After the death of Sarah Essen at the hands of maybe-Joker and now deceased Jerome, there's been a vacuum of power in the Gotham PD. To fill that space, Monday's new episode of Gotham will introduce Captain Barnes, played by Michael Chiklis. Based on the promo for "Strike Force," this authority figure will be more compatible with Jim Gordon's no-nonsense sense of justice. But if the new Captain were ever to find out about the detective's history and recent deal with the Penguin, he'd probably have a very different view of Jim. Gordon's just one quick anonymous tip away from being booked on corruption charges — or even murder charges, since he killed the man Penguin sent him to intimidate — and if that were revealed, I doubt his new boss would be very forgiving.
Captain Barnes is not the name of any existing character in DC Comics history, but that doesn't mean he won't be important to Gotham . When he was cast, Variety reported that Chiklis is joining Gotham as a series regular, so we'll have a chance see his character develop over the course of Season 2. Of course, that doesn't mean he'll survive, because Theo Galavan is not playing around. He's already had one police captain killed and watched as Commissioner Loeb resigned. Of course, it could go the complete opposite way, with Barnes receiving Galavan's support. After all, Galavan was able to fool Bruce Wayne, Alfred, and Jim Gordon with his faux heroics last week, maybe he convinced the new Captain to join his cause, without revealing his true intentions.
Wherever his allegiances lie, Captain Barnes won't be working alone. He's bringing a "Strike Force" of powerful cops along with him, and whether he tasks them with capturing the escaped Arkham inmates or just renews the ongoing fight between the cops and mobsters, he's clearly prepared for how corrupt Gotham can be. It doesn't look like he'll be fooled into keeping his own secrets the way Loeb was, either.
But will Barnes' commitment to justice stop him from actually making a dent in Gotham's underworld? I wouldn't worry about that. Based on photos from "Strike Force," it looks like the new group is coming prepared with a lot of artillery, so there may be many villain casualties ahead.
Besides giving criminals something to worry about, the arrival of Captain Barnes also brings up something interesting about Jim Gordon. While Jim is supposedly the "last good man" in Gotham City, on his first day on the force, he was convinced that he'd murdered Oswald Cobblepot in service of mob boss Carmine Falcone. And since then, Jim's broken the rules — as in, the real-deal law — pretty much any time it's suited him, from investigating the Waynes' murder on his own time to calling in Victor Zsasz to blackmail Commissioner Loeb out of office.
So while initially he'll probably be thrilled to see the captain cleaning house, Jim could find himself in Nathaniel Barnes' crosshairs before Gotham Season 2 comes to an end.
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