Gotham S1E6: Spirit of the Goat
Original Airdate: October 27, 2014
Recap by Sarabeth Pollock
Gotham City, 10 Years Ago.
A bald man is looking in the mirror and he puts on a mask (that looks suspiciously like the Scarecrow mask). He repeats “Spirit of the Goat” over and over.
A news broadcaster drones on about the mysterious killer known as the “Spirit of the Goat” who has been killing people. This hasn’t put a damper on the Wayne Family’s annual event, though.
A young Detective Bullock is in the car with his partner Dix. They’re staking out a huge abandoned mansion. They suspect that Randall Milke is the culprit behind the Spirit of the Goat. Dix points out that Milke thinks he’s the incarnation of the Goat. Bullock is eager to get inside to save the young woman, but Dix reminds his partner about Gotham’s “Golden Rule”: No heroes. They go inside and find a dilapidated mansion, which isn’t surprising considering the state of the outside of it. A woman hangs by her wrists on a makeshift altar. Dix runs to the top to free her. She’s cold, but not dead. That’s when the Goat creeps up and knocks Dix to the floor below the altar. Bullock becomes enraged, and as the Goat says that he will always come back, Bullock unloads his clip into Milke’s chest. “Come back from that,” he mutters. He races to check on Dix, who isn’t responsive. Sirens blare in the distance.
Gotham City, Present Day
Bullock stares in horror as a woman hangs by her wrists from a bridge. She’s dressed in white. His thoughts are interrupted by Edward Nygma, who has a riddle: A man has to cross a bridge with a wolf, a cabbage and a goat. Bullock wants to know the time of death, which Nygma says is 3am. Bullock says that the victim was the firstborn daughter. That’s the Goat’s MO. He’s already solved the case. This is a copycat. He asks Nygma about Gordon, who isn’t there. Gordon isn’t answering his phone. Bullock takes a moment to delight in the fact that he beat the Boy Scout to work. Nygma smiles and wants to continue his joke, but Bullock isn’t listening. He’s on the phone.
Gordon’s phone is ringing but he isn’t answering. He’s having a deep conversation with Barbara. She says he isn’t listening to her. She just wants one thing: half of what Gordon is carrying. James Gordon knows that he can’t share his burden with her. He explains that the city’s law and the crime are twisted together, and if she knows about it, it makes her a target. She is insistent. She wants half. She unloaded her burdens on him and he shouldered it. Now she wants to help. He assures her that he’s ok and he’s still fighting. She reminds him that she’s strong. She wants him to let her in. His phone buzzes. Gordon quickly promises to tell her all that he can in order to make it right.
Montoya and Allen are at the docks. They find a man who is living near the water. They ask if he saw the shooting and he holds up his binoculars. He had a clear view. Montoya wants to know if it was Gordon who shot Cobblepot. They show him a picture and the man confirms that Jim Gordon pulled the trigger. “We got the son of a bitch,” she exclaims.
Gordon arrives to the bridge. Bullock says that the Gotham Goat is dead. This is a copycat. He chides Gordon for being late, then says “screw you” when Gordon suggests that Bullock write him up. He’s in a bad mood because this crime scene is like having a bad acid trip nightmare. They need to go talk to Amanda Hastings’ family. Bullock asks Nygma to call him when they schedule the autopsy. Nygma seems puzzled by the request.
Mr. Hastings and his wife are shaken up at the news of their daughter’s death. Mr. Hastings is particularly shaken because he has been having the same dream over and over again about a dark presence. Gordon asks if his daughter had people in her life that might have worried them. Mr. Hastings says his daughter was beloved by all. Then his hand starts clenching involuntarily. A younger woman ushers him away, along with Mrs. Hastings. This is Dr. Marks, the Hastings Family therapist. She tells the detectives that Mr. and Mrs. Hastings are not in a position to answer questions of this magnitude at the moment. Bullock scoffs, pointing out that no one is ever ready for it. And he’d like some of the tranquilizers that the good doctor is giving Mrs. Hastings. Gordon shuts down this line of thinking before it gets too far out of hand.
Edward Nygma goes to the records room. He appears to be sweet on the clerk (played by Chelsea Spack) working there. She is uncomfortable seeing him in her office. He sniffs her when she walks by. Before she can leave, he says that he needs all of the files on the Goat murders. He doesn’t understand why anyone would resurrect the murders of a centuries-old boogeyman. Then he tells her that he’d like her parents. When she becomes flustered, he explains that her surname is Kringle. Her parents didn’t change their surname like other Kringles who moved to Gotham. And then they named her Kristin. Kristin Kringle. They must have excellent senses of humor, which intrigues him. Before she can respond, he launches into a critique of her filing system, which sends her into a frustrated rage and she leaves. Clearly Edward Nygma has a problem talking to people.
Bullock and Gordon examine the building where Amanda Hastings lived. She was last seen there the night before. Bullock says that Milkie worked for an air conditioning maintenance company. He kidnapped all of his victims from their homes. That means that he had keys. Gordon gets on the phone and requests copies of all maintenance companies in the city. When he gets off the call, he tells Bullock that they’re ready for the autopsy.
Penguin arrives home to his mother’s house. She doesn’t seem surprised to see that he’s alive; rather she’s more concerned that he has been out with another woman. He points out that he doesn’t even date, and that there are no women in his life other than her. This seems to appease her. He says that people were cruel to him, and that they hurt and betrayed him. His mother says that they are jealous of him. He tells her that one day he is going to be an important person in Gotham.
At the morgue, the coroner tells Bullock and Gordon that Hastings died of asphyxiation. Bullock tells the coroner to examine the base of her skull for a hidden incision. The coroner had missed it. As he probes it, Bullock tells him that he will find something inside the incision: a penny. It’s Randall Milkie’s calling card. It was an unpublished detail. So who murdered Amanda Hastings?
Captain Essen has joined Bullock and Gordon back in the station. Bullock explains that ten years ago, Randall Milkie put an 1813 Liberty penny in the skull of each of his victims. He has no idea why. The man had been wearing animal horns when he shot him, and he was a loner. They purposefully left the detail about the pennies out of the media just in case there were copycats. Essen wonders if anyone leaked it, but the only people who knew that detail were Bullock, the coroner who worked with them (and who has since died) and Dix. Bullock doesn’t want to talk to Dix, but Essen insists that he go speak with him.
Bruce Wayne is watching the news and working at the big desk in the study. The reporter says that Gotham’s 1% is heading out of town to avoid the wrath of the Goat. Bruce thinks that people are scared. Alfred reminds him that he is the firstborn heir, and that he should be concerned. Maybe they could go to the lake house, Alfred suggests. But Bruce isn’t leaving. He has work to do. And besides, he doesn’t have anyone left to be taken from. Alfred stares at his young charge. Alfred cares, but Bruce doesn’t see it yet.
Kristin Kringle returns to her office to find files everywhere. Nygma has taken it upon himself to reorganize everything. She drops her box and tells him that she can’t believe that he’s done this to her. Does he want her to leave her job? Nygma realizes that he has upset her. He leaves, but not before seeing that he has really done harm to any chance of a relationship with her. She thinks he’s weird, which hurts even more.
Bullock doesn’t want Gordon to go into Dix’s room, but Gordon insists. Dix is in a wheelchair playing solitaire. He has been wondering how long it would be before Bullock came for his help. Bullock laughs and says he doesn’t need Dix’s help, but Dix knows better. As it turns out, Dix didn’t spill the beans about the pennies. He was the one that told Bullock to seal the evidence, and he knows that they didn’t leak the information, which means that Randall Milke wasn’t working alone. There’s a conspiracy. Bullock gets belligerent. Dix tells Gordon that Bullock can’t stand being wrong. After Bullock leaves the room, Dix tells Gordon that Bullock is headstrong and always tries to rush into things, like a white knight going into battle. Gordon can hardly believe they’re talking about the same Harvey Bullock. But when Gordon leaves the room, he overhears Bullock talking to the nurse about the magazines he orders for Dix. It also seems like Bullock is paying for the hospital. Gordon takes this in with interest.
A young woman prepares to leave her apartment, promising her mother that she’ll be at the marina soon. Her maid helps her pack. They go into separate rooms, and the Goat knocks the maid out, and then he grabs the girl.
Bullock is at the crime scene. He calls Gordon and tells him the details. The Goat turned his victims around in eight hours, so they’re running out of time. Bullock suggests that Gordon call Nygma to help go through the list of workers. He’s good with puzzles.
Barbara confronts Montoya outside of the police station and tells her that things aren’t what she thinks about Gordon. Montoya already believes that Gordon is guilty. Barbara promises to share whatever information she can get from him, provided that Montoya keeps an open mind. Montoya has already ordered an arrest warrant. The people Gordon deals with are dangerous and they’ll put Barbara in danger. She tells Barbara that Gordon is bad news and she should leave, but Barbara refuses. She belongs by his side.
Nygma helps Bullock and Gordon go through the lists of workers, searching for ones who have recently called in sick. They eliminate all but one: Raymond Earl. He’s been squatting in a building. Bullock takes one look and says that’s their guy. They go to the building and Bullock says it’s déjà vu—this is the same building that they found Milkie in ten years prior. This is where Dix was hurt.
Inside, the Goat prepares his latest victim for the sacrifice.
When Bullock and Gordon go inside, Bullock goes after the Goat while Gordon helps the victim. Bullock is attacked by the Goat. “You can never stop the Goat. I’ll always keep coming back.” “Quit saying that!” Bullock yells. They battle it out, and Gordon takes out the Goat before Bullock can be hurt. Gordon places him under arrest. Bullock praises his partner.
At Wayne Manor, Selina Kyle slips inside a window and finds Bruce Wayne asleep on the couch. She creeps past him and cases the room. She studies Bruce’s bulletin board and realizes that he’s working on his parents’ murder case. She grabs a silver box on the desk and pockets it. With one last smile at the sleeping Bruce, she sneaks out the door.
Penguin is listening to music while taking a bath. It’s a deep bathtub. His mother comes in and puts his freshly pressed suit on a hangar. She takes a sponge and bathes her son while she tells him that he can’t trust anyone. But the Penguin says that he finally found someone else he can trust—a policeman. He can help Penguin make things right.
Essen praises Bullock and Gordon for catching Raymond Earl. Earl has a history of mental illness. After Essen leaves, Bullock says that things don’t add up. Both Milkie and Earl have a history of mental illness, no prior criminal histories, and all of a sudden they both decide to become the Goat? It doesn’t make sense. Bullock knows that they’re missing something, and that they need to figure it out or else it will never end. He tells Gordon to get some rest, but Bullock stays behind and watches Earl in the interrogation room. Suddenly Earl becomes agitated and starts clenching his fist. “Holy Ghost on a bicycle,” he mutters.
Gordon returns home and finds Barbara packing her bags. She tells him that Montoya has a witness and that she’s coming after him. Gordon knows that he can’t run. Literally. There is a knock on the door. It’s Montoya and Allen. They place Jim Gordon under arrest.
Bullock interrupts Dr. Marks’ session with Mr. Hastings. He wants to talk to her about the case, even though he doesn’t believe in therapy, or therapists (he jokes about the term “the rapists”, a nod to SNL). It turns out that she’s a hypnotherapist and she does pro-bono work. She’s been doing it for over 12 years. Bullock wants to know if she worked with Raymond Earl. He has seen Earl clenching his fist, and he’s done some research. The action allows him to refocus his energy from doing an undesirable action. But Earl and Milkie are so far gone; the puppet is pulling their strings. He knows that she was involved, and she explains that this was all a form of therapy. The whole point was for the Goat to help heal Gotham of its ills. Use negative reinforcement to scare the elite. Mr. Hastings comes in to see if Dr. Marks is all right. She gives him a code about a “golden temple” and he changes into a killing machine. Bullock is able to knock him out and shoot Dr. Marks in the foot before she can escape.
Back at the station, Essen wants Bullock to explain how he came to figure out that Dr. Marks was involved. She doesn’t quite see the correlation. Suddenly there is a noise in the station. Montoya and Allen are leading Gordon to a cell. Essen demands an explanation, and when Montoya says that Gordon killed Cobblepot, Bullock says that he didn’t shoot him at all. That places Bullock at the crime scene, so they arrest him, too. Essen says that the MCU can’t interfere with GCPD, but the MCU just wants these two officers. Gordon insists that he didn’t kill Cobblepot, and Bullock agrees. “No, really,” Gordon tries to tell him. A man is in the doorway. It’s Oswald Cobblepot. He’s smiling broadly, knowing that the shit is about to hit the fan. Bullock lunges at Gordon.
What an interesting episode tonight. Every moment we can see Robin Lord Taylor in action is a treat, but I must admit that I figured Bruce Wayne would come under attack at some point. However, it’s nice to see that Bullock has a softer side. Unfortunately, I think things are going to get ugly next week…