By: Darryl Frisbie
This episode involves a villain referred to as “The Spirit of the Goat”, who disguises himself under a black mask. The tone of this story felt like an Alfred Hitchcock film because the villain is shrouded in mystery. When they think that they’ve killed this murderer, a copycat rears it’s ugly head. The victims of “The Goat” are the rich and wealthy firstborns, whom he captures them and then in some form crucifies them; spreading their ligaments upon a plank. The most engaging character in this plot was surprisingly Harvey Bullock played by Donal Logue. I’m growing to really like his character and we get to see a more heroic side to him. An old partner of his named Detective Dix played by Dan Hedaya tells Harvey that there are no heroes but Harvey rushes to the scene of the crime. When they finally bring down “The Goat”, a copycat crops up. This is no common copycat but is familiar with the meticulous methods of its original murderer who cuts an opening behind the victim’s ear and places a penny inside. Not as menacing as a moth placed in the mouth of the victims like in “Silence of the Lambs”, but strange nonetheless. Harvey Bullock picks up on this particular detail and proves he’s a more intelligent detective than what we’ve seen in the past. I’m so use to the egg-headed version of Bullock we know of in “Batman: The Animated Series.” So it’s refreshing to see Harvey at his best.
The lighter aspect of this episode is Edward Nygma’s interaction with Kristin Kringle. I’ve got this strange empathy for Nygma because he’s a genius and yet he is socially awkward. I have a feeling his descent into madness will be quite tragic. And though they make some obvious references to him being The Riddler I enjoy every bit of it, including his coffee mug with the question mark on it. The Penguin keeps himself pretty low key this time considering his violent brush with Maroni. He spends some time with his mother and the relationship is quite strange, like Norman Bates strange.
Meanwhile Renee Montoya and her team are investigating the murder of Oswald Cobblepot and get closer by getting an eye witness that saw Jim Gordon shoot Oswald. They interrogate Barbra and warn her of what’s coming to Jim.
Back to the case, Bullock talks to a family of one of the victims and even consults with the therapist. He tries to talk to an older relative but he seems unresponsive and he keeps clenching his fists compulsively. Harvey is hot on the trail of the next crime scene.
Harvey Bullock manages to have another brawl with “The Goat” and wins. He interrogates the man and discovers he suffers from mental illness, just like the prior suspect who dawned the black mask. Harvey realizes that each suspect has no prior history of violence, however, and things just don’t add up. Then he notices the man he arrested is clenching his fist. He finally has an epiphany and goes to the therapist and discovers she’s the culprit behind “The Goat” killings. She uses hypnotherapy to command the men she wants to act as “The Goat” and them clenching their fist is a subliminal trigger. Despite hypnotherapy being a stretch, it is a nice twist. He takes her into custody simultaneously when Jim Gordon is arrested by Montoya. Jim confesses that he didn’t kill Oswald and then Penguin decides to reveal himself in public. Everything implodes at this point.
Overall a great episode! I had a sneak peek into the next episode and it is probably the most intense one of this season. Continue to watch GOTHAM and promising things will come.
Overall Grade: 9/10