Fox’s “Gotham” has explained before that sometimes good men have to do bad things to stop a greater evil from taking place. However, the good guys must be ready to face the consequences of their actions when they do. Detective Jim Gordon’s (Ben McKenzie) past came back to haunt him in episode 15 of Season 2 titled, “Mad Grey Dawn,” and it could change the GCPD officer forever.
The episode begins with Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) stealing a painting from an art museum. He uses a fake bomb to get people out of the building. When he cuts the painting out of the frame, he leaves behind the Ridler’s signature green question mark.
Gordon and Bullock (Donal Logue) are assigned the case of looking into the stolen painting. Capt. Barnes (Michael Chiklis) informs Gordon that internal affairs has reopened the investigation into the murder of Theo Galavan (James Frain) based on a tip they received saying someone saw Gordon kill Theo, not Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor). Gordon sticks to his story that he didn’t do it.
At the art museum, Gordon and Bullock discover that whoever robbed the painting also spray-painted question marks on two other paintings. Gordon figures out it was all a clue about a potential bombing at the Market Street train station. Nygma, the one who left the clues, is at the train station waiting for Gordon and the GCPD to arrive. When Gordon gets there, he finds a locker with a green question mark on it and Nygma activates the bomb inside. By the time Gordon gets the locker open there are only a few seconds left before it goes off, so he throws the bomb behind a counter and jumps away to avoid the explosion.
When Barnes gets to the station, Gordon tells him someone is playing a game with them. Barnes wants Gordon to use all the resources he needs to find out who’s doing it. Nygma is at the crime scene and when Gordon turns to him for forensics, Nygma assures him he’s “on the case.”
After a visit with Butch (Drew Powell) and Tabitha Galavan (Jessica Lucas) results in him getting tarred and feathered, Penguin shows up at Nygma’s place. Nygma thanks him for all his help and tells him he’s using the information Penguin gave him about Gordon to make his “Gordon problem go away.” After seeing Penguin is no longer the angry killer he knew, Nygma asks him to leave.
Penguin goes to his mother’s grave, where he meets Elijah Van Dahl (Paul Reubens), who knew his mother. Elijah realizes Penguin is his son; Gertrude (Carol Kane) never told him she was pregnant, so he never knew Penguin existed. Elijah takes Penguin home to live with him.
Back at Elijah’s home, he explains to Penguin that he fell in love with Gertrude when he was just a boy and she was a cook working for his family. After his parents learned of the relationship they had started, they sent her away. He assures Penguin he now has a home with him and his family. However, the other Van Dahls might have other plans for their newfound family member.
Nygma continues his game with Gordon when he goes to Officer Pinkney’s (Ian Quinlan) home and kills him with the crowbar Gordon had used to open the safe at the train station. Meanwhile, Bullock calls Gordon and says the bomb was activated by a call from a pay phone. Gordon goes to check it out and finds an apartment door open with Pinkney dead inside. As he’s checking the body, Barnes walks in and asks Gordon to put his gun down then arrests him because it looks like Gordon is the one who did it.
Barnes had gotten a message from Pinkney that said he wanted to talk about Gordon. What really happened was Nygma set everything up to make it look like Pinkney was the anonymous tip to internal affairs and that Gordon had killed him to cover for himself. Gordon tries to explain to Barnes that he was set up, but Barnes refuses to believe him because he knows he’s lying about Galavan.
While being taken away to jail, Gordon tells Bullock to find the bomber because everything that happened was a big setup. When Gordon goes on trial, he’s found guilty of the murder and is sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Other Major Moments From Episode 15
- Bruce’s first street lesson from Selina (Camren Bicondova) ends with them getting caught trying to rob drug dealers. The main dealer is the nephew of Butch and when he puts his hands on Selina, Bruce picks a fight with him. Although overmatched, Bruce is able to endure and ends up getting a few good hits in, even though he takes some hard shots to his eye. Selina says she never saw anyone take a beating like Bruce did; he says no one will ever break him.
- When news of Gordon’s sentence plays at Arkham, Barbara (Erin Richards) wakes up from her coma. It appears she’ll be Hugo Strange’s next project.
- When Gordon is taken to jail, Lee (Morena Baccarin) comes to see him and he tells her to forget about him. He wants her to go somewhere safe where she can raise the baby and move on with her life without him. Gordon says to not contact him again and when he is taken away, she’s left hysterically crying.