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"Negative reinforcement. To believe that the Goat is real, that it wouldn't tolerate this... Gotham wanted that. No matter how painful it was. It's true what they say. You can't really hypnotize somebody to do something that, deep down, they don't already want to do. And deep down, we all want to eat the rich. Don't we?"
—Dr. Marks to Detective Bullock

"Spirit of the Goat" is the sixth episode of the first season of Gotham. It aired on October 27th, 2014.

Synopsis

When a killer begins targeting the first born of Gotham's elite, Bullock is forced to confront traumatic memories from a nearly identical case he worked in the past. Later, Gordon is confronted by past decisions.[1]

Plot

Ten Years Ago: Randall Milkie puts on a leather mask, looks in the mirror and intones, "I am the Spirit of the Goat." He then kidnaps Shelly Lawson, eldest daughter of the wealthy Lawson family. Eight hours later, Harvey Bullock and his partner, Detective Dix, reach an old abandoned theater where Milkie was last seen. Despite objections from Dix, Bullock insists on going in without waiting for backup, and Dix reluctantly follows him. They find Shelly's lifeless body hanging from a rope. While Bullock searches for the murderer, Dix climbs onto the stage to lower the body; however, Milkie activates a trapdoor, causing Dix to fall. Milkie then charges at Bullock, knocking him over, but the detective is able to open fire on him, killing him. Bullock then goes to check on Dix, calling for help as their backup arrives.

Present Day: The body of Amanda Hastings is found near the railroad tracks, and to Bullock's horror, the body is arranged in the same fashion as Milkie's victims.

Meanwhile, Jim Gordon is absent from the scene, trying to fix his relationship with Barbara Kean. After arguing, Gordon reluctantly agrees to tell her some of his secrets, so they can share the burden. At the Gotham port, Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen find a homeless man who says he witnessed Gordon shooting Oswald Cobblepot and throwing his body into the river. With that testimony, they have enough evidence to arrest Gordon.

Gordon and Bullock go to see Amanda Hastings' parents at their home, where they ask them if they knew anyone who would want to cause Amanda harm. They meet the Hastings family's therapist, Dr. Marks, who specializes in hypnotherapy. The two detectives are unable to get any useful information out of Mr. Hastings; however, Harvey notes that Mr. Hastings, while devastated by the loss of his daughter, is acting strangely, repeatedly opening and closing his fist.

Fascinated by the case of the Spirit of the Goat, an urban legend with longstanding roots in Gotham City, Edward Nygma visits the archive room of the GCPD to find out more about it. There, he encounters Kristin Kringle, the record keeper, who is not terribly thrilled to see him, despite his attraction to her.

Comparing the past murders of the Goat with the latest murder, Gordon realizes that, since there is no sign of forced entry into the victims' homes, the murderer must have a set of keys, which would only be available to security companies or cleaning services.

Oswald visits the home of his mother to let her know he is alive. As she dotes over him, he admits that he is tired of experiencing rejection and contempt from others. His mother says she experienced plenty of the same growing up, and knows it was for the same reason as Oswald: the others are jealous of him, knowing he is destined for greater things than them. Oswald swears to his mother that one day he will be someone important in Gotham.

In the medical examiner's room, Gordon and Bullock attend the autopsy of Amanda Hastings to verify if the "copycat" is following the same modus operandi as Milkie. All the details seem to match, but Bullock asks the coroner to check the back of Amanda's head. The coroner does, and is surprised to find a penny sewn underneath the scalp. Bullock grimly replies that it is what he was afraid fo.

In the squad room, Bullock explains to Gordon and Captain Essen that the penny was a detail shared by all of Milkie's victims, but the police deliberately left it out of the reports and media coverage, knowing that Milkie was likely to have admirers, and they would have to separate out copycat killings. No one knew about the pennies except Bullock, Dix, and the former medical examiner, Ed Hayes, now deceased. Essen orders Bullock to go and see Dix, to see if he told anyone, or has any ideas about the case.

At Wayne Manor, Bruce and Alfred watch the news coverage about the murder, and Alfred asks why Bruce isn't more worried - since, as the firstborn child of a wealthy family, he fits the profile of the Goat's other victims. Bruce says it is simple: there is no one left in the world that the Goat could take him from. Alfred's face clouds, showing the flaw in Bruce's logic - Alfred cares about what happens to him.

Gordon and Bullock visit Dix in a nursing home, where he has been confined to a wheelchair after falling through the trapdoor ten years ago. Dix is aware of the present case and suggests that Milkie had an accomplice, and may even have been part of a conspiracy. Bullock rejects this theory, insisting that the "copycat", whoever he is, must have learned about the pennies from some source within the GCPD. When the detectives turn to leave, Dix tells Gordon to watch out for Bullock, as he is a loose cannon and thinks of himself as a hero, always wanting to charge to the rescue. Gordon, temporarily fazed, asks Dix if they are talking about the same Harvey Bullock. Outside the room, Gordon overhears Bullock conferring with one of the nurses, revealing that Bullock pays the bills for Dix's care, and has been sending him regular gift packages.

That night in her home, Ember Copley is kidnapped by the new Goat while packing for a trip with her parents. Knowing that they only have eight hours to save Ember, based on Milkie's past M.O., the detectives decide to give Nygma - who Gordon admits is great with puzzles - the list of security and cleaning employees who worked in the buildings of both victims, to try to find a matching suspect.

Elsewhere, Barbara confronts Montoya and offers to tell her anything that she might find out in exchange for her leaving Jim alone. However, Montoya refuses, because she already has a witness and a warrant for Gordon's arrest.

Nygma's research finally results in a name: Raymond Earl, who, according to his supervisor, had been last seen at the abandoned theater, the same one where Bullock killed Milkie. Both detectives quickly go to investigate, and find Ember hung similarly to how Shelly Lawson had been, but still alive. The two then see the Goat standing on a balcony above, and Bullock orders Gordon to free Ember while he pursues the killer. At the top of the theater, Harvey and the Goat fight, with the two eventually tumble down the stairs. The Goat gets up and attempts to attack Harvey with a hammer, when Jim arrives, tackling the Goat, and after a scuffle, manages to knock him unconscious.

At Wayne Manor, Selina Kyle opens a window and sneaks in, finding herself in a study room. She spots Bruce's investigation board hanging on the wall, and takes a small silver box from the table. She pauses briefly to watch Bruce while he sleeps on the couch, smiling slightly. She then hears footsteps in the hallway nearby, and exits silently the way she came.

At his mother's home, in the midst of a bath, Oswald is taking a bath when his mother comes in tells him not to trust anyone in Gotham, except for her. He says he has found one person in Gotham he believes he can trust, a police officer (Gordon). His mother scoffs, saying that all police are liars, but he insists that this one is different.

At the GCPD, Gordon and Bullock are watching Earl, sitting alone in an interrogation room. Bullock says it doesn't make sense - they have examined Earl's life in detail, and there is nothing to show that he had any past connection with Randall Milkie, so how could they have been working together ten years ago? The two men had similar backgrounds - low education, a list of menial jobs, and some history of mental problems, but no violent crimes committed before becoming "the Goat". Bullock confesses that Dix's theory has gotten to him, and he has started to wonder if there is a conspiracy to "create" the Goat in other people - or, even more sinister, whether there is something to the city's old legend about the "spirit" of the Goat possessing others. Gordon is concerned that his partner isn't thinking clearly, and Bullock encourages Gordon to go home and rest, needing some time alone to think. After Jim leaves, Harvey stares through the glass at Earl. Suddenly, Bullock sees Earl begin to say "no, no, no" continually, while repeatedly squeezing his hand into a fist. Bullock suddenly realizes who is actually behind the murders of the Goat.

Upon returning home, Gordon finds Barbara packing a suitcase, about to leave Gotham. She reveals to Gordon everything Montoya said, and encourages him to leave the city with her, but he refuses to run away. Right at that moment, there is a knock on the door, and Gordon answers it to Montoya and Allen, who place him under arrest for the murder of Oswald Cobblepot.

Bullock visits Dr. Marks, who is in the middle of a session with Mr. Hastings. Having analyzed the records of Dr. Marks, Harvey managed to find out that she did community service at a number of free clinics over the years, and that two of her patients were Randall Milkie and Raymond Earl. He also remembered Mr. Hastings clenching his fist during his first interview with the detectives, and has learned that it is a common exercise used by people under hypnosis, used to suppress negative compulsions. He has realized that Marks brainwashed Milkie and then Earl, to to the point where they believed their true identities were the "lie," and they really were the Spirit of the Goat.

Smiling placidly, Dr. Marks admits to everything Bullock is accusing her of, and says she was doing it for a greater purpose. She says there used to be hope in Gotham City, hope among the common people that the rich were on an equal footing with them, and that their lives mattered in the scheme of things. When this hope disappeared, she unleashed Milkie, to show the people that the rich were as vulnerable as they were. Hope seemed to return with the influence of Thomas Wayne, but after he and his wife were killed, it disappeared again, hence Earl. Bullock says she must be insane, but Marks says he is giving her too much credit - after all, hypnotherapy can't make someone do something they don't already want to do, deep down - all she did was bring it out in Milkie and Earl. Bullock says she is under arrest, and she turns to Hastings and speaks a code phrase, then orders him to kill Bullock. Hastings tackles Bullock while she runs down the stairs. Bullock manages to knock Hastings away, then fires his gun down the stairwell, hitting Dr. Marks in the leg and incapacitating her before she can escape.

Hours later, Harvey returns to the GCPD to explain the situation to Captain Essen, but he is interrupted when Montoya and Allen arrive with Gordon in tow, to put him in a cell. The MCU officers explain that Gordon is under arrest for murdering Oswald Cobblepot. Bullock (who believes Gordon actually did kill Cobblepot) hotly denies what they are saying, and Montoya and Allen place him under arrest as well. Eseen starts to object that the MCU doesn't have the authority to arrest her officers... then Bullock looks over Essen's shoulder and his jaw drops.

Standing in the doorway of the GCPD is Oswald Cobblepot, very much alive. Knowing full well what a bombshell his appearance has caused, Oswald enjoys the moment to the fullest, smiling broadly and jauntily introducing himself by his full name. Montoya and Allen are speechless - just like that, the MCU's case against Gordon and Bullock has evaporated like a bad joke. Realizing that Gordon deceived him, and they are now both under threat of death from Carmine Falcone's vengeance, Bullock lunges at Gordon, as the officers around them hold him back.

Trivia

  • According to the news report Shelly Lawson is listening to just before she is kidnapped, the Wayne family are celebrating Bruce's fourth birthday, which would make him fourteen years old at the time of his parents' murder in the first episode. This is older than the age given in the comics, in which Bruce is usually around the age of eight.

Media

References

  1. Gotham: Official Descriptions For “Spirit of the Goat” & “Penguin’s Umbrella” - GothamSite

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