Episode 6 – Spirit of the Goat
Reviewed by Alan
Harvey Bullock has long been a fan-favourite character in the Batman universe, and he’s been a constant presence in the show so far. The counter-point to Gordon’s hope and heroism. The cop who just wants Jim to get with the program.
So episode 6 finally allows him to get some of the focus that’s been consistently elsewhere throughout this first run of episodes. When the Spirit of the Goat, a serial killer of Gotham’s rich elite, resurfaces after being shot dead by Harvey 10 years previously, Harvey’s forced to confront some of those old demons, allowing Jim a glimpse that there’s more to Bullock than he’s seen to this point.
Starting off with a great flashback to setup current events, we’re shown a far more heroic, dare I say, Jim Gordon-esque, Harvey that provides a nice counterpoint to what we’re used to. There’s some nice insight into the character in this episode, that gives us a hint of the good person he can still be, while only starting to hint towards the kind of events in Gotham that have chipped away at him.
The episode provides a lot more focus on that plot than previous episodes. Gone this week are the machinations of the various crime bosses, and we’re only allowed gimpses at what Penguin, Bruce and Selina are up to, allowing the central piece of Harvey’s story room to breathe.
Less successful, remains the Riddler. He’s given more screen time here, but still feels incredibly forced. As he stands at crime scenes trying to get Harvey to try and solve his riddles, and holds his question mark mug,it just makes him stand out more and more as the weak link in the show as they beat us around the head with his future. There’s none of the intensity of young Bruce, or the fun in seeing Penguin work his way to the top. I can only hope the creators have something more interesting planned for the character soon.
And I can’t finish the review without mentioning Jim Gordon and the Penguin’s “murder”. Its nice to see this plot thread move on between Montoya and Crispus Allen investigating what happened on the pier, and Jim’s own discussions with Barbara (they’ve clearly been working on their issues between episodes), Jim’s secrets are both weighing on him, and catching up with him, and its nice to see this building to something, even if that something promises only to be the tip of the iceberg.