Gotham: “Spirit of the Goat” Recap

“The Spirit of the Goat” opens with a flash back set 10 years in the past. A man approaches a mirror and repeats to himself nervously that that he is the “spirit of the goat”. His voice rises and he says it with confidence as he puts a leather mask on and punches the bathroom mirror.

A woman is seen being nabbed by the Goat man (a.k.a Randall Milky). Harvey Bullock and his then-partner Dix are investigating the goat man murders and show up to the location where Milky is holding the  kidnapped girl. Bullocks parter tells him the golden rule of gotham is ” don’t be a hero”. Bullock ignores his partners advice and runs into the building knowing that the woman is inside. You can see the similarities to Gordon and Bullock in that Bullock was once idealistic like Gordon currently is. Bullock ends up shooting and killing Milky, only after his partner Dix is fatally wounded.

In present day Gotham, Bullock arrives at a crime scene where he is taken aback at the fact that a girls corpse is displayed in the same fashion that the Spirit of the Goat’s victims were. Bullock denies that the Goat has returned, as Milky is dead. Barbara continues to ask Jim what kind of trouble he is involved in. Jim reveals that he came to Gotham to be a good cop and that things are so complex. He states that “this city needs something more than just a cop” (like Batman?). Jim tries to reveal more to Barbara, but he is called away to the crime scene. Bullock revelas that the Goat or copycat killer, only targets first-born children of Gotham’s wealthy and elite.

Gordon and Bullock investigate the parents of the murdrered victim. They find that Amanda’s father, has preexisting emotional issues and has a therapist to help him deal with them. While being interviewed, Amanda’s father convulses while gripping his fist. Nymga meanwhile becomes very curious of the Goat man case and goes into the archives room to gather information – and an excuse to flirt with a girl named Kristen Kringle. Nygma’s flirting game fails though. He later tries to impress Kringle by reorganizing the archives which angers her and rejects Nygma’s romantic advances.

Bullock and Gordon go to the morgue and find out via a autopsy that a penny was lodged in the victim Amanda’s neck. Bullock reveals that only Milky did that. Bullock and Dix failed to include it in their report as it would just help create copycat killers. Harvey no longer denies that the Spirit of the Goat is back.

Bullock and Gordon visits Dix in a retirement home to talk about the goat. Dix is now in a wheel chair and holds a bit of a grudge against Bullock. Dix reveals that they have a “conspiracy” on their hands, that there were more than one killer.  Dix reveals to Gordon that Bullock is a “white knight”, that he rushes into danger and is idealistic just like Jim – which leaves Jim shocked.

Meanwhile, the goat kidnaps another rich female socialite. Bullock and Gordon discover that the killer or killers must be maintenance employees that would have access to the soclaite’s homes. Nymga research points Bullock and Gordon to the same building that Bullock shot Milky in 10 years ago.  They find the kidnapped girl as Harvey pursues the Spirit of the Goat while Jim sees to the kidnaped girl. Harvey and the Goat man punch it out and for a moment Harvey is at the mercy of the Spirit of the Goat, until Jim arrives and takes out the Goatman with a swift elbow to the face. Harvey gives Jim his approval and tells him  “not bad”.

Bullock is still visibly bothered even though the current Goat Man (known as Raymond) is in custody. He doesn’t understand how 10 years later a man who never met Milky can suddenly become the Spirit of the Goat and begin killing – It doesn’t add up. Raymond suddenly begins to panic gripping his fist. Harvey makes the connection that both Raymond and Amanda’s father were under the care of the same therapist we met earlier in the episode. Bullock confronts the therapist where she reveals to be the “Spirit of the Goat”. The therapist tells Bullock that she has provided therapy to Gotham’s one percent. She wanted to frighten the rich and elite. The greed had become too much and they all needed to pay. The therapist has Amanda’s hypnotized father attack Bullock, but Bullock manages to take down the Therapist.  (I wish they gave the therapist a little more back story, perhaps there will be more? I was just disappointed with her motivation.)

MCU is continuing to investigate Gordon and interviews a man who claims to have seen Jim shoot Oswald Cobblepot. Now that they have a witness, they ultimately have Gordon. Barbara meets with Montoya pleaded that she has it wrong, that Jim is trying to protect Barbara, Montoya reveals that she has a warrant to get Jim and that nothing is going to change her mind. Gordon is eventually arrested by the MCU and taken in to the Gotham Police Department. Meanwhile Bullock is being briefed about the Goat case. Suddenly the penguin arrives on the doorstep of the Gotham Police department as all the characters look on dumbfounded. Bullock learns that Gordon lied about shooting Cobblepot. Bullock’s trust is broken, which angers him and causes him to lunge at Gordon.

Wow! This episode was great. The Spirit of the Goat was entirely about Harvey Bullock, and gave us a peek into Bullock’s past. It was nice to see a Harvey-heavy episode. This by far is the best episode so far of Gotham. As the show grows,  it does not need to pack in every character into every episode. It was refreshing to see an episode not featuring Fish Mooney, Falcone or Maroni – and that’s fine. As much as I enjoy the penguin and the growing relationship of Bruce and Alfred, i’m pleased that their scenes were minimal. Giving certain story lines and characters a break are what this show needs – do not jam pack episodes! Overall “Spirit Of The Goat” is definitely the highlight of the season so far!

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