Monday night’s episode of Gotham may have been titled “Prisoners,” but really it should be called “Jim Gordon and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” Because not only did Gordon have to tolerate several weeks at Blackgate, but he also encountered a corrupt warden, all kinds of violence, and bad news after bad news about his loved ones and friends.
The episode begins with Gordon going through the daily grind of prison life: Wake up, line up, exercise, laundry duty, terrible food, sleep, do it all over again. Despite telling Lee to leave him and never look back, he keeps a picture of her on his cell wall. He remains silent about his predicament, his anger, his sadness, about everything really.
After apparently several weeks of doing hard time, Blackgate’s warden reveals to Gordon that it’s time for him to move into general population, but he’s not just going into the regular pen. He’s headed for F wing, a.k.a. the “world’s end” because that’s what it is for most people: the end.
Gordon’s bound for a terrible time in F wing, not only because the warden has it out for him (he happens to be a friend of ex-Commissioner Loeb), but also because Gordon helped put away a lot of the prisoners who are currently stationed in his new home. The only way out of F wing is parole or a body bag, the warden tells Gordon, and “nobody gets parole.”
As Bullock vents to Ed at the GCPD that no one is helping to figure out who set Gordon up to take the fall for Pinkney’s murder (which makes Ed smile for obvious reasons), Gordon’s life is about to get even more difficult in his new F wing home. The warden tells a prisoner that it’s time to stop the games: He wants Gordon dead by the end of the week.
Bullock visits Gordon in prison, and starts their conversation off with his typical joking self. But things get real serious, real fast. Bullock is unfortunately given the devastating task of revealing to Jim that Lee lost their baby. And not only that, but Lee moved down South after this horrible news and hasn’t been heard from since (understandably). Jim is about to lose his cool that he has cultivated so carefully for the last weeks in prison, but Bullock continues to try and help his friend and partner. “Don’t let this break you,” he pleads, but Gordon’s breaking isn’t going to result in his usual angry outbursts. No, instead he looks as though he’s ready to just throw in the towel altogether when the warden’s prisoner starts provoking him and beating him up.
A young man attempts to intervene and save Gordon from too big of a beating but ends up being sent to the infirmary, as well, after a good-natured cop stops the fight and sends the warden’s prisoner, Weaver, to “the hole.” This young man, Peter, a.k.a. Puck, seems ready to march out to the battlefield with Gordon if he asks him to because Gordon saved Puck’s sister from a kidnapping. Puck is in prison for “borrowing” a car to impress a girl, but unlike his grandfather who spent his life in prison, he’s not willing to die at Blackgate. Gordon warns him to stay away if Puck is serious about this statement.
The warden attempts to rattle Gordon some more as he leaves the infirmary by revealing he knows Gordon’s baby died. But Gordon’s not quite ready to give up completely, especially after Puck gets beaten up by a newly-released-from-the-hole Weaver and his buddies. But Puck continues to have Gordon’s back.
After being urged to go check up on Puck by the good-natured cop that saved Gordon earlier in the episode, Gordon tells Puck once again to stay away from him. But it’s not before Puck tells Gordon he needs to choose life, despite the sadness that is built up inside of him. Puck continues to choose life despite the fact that the beating gave him a dangerous clot. Our favorite good-natured cop then warns Gordon that, later that night, Blackgate is hosting it’s weekly movie night. “Be ready,” the cop tells Gordon, the whole wing will be together in the dark. Who knows what might happen?
Bullock continues to fight for Gordon on the outside, but he’s running out of options. So instead of quitting, he turns to the only person he can think of: Carmine freaking Falcone.
Back in the prison, Gordon makes his way to movie night, and it’s all but confirmed that something fishy is going on. If this isn’t the perfect time for Weaver and his crew to make their violent move, nothing is. And right on schedule, Weaver takes a sneaky seat right behind Gordon as the opening credits begin (P.S. Who else thinks it’s hilarious that the prisoners are watching a Warner Bros. cartoon?)
NEXT: Oswald & Elijah vs. The World
Meanwhile Oswald continues to bond with his father while his step-family seethes in the corner. Oswald and his new makeshift family begin the episode talking about how Elijah and his wife, Grace, met. It’s a story as old as time: Elijah met Grace as a waitress and decided to shield her from her terrible life. And obviously, Grace is using Elijah for his money, but now that Oswald has entered the Van Dahls’ lives as Elijah’s only true blood relative, the threat of “poverty” looms heavy on Grace and the kids.
First Grace attempts to reveal to Elijah the true extent of Oswald’s past crimes, but unluckily for her, Oswald revealed that he was haunted by his violent past and Elijah swiftly forgave him. In fact, he even joked that Oswald was being modest about his criminal dealings.
Next, Grace tried to pawn her daughter off on Oswald for the crime of lust, but no such luck. Oswald truly does seem to be a changed man after his creepy therapy sessions with Hugo Strange.
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Elijah and Oswald in the meantime have been bonding day in and day out. The two reminisce over Gertrude, Elijah takes Oswald for a suit fitting, he tells his son about his health condition — he has a hole in his heart that just keeps growing — and he even reveals to Oswald that his father committed suicide, a fact he has kept private most of his life.
Unfortunately for Elijah, Grace has been slowly skipping his medications for his heart condition, and the results greatly weaken Elijah’s heart to the point that he has to call his lawyer to settle his affairs. It’s time for Oswald to get the wealth he is owed. But Grace and the kids have one more way to try and get Oswald out of their lives and away from their money: They try and poison him, but the plan backfires when Elijah drinks the poisoned alcohol meant for Oswald (side note: Did they poison the drink with ACID?!). Elijah dies in Oswald’s arms, just like his poor mother.
Finally we turn back to Gordon’s big confrontation. Weaver attempts to take Gordon out until another prisoner comes up and starts stabbing Gordon in the side. He is pronounced dead in front of the warden and wheeled out on a body bag. Thankfully for Gordon, the whole thing was just a stunt pulled off by Bullock with assistance from Carmine Falcone to help Gordon escape. Of course, Gordon won’t be leaving until he can first rescue Puck, as well.
Gordon, Puck, and Bullock make their way out of the city and meet up with Carmine Falcone, who gives Gordon two choices: Either he can stay in Gotham in a safe, secure location, or Carmine can get him out of the city. Gordon chooses the former, and it’s no surprise. As Bullock says, the guy’s a fighter, and he won’t be able to rest of until his name is cleared, he finds Lee, and he brings the right people to justice. Unfortunately, Gordon is only pushed to that decision after he finds Puck dead in the passenger seat of the escape truck. Watch out, Ed. It’s time for some people to get punished.