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Pilot Recap

Cat burglar Selina Kyle runs across the rooftops of Gotham and pauses to look out across the city. She then drops down into the city below, walks down the street, and steals a half-gallon of milk from a pedestrian's bag. Selina takes another man's wallet but he spots her and gives chase, and the girl quickly ascends a fire escape and slips away.

Dropping back down into an alley, Selina counts the money from the wallet and then feeds a stray cat with the milk. A family of three—Thomas and Martha Wayne, and their young son Bruce—walk into the alleyway and Selina quickly climbs back up the ladder. A masked man approaches the family and draws a gun, ordering Thomas to hand over his money. As Selina watches, Thomas readily agrees and the thief then orders Martha to give him her necklace. She drops it and the thief shoots Thomas in the chest and then Martha. He aims at Bruce but then lowers the gun and walks past the orphaned boy, running off into the darkness. Bruce goes to his parents, his hands covered in blood, and screams in anguish.

At the Gotham police station, a drugged out prisoner manages to grab an officer and take her gun, using her as a shield. He fires into the air and all of the other officers draw their guns. Lt. Jim Gordon steps forward and tells everyone to hold their fire, saying that he's got it. He gets the prisoner to focus on him, and the man demands his pills. Jim grabs a nearby bottle of aspirin and offers them, and gets close enough to disarm the man. Several officers grab the prisoner and start beating him, and shove Jim away when he tries to object. Jim's new partner, Harvey Bullock, complains that they had the drop on the prisoner and Jim could have gotten hurt, and tells him to shoot next time.

The desk sergeant calls over, telling Jim and Harvey that they have a double-homicide in the theater district. The detectives get there and the attending officer, Tannenbaum, tells them about the victims. Bruce saw the whole thing but hasn't said a word yet. Jim goes over to the boy and introduces himself, but Bruce is unable to talk. Meanwhile, Harvey confirms that the victims are Thomas and Martha Wayne, and tells Tannenbaum to forget that he was there and call Major Crimes. Tannenbaum refuses figuring that they're already in.

Bruce finally gives his name and then breaks into tears. Jim sits down with him and talks about how a drunk driver killed his father when he was Bruce's age. He assures Bruce that he knows how he feels and promises that there will eventually be light. Bruce manages to describe what happened, how the robber had shiny shoes, and how he shot his parents for no reason. He blames himself for not doing anything, but Jim assures him that he couldn't have done anything, and tells Bruce to be strong. The lieutenant promises that he will find the man who did it.

The Waynes' family butler, Alfred Pennyworth, arrives and Bruce goes to him. Jim introduces himself and promises that they'll get the man who did it, and Alfred figures him for a newcomer to Gotham. The butler wishes him luck and takes Bruce away.

Afterward, Harvey takes Jim to a diner and warns him that trying to find the random robber that killed two major figures in Gotham is a mess that they don’t want to get mixed in with. Fellow officers Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen with Major Crimes come in. They come over and Harvey introduces them to his new partner. The officers wonder if they have any leads and then Crispus offers to take case off their hands. Harvey considers it but then take offense when Renee tells him to do the right thing for once. The older detective sends them off and complains to Jim about how they think they're better than the regular cops.

The next morning, Captain Sarah Essen calls Jim and Harvey in and they watch a newscast of Mayor Aubrey Jim promising to bring the killer to justice. Sarah tells them to take whatever resources they need and close the case, and Harvey tells Jim to go outside and give him a moment with the captain. He goes into the squad room and overhears Harvey arguing to get Jim reassigned to another partner. She refuses and Harvey storms out. He admits that Sarah told him to keep Jim because he's a war hero, and Jim' father was a big-shot DA back in the old days. Harvey advises him to use his influence to get a transfer, but Jim wants to be where the action is. His partner warns him that the city and the job aren't for nice guys, and Jim calls him a cynic and a slob. Realizing he's not going to lose his new partner, Harvey says that it's time to roust some muggers.

The detectives hit the streets and bring in possible suspects, but come up with nothing. Back at the station, they talk with the coroner, Edward Nygma, who confirms that the killer used an expensive bullet to kill the Waynes. Jim figures that it's a professional killer posing as a mugger, or someone with a grudge against the Waynes. Harvey points out that the killer would have had no way of knowing the Waynes were going down the alley at that particular moment, and suggests that they go see Fish Mooney. Jim knows that Fish works for Carmine Falcone and handles the theater district, and Harvey figures she'd hear anything that was going on.

The two detectives go to Fish's nightclub and wait for her. Outside, Fish beats one of her men, Raoul, who is holding back money from her, while Fish's lackey Oswald Cobblepot holds her umbrella. The waiter comes out to tell Fish that Harvey is there, and she leaves her men while she goes in. One of the men, Butch Gilzean, offers Oswald Fish's baseball bat, and Oswald gleefully takes it and beats Raoul, laughing.

Inside the club, Harvey and Fish exchange friendly greetings and Harvey introduces her to Jim. Jim asks about the screaming and Fish readily admits that she was beating up a staff member who was stealing money from her. Harvey tells his partner to back off because Fish gets special treatment, and invites Jim to go back and see if anyone wants to press charges. Jim goes out and finds Oswald viciously beating Raoul, the others tell him to take it easy, calling him "Penguin" because of his birdlike looks. The detective introduces himself and tells Oswald to drop the bat. They all pass it off as fun, even Raoul, and Jim realizes that it's pointless to pursue the matter. He goes back inside where Harvey and Fish are finishing up their chat, and Jim leaves with his partner while Fish watches him.

That night, Jim goes to the apartment of his fiancée, Barbara Kean. She's grateful that he's in a suit and out of a patrolman's uniform, and Jim pleads exhaustion. Barbara readily gives in and asks about his day, and Jim explains about his promise to Bruce and how he can't deliver. He wonders if he's out of his depth, and Barbara assures him that he can handle it. Barbara promises to put him on a healthy diet once she's Mrs. Barbara Gordon, and they kiss.

The next morning, Jim gets a call from Harvey saying that he has a lead. When Jim gets there, Harvey is clearly hung over but shrugs it off. He tells Jim that Fish heard from one of her fences that a man named Mario Pepper tried to sell him a necklace matching Martha's. Mario has a record as a robber, drug dealer, and extortionist, and they go up to his apartment. A young girl, Mario's daughter Ivy, answers the door. She says that her father is mean and they don't want to talk to him, and Mario comes to the door. He insists that he hasn't done anything and reluctantly lets them in.

As Ivy tends to her plants, Jim questions Mario. Mario insists he was home at the time of the murders and his nervous wife Alice backs him up. He claims that he hasn't seen the necklace and makes a run for it up the fire escape when they threaten to search the apartment. The detectives go after him and Mario shoots at them, then flees through a sweatshop. Jim goes after him, chasing Mario into an alleyway, and Mario comes after him with a knife. Harvey shoots the crook dead before he can kill Jim.

The GCPD secure the apartment and the forensics team finds a gun and Martha's necklace. Jim and Harvey return to the station house and the other officers give them a round of applause.

Later, Oswald is reading a newspaper article on the "hero cops" when Renee and Crispus pull over. He gets in and tells them that Fish and the cops framed Mario. Oswald claims that he saw Fish with Martha's necklace and was discussing how to get it into Mario's apartment... just after she met with Jim and Harvey. They wonder why Oswald is ratting out his boss and Oswald claims that he feels sympathy for Bruce. The officers figure Oswald is trying to push Fish out, but Oswald sticks by his story and leaves.

The elite of Gotham turn out for the Waynes' funeral. As Alfred leads Bruce away, Selina watches from behind a mausoleum. Meanwhile, Jim approaches Bruce and the boy thanks him for keeping his promise. They shake hands and Bruce goes on his way.

Renee comes to see Barbara at her apartment, and Barbara says that it's been a long time. The detective comes in and asks how Barbara has been, and they make awkward small talk. Barbara reminds Renee that she's engaged, and the detective explains that the GCPD frame Mario for the Waynes' murder. Renee refuses to provide her proof but warns Barbara that Jim isn't a good guy. Barbara doesn't believe it, and Renee wonders if Jim knows all about Barbara like she does.

That night, Jim comes to Barbara's apartment and notices that she's distracted. She finally asks if he framed Mario, and he assures her that he didn't. Jim wonders who told her but Barbara doesn't say. The next day, Jim confronts Renee and asks for her evidence that Mario was framed. She admits she was wrong to reveal it to Barbara, and Jim repeats his question. All Renee will say is that he'll see the evidence when they present it at the trial, and Jim says that he'll find out who set up the frame if Mario was framed. Crispus comes over and Jim tells them both to stay out of his way as he leaves.

Jim goes back to the Pepper apartment and tells Alice to talk to him if Mario was innocent. She accuses the GCPD of planting the necklace in the apartment, and insists that Mario never killed anyone. Jim checks Mario's shoes and confirms that none of them match the description Bruce gave him.

At the station, Jim tells Harvey that Mario may have been framed. Harvey doesn't believe it but Jim suggests that Fish may have set the whole thing up on Falcone's orders. When Jim persists, Harvey warns that they'll lose their jobs for killing an innocent man, and tells his partner to forget about it because he's messing in perilous waters.

That night, Jim goes alone to see Fish, brushing past Oswald. He asks what she and Harvey talked about on his last visit. She refuses to say and suggests that he talk to Harvey, and Jim admits that he doesn't trust his partner. Fish's thugs come in and Jim figures that Fish has said enough. As he turns to go, Fish figures that he's dangerous and wonders what he's going to do, and Jim tells her that she'll have to wait and see. The two thugs come at Jim and he quickly takes them down. However, Fish knocks Jim out from behind.

The next morning, Barbara goes to the station and tells Harvey that Jim didn't come home. Harvey claims that his partner is on a stakeout and his phone battery is dead.

Fish's men takes Jim to a slaughterhouse and when he wakes up, Butch kicks him unconscious again. They string the detective up just as Harvey comes in and says that he knew where they take their problems, and asks to talk to Fish.

Fish is auditioning a comedian at her club when Butch calls her. Harvey asks her to let his partner go, assuring her that Jim was checking up on the frame because of Major Crimes' accusations. He warns Fish that MCU will come after her next and someone in her organization talked. She glances over at Oswald while Harvey warns her that he'll have to come after her if she kills Jim. Fish agrees as long as Harvey keeps Jim under control, and Harvey agrees. She has Harvey give the phone to Butch, and then tells Butch to kill the man who dared to threaten her. Once he hangs up, Butch knocks Harvey out

At the club, Fish asks Oswald to rub her feet. As he does, Fish talks about how Falcone is getting old and soft, and if anyone is going to take over it might as well be her. Oswald agrees and Fish says that he's like her son to her, and then asks why he betrayed her. She knows that he's the only one who saw her with the pearls. Oswald insists that he's loyal and offers to open a vein for her, and Fish hands him a knife and tells him to do it. He takes it and begs her for another chance, and then comes at her with the knife. Fish knocks him down with a chair and then beats his leg, screaming that Oswald broke her heart.

Butch and his men string Harvey up with Jim and sets up a camera to film their deaths. He then calls Frankie the slaughterhouse worker out and the man grabs a meat cleaver. However, Falcone and his men come in and open fire, killing everyone but Butch and the detectives. Falcone tells Butch to inform Fish that she has to get permission to kill policemen. The crime boss then tells Harvey and Jim that there are rules, and orders his men to let them down.

Falcone takes Jim for a walk and explains that he knew his father, and they had an "understanding." He figures that Jim will do the right thing when he leaves, just like his father did. Jim admits that he figured Falcone had the Waynes killed, but has reconsidered since Falcone is letting him live. He figures that Fish planted a replica on Mario and wonders why, and Falcone dismisses it as a random mugging. He set up Mario as the killer to reassure the people of Gotham, because he won't let the city fall apart because the police appear weak. Falcone tells Jim not to be stubborn, warning that bringing down the city government would throw everything into chaos, and walks away.

Harvey drives Jim to the docks and says that he lied because Jim wasn't ready for the truth. He opens the trunk, revealing Oswald, and explains that he's the one who snitched to MCU. Falcone wants Jim to kill Oswald so everyone knows Jim is with the program. If he doesn't then Harvey will kill them both. Harvey warns that even if he fails, Falcone will come after Jim and Barbara as well. He hands Jim a gun and after a moment, Jim drags Oswald out of the trunk and takes the gun. He walks Oswald to the end of the pier and the crook begs him to let him live, saying that he can help against the coming war between Falcone and Fish. Ignoring him, Jim puts the gun to Oswald's head and tells him to never come back to Gotham. He then fires the gun just past Oswald's head and shoves him into the water. Harvey, sitting back at the car, is satisfied.

Jim returns home and Barbara hugs him. She wonders what happened to him but he doesn't say.

Later, Jim drives to the Wayne manor and sees Bruce standing on the roof, arms outstretched. Alfred comes out and yells at Bruce to come down. They all go inside and Bruce explains that he went up on the roof to conquer his fear. Jim assures him that fear gives people an edge, and explains that he came there to tell him that Mario was framed by the police department and the mob, working together. He admits that he doesn't know who kill Bruce's parents. Bruce says that he's glad the killer is still alive so he can see him again. Jim asks the boy to give him a second chance, promising to find out who killed Bruce's parents and why. He puts his badge on the table and promises to clean up the police department if he can, but he can only do it from the inside. Bruce picks up the badge, and then nods in agreement and hands it back. Jim drives away, unaware that Selina is perched on the walls, watching the manor.

In the harbor, Oswald crawls out of the water and approaches a man fishing on the shore. He grabs the man's knife and cuts his throat, then turns to look at Gotham in the distance.

Written by Gadfly on Jun 26, 2019

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