Warning: This review and recap may have spoilers for this episode. Huge spoilerific moments will be blacked-out. Go no further if you wish to avoid those sorts of things.
On this week's episode of Gotham, Gordon returns to the Gotham Police Department to help the GCPD find the Electrocutioner. Meanwhile, the Electrocutioner heads back to his old hideout to get a few of his old "toys." The commissioner comes down to the GCPD station to take over things with this case. Gordon knows Gruber from his work at Arkham and demands to be reinstated and the commissioner gives him 24 hours to find Gruber.
Edward Nygma finds out that Jack Gruber technically doesn't exist. That's not his real name. He paid money to have those files changed and wanted to be sent Arkham. Edward finds that wooing Ms Kringle is tough, since she doesn't like riddles or cupcakes with bullets in them.
Harvey and James are right on the tail of Gruber and they find the electronic store, Gruber's hideout. They find one of Gruber's accomplices and his brain has been fried, much like the inmates at Arkham. Liza is kidnapped by Mooney's men because Fish wants to make a play for the throne. Fish plans to make a trade and stages the kidnapping over the phone with Falcone.
Dr Thompkins visits Gordon with some info about who Gruber could be going after: Mr M. Gruber is going after Maroni, who is enjoying a mean with Penguin and his men. Falcone calls Penguin to tell him about Liza being kidnapped and Penguin tries to leave but get a nasty shock. An electric bomb comes in and hits them all. Gordon and the GCPD try to get some info from Maroni, but it's useless. Penguin, who is in the ambulance, awakens and lets it slip he's working with Falcone. Gordon takes the men into protective custody.
Barbara heads home to visit her parents. She needs a place to stay and her parents seem fine with it. Back at the station, in a sense, Gordon is using Maroni as bait. Gordon sees it as a safe place. Penguin wakes up and Maroni confronts him about what he said.
Fish calls Falcone and tells him people called her to make a deal. Falcone is smarter than that and he knows Fish is behind it. Fish admits to it and says Falcone needs to leave Gotham and Liza won't be hurt. Fish tells Liza she has to go with him but she can never tell him the truth. Zsasz asks Falcone if he should go out and handle this. Falcone doubts himself and considers retirement a good thing. He says Victor has to keep him and Liza safe.
Back at the police department, Edward continues to try to woo Kringle, but she's creeped out. Another officer walks in and pushes him out. Meanwhile, Gruber is making his way into Gotham. Back inside, Penguin swears his allegiance to Maroni and it's pretty obvious Maroni doesn't trust him. As he leaves, the police department becomes electrified. Cue everyone getting shocked and knocked out. Gruber and his buddy come in and finds Gordon had rubber shoes on. Gordon takes down Gruber's buddy and wants to put Gruber back in Arkham. Gordon throws a cup of water on him and that's that.
Gordon is reinstated by the commissioner. No more Arkham for him! Penguin makes his way to Falcone. Falcone tells Penguin that Fish took Liza and Penguin tells Falcone that it was all a set-up. Penguin gets slapped and Falcone doesn't believe it. Fish calls and wants to meet with Falcone.
Falcone heads to Fish's place and demands to see Liza. Butch brings her in. Falcone asks her how long she's known Fish. Liza denies it, and Falcone starts to show that he knows this is all a ruse. Zsasz and his group come in. Falcone strangles Liza and she dies. He means business. He tells his men, and says he wants Fish and Butch alive but locked up.
Thompkins visits Gordon at the station and it's awkward between them. They share a kiss. And then another kiss. An officer busts in on them to tell them there was a shootout at Fish Mooney's place.
Solid opening to this week's episode. We get the whole "ticking clock" scenario where Gordon has to solve this case or he heads back to Gotham. Normally, the ticking clock situation means destruction of something. Here it means Gordon getting back on track with life.
What was really cool was to see the Electrocutioner story line wrap up before everything else. That story ends and there's still twenty minutes of the show left, which focuses on the Falcone/Fish story. Believe it or not, it keeps the viewers on their toes a bit and it was nice to see the show focus on the strong story line, even though it doesn't follow the main character.
The Electrocutioner story was pretty good, but it was merely there as a means to move Gordon back into the police station, which was a bummer. I was really hoping we'd get at least another episode in the Asylum so his punishment wasn't a one-and-done thing. However, as far as a "villain of the week" story goes, this one was entertaining and a nice filler for the Fish/Falcone story which was the star of the show.
The scene with Barbara going to her parent's house? Wasn't needed. Nothing worthwhile comes out of the scene and it feels like oh so much filler. Next time we see her she could have just said "I've been staying at my parents" and that would have sufficed.
There's not a lot of comedy here, but when there is, it's usually provided by Harvey Bullock, whom is played by Donal Logue. He gets these quick "1-2" punches in here and there and while they're quick, they really do liven up the show. Also, Logue is just doing an awesome job as Bullock. It may be a different universe that the comic book version, but he's nailing it.
There's a few people who aren't Edward Nygma fans on Gotham, but he's really grown on me. He's a nice, happy-go-lucky guy who just wants to help. He's incredibly smart but a bit socially awkward, so he comes off a bit creepy, especially when trying to impress Kringle. Everyone is pretty awful to him, and you can see a build up to him losing it and become the Riddler, eventually. There's just something really cool about his little moments and I'm totally digging on him.
The moment after Liza dies, Falcone turns and it's a brilliant moment for actor John Doman and not just in the dialogue, but in his facial expressions and in his eyes. It's not a quick turn by any means. It's a smooth transition between the man in love to the man who Falcone used to be: a powerful man capable of anything. Also, it's just nice to see Falcone get a bit of justice, especially against Fish, who has spent this entire season just plotting against other people and it all shatters, right in front of her face.
After twists and turns which felt non-stop, "What the Little Bird Told Him" turned out to be one of the stronger episodes of a pretty great first season. We get two separate stories which both work pretty well and the battle for supremacy in the crime syndicate was utterly wonderful. John Doman and Robin Lord Taylor were both huge stand-outs in this episode and they really help make this episode be a lot more powerful. Not only does this show resonate with comic book fans, but it has a ton of mass appeal, which is the reason this show got picked up for a second season.