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Gotham: Has Gordon Crossed a Line in His Search for Justice?

Plus: Why Jim should be worried about his promise to the Penguin

Adam Bryant

Detective James Gordon may finally have the upper hand on Commissioner Loeb on Gotham, but what price did he have to pay to get it?

When last we visited Gotham City, Gordon (Ben McKenzie) uncovered a dirty little secret about Loeb (Peter Scolari), his mentally disabled daughter, and her involvement in Loeb's wife's death. Gordon used the leverage to force Loeb to prosecute corrupt cop Arnold Flass (Dash Mihok) and also release the blackmail he had over Gordon's partner Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue). But has Jim become just like Loeb in order to do the "right thing"?

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"He is realizing how he's going to have to operate in Gotham to get things done," McKenzie tells TVGuide.com. "Using the existence of Commissioner Loeb's daughter, a fragile almost mentality handicapped woman, against her father is a pretty Machiavellian thing to do. He's going to continue to fight for the greater good. It's just a change in his tactics. Gotham is starting to wear him down and he's starting to figure out he can't play by the rules."

But Jim isn't completely oblivious to the sacrifices he's making. "He definitely worries about it," McKenzie says. "Once you've fallen off of that moral high ground you're never going to get back up there. You tend to repeat yourself if not double down and go darker. Jim's aware of that. He knows the price that he's paying for it. But he doesn't have a better option, and there's a burden with that. That's what he's carrying around with him for the last four episodes."Adding to that burden is the possibility that Loeb might concoct another scheme to shut Gordon down for good. But McKenzie says Jim isn't that worried. "Jim stubbornly pushes forward, but he would be foolish to think that it's over," he says. "I don't know that he troubles himself too much with becoming paranoid about it, but he would be a fool if he thought that Loeb was done with him."

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On Monday's episode (8/7c, Fox), however, Gordon will shift his focus to The Ogre (guest star Milo Ventimiglia), a deadly serial killer who has been active for years. "He seduces, kidnaps, tortures and then ultimately kills women in search of the perfect mate," McKenzie teases. "He ends up murdering a string of women because none of them meet his exacting standards. He's remained at large because he intimidates the police department, and any cop who takes on the case finds a loved one of his killed. So, nobody touches the case. It's a dirty little secret of the GCPD."
Of course, now that Jim is the president of the policeman's union, Jim refuses to let this dirty bit of business remain a secret any longer. "He's an ambitious man," McKenzie says. "His desire to rise up the food chain and create a cadre of like-minded souls within the GCPD is the way that he ends up taking on The Ogre case. When he is presented with the case, he can't let it go. The blood of the future victims will be on his hands if he did. So, he goes forward knowing full well that he could pay a price in his personal life. A woman he loves could be hurt."

As if he doesn't have enough on his plate, as the season comes toward its conclusion, Jim may once again find himself at the mercy of the Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), whom Jim now owes a favor for his help in blackmailing Loeb. "The bonds that bind them will never fully be severed," McKenzie says. "They are in bed together for better or worse."

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That will be wrapped up in what creator Bruno Heller promises will be a deadly, climactic finale. And for McKenzie's part, he thinks Jim's journey is only going to get darker and more complicated as the show goes on.

"This finale really helps set up a new Season 2," McKenzie says. "The overall journey of the city is a descent into chaos. You are really going to see that come into effect in the finale. It's the tip of the iceberg, but the iceberg is starting to break and descend into the sea. As we hit the finale, it's extremely chaotic and violent, and it will really shove us into a new place in Season 2 that is markedly different from where we started."
Gotham's final four Season 1 episodes begin Monday at 8/7c on Fox.
VIDEO: Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Gotham set: