SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for tonight's episode of Gotham, which as of publication has not yet aired on the west coast.
Fox's Gotham has never been shy of getting its hands bloody. But in its latest midseason finale, the series delivered its latest killing off of a character in a way that veers (slightly) from the path set in the comics.
The story of the "Queen Takes Knight" episode features a number of double-crosses and twist moments, but at its core, the story concludes the question over what try allegiances young Sofia Falcone has. While she's spent most of Season 4 cozying up to both Jim Gordon and the Penguin, it finally came out that the mob scion was really only in it for herself when she seized power by having her father – longtime boss of bosses Carmine Falcone – killed.
This should come as a major surprise to comic fans familiar with the Dark Knight's "Year One" era. While Falcone was created by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli for that classic Batman origin, he became a fixture of almost any tale set during the hero's early adventures. In particular, Falcone and his children played a major role in Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's The Long Halloween where he similarly met his end on the way to his daughter taking control of Gotham's underworld. However, while that story saw Falcone eat it at the hands of Two-Face, Gotham took a different path.
On one level, it comes as little surprise. Gotham already toasted its ability to play with Harvey Dent after pushing the character in Season 1 before losing the actor entirely. But on another level, shifting the culpability for Carmine's death to Sofia (via her hired hand Pyg and his associates) fits strongly with the story Gotham has been telling since the beginning. After revealing her true designs, the new boss Falcone explains that her plans have not only delivered control of the city's crime to her and sent the Penguin to Arkham – they also had the side-effect of implicating Jim Gordon in the murders of over a dozen police officers.
The episode leaves Jim with an impossible choice: either he tells everyone that Sofia is a criminal mastermind and in return admits his own (somewhat unwitting role) in bringing her cop-killing schemes to reality or he continues to serve as the supposed White Knight of the GCPD while truly serving the new power of the underworld.
The show leaves fans with the implication that Gordon's turned dark despite himself, even losing his chance to reconnect with Harvey Bullock in the process. But it's only one of a number of downer endings the show served up in the midseason finale as the series continues to chase its "always darkest before the dawn" style of storytelling a little further.