‘Gotham’ 1.06 Recap: “I Will Always Come Back”

Even though the word “Halloween” is never explicitly mentioned in this week’s episode of ‘Gotham’, a storyline about a masked serial killer with potential supernatural connections is obviously a good fit to air just before the holiday.

Episode ‘Spirit of the Goat’ finds Bullock reliving a case from ten years earlier, in which he shot and killed a crazed psycho killer who kidnapped and murdered children from the city’s wealthiest families. The nutjob, named Randall Milkie, believed himself to be possessed by a pagan goat god who wanted him to cleanse the city. Just before his death, Milkie (speaking as “The Goat”) swore that he would one day return.

In the present day, new victims start turning up that match the Goat’s M.O. The police suspect a copycat killer (or “copygoat”), but Bullock is uneasy about the case. He finds that the victims’ bodies exhibit details (such as a penny sewn under the skin) that were never released to the public and were suppressed from the official files. The only people who knew all the details were Bullock, his old partner Dix, and the original coroner who has since died.

Bullock and Gordon visit Dix (Dan Hedaya) in an old folks’ home. Dix insists that he never told anyone about the penny. He suggests that Milkie must have had a partner they never knew about, and that there’s a conspiracy to cover up the true extent of the crime.

Bullock and Gordon eventually identify the killer as a janitor who worked in the buildings of all the victims and had keys to their homes. They track him back to the same old abandoned building where the original Goat brought all his victims. Upon capturing the killer, Bullock notices that he clutches his hand in a familiar way, and makes a connection to the hypnotherapist who’d been treating the father of the most recent victim. Bullock confronts the doctor (Susan Misner from ‘The Americans’) and unveils her as the mastermind who had been brainwashing low IQ laborers into doing her bidding. She says that she’s performing therapy for the city, to cure it of its ills.

As this is happening, Detective Montoya from the MCU has been building a case against Gordon for the murder of Oswald Cobblepot. She convinces a judge to give her a warrant and makes a big show of arresting Jim and dragging him down to GCPD headquarters. She also tries to arrest Bullock for aiding and abetting. Just then, Oswald Cobblepot walks through the door and announces himself as alive and well. Far from relieved, Bullock looks really pissed at Jim for disobeying Falcone, which will mean very bad news for the both of them as soon as word gets out.

I like that this episode puts more of a focus on Bullock and shows him to be a competent detective who figures the case out without needing Gordon to do it for him. The episode also has some really amusing comical elements, including a local TV station broadcasting the “Gotham 7 Goat Watch.”

Early on, Ed Nygma tries to tell Bullock the riddle of “The Fox, the Rabbit and the Cabbage,” but Bullock isn’t having any of it and cuts him off. Was this an intentional reference to FX’s ‘Fargo’ series, which recently made a bigger plot point of that riddle?

Nygma also has an unrequited crush on a GCPD file clerk named Kristen Kringle. Could this be a set-up for a future Christmas-themed episode? I’ve read some fan speculation that Kringle may turn out to be villain Harley Quinn, but I’m not entirely convinced that’s where the show is going with her.

In any case, this is another good episode. The show continues to exceed my initial low expectations for it.


  1. I believe Edward’s riddle used a wolf, a goat and a cabbage, but it’s essentially the same riddle.

    I really like this series…so much of this episode felt like ‘filler’, but I liked the way it wrapped up.

    I’m don’t think Kristen Kringle is Harley Quinn (Harley should be Catwoman’s age or younger at this point), but she may be the reason he turns into the Riddler (I can see losing her throwing him over the edge).

    • Josh Zyber

      The show is obviously fudging the ages of some of the characters. The Riddler isn’t supposed to be so much older than Bruce either. But I agree that I don’t think Kristen is Harley.

  2. NJScorpio

    Great episode. Some thoughts….

    Clearly the goat mask is the foundation of the Batman cowl, with Bruce taking an imagine he recalls from his childhood that struck fear into Gotham.

    Dix warning Gordon that Bullock is a “white knight” who rushes into danger was a nice touch, as well as Bullock’s conversation with the nurse, really served to explain Bullock’s attitude…and Jim’s bothers him so much. Perhaps Bullock feels that if Jim acts the way he did when Dix’s partner, he will share a similar fate as Dix. Or perhaps he doesn’t want Jim to share Dix’s fate, and Bullock is trying to protect him as well as protect himself from more guilt over the fate of a partner.

    I think the best line of the show is when Bruce says he is not worried about the Goat, because there is nobody for him to be taken from.

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