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Gotham Mega Buzz: Can Michael Chiklis Clean Up the GCPD?

See why he and Detective Gordon will butt heads

Adam Bryant

There's a new sheriff in town on Gotham. Monday's episode introduces Capt. Nathaniel Barnes (new series regular Michael Chiklis), a former Marine who is looking to turn the GCPD around in the wake of Commissioner Essen's murder at the hands of the Maniax. And let's just say, he wastes no time making a first impression -- regardless of what his fellow officers may think.

"He comes in like a bull in a china shop," Chiklis tells TVGuide.com. "My character's intention is to restore order. He's a real a law-and-order zealot. He's not worried about how [others] feel. When you have a bunch of armed assailants come in to a precinct to abrasively kill a lot of people there, he's pretty much involved in a war. These villains are completely out of hand. So he's trying to act as the counter to this."

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The role is a nice change of pace for Chiklis, who won an Emmy for his role as corrupt cop Vic Mackey on The Shield. However, filling that role on Gotham is Ben McKenzie's James Gordon, who, after killing a man while collecting a debt for Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) earlier this season, sees the world in less black-and-white terms as Barnes. And naturally, once Barnes names Penguin Public Enemy No. 1, Jim will be in a bit of a tough spot.
"He's slipping," Chiklis says of Gordon. "He's starting to really stretch the boundaries of the law and that's where he's starting to butt heads with me, because as tough as I want to be on the criminals that we're going after, I still am adamant about staying within the boundaries of the law to do it. It's a battle. They're on each other's side and he's mentoring him and he's trying to pull him back in, but it's hard. [Barnes] is grooming Gordon to be a great leader as opposed to someone who falls into the dark."

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