"No one gets hurt." Yeah, Sure.
With the criminal underworld dealing with the fallout of Fish Mooney's failed coup, Gordon and Bullock are free to handle normal, boring cases. What looks like a simple drug deal gone wrong takes a turn when the only witness is killed in the middle of the GCPD. Gordon, more frustrated than ever with the corruption of the city, takes on the task of investigating the officers in his department.
Noticing that the detective is a bit overzealous and might get himself in trouble, Bullock and Captain Essen encourage Gordon to take it easy. Their concerns prove valid, as Gordon himself violates procedure in his hunt, making the evidence he finds useless.
Looking for assistance, he turns to Cobblepot (or Penguin) who has set up shop in Mooney's nightclub. Cobblepot has always been odd - Robin Lord Taylor definitely brings "creepy" to the character - and the slow music and awkward members of his ensemble definitely bring that into the nightclub. Gordon is clearly uncomfortable, but he still asks Cobblepot to help in the investigation a fellow officer, with the stipulation that no one gets hurt.
So of course someone gets hurt. It isn't surprising to see Penguin's enforcer get a little rough with a suspect. The revelation that he is holding the suspect's wife underwater during the interrogation is quite a shock, though.
In the end, Gordon gets his man, and rallies the department behind him. As the episode closes, Gordon is confronted by the suspect, who begs Gordon to not hurt his family. What is meant as an emotional moment fails, falling flat thanks to poor delivery and odd pacing. The situation is tragic, seeing Gordon deal with the repercussions of working with criminals, but none of that emotion lands in the scene itself.
Zsasz Goes Fishing
In transit to his execution, Butch (somehow) gets loose and promptly rescues his boss, Mooney, from an awkward and flirty torture sequence. While Butch wants to get out of town while they can, Mooney is determined to see Penguin dead first. With Zsasz in pursuit, things don't really work out, though. It's odd, though, that Zsasz and his three henchwomen fail to land a shot on Mooney and Butch from a couple dozen feet away - aren't these killers supposed to be the best?
In the end, Butch stays behind to give Mooney time to get away; hopefully he won't get axed anytime soon. Meanwhile, Mooney, putting her revenge on hold, gets out of town after an appropriately poignant scene between her and Bullock. It will be interesting to see what she brings back to Gotham in her inevitable attempts at taking the city and exacting vengeance on Penguin.
Coming Up: "The Fearsome Dr. Crane" and "The Scarecrow" are the next two episodes. Sounds like things are about to get scary.
Bottom line: With a pair of decent stories and fun characterization moments, "Welcome Back, Jim Gordon" can be forgiven for its logic issues.
Recommendation: Worth watching for Gordon's character development alone, but only if you've seen the previous two episodes.