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    James Gordon 

Det./Captain/ Commissioner James "Jim" Gordon

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"However dark and scary the world might be right now... there will be light."

"This city...the law, the crime here, they're all...twisted up in each other like a maze. I came here to be a cop. This city needs something else."

A detective at Gotham City Police Department who works to find the man who killed Bruce Wayne's parents and get rid of the corruption at the Gotham City Police Department.


  • Abled in the Adaptation: Even in flashbacks to his youth, Gordon in the comics is shown to wear glasses, whereas this Gordon doesn't, even ten years in the future during the Distant Finale.
  • The Ace: An exceptional police officer in every regard: detective skills, morality and combat ability. He's puzzled out some genuine mysteries on his own, continually been the show's moral exemplar, and gotten into fights with a long line of nasty criminals and has beaten every single one of them. His reputation as this is such that Ed automatically assumes Jim is onto his murder of Kristen when he questions him about her whereabouts, and works to frame him as a result: in reality Jim had no idea and only asked because Lee had been needling him about it.
    • Broken Ace: By late season 4 Gotham's ground him down quite a bit. He's found it harder and harder to fight for the city without compromising his morals, and has made some very poor choices. As a result he's become much more cynical, leaving him open to Batman revitalizing his hope in the future.
  • Action Dad: To Barbara Lee Gordon.
  • Adaptational Badass: While Gordon's never been a slouch in combat skills in the comics (the famous scene where he curb stomps Flass in Batman: Year One comes to mind), we see this Jim Gordon in his prime. He's clashed with some of the most brutal villains from Batman lore, and always comes out on top. He's so good he rivals the prowess of Batman himself.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: He's notably far more cynical and jaded than his comics counterpart for most of the series; by the midpoint of season 2 he's shown to be completely fine with threatening and beating suspects when a case is personal, will use the likes of Penguin and Barbara for information and has actually unlawfully killed two people (Penguin's debtee Ogden and Theo Galavan). In fairness, this is implied to be because the city really puts him through the wringer, and he hasn't yet got the hope Batman gave him in the comics.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: As the one cop to stand against corruption, he's not popular with his fellow cops at first, and things hit a really low point when they all abandon him to be killed by Zsasz - leading him to retaliate by being so by-the-book he arrests their informants. Things get better, as he wins over Bullock and Essen, leading him to be able to rely on his fellow cops...
    • ...but then they get worse in season 4, as his determination to stand against Penguin's licences earns him the hatred of not only the cops of Cobblepot's payroll, but those cops who like the quieter life provided by crime being semi-legal. Again, this changes when he saves many cops from the Pyg's ambush, turning him into a hero and inspiring the other cops. Which, unfortunately, is all part of Sofia Falcone's plan.
  • Anti-Hero: Develops into this over time. A large part of his development is the realization by being an outright hero, he won't manage to change anything. By season three he's edging into Unscrupulous Hero territory. Once he's back on the force he makes a conscious effort to be better, approaching the By-the-Book Cop of season 1 - but he's still shown to be fine with going to Penguin/Barbara for information and threatening suspects.
  • Arch-Enemy: In the absence of Batman, he's this to an alarming amount of villains, most notably Theo Galavan, Edward Nygma, and Jervis Tetch.
  • Ascended Extra: He's in no way, shape, or form an "extra" in the comics, but he's usually depicted as a supporting character (and sometimes secondary protagonist) alongside Batman. In this show, the roles are essentially reversed: Gordon's the central character while Bruce Wayne is the secondary protagonist, although their roles do start to balance out over time.
  • Badass Baritone: Benjamin McKenzie gives him a gruff voice.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: His usual GCPD attire.
  • Bat Deduction: This happens a lot to him in the first season; at this stage the show was still trying for a mystery-of-the week plot. The problem was that while shows like Law & Order usually have a full episode dedicated to unravelling the crime, Gotham also had significant time dedicated to the storylines of Bruce, Penguin, Fish and others, none of which had any bearing on Gordon's plots. Consequently, without the time to set up clues and suspects, many of Gordon's deductions come off as incredibly lucky guesses that always happen to be right.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: Normally, he'd not allow Bullock to beat up any criminals. But when child snatchers are on the prowl? Bullock pulls a Jack Bauer on one of them without his interference.
  • Berserk Button: Don't imply he's corrupt. Seeing criminals look like they're going to get away with their crimes - Arnold Flass and the Ogre in season 1, Galavan in season 2, Penguin's licencing system in season 4 - is another major one.
  • Big Good: Played with: he becomes Captain of Gotham Central early in season 4 - but it's only because Sofia Falcone needed a puppet and blackmailed him by making him complicit in her crimes, and Bullock later convinces him that while he might not feel this way about himself, the GCPD believes in him as such and he needs to project that image. In season 5, he's the only high-ranking official left in Gotham, and takes hundreds of refugees under his protection with the remnants of the GCPD - but we see the pressure he's under and bad decisions that result, especially after Haven is blown up.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Played with over time. He's pretty much the only one in the show at first. Crispus Allen and Renee Montoya are pretty straight, but bend the rules from time to time and are antagonistic to Gordon, and Bullock is much too cynical to care anymore. But over the course of season 1 he starts to edge into Cowboy Cop territory as he realises the GCPD are no help, then largely drops it after his shooting Galavan in season 2 once he realises due process will only work in Theo's favour. He's back to this in season 3, but it's a conscious decision to be a better cop instead of inconsistent characterisation.
  • Call-Back: His experience at Blackgate is indirectly brought up by Bullock as they're interrogating a traitor on the force in "Smile Like You Mean It".
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Does this to Captain Barnes over his black-and-white outlook just before they're first confronted by Azrael.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Kills Galavan to prevent him from using his connections and money to escape justice any more. Is himself ultimately sentenced to a whopping 40 years for an unrelated murder he didn't commit but which took place as Barnes was getting wise to his real role in Galavan's death. Though he ultimately clears his name in relation to the latter, it ends up being just the start of a long conga line of problems for him.
  • The Captain: Officially so, after replacing Harvey in season 4.
  • Characterisation Marches On: He begins the show as an idealistic By-the-Book Cop, determined to fight the corruption in the GCPD. But the general insanity of Gotham and his inability to make a dent in it begin to wear him down, and we see him begin to compromise his morals in the name of the greater good - most notably when he kills Theo Galavan after realising he owned the courts and judiciary process in Gotham. From here we see Bullock's warnings in season 1 take root, with Gordon retaining a core of idealism but beeing portrayed as much more cynical and prone to Cow Boy Cop behaviour, including being ok with beating information out of suspects - something season 1 Jim would NEVER have done.
  • Chick Magnet: Well, he is played by Ben McKenzie after all - Barbara, Lee Tompkins and Valerie Vale have all fallen for him, and he has a long list of admirers beyond that. Unfortunately, things never seem to end well.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: He can't stop trying to do the right thing and save people, no matter what it costs him personally. It's telling that when he hallucinates a trial in his own mind after being shot, this is one of the main charges he envisions for himself.
    Bane: I always knew you had a saviour complex, but this is too much.
    • Best shown at the end of "Beasts of Prey". The Ogre has no idea Gordon is hunting him, so Gordon could walk away and his loved ones would be safe. But Gordon can't stomach the thought of letting a serial killer go free, or letting Loeb win, and so takes the whole thing public even after the Ogre warns him not to - with dire consequences for Barbara. In fairness he does talk it over with Lee (who he thinks will be targeted) first.
  • The Commissioner Gordon: Prior to Season 4 there aren't any actual heroes active in Gotham, so Gordon and the cops are on their own in fighting the villains. Finally goes all the way when he's appointed Commissioner at the end of "They Did What?" after stopping Bane and Nyssa from destroying the city.
  • Cowboy Cop: From season 2 onwards he shows shades of this, being a lot more willing than before to punch/shoot first and ask questions later.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: His realising that arresting Theo Galavan won't make a blind bit of difference, as Galavan will just use his influence to escape scot-free again.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Gets more pronounced as his Gotham exerience turns sour.
    Leslie: There are plenty of things in this world that can't be explained by rational science.
    Jim: Yeah, people who enjoy folk dancing, for instance. Doesn't mean ghosts exist.
  • Deal with the Devil: As his war against the corrupt cops continues, he begins resorting to making deals with Cobblepot to advance his efforts. He makes another deal with Cobblepot in the season 2 premiere, in exchange for forcing Commissioner Loeb out of the GCPD so Gordon can get his job back, Gordon agrees to strong arm a rival mobster for money he owes Cobblepot. Gordon's side of the deal goes awry and he's forced to kill the mobster - but Cobblepot follows through on his end an gets rid of Loeb. Needless to say, when Gordon suspects Penguin of doing Galavan's dirty work, Oswald brings this up.
  • Death Faked for You: How he's broken out of Blackgate, courtesy of Harvey and Falcone.
  • Death Seeker: Jervis invoked this in Gordon, but it's stated that it wouldn't have worked if he wasn't already feeling this deep down after everything he had been through and lost in seasons 1 and 2. In "The Trial of Jim Gordon", he reached the point where he does want to die, but what snapped him out of it was an image of Lee holding his and Barbara's child.
  • Defiant to the End: Always. When Barnes, Kathryn Monroe and Sofia Falcone variously have him at their mercy, he just tells them to go to hell rather than beg.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • Galavan worming in his way out of justice, combined with Gordon netting a 40 year sentence for a murder he never committed, seems to have stripped Gordon of any notion that the law can work in Gotham. While he later regains faith in law and order, he's shown to be much more cynical and prone to questionable actions from season 3 onwards.
    • In season 5, he hits it again when Haven is bombed, killing hundreds of innocent people. His inability to catch the perpetrator, combined with his saving an ungrateful Zsasz from Penguin's show trial and many of his people abandoning him for Penguin (as they didn't care Zsasz wasn't actually the perpetrator) lead to him hooking up with Barbara of all people.
  • Determinator: He's endured a lot in the series - virtually every major criminal on the show has tried to kill him (repeatedly in some cases), his superiors have tried to ruin him, he's been demoted/reassigned/thrown off the force, publically scapegoated for numerous major incidents that weren't his fault and his relationships tend to end disastrously. Yet through it all he never gives up: while he's a lot more bitter and cynical than when he started, he's never lost his faith and determination to do the right thing regardless of the consequences.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Briefly gains Super Strength due to the Alice Tetch virus, to the point where he outclasses League Assassins and Talons. He gets cured later though.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Being the only officer who actually tries to comfort Bruce after his parents are killed.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Jim unintentionally attracts a laundry list of admirers, male and female, most of whom are Ax-Crazy. At last count they include: Penguin; Nygma; Barbara; Sionis; and Theo Galavan, who genuinely planned to have Jim at his side when he took over Gotham but due to Jim's refusal to bend to him finally orders him killed. Even the Court of Owls considered him a potential inner-circle candidate, albeit as a replacement for his own uncle rather than someone recruited out of the blue.
  • Expy: For the protagonist of the 1973 film Serpico.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: While the circumstances differ from the comics - here it's the inherent lunacy of Gotham and the early rise of Batman's rogues' gallery rather than the endemic corruption (which Gordon does actually make a lot of progress against) - it's still a Foregone Conclusion that Jim can't fix everything, leading to the need for Batman. Spelled out very clearly in the DVD extras for the first season, where it's explicitly stated that Jim needs to fail as hero for Bruce to develop into one in his own right.
  • Fair Cop: It's Ben McKenzie.
  • Fatal Attractor: Dear God. Barbara and Lee both went nuts, with the former trying to ruin his life more than once. Valerie Vale got shot after becoming a pawn in Tetch's scheme, and Sofia Falcone was only using him. It's safe to say for all his qualities Jim and relationships don't mix. Until he and Lee get married at the very end anyway.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • His Chronic Hero Syndrome and Honor Before Reason streaks have led him into a lot of situations that have nearly killed or ruined him due to his inability to stop doing the right thing, no matter how many powerful enemies it makes him.
    • Has an overly-sentimental streak. Discussed occasionally in the series - a part of him will always see Barbara as his ex-fiancee, or Oswald as that scared kid on the end of the pier, hence why he tends to let the two of them off the hook far too often for the city's own good.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Harvey. The two start off like oil and water, with the idealistic and moral Gordon clashing frequently with the cynical and worn-down Harvey. Over the course of season 1 Jim manages to reawaken the heroic side of Harvey, and while the two have the odd fallout Bullock becomes Gordon's best friend and staunchest ally.
  • Foreshadowing: At one point, he tells Captain Barnes that he'll be in charge of the GCPD one day. Any Batman fan should know damn well that he's right. Sure enough, come season 5 it finally comes to pass.
  • Frame-Up: Gordon is framed for the murder of another cop and sentenced to 40 years of imprisonment thanks to Nygma. He manages to escape imprisonment and expose Ed by the end of season 2.
  • Good Counterpart:
    • To Penguin. Both are relative newcomers to the city's power structure, both attempt to change things for what they see as the better and both recover from a series of setbacks over the seasons that would have crippled anyone else. However, Gordon always holds true to his morals and seeks to change the city for the better, where Penguin is only out for himself.
    • Ends up being this to Barnes. While both are infected by the Tetch virus, Gordon at least battles to retain some semblance of the good man he was until he gets cured, where Barnes almost immediately becomes a vigilante murderer who throws his former standards out the window.
  • Good Is Dumb: Gordon has no sense of pragmatism and always does the moral thing even if it's stupid and dangerous. He gets a lot smarter as the show continues though.
  • Good Is Not Soft: He may have a strong moral code, but if pushed too far he will do the right thing regardless of how legal it actually is - as Galavan found out the hard way.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: His standard fighting technique. He's amazingly good at it too.
  • Guilt Complex: By the later seasons this is a near-constant theme; he nearly exposes his involvement with Sofia Falcone out of guilt, regardless of the consequences for the GCPD, until Harvey talks him out of it. He gets hit with it especially hard under the pressures of No Man's Land; when he gets shot he hallucinates a trial in his own head that almost convinces him to let himself die because of his guilt over the collapse of his relationship with Lee and the deaths of the Haven refugees.
  • Guns Akimbo: Does this in the season 1 finale, swapping between pistols while fighting off Maroni's hit squad to avoid reloading.
  • Guttural Growler: Jim's voice seems have gone into a bass level by the fourth season.
  • Happily Married: Way subverted: he might have wanted this with both Barbara and Lee, but things fall apart with both of them. Amusingly, he ruins Lee's stab at this to save her from a Tetch virus-afflicted Mario. It's eventually played straight, as in Season 5, he and Lee finally tie the knot.
  • The Hero: Gordon, the show's lead character, is the only non-corrupt cop in the Gotham Police Department at the start of the series. Although he starts making deals with Gotham's criminal element, particularly Oswald Cobblepot, as the series progresses, he does so only because it's usually the only way to get anything done and not because he actually wants to.
  • Heroic Willpower: Jim's willpower has allowed him to withstand insurmountable odds many times in the series. He is able to withstand the effects of the Alice Tetch virus and cure himself and Lee despite giving in to it. He is also able to break out of the effects of Jonathan Crane's fear gas, a feat that the Scarecrow says should be impossible.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: A character arc in season 2; Galavan, Barbara, Lee and others see a darkness in him that he himself can't deny - as Lee says, he runs towards the abyss where others would run away. After multiple episodes of seeing Galavan get away with everything - including the indirect death of Commissioner Essen through the Maniax - finally snaps after hearing Galavan boast he'll be out soon, letting Penguin beat Galavan nearly to death with a baseball bat before finishing the job. Deconstructed later, as we see the consequences of this act - Lee leaving him, Barnes having him under investigation - in detail, and we see Jim realise what a mistake he made.
    Bruce: I fear we are going down the same path as before, and we won't get justice unless—
    Gordon: Unless what?
    Bruce: What you did to Galavan. What you knew you had to do, because of the bureaucracy and the red tape.
    Gordon: What I had to do? I chose to kill a man in cold blood. And it was the wrong choice, crossing that line. You'll pay for it over and over again, like I have been... like I still am. And it will make you more like the evil you're trying to fight. You need to be better. Do you understand me?
  • Honor Before Reason: Both the good and bad sides of this attitude are shown: his unswerving devotion to doing things the right way and standing up to corruption no matter what earns him the admiration of Bullock, Essen, Nygma (early on) and numerous others over the course of the series, and is shown to be one of the major factors influencing Bruce's own attitude. On the other hand it earns him a laundry list of powerful enemies - Mayor James, Commissioner Loeb, Theo Galavan, Penguin eventually - because he can't stop himself confronting them directly and letting them know he'll stand against them, leading to a ton of grief - demotions, firings, assassination attempts - that could have been avoided if he'd simply bided his time and investigated quietly. Lampshaded a lot by Bullock and many other characters.
    • It's also been a contributing factor to his relationships with Barbara and Lee falling apart, as it's consistently shown he will put his quest to clean up Gotham before them - best shown when he ignores Lee's pleas to flee Gotham with her instead of charging off to take down Galavan with Penguin and Alfred, leading to her losing their baby as a result.
  • Hypocrite: While Jim desperately tries to stay true to his moral code, Gotham's lunacy is such that as much as he rails against the GCPD's corruption and dirty cops, he's made some profoundly poor calls. He criticized Harvey for using Fish as an informant, yet uses Penguin and later Barbara the same way at several points (including getting him reinstated to the GCPD by threatening Loeb's life). He stressed to Bruce the importance of doing things within the law, yet went outside it to kill Galavan after realising the law wouldn't work. And after vowing to stand against the Pax Penguina in season 4 he's making deals with Cobblepot to get rid of the considerably worse Sofia Falcone not long after. To be fair, the show treats this less as Jim being a self-righteous scumbag and more as Gotham being so far from the norm that he sometimes HAS to take different routes to justice - including eventually working with Batman. Lampshaded:
    Penguin: So, the insane serial killer who hates cops warned you to save your life... because, why now?
    Gordon: Because I'm against dirty cops!
    Penguin: Except all the times you are one.
  • Ideal Hero: Deconstructed over the seasons.
    • At first, he's exactly the type of paragon you can see the young Bruce emulating: an ace detective, expert hand-to-hand fighter and incorruptible paragon that openly tries to do good regardless of the consequences. But then Jim starts to realise how crazy and different Gotham actually is, and before season 1 is even finished, he's making deals for information with Penguin just as Harvey used to with Fish after realising he can't make any long-term difference in a city where the GCPD and even the mayor is heavily corrupt.
    • Over the following seasons we see him go outside the law to remove the threat of Theo Galavan, let Penguin take the rap despite earlier stating to Oswald he'll take the consequences when they come, murders Fish while crazed from the Tetch virus, and manages to institute a new era of Falcone mob rule after unwittingly helping Sofia Falcone undermine Penguin. The show always shows the consequences of these actions, and the damage they have on Jim's life - after the Sofia incident he's well aware he's not this, but Harvey convinces him to project this trope's image to his fellow cops as an example and symbol of hope.
  • Idiot Ball: His tendency to grab on to it at times is why Falcone can never follow through on any death threat; though he never uses those exact words, Falcone's opinion of him is that he's more of a "useful idiot" than anything. It's not so much that Jim is stupid, but his strong morals mean he usually goes for the Honor Before Reason approach - which is often suicidal in Gotham.
  • Inter Service Rivalry: Downplayed with Barnes, who calls him a "sad-sack Army hump" to which Jim replies "Jarhead, huh?"
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: His reason for not letting Barbara in on his darker secrets in his GCPD duties. Unfortunately, his freezing her out of his work life is one of the reasons for her growing instability by the end of season 1.
  • It's Personal: After discovering that Commissioner Loeb set him up with the Ogre case in order to threaten his loved ones in a round about way, he tells Loeb in no uncertain terms that he is going to put the Ogre behind bars and then come after Loeb relentlessly.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: After the personal nature of the Ogre case really gets to him, he becomes far more prone to this in ensuing seasons.
  • Jerkass Ball: Seen most glaringly when he refuses to bail Penguin out of Arkham for fear his own killing of Galavan will be exposed, after Penguin had voluntarily gone there to protect Jim's involvement in said murder. Almost becomes a case of Hoist by His Own Petard: not only does it earn Penguin's ire (leading to a cooling of Oswald's attempts to be friendly in seasons 3 and 4) but their conversation is overheard by Hugo Strange, leading him to send Azrael (the resurrected Galavan) after him.
  • The Lancer: To Barnes; their taking different sides of the To Be Lawful or Good debate means theiy both want the same thing but are frequently at odds over how to attain it.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: A positive example: in "Prisoners", he befriends a prisoner whose sister he had saved a season and a half ago.
  • The Mole: He infiltrates the Court of Owls for a few episodes, being prompted to do so by his uncle who then shoots himself right in front of him.
  • Mythology Gag: When Bruce encounters him within a hallucinatory nightmare in "A Beautiful Darkness", he sports a mustache just like his comic book counterpart. He's grown a real one by the time of the Grand Finale, but shaves it off to revert to his normal look after Lee and Barbara both make fun of it.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Is initially very strait-laced and a do-gooder, and learns very quickly how the real Gotham operates in the pilot.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Oh, and how. Sparing Cobblepot leads directly to the gang war that leaves Oswald as King of Gotham in season 1. In season 2 he rejects's Barbara's genuinely well-meaning attempts at atonement, leading her sanity to backslide into a murderous Ax-Crazy gang boss. And in season 4, he goes to Carmine Falcone to get rid of Penguin - precipitating his daughter Sofia coming to Gotham, replacing Penguin and swiftly becoming worse than Oswald ever was. Sofia even lampshades how badly he'd screwed up, pointing out zero cops died under Penguin's licencing scheme but Gordon's pride couldn't let it slide, leading to Pyg killing multiple cops and her plunging the city into gang war.
  • Nice Guy: In a city like Gotham, it works to his disadvantage. He learns the hard way by the end of the pilot, though.
    Bullock: You seem like a nice guy, but this is not a city or a job for nice guys, you understand?
    Gordon: No.
    Bullock: And that's your problem.
  • Not So Different: In season 1 he's appalled at Bullock routinely going outside the law to get justice, his using mobsters for information, beating information out of suspects and his general cynicism at the horrors Gotham has to offer. By the end of season 4 he's done all of these, and worse.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • He killed one of the child snatchers in the second episode, and he had pretty good reason to do so, considering his especially dim view on those willing to harm a child.
    • When he realises the Ogre will target his loved ones, he notably inverts his usual relationship with Bullock in desperation, with Gordon being aggressive and threatening during interrogations (with it being implied he beat a suspect for information) and willingly going to Penguin for information while Bullock plays good cop.
    • When Zsasz taunting him about not being able to save Gotham in season 5 triggers Jim's Despair Event Horizon, he flatly gives him a gun and challenges him to a shootout - one even the assassin declines. Harvey's utterly appalled by it, and gives Jim a What the Hell, Hero? speech as a result.
  • Official Couple: With Barbara until the events of "Penguin's Umbrella" when she leaves him. Then with Lee in season 2, until he gets arrested and she skips town - but then they rekindle things in season 5, and marry near its end. The latter doubles as Real Life Writes the Plot.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Gets a particularly good (not to mention resigned) one in "The Mask" when he finds out that the Corrupt Corporate Executive who is holding him hostage, Hunting the Most Dangerous Game style, has not only offered a job to whoever kills him (which they were hesitant on), but thrown in an extra million to sweeten the deal.
    • When discussing The Ogre with Bullock and the chief, the sudden realization dawns on him that The Ogre is targeting Barbara Kean instead of Doctor Thompkins as he had originally assumed.
    • Has probably his most serious case of this in season 4 when viewing Jerome's video will - only for "Jerome" to start peeling off his makeup, revealing it's actually Jeremiah in all his Joker-esque glory.
  • Parental Substitute: He shares this role with Alfred when it comes to Bruce, to the point Jeremiah Valeska targets him specifically as such to earn Bruce's hate in season 5. He's also this to Selina, to a certain extent.
  • Plot Armor: No matter what savage criminal Jim comes across, he always lives to fight another day, because he's the main protagonist.
    Harvey [After Jim has supposedly been incinerated in a near-nuclear explosion] In two minutes Jim Gordon's gonna come walking through that door and chew all your asses out for standing around and not doing your job! note 
  • Pretender Diss: During his "Reason You Suck" Speech to Jeremiah after he survived his attempt on his life, he refers to him as a "pale imitation of Jerome".
  • Rank Up: Gets promoted to captain and is given command of the Central Precinct in "Stop Hitting Yourself." In season 5 finally attains the rank of commissioner after saving the city from Bane.
  • Reality Ensues: Antagonizing authority figures, even corrupt ones, isn't the greatest of ideas. After rocking the boat one time too many, the Mayor gets him thrown off the force and has him demoted to a security guard at Arkham. He's reinstated, but Loeb demotes him to beat cop out of spite. It takes the threat of a bullet between the eyes to Loeb from Penguin and Zsasz to undo that one.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Due to his tendency to make poor decisions (then wonder why he gets no support from his fellow cops) he's had a long series of these over the series, from Bullock, Barnes, Lee and Sofia among others.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: After crossing the line against the city's corruption one too many times, he's sent to be a security guard at the newly opened Arkham. This doesn't last long though.
  • Related in the Adaptation: The comic version of Gordon was not married to Leslie Thompkins.
  • The Rival: Along with Bullock, to Allen and Montoya (especially Montoya).
  • Running Gag: His being forced off/leaving the GCPD and subsequently returning.
    Harvey: If we had a big to-do every time you came back to the GCPD, we'd never catch any bad guys.
  • Sanity Slippage: Late in season three, Gordon injects himself with the Alice Tetch virus and suffers the expected side effects, although he resists better than most.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: An interesting case in that he never actively uses said connections - but he's a war hero, and his dad used to be the DA, so the Gordon name carries a lot of weight, hence why Bullock is stuck with him as partner.
  • Shoot the Dog: In Season 2 he's doing things he would've never had done in Season 1. A specific example, in the Fall Finale of Season 2; Gordon decides to execute Galavan after some prodding from Cobblepot. Due to the fact that Galavan had so many officials in his back pocket, Gordon came to the conclusion that the only way to finally bring him to justice is to kill him himself.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: To Dwight upon his attempt to imitate Jerome over the phone:
    Gordon: For the record, you're doing one thing Jerome never did: boring me. [hangs up]
  • Spanner in the Works: Constantly. His not killing Cobblepot when he was supposed to was the start of a long line of villains - Fish, Theo Galavan, Ed, the Court of Owls, Jeremiah Valeska - underestimating him and having their plans go to pot as a result.
  • The Stoic: Whether it's mobsters, insane lunatics or age-old cults, Jim does his best to take it all in stride. Played for laughs in "The Sinking Ship, The Grand Applause"
    Zsasz: Wait. Is Penn important, or something?
    [Gordon visibly doesn't change expression at all]
    Zsasz: That's a yes! You see that? That's his "yes" face.
  • Technically a Smile: If you make a Drinking Game out of all the times he gives authority figures a brief and mirthless flash of tooth, don't try to drive.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Gordon increasingly finds himself in this dilemma as the series progresses, where he occasionally has to do shady and blatantly unlawful things in order to strive for an ultimately just goal. Although, in his case "shady" or "unlawful" is still saintly compared to the rest of the GCPD.
  • Token Good Teammate: Serves as this in GCPD, after the rest of the crooked cops believe he kills Cobblepot. Bullock gets frustrated that Gordon still maintains his morals. Gradually subverted, as after Barnes' appointment the GCPD starts to approach his level of morals.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: Being in Gotham took a heavy toll on his optimism. This is mainly due his harsh break-up with Lee and her miscarrying their child.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: In season 3 his decision to go out on his own as a bounty hunter isn't necessarily this - but repeatedly showing up to GCPD crime scenes and expecting Barnes and Bullock to keep supporting him regardless of his actions sure as hell is.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: After going on his own as a bounty hunter, Gordon begins to embrace the darkness of Gotham and starts treating Bullock and Barnes like crap, in addition to putting Vale in danger via his methods. He starts to lose this after being exposed to the Mad Hatter's 'Red Queen' potion.
  • Tranquil Fury: Seems to have a hidden rage (or a "little danger in your eye", as Fish calls it) which he keeps under his steely gaze.
  • Ultimate Job Security: Due to Gordon being a By-the-Book Cop, he's garnered himself a 100% Adoration Rating with the public, essentially meaning his corrupt bosses can't fire him. Played with, in that this doesn't stop them from variously reassigning him to security at Arkham, or demoting him to beat cop.
  • Unwitting Pawn:
    • "Penguin's Umbrella" reveals that it was Cobblepot's suggestion to Falcone that Gordon be the one who kills him, knowing Gordon was too good a man to go through with it. This allows Penguin to leave town, and come back under an assumed name to infiltrate Maroni's gang.
    • He also becomes one of Sofia, doing exactly what she'd expected and planned for at every turn. It leaves him in the position of captain - squarely under her thumb, as she threatens to ruin his image as the incorruptible cop by exposing how he'd worked with her to get rid of Penguin.
  • We Used Tobe Friends: With Ed and Eduardo before they became the Riddler and Bane. It's even more complex with Barbara due to their past history.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • After getting set up and fired by Commissioner Loeb in Season 2, Gordon turns to Cobblepot to find some way to get his old job back. Cobblepot agrees to help, on the condition that Gordon plays debt collector for one of his defiant underbosses. Gordon's task goes awry and he's forced to kill the mobster—in self-defense, it must be said. When Gordon comes calling later in the season after Penguin (unbeknownst to him) has been killing people for Galavan, Cobblepot invokes this, knowing that if Gordon was truly serious about taking him down he'd have come with backup, and giving him a tongue-lashing for not being able to admit his own part in things.
    • Gets a scathing one from Harvey mid-season 4 when he tries to mend fences and give him his badge back. Harvey blasts him for never listening to others, working with Sophia, and only wanting him back on the force in order to act as Gordon's confessor.
  • Wild Card: A rare strictly heroic version of this. The mobsters of Gotham engage in a lengthy Xanatos Gambit in order to overthrow one another.Gordon is frequently the wrench in their plans because unlike the rest of the GCPD, he absolutely refuses to play ball - even when ordered to by the corrupt Commissioner.
  • You're Insane!: Gets this from Barnes in "Azrael" in response to his informing him about his suspicions regarding Hugo Strange in an attempt to get a warrant issued for his arrest.
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    Harvey Bullock 

Det. Harvey Bullock

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/harvey_bullock.png
"This is not a city or a job for nice guys."
Played By: Donal Logue

"You tell yourself, "I'll just do this one bad thing. All the good things I'll do later will make up for it." But they don't."

Gordon's partner, a corrupt and brutish detective, secretly allied with Carmine Falcone.


  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In most appearances, Bullock is an overweight slob in disheveled and often dirty clothing. Here he's played by Donal Logue, so he looks a bit sharper than his comics counterpart straightaway, with his shabbiness present but considerably downplayed.
  • Adaptational Job Change: Prior to getting fired by Michael Akins in the fallout of "Officer Down" in the comics, the highest Bullock ever got in the GCPD totem pole was Lieutenant.note  Season 4 sees him briefly as a Captain.
  • Age Lift: He's about 10 years older than Gordon (unsurprising given Logue is 13 years older than Ben McKenzie), which puts him in the ballpark of his comics counterpart - who reports to an older Commissioner Gordon.
  • The Alcoholic:
    • He's constantly drinking in season 1. After spending a night drinking, Bullock jokes to Gordon that it would take him a couple more drinks for him to sober up. Even his decision to aid Gordon in bringing down Falcone is helped by a ton of alcohol.
    • Played very seriously in season 4, where Professor Pyg tricks him into shooting a fellow officer. The guilt from this is so great he starts drinking on duty, something he didn't do even at his worst in season 1.
  • Anti-Hero: He's nominally on the side of angels, but is willing to take more extreme measures like beating confessions out of suspects at the start of the series, in stark contrast to Gordon. He grows out of it in later seasons thanks to Gordon's influence.
  • Badass Beard: Has a nice lump of it on his chin.
  • Berserk Button: He may be a corrupt cop, but don't imply he's a bad cop.
    Montoya: Do the right thing for once.
    Bullock: For once? Where the hell do you get the nerve to say that to me!?
  • Book Dumb: He's a very effective detective when the situation calls for it, and he's incredibly savvy and connected as to the ways of the Gotham underworld - but he displays a limited vocabulary on occasion (not knowing the meaning of altruism early on) and needs Lucius to lead him by the nose through the mysteries of the Riddler's initial killing spree.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: He's actually a pretty good detective when he wants to be, but he's usually just too cynical to give a damn about anything.
  • The Captain: Bullock ends up taking over as the acting captain for the GCPD after Barnes goes insane thanks to the Alice Tetch Virus. This lasts until "Stop Hitting Yourself, when Gordon, at Sofia Falcone's behest, takes over.
  • The Chains of Commanding: He's promoted to acting captain twice - when Barnes is injured by Azrael and again when he goes nuts from the Tetch virus - and quickly discovers that he can't indulge in Jim's Cowboy Cop antics now he has the eyes of the city on him.
  • Character Development: He starts out as corrupt and ineffective, but being Gordon's partner gradually revives his old sense of heroism and morals. He's still a firm Anti-Hero and is more pragmatic and dirty than Gordon, but he's become a reliable ally against the crooked cops he used to be just like.
  • Chubby Chaser: In "Penguin's Umbrella", he shows up at Barbara's place when Jim's sent her away, BBW of the evening dangling off his arm. Short version is that he's on board with Gordon's crusade now (because "I'm dead anyway"), but he and this larger lady are having sex in Barbara's bed. In a later episode Gordon is able to tell that Bullock frequents a particular brothel because the man fitting his description hires the two largest girls in the place.
  • Composite Character: Bullock in this adaptation mixes elements of the Bullock from the comics (scruffy looking and highly cynical but basically decent) with the Year One character Arnold Flass (Gordon's corrupt first partner) - though the original version of Bullock was corrupt before turning over a new leaf. Interestingly, the actual Arnold Flass does later appear, and makes season 1 Harvey look like supercop by comparison.
  • Corrupt Cop: A (semi-)heroic example. He is at least smart enough to know to work around Gotham's gangs and to take whatever success he can get, rather than to try and blatantly take them on. He often goes to Fish Mooney for information in season 1, which she's happy to give him if he looks the other way from her crimes.
  • Cowboy Cop: Even in later seasons, Bullock tends to punch crime away.
  • The Cynic: Bullock has been on the police a long time, and knows what Gotham is like, leading him to adopt a Cowboy Cop approach to his police work. Gordon explicitly calls him out on this though, and he's gotten better by season 3.
    • He really doesn't like being the one having to solve the Wayne Murder because not only is finding the killer going to be nigh impossible, the pressure of having to solve such a high profile case is not something he really wants. The only reason he doesn't pass on the case is because he loathes letting Major Crimes get it.
    • More so when he accidentally shot a cop because Pyg dressed her as him, and ignored Gordon's warning of a trap. It really led Bullock into a serious case of Heroic BSoD.
  • Demoted to Extra: While he was very important in season 1, the decision to cast him as Gordon's willing ally instead of the Foil he had been led to less Character Development as Lee Thompkins, Ed Nygma and Barbara Kean all gained more screentime. He's still by no means an extra, but it's rare by season 5 to have full episode subplots devoted to Bullock.
  • Deuteragonist: As Gordon's partner he's this in Season 1, but in Season 2 he has to compete for screen time with Leslie Thompkins as the tritagonist. The Penguin is the Villain Deuteragonist of Rise of the Villains.
  • Dirty Cop: "Hog Day Afternoon" reveals he's on Penguin's payroll due to his massive debt.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Two in succession in the pilot: telling off Gordon for defusing a hostage situation instead of just shooting the perp (his almost bored reaction to one of his colleagues with a gun to her head is something to see), and his outraged reaction to Montoya and Allen implying he's a shitty cop.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • He couldn't care less about the corruption going on in Gotham, but even he regards the Balloonman killing a businessman who defrauded many of Gotham's poorer citizens via a Ponzi scheme as doing Gotham a favour. Likewise, he despises lawyers and calls them scum.
    • The normally apathetic Bullock is appalled by the killings of the Goat serial killer.
    • When the opportunity arises to go undercover at a high class fetish club, he is initially quite excited. However, once he sees just what they're doing, he becomes disgusted. He finally puts a stop to it after seeing the start of an act involving a whip, a chainsaw, possibly a man in a wheeled cage, and a pig.
    • Makes clear in season 2 that robbing the grave of Tabitha's grandfather is a bit much, even for him.
    • When Gordon, rapidly approaching his Despair Event Horizon in season 5, nearly provokes a fatal shoot-out with Zsasz by giving him Bullock's gun, a shocked Bullock afterwards tells him never to ask him to do anything like that again.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: He doesn't like having a rookie like Gordon be his partner but by the end of the pilot, they've become friends. Before the first season is out, Bullock is Jim's staunchest ally.
  • Flanderisation: Bullock's role in the plot is initially to play the ultra-cynical and morally ambiguous foil to Jim's more straightforward Knight in Shining Armor, and much of the drama in the initial episodes comes from their contrasting viewpoints. But after he becomes Jim's ally mid season 1, this largely falls by the wayside and Bullock's role is usually either Jim's loyal sidekick or comic relief, though it does surface again after Bullock makes captain in season 4.
  • Good Is Not Nice: In earlier seasons was quite happy to beat confessions out of suspects.
  • Hardboiled Detective: Tough, cynical and distinctly old-school in playing outside the rules but with a heart underneath - he's a classic example.
  • Heel–Face Turn: He stands by Jim out of partnership rather than any genuine liking in the early part of season 1, but still goes along with the department's corruption. Then he goes along with Gordon's scheme to arrest Falcone because he reckons he's a dead man anyway (having failed his directive to get Gordon to kill Cobblepot). It fails, but from this point on he starts shaping up into the still rough-edged but loyal and effective detective he is in the comics, and becomes a staunch ally to Gordon.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Over the course of the series Bullock and Gordon become very close friends with one another. By the end of season 3 Bullock even admits that Gordon is the best friend he's ever had.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Spends a lot of time in the first few seasons saving Jim from messes his Honor Before Reason approach leads him into, as well as using his underworld contacts and knowledge of the department to gain leads the straight-laced Jim couldn't.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: His reasoning for being corrupt is that trying to go against the mobs will just get him and people he cares about killed.
  • I Warned You: A darkly humorous example. He knew Barbara was nuts to begin with.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: His normal interrogation technique in much of season 1.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • He establishes to Jim pretty early on that Gotham has its own set of rules and however much he tries to change things it'll grind him down just like him. Given the catalogue of rotten things that happen to Gordon by the start of season 5, and how jaded and cynical he frequently is as a result, it's tough to say he wasn't right.
    • Despite the two being at loggerheads by mid-season 4, he correctly warns Jim that Sofia Falcone is just using him to get rid of Penguin.
  • Jerkass Realization: While Jim's hands are far from clean by the time he takes the captaincy, Harvey comes to realise his blaming Jim was ignoring his own mistakes in the role; consequently, the two reunite to take down Sofia.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's corrupt, but he does look out for his partner and has his own moral code. Hell, he even pays for his old partner's retirement home monthly.
  • Jumped at the Call: Played with. At first Bullock is reluctant to return to GCPD because he's starting a new life with his fiancé. However, when Essen and multiple cops are killed in a surprise attack he immediately returns by Gordon's side to take action.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: He used to be this, but after the Goat murders, he became a...
    • Knight In Sour Armor: In "The Spirit of the Goat", we see Bullock take a case seriously for the first time, and his old partner Dix refers to him as a white knight (visibly stunning Gordon). However, after Dix ended up in a wheelchair after one case, as well as the mounting crime and corruption, it took its toll on Bullock's heroic resolve.
  • Lack of Empathy: He's not completely heartless, but his lack of caring is a sign of how he's been on the force way too long. Again, this fades away by season 3.
    • When he comes across a robbed convenience store, he tells the owner to call 911 since he's a homicide detective and nobody got killed. Also because he's on his lunch break.
    • His solution to the Viper crisis is to just let the bums and junkies fight themselves to death, and keep everyone else off the streets.
  • The Lancer: To Gordon after he decides to support Gordon wholeheartedly, due to their contrasting attitudes and approaches to the job.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Bullock swifly becomes very competent in "The Spirit of the Goat."
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Bullock may be cynical and corrupt, but Gordon quickly finds out there are dirty cops like Cranston and Flass who make Harvey look like policeman of the month by comparison.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Discussed in "Everyone Has a Cobblepot". Bullock reveals that he once had to kill or be killed, literally, and he and Gordon weren't the only ones given this Sadistic Choice either. Whoever chose to kill became another cog in the GCPD's corruption, and Bullock failed his test.invoked
  • My Greatest Failure:
    • Was tricked into shooting and crippling a fellow officer by Professor Pyg in season 4. He takes it very hard, and falls into a deep alcoholic depression. He finally redeems himself in the eyes of his colleagues by risking his life to defuse Jeremiah Valeska's bomb.
    • In season 5 we find out a young Bullock, egged on by Dix, coerced a statement from the future Jane Doe about her mother killing her father - leading to the mother being locked away and Jane being put in Arkham. After Jane takes revenge on Dix and the other cops involved, it's clear Bullock regards the whole thing this way.
  • Never My Fault: He's livid at Gordon taking his captaincy in season 4, which ignores Harvey's own unfitness for the job.
  • Nice Hat: Bullock is always wearing a nifty fedora that completes his '50s hard-boiled look.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: It's far from the only reason Ed eventually snapped, but Bullock's continually being an ass to him in season 1 really didn't help.
  • Not So Different: "Spirit of the Goat" shows he was essentially like Gordon 10 years ago, before Gotham got to him. While Gordon never hits rock bottom quite as badly, subsequent seasons see Gordon being ground down by Gotham's corruption and madness just like Bullock was.
  • Odd Friendship: With Fish Mooney. He often goes to her for information in season 1, and unlike most people she deals with she genuinely seems to like him (though that doesn't stop her trying to have him killed in the Pilot). He even helps her flee Gotham after she escapes from Zsasz.
  • Officer O'Hara: A modernised version of the Irish American cop without the accent, being presumably several generations American. He calls himself a "pasty Irish guy" in "Beasts of Prey" and in "The Fearsome Dr. Crane" hopefully asks an attractive woman he's flirting with if she's Irish.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • The usually lazy and cynical Bullock disappears in "The Spirit of the Goat", and is replaced by the surprisingly clever and determined sleuth. The reason? The killer in that episode is a copycat of one he caught a decade ago. During that case, his old partner, Dix, ended up in a wheelchair.
    • In season 5 he admits to Bruce that when things get bad he goes to work on old case files - while he always hated paperwork, doing good things, even if no-one else can see them, matters.
  • The Peter Principle: Makes captain in late season 3 due to Barnes going insane due to the Tetch virus and Jim being infected with it as well. It becomes apparent in season 4 the task is beyond his capabilities.
  • Police Brutality: Is all too ready to beat the hell out of suspects to get confessions early in the series, much to Gordon's horror.
  • The Rival: To Montoya and Allen from MCU, along with Gordon.
  • Shadow Archetype: He was once just like Gordon: a young, idealistic, upstanding police officer looking to clean up the city. Many years learning how Gotham really works, and what a cop has to do to survive, whittled down his spirit to the man he is now.
  • Spanner in the Works: Manages to successfully work out one of Nygma's riddles when he turns up threatening both the GCPD and Eduardo's men, giving the deactivation code to Riddler's bomb - except said bomb was a distraction to allow Bruce to sneak in and find their transmitter, nearly getting them all killed as a result.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: He leaves the force to open a bar and settle down with a woman he met on a case, but comes back to avenge Essen when Jerome kills her. He leaves again after Jim displaces him from the captaincy a few seasons later, but returns to help him take down Sofia after realising how much of his situation was his own fault.
  • That One Case: The Goat murders. When he realizes that the killer has resurfaced, he suddenly morphs from a lazy, cynical Corrupt Cop into a competent investigator determined to chase the Goat Killer to the ends of the earth if he has to.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Bullock grows into a much kinder police officer due to Gordon's influence, and while he's still got a lot of rough edges he become one of Gordon's staunchest allies.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: He's ticked off at Gordon when he finds out that he didn't kill Cobblepot, enough to actually go at him, even though it got them both off on a murder charge. Justified because he thinks Fish and Falcone's retribution for failing to kill Cobblepot is going to be ugly, not knowing Falcone is Cobblepot's secret benefactor.
    Harvey: Son of a bitch...
    Gordon: Harvey...
    Harvey: You son of a bitch!
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Or a sweet rookie. But the city beat that out of him a while back. Now he's the bitter, corrupt son of a bitch you see today.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • In "Penguin's Umbrella", he chews out Gordon and almost kills him for not killing Cobblepot (though they do make up in time to try to arrest the Mayor and Falcone), and in "The Mask", he makes no attempt to hide that he's ashamed of most of the GCPD for not backing Gordon.
    • Blasts Gordon in "Ruin" for almost provoking a shootout with Zsasz, and using his gun to do it.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He decks a woman after she tries to cover her boyfriend's escape by beating the crap out of him. She spent the previous twenty seconds throwing him around like a doll, so she wasn't a delicate flower.
  • You Are in Command Now: He's acting captain of the GCPD following Captain Barnes's incapacitation midway through Season 3. He had already filled the role once before, when Barnes was in critical condition after being stabbed by Galavan.

     Lucius Fox 

Lucius Fox

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lucius_fox.png
Played By: Chris Chalk

A junior executive at Wayne Enterprises before quitting and becoming an employee of the Gotham City Police Department, as a forensics scientist.


  • Being Watched: He warns Bruce that they are being watched every second they are inside the Wayne Enterprises building. He knows because he installed the cameras.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Calmly tells Ed in season 3 if he was going to kill him he'd lace one of the forensic aids lying around the lab with a lethal toxin, knowing he'd use them - then invites Ed to look at their latest evidence. Even the future Riddler is impressed.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He has a remarkably dry delivery.
    Ed: Mr. Fox! Just the person I've been wanting to see.
    Lucius: Oh, joy.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Recruited by Alfred because they need his help fixing Thomas Wayne's computer.
  • Honest Corporate Executive: Apparently one of the few at Wayne Enterprises.
  • Jumped at the Call: When Alfred requests his help in Bruce's secret investigation, Fox immediately joins them to do all he can.
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: He becomes the GCPD's forensic expert after quitting his Wayne Enterprises job, largely to keep him in the orbit of Gordon and the other GCPD characters.
  • Only Sane Man: As the series progresses, it really starts to look like Lucius is the only person in the entire city who isn't touched in the head.
  • Reality Ensues: He declines to join Gordon, Harvey, Alfred and Penguin in storming Galavan's building, rightly pointing out he has no experience with weapons and as a happy amateur will likely only do more harm than good.
  • Secret Keeper: Recruited by Alfred to join Bruce's work in the second season. The finale, set over a decade later, makes clear he knows Bruce has become Batman.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: He's stuck working with Ed in season 3 on the Red Hood case, something he clearly loathes given Ed's almost gassing him and Bruce the prior season. They team up again in season 5, albeit more willingly this time.
  • The Smart Guy: One of the smartest characters in the show, with an exceptional aptitude for the technical side of things. He's also smart enough to step into Nygma's old role as GCPD forensic scientist, proves able to puzzle out several of his riddles, by season 4 has become chief medical examiner as well and is season 5 is in charge of purifying Gotham's water supply after Jeremiah poisons it. In season 5 Riddler even refers to him as second-smartest man in Gotham (after himself).
  • Threat Backfire: His threat to Ed in season 3 only ends up impressing the future Riddler.
    Lucius: To be fair, if you ever threaten my life or the life of Bruce Wayne again, I will find a way to end you.
    Ed: Mr. Fox, we both know you're not a man of violence.
    Lucius: No, I'm not. If I was, I would have laced some piece of lab equipment - one which you were sure to touch - with a toxin. Ricin, maybe?
    Ed: I'd use saxitoxin. Harder to trace. But I like your style!
  • Token Good Teammate: Lucius Fox is the first executive we see at Wayne Enterprises who isn't corrupt. He also tells Bruce that Thomas was a true "stoic" and not really corrupt as Bunderslaw thought he was.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • To Thomas Wayne, doing all he can to restore Bruce's perception of Thomas after Bunderslaw's insinuations. He later tells Bruce how much he regrets not having been able to tell Thomas Wayne how much he respected him.
    • Later on develops this with his colleagues in the GCPD. In the season 4 finale, Lucius is one of the few GCPD members who remains in the ruined city to maintain order after the rest evacuate.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Not doom, exactly, but in season 1 he reassures Bruce that his father was a true stoic who rarely let anyone see his true self. This convinces Bruce to keep digging regarding his father's secret life and eventually leads him to first Thomas' secret room under Wayne Manor and later to Arkham and Hugo Strange.
  • Worthy Opponent: Ed briefly fixates on him as such in season 3 prior to becoming the Riddler, and even after this maintains a healthy respect for "Foxy".

    Carlos Alvarez 

Detective Carlos Alvarez

Played By: J.W. Cortes
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/alvarez.png

A detective in the GCPD.


  • Ascended Extra: While not as important as the main characters, he becomes the only GCPD detective outside of Gordon and Bullock to appear in all five seasons, and graduates from Corrupt Cop to ally of Gordon in that time.
  • Ax-Crazy: Briefly, when he gets infected by the Tetch virus and goes on the rampage in season 3.
  • Character Development: He's corrupt at first, but during the season shows signs that he has some standards when he's one of the first officers to back Gordon against Flass. By Season 2, Alvarez has apparently become an ally to Gordon, shown helping him investigate cases when Harvey's otherwise occupied, while in season 5 he's shown to have stayed on to help during the No Man's Land crisis.
  • Dirty Cop: Like most in the GCPD. He does improve later on, going so far as to be the one who slaps the cuffs on Flass when it becomes apparent how extensive his crimes are, and by season 2 he's on friendlier terms with Gordon.
  • Dirty Coward: During Victor Zsasz's strike against Gordon in "Penguin's Umbrella". Subverted later on, most notably in "Welcome Back, Jim Gordon".
  • Easily Forgiven: He kills another officer via Neck Snap and shoots at least one other while Ax-Crazy from the Tetch virus - but there's never any fallout from this mentioned.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Although he and Gordon were initially at odds with one another in Season 1, by Season 2 it becomes apparent that Alvarez and Gordon have developed a respect for each other, as Gordon was shown working with Alvarez while searching for the Arkham Asylum escapees.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Gets angry with Gordon arresting a back alley doctor, as he's a very useful informant and Gordon is only arresting him out of spite towards his colleagues after they abandoned him to Zsasz.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Cheats on his wife, something Harvey uses to get him to help search for Jim when he's kidnapped by Richard Sionis.

    Vanessa Harper 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/harper.png
  • Badass in Distress: When kidnapped by the Pyg, she's got the presence of mind to hide a kife on her, allowing Gordon to use it to escape.
  • Canon Foreigner: Was created especially for the show.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: In season 4 she's generally the one who keeps Captain Bullock focused when Gordon's not around, and is later the one who convinces the rest of the GCPD to obey his orders after they remind him how he previously got numerous cops killed by Professor Pyg.
  • Number Two: Whenever Gordon or Bullock aren't around, Harper often takes over as the sidekick to the one that is.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Comes across as a replacement for Renee Montoya (see below) after the show's unpopular treatment of her in the first season.

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Major Crimes Unit

    Renee Montoya 

Renee Montoya

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/renee_montoya.png
Played By: Victoria Cartagena

A detective in the Major Crimes Unit of the Gotham City Police Department.


  • Adaptational Jerkass: She may not be as corrupt as most of the rest of the GCPD, but she's a Jerkass who thinks she's got Gordon's number for imagined crimes and refuses to lay off simply because he's romantically involved with her old flame. Granted, when these imagined crimes are conclusively proven to be untrue, she apologizes to Gordon for it, but that doesn't stop her from still pursuing Barbara and sleeping with her behind Gordon's back. Her relationship with Gordon in any DC universe has never been any more hostile than this, and it shows.
  • Age Lift: Apparently around Gordon's age, while usually she is closer to Batman's age.
  • The Atoner: Seems to drive her saving Gordon from Zsasz and his minions.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Saving Gordon from Zsasz.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: After the first half of season one she basically disappears from the narrative along with Allen.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Was into drugs.
  • Demoted to Extra: After she saves Gordon from Zsasz, her screentime is reduced to a couple short scenes with Barb. After they break up, she's practically disappeared from the show.
  • Entertainingly Wrong:
    • She outright assumed from Cobblepot's tip that Gordon and Bullock cooked up the scapegoating plan with Mooney.
    • She seems to fully believe that Gordon is a high level corrupt officer and is trying to find any evidence to prove this. Though how much of this is solely for wanting to break up Gordon and Barbara, or if she actually thinks he is corrupt, is unclear.
  • Everyone Has Standards: She's a Jerkass and a Green-Eyed Monster who may be pursuing Gordon out of jealousy that her former flame is with him now, but she's also genuinely disgusted by the corruption in the Gotham City Police Department and is clearly not on board with the idea that Mario Pepper should have been killed for a crime he didn't commit, even if he deserved it (he ran away from the cops and assaulted Gordon with a knife, prompting Bullock to shoot him to defend his partner).
  • Green-Eyed Monster: No doubt part of her rationalization to convince herself and others that Gordon whacked Cobblepot on behalf of Falcone.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In "Penguin's Umbrella", she and Allen decide to listen to Gordon's side of the Wayne murder case and agree to take up the case should he not make it. Additionally, she sincerely apologizes to Gordon for letting her feelings for Barbara dictate her opinion of Gordon. Not that this stops her from sleeping with Barbara after the latter leaves Gordon at the end of "Harvey Dent."
  • Heel Realization: After saving Jim from Zsasz, seems to realise she was letting her personal feelings get in the way before, and sincerely apologises to Gordon.
  • Hypocrite: She breaks into Barbara's home and tries to force her to listen to her about her beliefs of Gordon's corruption. Barbara comes to her in a public street with her information that she is wrong and Montoya tells her "you shouldn't be here" and refuses to listen to her.
  • Inspector Javert: Prior to "Penguin's Umbrella", Montoya fills this role, pursuing Gordon for her mistaken belief that he framed Mario Pepper, which Gordon is himself investigating. Further complicated by the fact that Gordon is engaged to Renee's ex, and she seems to have a not small amount of residual feelings for her. It soon gets to the point where Allen calls her out on it, saying she takes things way too personally.
  • It's Personal: Her desire to arrest Gordon is motivated less by sense of justice and more because he's with Barbara. She eventually admits this in "Penguin's Umbrella."
  • Jerkass: She's not very affable and has a condescending attitude towards everyone she meets. Bullock describes her and Allen as a pair of "self-righteous do-gooding skell huggers. Acting like they're such freakin' angels. Please". She even manages to piss off her old flame Barbara by breaking into her apartment. It's almost as though she'd be the villain of this series if Gordon didn't have the Mob and the corruption in the GCPD to worry about.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: In line with the comics. Additionally, she has a history with Barbara Kean.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Apparently she and Allan are the only cops, besides Gordon, who are not on the take.
  • The Lopsided Arm of the Law: She pretty much knows that there are plenty of other cops that are dirty to downright corrupt, and many so far seem to be confident enough in this status to openly admit it. But she focuses her entire attention on Gordon because of very flimsy testimony from people that wouldn't hesitate to lie to her.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: She seems to be ever so eager to find any flimsy information to break up Gordon and Barbara and makes it quite clear she still has feelings for Barbara. She even breaks into Barbara's home, which freaks Barbara out.
  • Rightly Self-Righteous: She and her partner Allen look down on Gordon and Bullock, perceiving them both as another pair of Gotham Police Department's corrupt cops. They assume Gordon and Bullock were in on the frame up of Mario Pepper. They weren't. They really had no idea until Montoya went to Barbara.
  • The Rival: Along with Allen, to Bullock and especially Gordon. Crosses over into love rival with Gordon over both's feelings for Barbara.
  • Smug Snake: After constructing Gordon's corruption essentially whole cloth in her head (she based it on a few scraps of information from Cobblepot and Fish about a tangentially related case), her attempt to arrest him for Cobblepot's murder is completely derailed by Cobblepot showing up at the police station.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Borders on it with Barbara. She's clearly not over it and breaks into Barbara's apartment in one episode using the key Barbara gave her. Barbara is not impressed and promptly takes it back.
  • Team Rocket Wins: In "Spirit of the Goat", she finally nails Gordon for murder... at least, until the victim shows up and introduces himself.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Her inability to both let go of her feelings for Barbara and stop regarding Gordon with suspicion lead to Fish rumbling Cobblepot and Jim "executing" him in the pilot, and later Cobblepot returning from the "dead" to exonerate Jim of his murder - letting everyone know he was still alive and starting the chain of events that lead to Falcone and Maroni going to war and Penguin taking power.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Her absence in later seasons - where Gordon is actively trying to clean up the GCPD and her former lover Barbara becomes an Ax-Crazy crime boss - is notable.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Gets one from Sarah Essen for trying to arrest Gordon and Bullock.

    Crispus Allen 

Det. Crispus Allen

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/crispus_allen.png
Played By: Andrew Stewart Jones

A detective in the Major Crimes Unit of the Gotham City Police Department.


  • Abled in the Adaptation: Much like Gordon, in the comics, Allen is depicted wearing glasses.
  • Age Lift: Apparently around Gordon's age, while in the comics he is closer to Batman's age.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Saving Gordon from Zsasz.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Has this expression a lot, especially talking to anyone who isn't Montoya.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: After the first half of season one he basically disappears from the narrative along with Montoya.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In "Penguin's Umbrella", he starts caring more about justice after hearing Gordon's side of the Wayne murder case following his Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • Jerkass: Allen doesn't care about justice, he just wants the Wayne murders for the "press action." His friendly attitude comes off as fake and insincere.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: He and Montoya are the only cops, besides Gordon, who aren't on the take.
  • Out of Focus: Disappears after he and Montoya stop their prosecution of Gordon.
  • Rightly Self-Righteous: He and his partner Montoya look down on Gordon and Bullock, perceiving them both as another pair of Gotham Police Department's corrupt cops. They assume Gordon and Bullock were in on the frame up of Mario Pepper. They weren't. They really had no idea until Montoya went to Barbara.
  • Token Good Teammate: He seems to be one of the few honest cops in Gotham, even more than his partner, who's at least partly emotionally invested in bringing down Gordon.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: As far as he's concerned (at least at first), Gordon is on the mob's payroll, and he's going after a hitman.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Like Montoya, disappears from the story midway through season 1.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Gets one from Sarah Essen for trying to arrest Gordon and Bullock.

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Gotham City Officials

    Mayor Aubrey James 

Mayor Aubrey James

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/aubrey_james_1.png
"We will not let these killers and these robbers and these rapists and these thugs win. Not on my watch."
Played By: Richard Kind

The On-Again-Off-Again Mayor of Gotham City.


  • Ancient Conspiracy: Is revealed to be a puppet for the Court of Owls in season 3.
  • Break the Haughty: The Galavans abduct him as part of a scheme to make Theo the new mayor, while Tabitha and Barbara torture him for fun with a box on his head. Has this happen again in season 3 when Penguin not only outwits him at every turn during their mayoral race, but wins 100% fairly too.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Galavan keeps him alive after replacing him as mayor, just in case. Galavan's sister still tortured him, though.
  • Corrupt Politician: He's not quite as bad as some - he's never seen taking bribes, at least - but he's still beholden to Carmine Falcone and, we discover later, the Court of Owls. As such he's instrumental in keeping Gotham's endemic corruption going.
  • Dirty Coward: When Falcone says he may kill Gordon, James gets away as soon as possible.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • As noted below, he exploits attacks on street kids to send a bunch of them upstate, NDAA 2012-style. However, it's soon clear that he had to do something to keep them safe, even if he didn't care enough about them to bother finding proper homes for all of them (he does have an image to maintain, after all, and keeping those kids out of trouble helps to keep him from looking bad), and when he's told that a couple of the Dollmaker's minions hijacked a bus headed upstate, he's genuinely upset. He's cynical about it, but what was the alternative? Leave those kids on the streets to get preyed on by drug dealers and worse?
    • He also seems shocked when Gordon says not even the police precinct is a safe place for him, the mayor of a large city, and laments what the city has come to.
    • He insists to Gordon that if there was a mob conspiracy to assassinate the Waynes, he wasn't part of it. Given that he's later shown to have ties to the Court of Owls, it's unclear if this is the truth or not.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Seems personable and approachable - but as Gordon discovers early, challenge him and he drops this quick.
  • Karma Houdini: Has become mayor once more by the Distant Finale.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Kidnapped in the second season by Theo Galavan, the businessman running the Maniax, and subjected to a string of abuses and humiliations by his sister Tabitha. Happens again in "Heroes Rise: The Primal Riddle" when he's targeted yet again by Nygma in order to gain information about the Court of Owls - and again in the final episode where Nygma aims to blow him up to prove a point.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: He has a strong resemblance to Richard Nixon.
  • Oh, Crap!: In "Penguin's Umbrella", upon realizing that Gordon and Bullock have him sussed and weren't kidding about arresting him.
  • Puppet King: James was formerly under the control of Carmine Falcone in the past, but season 3 makes clear they both ultimately answer to the Court of Owls.
  • Skewed Priorities: Even when he knows a hitman is coming to kill him, he would rather waste precious time stuffing his bag with money rather than leave when Gordon asked him to.
  • Sleazy Politician: Our first good look at him involves exploiting attacks on street kids to ship them all to jail, except for a few kids photogenic enough to be publicly put in foster homes.
  • Two First Names: Per the DC Comics norm.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Gordon saves his life several times in the early part of season 1. That doesn't stop James from scapegoating him for Lovecraft's suicide and reassigning him to Arkham.
  • Ultimate Job Security: Aubrey James seems to have his mayoral office set even if he's ousted out of office, he'll find a way to come back and be re-elected. Subverted as of Season 4, in which he finally seems to have been ousted in favor of the just as corrupt new Mayor Burke. Double subverted as of season 5, in which he reappears as mayor in the finale - possibly because with Burke blown up by Ra's Al Ghul, there were no other viable candidates.

    ADA Harvey Dent 

Harvey Dent

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2014_11_17_at_104345_pm_e1416283402497_672x372.png
Played By: Nicholas D'Agosto

The assistant of the District Attorney and an ally of Montoya and Allen who agrees to help Gordon covertly solve the Wayne murders.


  • Advertised Extra: Billed as a major character for season 2, you'd be forgiven to think Dent plays a major role in the series. Dent has a total of SIX episodes in seasons 1 and 2 where he appears and has an active role. While he does still appear on Gotham, it is mostly offscreen. His presence on the show itself is an Aborted Arc.
  • Age Lift: He is around Bruce's age in the comics. Here he is approximately Gordon's age.
  • Anti-Hero: He's an upstanding and moral man, but only as far as your usual Gotham official goes. He's willing to use half-truths and media manipulation to smoke out the Waynes' killer knowing he has no actual evidence (yet) to go on if he finds them. Also, sort of like Bullock, he realizes he can't get blood from a stone so he'll try to push for what near-term goals he can, because taking on the entire system and corrupt mayor like Gordon wants to will probably be fruitless.
  • Batman Gambit: Has juvenile defenders call a coin flip to see if he'll put them away or give them another chance, knowing that statistically teenagers will usually pick heads. And when his two-headed coin comes up heads, he tells them that The Powers That Be must favor them, so they better put their second chance to good use.
  • Continuity Nod: Several of the modern versions of Harvey Dent/Two-Face state or imply that Dent had some form of split personality before his scarring. This is hinted at by the scene of him talking normally, then suddenly sounding and looking Axe-Crazy, then calmly carrying on as if nothing had happened.
  • Face Framed in Shadow: See the following entry.
  • Foreshadowing: During all the scenes in his office, the lighting is always cast in a way that shadows the left side of his face.
  • Never My Fault: He lets Gordon take the fall for Lovecraft's "suicide" even though it was he and not Gordon who had the vendetta against Lovecraft. Although it was mainly because the Mayor pressured him to that.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: He promised Gordon he wouldn't leak out Selina's name, so he leaked out Gordon's name instead. It was enough that they were able to trace Selina as the witness. Gordon is furious with him when he finds out.
  • Put on a Bus: A long one to be exact. The writers have forgotten about Harvey to the point where the scene from The Dark Knight where the Joker is questioning where Harvey Dent is has become meme worthy in regards to where Dent is on the show. Even his Split Personality arc was given to Edward Nygma of all people. Despite his prominence in the comics, he never comes back either.
  • Real Men Love Jesus: Implied by the religious intonations he invokes with juvenile perps.
  • Split Personality: Given who he becomes, "Lovecraft" shows that the Split Personality is hinted or at least alluded towards with Harvey being nice and friendly one moment, before transforming into a "Big Bad" Harv personality.
  • Tranquil Fury: Well, yes and no. Already suffering from some kind of bipolar disorder or repressed rage, in "Lovecraft", it becomes clear that Dent doesn't just switch back and forth between angry and polite like a light switch: it's bubbling beneath the surface, and at times he is visibly struggling to suppress outbursts of rage. People think he can be a bit obsequious, but this is because he is overcompensating, self-consciously trying to will himself to remain calm. As Gordon yells at him for leaking a paper trail, Dent's voice gets increasingly soft and his words exactingly polite and apologetic...while his eyes are locked in a death glare, which he is struggling to suppress. Intellectually, he can understand that the situation is entirely his fault and that Gordon is right to yell at him, so he tries as hard as he can not to react angrily.
  • Two-Headed Coin: Of course he owns one.

Former Members

    Nathaniel Barnes 

Captain Nathaniel Barnes

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gothamtv_s2gllry_13.jpg
Click here to see him as the Executioner. 
Played By: Michael Chiklis

A "law and order zealot" who takes command of the GCPD following the massacre.


  • Ascended Extra: Nathaniel Barnes, himself, is a Canon Foreigner but the name he takes to judge Gotham is that of the Executioner, who is a one-shot Batman villain from 1953.
  • Adaptation Name Change: The comic version of the Executioner was named Willy Hooker.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Jim blows his hand off with a shotgun in his final appearance.
  • Ax-Crazy: After being infected by Alice Tetch's blood he swiftly devolves into a murderous vigilante obsessed with dispensing fatal justice to the guilty.
  • Badass Decay: In-Universe, as Gotham descends more and more into supernatural madness and his by the book policing is unable to stop it. By Season 3, he's powerless to stop Penguin openly challenging his authority. However, he comes back blazing once he forms his super sinister Knight Templar side.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Always wears a rather dapper suit while out on the field.
  • Bald of Awesome: He is played by Michael Chiklis after all.
  • Band of Brothers: Fully believes in the brotherhood of the badge, which why he is has No Sympathy towards Bridget Pike and was quite willingly to use Nora Fries as bait, since her husband had killed two cops.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: Goes from a by-the-book cop to a deranged vigilante due to Alice's blood.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Mouth off to him? He'll put you in a holding cell.
    • Following his infection, any crime becomes enough to drive him into a murderous rage, even if it's as minor as trying to stop him from going vigilante. Even hearing Gordon's name sets him off.
  • Big Good: He's the unambiguously honest, zealous and law-abiding leader GCPD can rally behind. Remains in this position for all of season 2 after Essen's death and the first half of season 3.
  • Black and White Morality: He refuses to accept any gray in a city like Gotham, much to Gordon and Bullock's chagrin. Which means he shows no sympathy to troubled criminals like Bridget Pike, and won't stand for his officers roughing up criminals for revenge or to get information out of them.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: His Executioner costume features one of these in a an axe-shaped gauntlet.
  • But Thou Must!: Considering there's a contract out on Gordon and a dangerous costumed madman is out to carry it out, Barnes bringing him in on suspicion of involvement in the breakout of Karen Jennings, which stands out as shoddier police work than Barnes is known for, comes across as this in his effort to protect him from said madman.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Makes it quite clear in his Establishing Character Moment that he will not tolerate any violations of the law, even by cops. Which makes his Face–Heel Turn as a Killer Cop all the more harsher.
  • Composite Character: After becoming corrupted by Alice's poisonous blood, he shows super strength similar to Bane, but acts more like an expy of Quincy Sharp with his Knight Templar approach to crime. Though his symptoms of seeing Gotham citizens as zombies who need to be killed is a characteristic usually given to Zsasz. He also uses the codename of The Executioner, the name of a Batman villain from The Golden Age of Comic Books, but displays a personality similar to The Judge.
  • The Corruptible: After Alice's blood taints him, he grows into the exact opposite of who he really is; a criminal.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Perps who mouth off to him get to see his sarcastic side, if they're lucky.
  • Detective Mole: Becomes a high-ranking version once he starts killing criminals, rousing Gordon's suspicions.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Briefly joins forces with the Court of Owls to hunt down Jim Gordon, but kills Kathryn Monroe once she oversteps her bounds in trying to control him.
  • Driven to Villainy: Becomes an Ax-Crazy Killer Cop from being corrupted by Alice's blood, which brings out the worst character aspects of those infected - in this case driving Barnes' desire for justice to murderous extremes.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: After becoming corrupted by Alice's poisonous blood, he becomes obsessed with growing into a Knight Templar trying to force his way of combating evil onto others.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: An ex-Marine, he was already a formidable combatant - then the Tetch virus upped his strength and speed considerably.
  • Establishing Character Moment: He smashes a chair on the ground to get the attention of the station to introduce himself and ream them for their past problems. He calls out the names of several cops and when they step forward, he fires them all on the spot for bribery, extortion and other crimes. When one protests, Barnes shoves him onto a desk and arrests him. He then tells the officers he will take no shortcuts or mercy on the criminal before ordering them to get to work.
  • Everyone Has Standards: He intends to do whatever it takes to restore law and order to Gotham, but beating up a suspect in broad daylight is a bit too much for him - something he makes very clear to Jim.
  • Expy: He shares some striking similarities to Quincy Sharp. Albeit, as a police commissioner instead of a politician. Taken Up to Eleven when he grows into an Ax-Crazy Knight Templar in his Split Personality who exacts cruel punishment upon all criminals in Gotham to vent out his frustration in the broken law system exactly like how Warden Sharp did under his "Spirit of Arkham" persona.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Mostly due to his corruption from Alice's blood, Barnes begins to suffer a severe Sanity Slippage that has caused him to become a Killer Cop.
  • Fallen Hero: He was once a noble police officer who protected the city of Gotham, but now he's become another psychopath wandering the streets killing whoever gets in his path.
  • A Father to His Men: He really does care about the men under his command, even if they often frustrate him. Even with Jim Gordon off the force, he puts him in a holding cell for his own protection while Azrael is on the loose looking for him, even if he has to use the breakout of Karen Jennings as a pretext to do so.
  • Foil: He's got a lot in common with season 1 Jim - a military background, an idealistic core and an unbending view of the world as black and white. By the point he's introduced, however, Gordon has come to appreciate the shades of gray in Gotham; consequently, the two clash frequently throughout seasons 2 and 3.
  • Good Is Not Nice: The GCPD's boss and overall Big Good of seasons 2 and the first half of season 3 - but he's still a hard man who has no problems overriding and ignoring his subordinates when he feels like it.
  • Handicapped Badass: Spends much of early season 3 with a cane after getting stabbed in the gut by Azrael.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: After becoming corrupted by evil, he's grown into everything he hated about Gotham; an Ax-Crazy criminal who goes around doing whatever he wants.
  • Hero Antagonist: His black-and-white outlook clashes with Jim's ability to acknowledge the gray in Gotham.
  • Honor Before Reason: He refuses to recognize how corrupt Gotham really is and insists on doing everything by the book which causes friction with Bullock and Gordon, who recognize that being morally grey is basically a requirement for a Gotham police officer to get his job done.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Inverted in "Into the Woods" when Jim tells him that in arresting him, he merely did his duty.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: He has almost nerve-wracking blue eyes that enhance his Death Glare. Later transitions to Creepy Blue Eyes after he becomes an Ax-Crazy Killer Cop.
  • Inter Service Rivalry: Calls Jim a "sad-sack Army hump" because he's a jarhead according to Jim.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's harsh, but he's looking out for the people of Gotham.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Virtually everything he berates Jim and Bullock about - not beating up suspects, the need for evidence before they act, the stupidity of believing anything Barbara has to say - is absolutely true and in any other police show would make him The Hero. In Gotham, however, it just makes him The Only Sane Man.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: He realises what he's becoming, and at least tries to keep it under control - but when it becomes clear Jim is onto him, he gives him the chance to join him, then tries to murder him when he refuses.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Using Nora as bait to catch Mr. Freeze - because he holds her responsible for her husband's killing of officers.
    • He sends Karen to Blackgate without a trial in "Pinewood". Even considering his usual excuse that he's a white knight for the law, that was pretty low, especially considering that Gordon, having done a stint in Blackgate for a crime he didn't commit, knows exactly what her chances of survival are.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: After becoming corrupted by Alice's blood, he coldly murders both a criminal disposing of bodies in acid and an Ax-Crazy back alley doctor who tried to escape justice through his connections.
  • Killer Cop: Thanks to his Sanity Slippage, he becomes a psychopath killing criminals while maintaining his guise as a cop.
  • Lawful Good: He does sometimes show that he really wishes he could put the good before the law, but still usually comes down on the side of law before good, much to Gordon and Bullock's frustration.
  • Like a Son to Me: Claims Jim is like this to him - while putting out a warrant for his arrest. A pissed-off Lee points out a father would have had more faith.
  • Knight Templar: Begins a one-man crusade against the criminals of Gotham after accepting his insanity.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: After suffering his Sanity Slippage, he now sees murdering all of Gotham's worst criminals as the best solution to stop crime for good in the city.
  • My Greatest Failure: He tells Gordon that he once accidentally murdered a Child Soldier in a blind rage after cracking under the pressures of war. This was how he accepted his Black and White Morality - to him, there is no line in the sand to cross, there's only the law.
  • Only Sane Man: Inverted: he thinks he's this given his high morals insistence on doing things by the book, but Jim, Harvey and the audience are already aware that such attitudes are more of a hindrance than a help in Gotham.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In "Azrael", he commits an act of Hollywood Law by bringing Gordon in on suspicion of breaking Karen Jennings out of GCPD custody en route to Blackgate without any real evidence. Indeed, he has no intention of charging him, as he doesn't have any evidence, as mentioned earlier. He just wants to protect Gordon from Azrael, even if he has to do it by force.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Seeing the Smug Snake doctor he'd apprehended for cutting faces from unwilling victims walk into Carmine Falcone's party scot-free finally causes him to snap and throw the bastard through a wall to his death.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Despite his By-the-Book Cop tendencies he definitely is this, and usually accepts the instincts of his subordinates in who's responsible for the crimes they investigate. The trouble often is that he correctly calls for evidence to put criminals way, something that often doesn't exist in a city where criminals are great at covering their tracks.
  • Sanity Slippage: In the third season, he is exposed to Alice Tetch's blood and becomes increasingly unhinged over the next several episodes.
  • Semper Fi: Noted by Jim when he calls Jim a "sad-sack Army hump."
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Downplayed. He reveals that the pressure of war did affect him while on duty - to the point where he murdered an enemy in cold blood because he couldn't control his rage. In the present he admits the incident still haunts him, but is also what gave him his unshakeable faith in the law.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sociopathic Hero: After becoming corrupted by Alice's blood, he grows into a cold Killer Cop punishing criminals in Gotham in order to cleanse it of evil. After he aligns with the Court of Owls, the hero part is very much gone.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Gordon after he leaves the force and becomes a bounty hunter. Gordon even acknowledges that Barnes would be glad to see him dead during a hostage situation with Fish.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: After giving into his inner darkness, all he sees now in Gotham are zombie-like monsters who must be killed off as punishment for their sins.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: His ultimate dilemma in the show, and he'll choose lawful every time.
  • Tranquil Fury: Often displays this as he chooses to uphold the letter of the law and is forced to watch criminals escape justice due to technicalities or lack of evidence.
  • Tragic Villain: Barnes was once a good man who wanted to protect the innocent people of Gotham by rebuilding the police force from the ground up, but it seems that his dreams have been shattered once he grows into a Fallen Hero casually killing criminals for the sake of justice.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: He openly disdains Gordon after he leaves the force, despite him still being a useful ally because Gordon is working outside the law now. To be fair, Gordon has a way of showing up uninvited in the first half of season 3 to make his job harder.
  • We Have Reserves: When one of his "Alpha Strike Team" officers dies he brushes it off on the grounds that you can't have a war without casualties.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After his final defeat, Barnes manages to escape custody once again whilst en route to Arkham and goes into hiding, much to Bullock's dismay. His current location is unknown. Ultimately, the series ends before ever saying where he went.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: With Cowboy Cop subordinates like Gordon and Bullock working directly under him, he gets to do this a lot.
    Barnes: I don't know which one of you I want to bash over the head with this cane more. [to Gordon] I get it. Life disappointed you. So what? Does that make you special? I'm done with you. You cross me again, I will have you skinned alive and your head put on a pike. [to Bullock] And you. When I came back, I saw the way you handled things while I was away. I swear I had this feeling right here. I thought I was having a heart attack. But it was pride, Bullock. In you. The next time I have that feeling, I'll know it was just gas.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Barnes used to be an honest cop who believed in the law system, but Alice's blood has made him insane and driven him to villainy.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: In any normal gritty hyper-realistic Police Procedural, Barnes would be the hero or Big Good, with Jim as the Cowboy Cop sidekick who learns higher morals along the way - but not in this show. Granted, he's not too far off, but his understimating the complexities of Gotham, as well as dealing with villains like Penguin, Theo Galavan and Jervis Tetch - not to mention Jim's refusal to shape up - lead to his catastrophic downfall in season 3.

    Kristen Kringle 

Kristen Kringle

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ce092046_a97c_4abe_ac4c_7502a3.png
Played By: Chelsea Spack

A secretary working in the archives at the GCPD. Nygma has an attraction to her, something she doesn't appreciate.


  • Accidental Murder: She ends up being accidentally strangled by Nygma while he's holding her by her neck in an attempt to speak to her.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: She dated Flass. She outgrew the trope, however, and began dating Tom, another cop, who is far nicer. Only that Tom turns out to also be an Affably Evil abusive boyfriend. And then of course there's Ed. He is particularly noteworthy in that once his alter-ego began influencing him to act more like a "bad boy", Kristen seemed to become more interested in him.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Wistfully complains to Lee that the gentle Ed needs to have a little fire and danger too him. Oh, does she ever regret it.
  • Break the Cutie: In a depressingly subtle way, each of Kristen's relationships have done this to her. Each of the men she's dated have been abusive, and it puts her quiet, serious, withdrawn nature in a different light. The worse example is with Ed: her initial instincts told her for so long that he wasn't a safe choice, but she ultimately ignored her instincts and eventually started dating him. In the last few moments of her life, she realized she'd been right about him from the beginning. Unfortunately, in Real Life, this is a common occurrence: an abuse survivor might have trouble trusting their instincts, in no small part due to their abuser messing with their sense of reality.
  • Broken Bird: Kristen comes across as a very serious, studious young lady so the audience is as shocked as Ed is to learn that Tom Doherty is abusing her. It winds up putting her withdrawn demeanor in a totally different light.
  • Character Death: She ends up being accidentally killed by Nygma in a fit of panic in order to push his transition to the Riddler.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: She initially wants nothing to do with Nygma, but seems to be warming up to him. After learning Nygma killed Tom, she realized she was right about Nygma in the first place.
  • Destructive Romance: Kristen has dated three men during the show's run, and all three turned out to be abusive to her.
  • Dies Wide Open: The last thing she sees is Nygma's face before losing her oxygen.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: When it comes to romantic partners. To be fair, Tom Doherty seemed like a nice guy at first, and the audience is expected to sympathize with Edward Nygma before his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Hot Librarian: Miss Kringle ticks all the boxes: glasses, skirt, hair in a bun, shy, passion for order...
  • Meganekko: Cute, quiet, smart, and wears glasses.
  • Punny Name: It's a feminized form of "Kris Kringle." Which may explain Nygma's obsession with her.
  • You Monster!: Calls Nygma a psychopath when she learns the truth of her ex-boyfriend's death.

    Gillian B. Loeb 

Gillian B. Loeb

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cl.png
Played By: Peter Scolari

The commissioner of the Gotham City Police Department.


  • Adaptational Job Change: In both Batman Begins and the story arc, "Wrath Child", flashbacks to the night the Waynes died had Loeb as a captain at the time. Here, he's already commissioner.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: When Penguin and Zsasz threaten to kill him if he doesn't quit his job, Loeb breaks down and pleads for a chance to live.
  • Bad Boss: He tells Gordon he has 24 hours to find Jack Gruber, or else he gets shipped back to Arkham with Bullock in tow.
  • Big Bad: For the second half of Season 1. He's behind all the corrupt cops and controls them on behalf of Falcone.
  • Blackmail: How he stays in position, he has dirt on pretty much every other cop, multiple DA's and politicians including Bullock.
  • Break the Haughty: After a visit from Penguin and Zsasz, they threaten to kill him if he doesn't quit his job. Fearing for his life, Loeb gives in and is visibly distraught that he has to rehire Gordon back on the force.
  • By-the-Book Cop: It's all for show. He's the most crooked cop of them all.
  • Da Chief: Of all the GCPD.
  • Dirty Cop: Much like in other incarnations, he's a self-serving bastard in league with gangsters like Falcone.
  • Dirty Coward: He collapses into a snivelling, pleading mess after Zsasz and Penguin threaten to kill him if he doesn't retire.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He has a daughter named Miriam who he truly cares about. Enough to cover up his wife's murder at the hands of his crazy as balls daughter. But not enough to endanger his own life.
  • I Fight for the Strongest Side: When Maroni gains the upper hand in the mob war, Loeb drops his support of Falcone and switches his loyalty to Maroni.
  • It's Personal: Really has it in for Gordon in the aftermath of his successfully uncovering the truth about his daughter, having another officer put Gordon onto the Ogre case - knowing full well that the Ogre kills the loved ones of the police investigating him. Later attempts to have Gordon murdered in prison in retaliation for Gordon having Penguin force him to resign.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He made another cop put Gordon on the Ogre case, knowing that the Ogre kills the family of any cop that investigates him.
  • Not His Sled: In the comics, The Dark Knight Trilogy, and Batman: Arkham Origins, he was commissioner by the time Bruce Wayne became Batman, being forced to resign by the end of Batman's first year in the former (then later killed by the Hangman shortly after Gordon became commissioner) and killed by the Joker in the latter two. Here, he's forced into retirement not long after the Waynes died.
  • Quickly Demoted Leader: At the beginning of Season 2, Loeb quits his job after being threatened by Penguin. Essen replaces him right after.
  • Reluctant Retiree: As of the Season 2 premier. After Gordon makes a deal with the Penguin, the latter along with Zsasz essentially forces Loeb into retirement.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Sets Gordon onto the Ogre, knowing full well the Ogre will target his loved ones in retaliation.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: He isn't killed after losing his job as commissioner, and disappears from the series thereafter.
  • Straight Edge Evil: As Penguin points out in his Breaking Speech, Loeb has no vices to exploit, and might as well be a monk for all he cares. This means that, unlike everyone else in Gotham, the only way to get him to do something is to threaten his daughter, or - far more effectively - his own life.

    Sarah Essen 

Capt. Sarah Essen

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/essen_sarah_6895.jpg
Played By: Zabryna Guevara

The Captain of the Gotham City Police Department homicide squad and the boss of James Gordon and Harvey Bullock.


  • Adaptational Job Change: Outside of a subplot during the '90s where she briefly replaced Jim as Commissioner as part of the fallout of Knightfall, comics!Sarah never held a rank higher than Lieutenant. Here, she's a captain and Jim's boss.
  • Age Lift: Appears to be somewhat older than Gordon, while she was younger in the comics.
  • Big Good: In a way. She's still a Corrupt Cop, but only sticks with the program to keep her family safe. As one of the leaders of GCPD, she's the only one who genuinely cares for her officers and has aligned herself with Gordon and Bullock.
  • The Captain: She's the Captain of the GCPD Homicide squad and Gordon and Bullock's boss.
  • Corrupt Cop: She's "part of the program". She's well aware that Jim was supposed to kill Cobblepot. However we later find out it's because she wants to keep her family safe from the mob.
  • Da Chief: Promoted in the Season 2 premiere, thanks to Gordon and Cobblepot's deal.
  • Death by Adaptation: She's killed before Bruce ever becomes Batman, whereas her comic counterpart was killed during the tenth year of his career.
  • Decomposite Character: In a sense. While she retains many elements of her comic counterpart (a police officer from the GCPD and acquaintance of Gordon), many other traits (a young ally and lover of Gordon) are transferred to Dr. Leslie Thompkins.
  • Defiant to the End: She tells Jerome he'll never amount to anything, then spits in his face and breaks his nose with a headbutt before he kills her.
  • Dies Wide Open: The last thing she sees is Gordon's face when parting ways with him.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: She gets unceremoniously killed off by Jerome.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Now that she's the commissioner, she's all set to reform Gotham's poor police structure to make the city safe again. Too bad she's murdered by Jerome and the Maniax! before she gets to do much.
  • Heel Realization: After Zsasz's attack leaves Gordon sullen towards the rest of the GCPD, she realizes she should've stuck with Gordon no matter what.
  • Mama Bear: She may be corrupt, but she is very protective of the cops under her charge. As Montoya and Allen find out. Later, when Falcone sends a hitman to the precinct to capture Gordon, she's the only cop to stand by him.
  • Mythology Gag: This wouldn't be the first time the Sarah Essen character would be killed by a grinning maniac who treats life and death as a joke.
  • Promoted to Love Interest: Inverted. In the comics, Essen began an affair with Gordon in the first storyarc she appeared in, and later became his wife. There is no hint of anything romantic between the television counterpart, to say nothing of the fact that she has a family, presumably including a husband, and is Gordon's superior, likely preventing any future romantic relationship.
  • Race Lift: Sarah Essen, a white woman in the comics, is played by Latina actress Zabryna Guevara.
  • Sacrificial Lion: She's killed off to establish the Maniax! as a serious threat.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Despite surviving all the horrors of Season 1, Essen is killed off in the second episode of Season 2.
  • Trapped in Villainy: As mentioned, her willingness to let the law slide, especially where Falcone is involved, is more a Necessary Evil for her position than it is because she's actually corrupt.

    Tom Dougherty 

Officer Tom Dougherty

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tom_dougherty.png
Played By: Zachary Spicer

A GCPD officer and Kris Kringle's new boyfriend.


  • Asshole Victim: Being a domestic abuser, he deserved death.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: At first it seems he's an improvement when compared to Ms. Kringle's previous boyfriend: Jerkass Dirty Cop Flass, as he's actually nice to "Riddle Man" Nygma, even humoring his riddle-telling by offering some that he knows. It turns out he's not so nice after all.
  • Domestic Abuse: To Kristen. It's what gets him killed.
  • The Nicknamer: He never refers to Nygma as anything but "Riddle Man".

    Arnold Flass 

Detective Arnold Flass

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/arnold_flass.jpg
Played By: Dash Mihok

A narc who runs a network of undercover detectives. The undercover part is actually a cover for their own drug dealing operations.


  • Dirty Cop: Just like his comics counterpart.
  • Foreshadowing: Of the unintentional variety, but his telling Gordon to come preach to him in five years just before being arrested is remarkably prescient of the fact that by season 5 Jim has done a lot of shady stuff in his own right (though never anything as blatantly corrupt).
  • Large and in Charge: He's the most physically imposing of his crew.
  • Jerkass: Exemplified by his treatment of Nygma.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Double Subverted He considers himself untouchable because he's well connected. However, murdering an innocent witness within the GCPD is too much and he's arrested once Gordon obtains the murder weapon and a confession from one of his crew. Then Commissioner Loeb has him cleared and reinstated. It takes Gordon blackmailing Loeb to get him put away.

    Derek Delaware 

Detective Derek Delaware

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/derek_delaware.png
Played By: Niko Nicotera

A detective in Flass's crew.


    Bill Cranston 

Lieutenant Bill Cranston

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bill_cranston.png
Played By: James Colby

A corrupt lieutenant in the GCPD, targeted by the Balloonman.


    Dix 

Detective Dix

Played By: Dan Hedaya

Harvey Bullock's former partner, forcibly retired ten years before the series after a bad fall left him paralyzed.


  • Back for the Dead: Returns a full four seasons after his debut, only to be strangled by Jane Doe.
  • The Corrupter: A milder example than most, but his cynicism that there were "No heroes in Gotham," along with his willingness to cut corners on cases led to the once-idealistic Harvey Bullock becoming the tired, jaded cynic he is at the start of the series.
  • Dirty Cop: Among other things, forced a false confession out of a child in order to put her mother in jail.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His rush job on the Victoria Cartwright case eventually led to her daughter being declared insane and experimented on by Hugo Strange, and the deaths of Dix and two of his friends at her hands years later.
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