‘Prisoners’ could be summarized as Gotham putting Gordon and Oswald through 40 minutes of emotional torture. Painful, but necessary.
WARNING: This review contains spoilers
Following the events of last week, Gordon is sent to Blackgate Penitentiary for a few weeks, but soon he’s no longer under protective custody and gets sent somewhere else where he coincides with criminals he’s arrested in the past. This is probably the lowest Jim has ever been and the fact that he doesn’t fight the situation -partially because he is guilty of killing Galavan- makes it all the more depressing. In fact, getting the devastating news that Leslie had lost the baby would have been enough to send him over the edge and start a fight with the other inmates, but he seemed to be numb to everything around him. Even after being rescued, the only hope he had in there, Puck (Peter Mark Kendall), ends up dying due to getting a beating for standing up for him. All these things seem to point that Jim has realized that, no matter how much he tries to do good, everything keeps tumbling down anyway.
When I talked about Harvey having to step up his game to prove Jim innocent, I wasn’t expecting him to actually get in touch with Falcone, much less to have him actually free Jim by faking his death. Fortunately, even if he was visibly annoyed, Nygma didn’t try to stop Harvey too. Perhaps Gordon’s stay in prison should have lasted a few more episodes for his return to be more impactful, but Gotham can’t really work without Gordon, especially if Penguin is not really there either. In a very metaphorical bridge scene, Gordon has the choice to either leave (escape) and find Lee, or go back to Gotham to clear his name first. He chooses the latter, we’ll see how that goes.
Meanwhile, Oswald gets to have some overdue quality time with his father, who seemed particularly chill about his sons’s criminal past. Since Oswald is the only blood relative Elijah has, the rest of the family becomes worried that they might lose the inheritance. And the thing is, no matter how hard the others try (even setting a pretty creepy non-con/incestuous scenario), Oswald is unbreakable. Elijah’s sickness getting much worse so that he would have to hurry in contacting his lawyer to (supposedly) change his will felt awfully convenient, but ended up being irrelevant because he was accidentally poisoned by his family anyway. I guess that Oswald will go back to his old self as soon as he finds out that his step-relatives are to blame for his father’s death. And, judging by the strange nightmares he has, it might seem like his previous life (and his previous self) is still in him. It’s just a matter of triggering those repressed memories. What’s Gotham without its king, after all?
‘Prisoners’ was probably the slowest episode we have had this season, but it was necessary to give these two storylines all the time they needed to get the point across. Penguin getting a second chance at life with a second parent seemed like a dream come true for him, but the fact that that was taken away from him almost feels like life telling him that he can’t have good things. Same thing goes for Gordon who, no matter how hard he tries, keeps making everything messier. It’s hard to tell what will happen to these two particular characters in the next episodes, but it’s very likely that they’ll both go back to their respective positions right in time before the season finale.