Last week’s episode of Gotham, “Mad Grey Dawn,” saw Ed Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) become the Riddler by outsmarting Gordon and framing him for a murder he didn’t commit. Now the former GCPD golden boy has been disavowed, arrested, and thrown in prison.
“When you pitch these kinds of stories, you never think you’re going to be able to get there, and then you’re there!” executive producer John Stephens tells Nerdist with a laugh. “I was happy to do that. No one is above the law!”
According to Stephens, while locking Gordon up seems like an out-of-the-blue idea, the inspiration for the storyline was rooted in the core DNA of the show.
“We really wanted to stay true to that neo-noir idea, something that frequently happens in all of our stories is the person who is the crusading character becomes a victim of the very thing they themselves are setting up,” Stephens says. “And we’ve also been telling the story of Gordon becoming morally and ethically compromised this year. The way to really bolster that in an objective way is to send him to prison.”
He continues, “We wanted it to mean a few things on a couple different levels. We wanted him to be guilty and feel guilty about how he murdered Galavan [James Frain], but also to be sent to prison for something that he’s innocent of. He’s innocent on a technical level, but feel that after what he’s done, at the end of the day, on a moral level he deserves to be there. And we thought it would be cool to do a prison episode.”
While it may have seemed like Gordon gave up hope about ever getting out when he told the pregnant Lee (Morena Baccarin) to move away and move on from him, Stephens reveals he wasn’t resigning to life in prison.
“He was trying to do what was best for her,” Stephens says. “Even if he was going to try to get out of prison or if he will try to appeal his case, he didn’t know how long that would take. It could take a year, five years, 10 years. He was trying to be heroic. He was trying to sever their relationship so she could go on and have her own life and not be waiting for him. Even in his darkest moments, he’s still a hero. He’s being self-sacrificing.”
As for how Gordon is going to fare with life in prison in tonight’s all-new episode, “Prisoners,” expect the worst.
“It ain’t going to be good!” Stephens says with a laugh. “When he goes to prison, a lot of people that are in that prison are people that he put there. He’s not going to be very comfortable. He’s going to have a hard time adjusting.”
And Bullock is going to have an equally terrible time on the other side of the bars, trying to cope with losing his partner/BFF and knowing that Gordon’s life is going to be in danger while in prison.
“As painful as Gordon’s life on the inside will be, Bullock is going to be his one bright spot,” Stephens says. “He’s visiting him, trying to arrange special treatment for him, trying to make his life better on the inside. On a very basic level, trying to keep his partner alive, because Gordon in prison is going to have to fight for his life every single day. Bullock is fighting against a ticking clock with Gordon in prison.”
“Prisoners” is also going to focus on Oswald Cobblepot’s (Robin Lord Taylor) new family, after he discovered his father Elijah Van Dahl (Paul Reubens) was still alive at the end of last week’s episode. Now Owsald is moving in to the Van Dahl estate, much to the ire of Elijah’s wife Grace (Melinda Clarke) and her two grown children.
“Shocking, right?” Stephens says with a laugh. “We are going to watch Oswald’s relationship grow with his father, and by the same token, the nature of his now step-mother and step-sister and step-brother’s intentions will slowly be peeled back layer by layer. They’re going to try to maneuver their way around Oswald’s affections and his father’s affections to get what they want. That drama will have dark results.”
Are you as worried as I am about Gordon getting his beautiful face roughed up by other inmates? Tweet me your thoughts at @SydneyBucksbaum!
Gotham airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on Fox.