Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) learned that sometimes to do good, you have to do a bad thing first in the "Gotham" Season 2 premiere, "Damned If You Do." Things are changing in Gotham City, but it might not be for the better as a new villain, Theo Galavan (James Frain), has emerged ready to wreak havoc on the Gothan City Police Department.
Gordon has been demoted by Commissioner Loeb (Peter Scolari) back to patrol and has to direct traffic. While directing traffic, he sees a man dressed up in hockey pads, who calls himself Zaardon (David Fiero). Zaardon was given a drink called dragon’s blood by Galavan (James Frain), which causes him to act crazy. Zaardon is armed with two guns and a sword, but Gordon is able to take him down by himself, just as his new partner arrives late for work.
Back at police headquarters, Loeb fires Gordon for putting his hands on another officer after Gordon shoved his new partner for being late and leaving him to deal with a crazy person alone. Capt. Sarah Essen (Zabryna Guevara) defends Gordon, but he's forced to turn in his badge. It looks as though Gordon’s days of being a police officer are over; however, Gordon knows there’s another way. He goes to see Oswald Cobblepot, aka the Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), because Penguin can use his power to get Jim back on the force.
Penguin, who is now settled in his position as the new kingpin of crime in Gotham City, knows what Gordon wants immediately, which is for the commissioner to be fired and to get his old job back. He agrees to help Gordon if he collects a debt for him first to prove their friendship. Gordon refuses because it would break his moral code to help a criminal.
Jerome Valeska (Cameron Monaghan), who many believe could be the Joker, meets Barbara in Arkham. Barbara was sent there after attacking Leslie Thompkins (Morena Baccarin) last season. Jerome tells her she’s going to need a friend to get by in Arkham and he has a friend, Richard Sionis (Todd Stashwick), "The Mask” from Season 1, who can get her things like a phone.
Gordon pays a visit to Wayne Manor to tell Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) he won’t be able to keep the promise he made about finding the person responsible for killing Bruce's parents because he’s been fired. Gordon says the only way to become a police officer again is ugly. Bruce reminds Jim he was supposed to change GCPD, and to make that change, he might have to break his moral code for the greater good.
Bruce’s words get to Gordon and he decides to help Penguin by going to see Odgen Barker (Otto Sanchez) because Barker owes Cobblepot money. Barker refuses to give Gordon the money owed to Penguin, which leaves him with no choice but to use force to get the money. After a struggle and a chase, Gordon is able to get the money, but kills Barker in the process after shooting him in a parking garage. Gordon brings the money back to Penguin, who says he will now handle Loeb and make sure Gordon isn’t considered a suspect for the killing of Barker.
Victor Zsasz (Anthony Carrigan) and Penguin later break into Loeb’s home in the middle of the night. They convince Loeb to reinstate Gordon and retire from his position after a series of threats, which include the severed head of Loeb’s security guard. At his retirement ceremony, Galavan speaks in honor of the commissioner, while Captain Essen is named the next police commissioner.
Zaardon gets sent to Arkham and the rest of the inmates think he’s just another nut after he tells them they all should bow to him and listen to him. He collapses on top of a table and blue smoke starts to come out of his mouth. The smoke fills up the room, causing everyone to pass out. Tabitha Galavan, or Tigris, (Jessica Lucas) makes her debut as she blows up an entrance to Arkham and takes out the guards so she can break a few of the prisoners out.
Gordon is reinstated to detective and Essen is happy he’s back. She then learns six prisoners have escaped Arkham, including Barbara, Jerome and Sionis.
It turns out Galavan broke them all out because he sees potential in them. He plans on assembling them as a team to cause chaos in Gotham. Sionis says he doesn’t take orders and doesn’t want to be a part of the team. Theo’s men cut him loose, but he’s then killed by Tabitha in front of everyone to send a message they shouldn’t want to leave Galavan.
At Wayne Manor, Bruce and Alfred (Sean Pertwee) explore the secret passageway behind the fireplace in his father's study. They go down a staircase and find a door with a keypad. Unfortunately for Bruce, neither he nor Alfred has the code to open the door.
Bruce continues to struggle to get through the door and he decides he's going to try to break through the door with explosives. Alfred discourages it, but doesn't want Bruce playing with explosives by himself, so he helps Bruce blow the door open. Inside, Bruce finds a note from his father that says he can’t have both happiness and the truth, and recommends his son pursue happiness unless he feels a greater calling.
Other Major Moments From Episode 1:
- As of episode 1, Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) is no longer part of GCPD. He’s decided to step away from the job and now spends his time working as a bartender. He couldn’t stand being demoted and doesn’t want to be the lowest ranking officer there is.
- Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) continues to slip into insanity and has developed a split personality. Nygma argues with himself in the mirror, as a darker, confident and evil persona is shown talking back to him in the mirror.
- Barbara’s character surprisingly continues down the road of becoming a villain. She’s able to get a phone in the asylum and she calls Gordon claiming she’s innocent while leaving a threatening voicemail for Thompkins at the same time. Gordon and Leslie are still a couple, but Gordon’s job and Barbara’s craziness could become a problem for them.