James Gordon (Gotham)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
James Gordon
Gotham character
Benjamin McKenzie 2014 (cropped).jpg
James Gordon (Ben McKenzie)
First appearance"Pilot"
September 22, 2014
Created byBruno Heller (Gotham)
Bill Finger (James Gordon)
Bob Kane (James Gordon)
Lawrence Donovan (James Gordon)
Henry Ralston (James Gordon)
Portrayed byBen McKenzie
Full nameJames Gordon
FamilyPeter Gordon (father) †
Unnamed mother †
Frank Gordon (uncle) †
Significant otherSofia Falcone (ex-girlfriend)
Valerie Vale (ex-girlfriend)
Leslie "Lee" Thompkins (wife)
Barbara Kean (ex-fiancée)
ChildrenUnborn child (miscarried) † (with Leslie "Lee" Thompkins)
Unborn child (with Barbara Kean)
Police career
DepartmentGotham City Police Department
Years of service2014–present

James Gordon is a fictional character that appears in the Warner Bros. TV/DC Comics TV Series Gotham. He is portrayed by Ben McKenzie. He is based on the character of the same name created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, that debuted in the first panel of Detective Comics #27 (May 1939).

Fictional character biography[edit]

Season 1[edit]

Gordon is introduced as a homicide detective and war veteran who has recently been transferred to Gotham City, where he lives with his fiancée, Barbara Kean (Erin Richards). As his first case, Gordon and his partner, Detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) are assigned the case of Thomas and Martha Wayne's murder. After arriving at the crime scene, he comforts the Waynes' son, Bruce (David Mazouz), who had survived the ordeal, promising him that he would do everything in his power to find the murderer and bring him to justice.

During his investigation, Gordon runs afoul of gangster Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith), who takes him hostage. Bullock later goes searching for him, and is captured alongside him. The two are freed by Gotham's most powerful mob boss, Carmine Falcone (John Doman), who was an old friend of Gordon's deceased father. In return, Falcone asks Gordon to kill Oswald "Penguin" Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor), Mooney's underling who had informed on her to the GCPD. Gordon fakes Cobbelpot's death and orders him never to come back to Gotham.[1]

After Gordon's gun is used to kill Dick Lovecraft (Al Sapienza), a corrupt billionaire, Mayor Aubrey James (Richard Kind) reassigns him to Arkham Asylum as a guard.[2] He is later reinstated as a homicide detective by Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb (Peter Scolari) after he captures a serial killer who had escaped from Arkham during a prison riot.[3] Gordon then blackmails Loeb into naming him the President of the Gotham City Police Union.[4] At the end of the series, he discovers that Barbara is in fact a murderer, and begins a relationship with Arkham physician Leslie "Lee" Thompkins (Morena Baccarin). He is also present during a gang war between Mooney and mob boss Sal Maroni (David Zayas), during which Falcone retires and Penguin takes control of Gotham's criminal underworld.[5]

Season 2[edit]

After the events of the first season, Gordon is demoted to patrol officer by a vengeful Loeb. He is later reinstated as a Detective after Penguin blackmails Loeb into retiring and appointing Captain Sarah Essen (Zabryna Guevara) to replace him as Commissioner.[6]

In "Rise of the Villains: Worse Than a Crime", Gordon, upon realizing that there is a strong possibility that corrupt billionaire Theo Galavan (James Frain) will escape justice after terrorizing the city, takes him to an isolated place outside Gotham, where Penguin beats him mercilessly until Gordon stops him and shoots Galavan dead. In the same episode, he learns that Lee is pregnant with his child.[7] He is later framed for the murder of corrupt cop Carl Pinkley by GCPD forensics technician Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith), and he breaks his engagement to Lee, who subsequently miscarries. He is later broken out by Falcone, and he chooses to stay at Gotham. He exposes Nygma for the murder of both Pinkney and forensics scientist Kristin Kringle, sending him to Arkham. Gordon eventually helps defend Gotham from the monsters that Hugo Strange (B.D. Wong) has unleashed.

Season 3[edit]

After apprehending Strange, Gordon leaves Bullock in charge of the GCPD and goes off to find Lee, only to discover she has moved on to a new lover, Mario Calvi (James Carpinello), the son of Carmine Falcone. He ends up becoming a bounty hunter after he declined his reinstatement as a detective. Gordon works to hunt down a resurrected Fish Mooney in order to collect the Penguin's bounty, although this act puts others lives at risk. After Fish leaves Gotham, Gordon finds himself in a conflict with a crazed hypnotist named Jervis Tetch (Benedict Samuel), who initially hires Gordon to find his sister Alice (Naian Gonzalez Norvind) but then works to ruin him after she dies. This breaks up his relationship with reporter Valerie Vale (Jamie Chung) and puts him into more conflict with Lee, to the point where he has to gun Mario down when the latter becomes infected with Alice Tetch's blood and attempts to kill her. After rethinking his life and rejoining the GCPD, Gordon discovers that his late father was a member of the Court of Owls, a secret society that has controlled crime in Gotham for centuries, and he joins it in order to bring it down from the inside. Simultaneously, Gordon is also forced to help find an antidote for a virus linked to Alice Tetch's blood that has infected many citizens of Gotham and driven them to insanity, including himself, Lee, and GCPD Captain Nathaniel Barnes (Michael Chiklis).[8] He and Lee eventually come to terms with each other after the chaos subsides and reaffirm their love for each other before Lee leaves the city once again.[9]

Season 4[edit]

Months later, Gordon watches with growing frustration as Cobblepot pledges to control the city's crime by issuing "licenses" allowing criminals to break the law as long as they agree to his "standards". The GCPD turns a blind eye, except for Gordon, who pledges to take Cobblepot down. He restores public confidence in the police by saving Bruce from Jonathan Crane (Charlie Tahan) and going after a masked serial killer calling himself Professor Pyg (Michael Cerveris), who is killing corrupt GCPD officers. Gordon's heroics result in his being promoted to Captain of the GCPD, replacing Bullock.

Meanwhile, Don Falcone's daughter Sofia (Crystal Reed) returns to Gotham, and she and Gordon are instantly attracted to each other. However, Gordon eventually learns that Sofia pulled strings to get him promoted so she could have someone loyal to her running the GCPD. When Sofia instigates the murder of her own father, Gordon confronts her, and learns that she hired Professor Pyg to terrorize the city and give Gordon a chance to be a hero. She kills Pyg, and tells Gordon that he can ally with her or lose any chance he has of making Gotham safe. He reluctantly agrees to keep her secrets. Gordon renews his acquaintance with Lee, who is now running the Narrows with Nygma, her new lover. She helps Gordon take Sofia down by shooting her in the head, putting her in a coma. Lee prevents Nygma from killing Gordon, and Gordon tells her he wishes they could be together; Lee replies that it can never be.

Meanwhile, Gordon's old nemesis Jerome Valeska (Cameron Monaghan) threatens the entire city with Crane's madness-inducing laughing gas, leading Gordon and Bullock to pursue him into an underground lair, where they meet his twin brother, Jeremiah. Jerome escapes them and prepares to poison the entire city, but Gordon foils his plan with Cobblepot's reluctant assistance. In the ensuing struggle, Jerome falls to his death. However, Jeremiah - after being dosed with Crane's gas and driven insane - soon threatens Gotham City as well, with help from Ra's al-Ghul (Alexander Siddig). The two criminal masterminds destroy the bridges leading out of Gotham City, turning the city into an isolated "No Man's Land". After Gotham is evacuated, Gordon resolves to stay behind, along with Bruce Wayne, to protect the city from the criminals who have taken it over.


List of assignments[edit]

  • Junior Detective, GCPD Homicide (September 22, 2014 – November 24, 2014)
  • Guard, Arkham Asylum (January 5, 2015 – January 19, 2015)
  • Junior Detective, GCPD Homicide (January 19, 2015 – May 4, 2015)
  • Patrol Officer, Gotham City Police Department (September 21, 2015)
  • Detective, GCPD Homicide (September 21, 2015–Present)
  • President of the Gotham City Police Union (March 2, 2015–Present)


  • Detective 1st Grade[1]
  • Officer[10]
  • Detective 1st Grade[3]
  • Officer[6]
  • Detective 1st Grade[6]
  • Captain[11]


  • Detective Harvey Bullock, GCPD (September 22, 2014 – May 4, 2015)
  • Officer Franks, GCPD (September 21, 2015)[6]
  • Detective Harvey Bullock, GCPD (September 28, 2015–March 21, 2016, November 8th, 2016-November 8th, 2017, March 22, 2018-present)


In September 2013, it was reported that Fox was developing a TV series centred on James Gordon's early days as a police detective and the origin stories of various Batman villains.[12] In February 2014, McKenzie was cast as the lead character.[13] When describing his character in an interview, McKenzie stated that Gordon "is a truly honest man. The last honest man in a city full of crooked people. He's not an anti-hero, he’s a true hero – but he will have to compromise."[14]


  1. ^ a b "Pilot". Gotham. Season 1. Episode 1. September 22, 2014. Fox.
  2. ^ "Lovecraft". Gotham. Season 1. Episode 10. November 24, 2014. Fox.
  3. ^ a b "What the Little Bird Told Him". Gotham. Season 1. Episode 12. January 19, 2015. Fox.
  4. ^ "Everyone Has a Cobblepot". Gotham. Season 1. Episode 18. March 2, 2015. Fox.
  5. ^ "All Happy Families Are Alike". Gotham. Season 1. Episode 22. May 4, 2015. Fox.
  6. ^ a b c d "Damned If You Do…". Gotham. Season 2. Episode 1. September 21, 2015. Fox.
  7. ^ "Rise of the Villains: Worse Than a Crime". Gotham. Season 2. Episode 11. November 30, 2015. Fox.
  8. ^ "Heroes Rise: Pretty Hate Machine". Gotham. Season 3. Episode 20. May 29, 2017. Fox.
  9. ^ "Heroes Rise: Heavydirtysoul". Gotham. Season 3. Episode 22. June 5, 2017. Fox.
  10. ^ "A Dark Knight: Stop Hitting Yourself". Gotham. Season 4. Episode 8. November 9, 2017. Fox.
  11. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 24, 2013). "Fox Nabs Gotham City Origin Drama About Commissioner Gordon From Bruno Heller & Warner Bros. TV With Series Commitment". Deadline.com. Los Angeles, California: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  12. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 8, 2014). "Ben McKenzie To Star As James Gordon in Fox's Batman Series 'Gotham'". Deadline Hollywood. Los Angeles, California: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  13. ^ Hibberd, James (June 12, 2014). "Ben McKenzie 'Gotham' interview". Entertainment Weekly. New York City: Meredith Corporation. Retrieved June 12, 2014.