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Lieutenant James Gordon
|Relatives:||Frank Gordon |
James Gordon is a fictional police detective and one of the main characters featured on the FOX Network television series Gotham. Played by actor Ben McKenzie, this is a younger version of the more well-known Commissioner Gordon featured in other programs within the Batman franchise, and chronicles his life as a junior detective prior to ultimately becoming the police commissioner of Gotham City.
James Gordon was born and raised in Gotham City. As an adult he began dating wealthy socialite Barbara Kean, and often stayed at her penthouse apartment. Armed with a strong sense of justice, Jim joined the Gotham City Police Department. He went into the game knowing that all of the cards were stacked against him and that he would be swimming within a fetid pool of crime and corruption. Partnered with a cantankerous blowhard named Harvey Bullock, Gordon committed himself towards being a good cop and not letting himself become consumed by the corruption that surrounded him. Bullock, having long since given up any sense of straight-laced law and order proved to be very difficult to work with.
One of the most defining moments in Jim Gordon's career with the GCPD was when Bullock and he were charged with investigating the murders of Gotham's favorite patrons, Thomas and Martha Wayne. Gordon interviewed the Waynes' orphaned son, Bruce, and made him a promise that he would solve his parents' murder - no matter what.
Investigating this particular case became increasingly complex as he discovered that crime boss Carmine Falcone had been responsible for framing a man named Mario Pepper for the crime. Pepper was linked to one of Falcone's associates - a nightclub owner named Fish Mooney. While becoming drawn into Fish Mooney's operations, Jim Gordon was manipulated by Falcone into showing that he was "on the right side". Under Falcone's orders, Gordon was to murder one of Mooney's underlings, Oswald Cobblepot, who also had happened to be a police informant for the Major Crimes Unit. Jim Gordon refused to kill a man in cold blood, so he faked Cobblepot's death with the warning that he was never to return to Gotham City. Fish Mooney, Carmine Falcone and even Harvey Bullock were all satisfied that Cobblepot was gone and that Gordon was someone they could control.
Jim Gordon's work load with Harvey Bullock involved tackling some fairly unconventional crimes, including a man that used hot air balloons to commit murders, a disgruntled chemist who used a drug called Viper to turn people into super-strong psychopaths and a man hypnotized into believing he was the embodiment of a serial killer known as the Spirit of the Goat.
To make Jim Gordon's life even more complicated than usual, he had to deal with the tension of knowing that Oswald Cobblepot had returned to Gotham and was now tied to the Maroni crime family. Gordon warned him about coming back, but Cobblepot did not appear to understand the danger he was placing him.
A witness to the alleged murder of Oswald Cobblepot informed the GCPD Major Crimes Unit and detectives Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen came to Barbara Kean's home to place Gordon under arrest. Gordon protested his innocence, but no one believed him until Cobblepot appeared in the middle of the Gotham City Police Station - alive and well. The knowledge that Gordon was not on Falcone's payroll as many had believed did not sit well with other members of the GCPD - in particular, Harvey Bullock.
Carmine Falcone wanted to arrange a meeting with Jim Gordon, so he sent his assassin, Victor Zsasz, to the Gotham City Police Headquarters to collect him. Although he was instructed to bring Gordon in alive, Zsasz remarked that he was not given any special details about what condition Gordon needed to be in. After clearing the room of personnel, he ordered Jim to accompany him. Gordon knew that such a meeting would likely result in his death, and he was not about to go down quietly. A firefight erupted between the two and Jim took two gunshot wounds; one to the abdomen and one to the back. Despite the blood pouring out of his body, he did manage to evade Zsasz and escape from the station.
Fortunately, Jim found aid in the forms of Crispus Allen and Renee Montoya. Now convinced that he was innocent of the alleged murder of Oswald Cobblepot, they were only too eager to help. They brought him to Gotham University where a doctor they trusted was able to stitch Jim up.
Knowing that he was living on borrowed time, Gordon decided that he was going to go down fighting. He filed arrest warrants on both Carmine Falcone and the corrupt mayor of Gotham, Aubrey James. Making his peace with Harvey Bullock, the two armed themselves with shotguns and apprehended the mayor. They brought him to the Falcone estate where they then attempted to arrest Carmine Falcone. Falcone had an insurance policy however. He had captured Barbara Kean and was having Victor Zsasz watch over her elsewhere on the property with instructions to do with her what he will upon his order. He admired Jim Gordon's sense of righteousness and told him that he would be willing to let Bullock, Barbara and he leave without harm, but he had to abandon this notion of arresting him. Gordon was not willing to leave Barbara to Zsasz's creative and violent imagination, so he backed down. As promised, Falcone let her go free and Gordon and she were allowed to return home unmolested.
Rise of the Villains Edit
Because he had gotten on Commissioner Loeb's bad side one too many times, Gordon was demoted to working as a traffic cop. He continued at this for about a month when he witnessed a lunatic calling himself Zaardon accosting people on the street. GCPD officer Franks also responded to the call, but it was Gordon who took Zaardon down. Because Gordon laid hands on Franks however, he was in violation of his job duties. Commissioner Loeb used this incident as a reason to fire Gordon. After handing in his gun and badge, Gordon promised to bring Loeb to justice.
Jim Gordon turned to the one resource he perpetually wished he never needed to rely upon - Oswald Cobblepot. Cobblepot was more than happy than to do his "good friend" a favor, but he expected something in return. He wanted Gordon to collect $70,000 from a former Falcone associate who was in debt. Jim reluctantly fulfilled the request, which resulted in the death of the debtor, Odgen Barker. Cobblepot made good on his word and put pressure on Loeb to retire from service as Police Commissioner. The new Commissioner was Sarah Essen, who reinstated Jim Gordon as a detective. 
Notes & Trivia Edit
- The character of James Gordon was created by series show-runner Bruno Heller and director Danny Cannon based on concepts originally developed by comic book writer Bill Finger and artist Bob Kane.
- The Gotham version of Jim Gordon is the second live-action iteration of the character. The original Commissioner Gordon was played by actor Neil Hamilton and appeared in the 1966-1968 Batman television series.