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Why Gotham's Latest Murder Had To Happen, According To Ben McKenzie

Spoilers for Monday night’s Gotham midseason finale are below.

Season 2 of Gotham has been a pretty crazy affair, with villains coming and going (and coming and going and coming and going), and a pronounced shift in procedure from GCPD’s elite. The latest episode, “Worse Than a Crime,” capped off the first half of the season with the death of major baddie Theo Galavan at the hands of Jim Gordon. And while that seemed like a shocking and perhaps misguided move, actor Ben McKenzie believes the death was necessary, both in the moment and for the show as a whole.

When faced with letting [Galavan] go again or taking extreme action, [Gordon] gives into Penguin's fairly logical argument, which is: How can you be assured that if you arrest him again, he doesn't just escape again? So he goes down that path. ... He's really just done with it all, just over the feeling. He's surpassed the point of feeling guilt and remorse. He's simply going to do what he's got to do, and if that's killing a man in cold blood who deserves it, then that's what he'll do.

That’s definitely the logical progression of events from Gordon’s actions in the season premiere, in which he committed cold-blooded murder to pay a favor to Penguin. Those two guys are certainly more in cahoots than I ever expected they would be, even though the series basically starts off with Gordon sparing the hoodlum’s life. I’m not sure if this is going to actually help Gotham City or damn it further, but I’m betting on the latter, considering we’re still years away from the necessity of Batman’s existence.

So killing Galavan was obviously a solid move on Gordon’s part, when taking into account how much the duplicitous criminal might have corrupted Gotham had he taken on a position of power. Even if it means Gordon facing the wrath of Michael Chiklis, who has got to be reaching the end of his rope at this point. And this act also further informs Gordon’s personal views on the morally difficult ways in which justice is achieved in his city. McKenzie also told TV Guide this:

We're exploring the origins of Gotham, and the way that we're exploring the city paints it as such a violent and corrupt and chaotic place that it's hard to imagine a law man like Jim Gordon surviving and much less rising to the top of our hierarchy without getting blood on his hands...He's a burdened hero, out there in a lawless town trying to maintain order. If it means he has to walk into a saloon and kill all the bad guys point blank without the other guy even pulling his gun, then that's what he has to do.

I love the fact that McKenzie says “saloon” as if Gotham City is centered in the Wild West. I’d be down with Gordon rocking a cowboy hat and a pair of spurs. Or maybe Bullock should get to wear those.

Viewers are obviously interested in this season’s storyline, even though the ratings haven’t been quite as high as they could be. And Gordon’s life is only going to get more exciting and troublesome as villains new and old cause trouble when the show returns next year.

Gotham will be back on Fox for the remainder of Season 2 starting Monday, February 29.

Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.