morbid atmosphere surrounding the illusive “goat.”
Speaking of Cobblepot, this was the first episode to not feature Fish Mooney and her new secret weapon Liza. This was a good choice for the audience since the series has been beating this storyline in our minds... foreshadowing the Falcone/Maroni mob war. Instead we get a little more screen time with the master of puzzles, Edward Nigma. He and his coworker are the comic relief in the episode, sort of like a quirky rom-com scene. Cory Michael Smith who plays as Nigma fits the role more so in this episode because he is actually utilized in the “goat man” investigation.
Bruce was briefly used in the episode as more of an “I’m not afraid of some masked guy” of sorts. I guess Bruce is quickly conquering his fear. It doesn’t hurt that he has Selina Kyle sneak in to check up on Bruce or steal (I honestly don’t know) and she sees all that Bruce has worked on about the investigation behind Arkham. As quickly as she left, the scene cuts away from that mess and goes back to the “goat man” investigation.
There are some big key elements that happen in the episode that I won’t spoil here (watch the episode after reading this!) but once you do find out what happens, you will be anxious to see what happens next week in Gotham. Overall, this was another fine episode that definitely takes a look into the past with Harvey Bullock. It’s actually fascinating when he is deep in the investigation with Gordon; he pays a visit to his old partner. Dix even points out some surprising flaws that he saw in Bullock that Gordon agreed upon but were also confusing in terms of how Bullock is like a “white knight” of sorts. Anyways, this was great addition to the lore and a chilling look at how even the rich have been victim to corruption and conspiracy.