SPOILER WARNING FOR THE FOLLOWING REVIEW:This review will contain spoilers for the episode discussed, please make sure to watch the episode and then check out this recap, unless spoilers are your thing.
Gordon experiences life on the other side of the law as a very unpopular inmate inside Gotham’s Blackgate. He has to deal with some dangerous inmates, many of which he himself arrested, shady prison guards who don’t seem to take too well to police who have a code of ethics or morals of any kind (definitely not Gordon’s type), and a Warden that seems to want nothing short of Gordon’s ultimate demise. But as we know, Gordon has faced worse.
While Gordon tries to stay alive in prison, Gotham’s prince of crime becomes accustomed to his new home, and his new family. His father, poor Elijah’s health is quickly deteriorating and the inconvenient fact that Oswald is his only blood relative quickly becomes very important. It’s very important, and very inconvenient, to Elijah’s other family, Grace and her two children Sasha and Charles, who have clearly been waiting for this day (and inheritance) for quite some time. Oswald’s arrival couldn’t have come at a worst time for them, as the riches they have longed for is right in reach, and Oswald’s step-family isn’t going to lie down and let him just take it.
As if Gordon’s life couldn’t get any worse, he is being moved from the protective custody ward of the prison to general population, which generally speaking, is never a good thing. But if Gordon had to watch his back before he definitely needs to have his wits about him in general population, or cell block F, or the world’s end, as it is so lovingly referred to as. This is where most prisoners, whose sentences will require a lifetime or less, come to die, a fate that is coming for Gordon as the Warden gives the orders that he doesn’t live out the week. Life proves not to be done kicking Gordon as he is down when his only friend on the outside, Bullock comes to visit him with some bad news. Lee has lost the baby, and since moved away and hasn’t been heard from in weeks. Bullock promises he will do whatever it takes to get his old partner out of Blackgate, and whatever it takes will entail calling on some help from an old “friend”.
As Gordon wrestles with his demons inside his cell, Penguin is beginning to feel his old demons stir inside of him, causing him guilt for leading Elijah into thinking he may be something he is not. Oswald goes for something most characters on television don’t come out and do right away normally; he confesses his past life and sins and tells the truth to Elijah. And like a good loving father, Elijah forgives his son right away for any past trespasses. This is Oswald’s new home, and who he was before is not who he has to be going forward. The truth sets Oswald free, and helps him to fumble Grace and her children’s plan of ousting the unwanted stepchild as a harden criminal. When confronted with the news of Penguin’s past Elijah is unfazed, and the threat of murder and rape from the Penguin is extinguished instantly. Afterall, as the Penguin points out, he’s never raped anyone. Grace does have a plan B though, which is to send Sasha in to seduce her way into Penguin’s heart (pants). But as she puts it, Penguin is a simple man, and he is devoid of sexual desire for his step-sister, to which he views as practically family. But Grace isn’t ready to quit black widowing just yet, and the only recourse she is left with is to get rid of Penguin once and for all.
As Gordon’s mantle of being in the GCPD follows him everywhere like a target on his back behind the prison walls, it does provide him the chance to make a few allies. Gordon would have probably died within the first 6 minutes of the episode if it wasn’t for prison guard Wilson Bishop, who constantly has his eye on Gordon and there to provide a head’s up to ensure his safety. There is also Puck, a mixed up young car thief who has nothing but admiration for Detective Gordon, the man who saved his little sister from kidnappers a season ago. Gordon didn’t just save her, but many others, and this act alone makes Gordon an unwavering hero in Puck’s eyes. This adoration though ends up costing Puck as it makes him a target for a jumping in an attempt to bait Gordon into fighting. Gordon’s resolve is pretty icy at this point, he not so wrongly decides that he needs to see this alone, having friends would only put a target on their back as well, and Puck’s bruised and bloody face prove this true. But even with a couple of broken ribs, eyes he can’t see out of, and a face looking closer to a dead shade of purple more than anything else, Puck still provides Gordon with the reminder he so desperately at this time needs: the two H’s. Of being a hero, and having hope. A reminder Gordon will have to cling to if he wants to survive movie night.
How do you kill a Penguin? Like everything else, you poison it. Grace’s plan isn’t bad; her husband Elijah no longer drinks due to his poor health, so setting a bottle of poison disguised as a bottle of celebration toast would have assuredly been cheered by Penguin, once his father tells him he is now the sole benefactor of his large sum of wealth. What Grace couldn’t have anticipated was Elijah being so overjoyed with the reunion of his son, and perhaps making up for the sins he has held onto for so long for abandoning Gertrude, that he would be the one who would want to cheers it up, and therefore bringing about his untimely death a little ahead of schedule.
Prison movie night is as much fun as it sounds, but it does prove to be a lively time for Gordon as not only does he get jumped, he gets shanked to death as well! It’s sad to think that the strong, courageous man we’ve been following these past 2 seasons meets his end on the dirty floor of a prison’s recreation room, but as Gordon is carted off in a body bag we will always remember him for the man he was…just kidding, Bullock totally came through for his best friend/partner and fandangled an elaborate escape for good ol’ Jim. But this escape didn’t come for free, as Bullock had to pull some strings and call in some favors and practically beg retired Gotham mob boss Falcone to help out an old friend. Falcone offers Jim one of two options: he can provide safe passage out of the country for Gordon, or provide a safe place for Gordon to stay in Gotham. Gordon may be an escaped prison inmate, but he is still a man of his convictions, and his only desire right then is to find Lee. But to do that he has to clear his name, and he can’t do that without returning to Gotham and making right what had gone so wrong.
Both Gordon and Penguin both find themselves in strained situations at Prisoners’ end. Gordon will undoubtable be a wanted man returning to Gotham, with not just the police but a wide array of criminals he will have to traverse through as he finds a way to clear his name. We will see how long Penguin’s new sanity holds him back and in the dark of the conniving nature of his stepfamily. As Galavan can attest, when you murder one of Penguin’s parents, things don’t usually end so well for you.
Photo credited to: FOXTV/Gotham