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|“||I see a beautiful city. And a brilliant people, rising from this abyss. I see the lives, for which I lay down my life - peaceful, useful, prosperous and happy. I see that I hold a sanctuary in their hearts, and in the hearts of their descendants, generations hence. It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.||„|
|~ James Gordon's monologue.|
James "Jim" Gordon is the overall tritagonist of The Dark Knight Trilogy. He is one of the two deuteragonists (alongside Rachel Dawes) of Batman Begins, the deuteragonist of The Dark Knight, and the tritagonist of The Dark Knight Rises. He is the leader of the Gotham Police and a stern and moral officer.
He was portrayed by Gary Oldman, who also portrayed Sirius Black.
Gordon makes his first appearance while Bruce Wayne is being looked after at the police station shortly after his parents are murdered. He comforts Bruce by putting his coat on him, assuring him that everything will be okay.
Years later, as Bruce Wayne returned to Gotham to fight crime, he visits Sergeant Gordon in an unorthodox way: having broke into his office at night with a ski mask on. He holds a stapler to the back of his head and asks questions on how to successfully prosecute Carmine Falcone. Gordon answers that they will need leverage on Judge Faden as well as a District Attorney brave enough to bring a case. Bruce suggests they form an alliance before fleeing, while Gordon attempts to arrest him, but gives up quickly.
Soon after, Batman incapacitates Falcone and ties him to a searchlight for the police to arrest him, and Gordon is present at the arrest. The police Commissioner Loeb is not pleased with a vigilante taking the law into his hands, and Gordon defends him by pointing out that he has arrested Gotham's most dangerous crime leader. Loeb is unmoved and wants Batman arrested.
Although Falcone had been taken care of, Batman and Gordon were not conclusive on where the remaining half of Falcone's drug shipment was distributed to. Back at Gordon's residence, they conclude that the corrupt cop Arnold Flass knows, but Gordon would not be able to break him. Batman interrogates Flass and learns that there is a hidden substance in the drug shipments.
Later on, Batman goes to Jonathan Crane's hideout to rescue Rachel Dawes, who has been affected by Crane's toxin. Knowing Batman was wanted by the police, he called them and fled. Gordon goes into the building himself before a SWAT team arrives, and is moved to the top floor by Batman, who explains what has happened to Rachel. He needs to get her the antidote, but cannot get out by himself due to the police surrounding the building. He hands Rachel to Gordon, who brings her out, while Batman escapes in an unconventional way. Gordon offers to give Batman and Rachel a car ride to his batcave, but Batman refuses and takes Rachel in his Tumbler, in a prolonged police chase. He successfully gives Rachel the antidote, and tells her to give vials of the antidote to Gordon.
On the Narrows island, Rachel is successful in getting the vials to Gordon, who explains that they are going to raise the bridges to the island. Ra's al Ghul uses the microwave emitter on the island, causing the water supply to vaporize, spreading the fear toxin. He finds Flass, who has been affected and nearly shoots two teenagers out of fear, but Gordon subdues him. He is alone due to the riot squad being affected as well, and Loeb is unable to send help, just as Batman appears. Batman asks Gordon to drive his Tumbler to block the train path the the main water hub at Wayne Tower, where Ra's al Ghul would use the emitter to vaporise the entire city's water supply. He orders the bridge to be lowered and proceeds as planned, destroying the train rails outside Wayne Tower. This successfully foils Ra's al Ghul's plan, who is killed in the train crash.
Gordon is promoted to Lieutenant, and made a batsignal to call for Batman, which he praises. Gordon warns that there is a new crime wave on the rise, and warns about the escalation between law enforcement methods and criminal methods. He also points out a new criminal suspect, who leaves a calling card at the scene of each crime: a Joker playing card. Gordon offers to thank him and Batman says that he will never have to, before gliding away.
The Dark Knight
During one night, Gordon is seen waiting at the batsignal with Detective Ramirez waiting for Batman to arrive. He remarks that he is most likely busy, which turns out to be true, as he is handling a situation with Jonathan Crane.
At the crime scene of the mob bank, Batman appears with Gordon and they find that the Joker was behind the robbery. With the limited information they had on him, Batman concluded that the mob was the bigger threat to Gotham for the time.
As Harvey Dent has become the new DA to taken on the mob underworld, Gordon visits him in his office. Dent confronts him for working with Batman, and expresses that he wants to meet with him personally. They get into a dispute over the corruption within each of their offices, and they plan a search warrant for five banks believed to hold what is left of the mob's money.
After Gordon discovers Lau has fled to Hong Kong with the mob's money, he is seen on the roof of the MCU with Harvey Dent. The two get into yet another dispute over the corruption within each other their offices, blaming each other for the money's disappearance. Batman agrees to go to Hong Kong to get Lau back by force.
Once Lau is back in Gotham, Gordon watches over his interrogation by Rachel Dawes. He does not give the money back, but he agrees to give the names of the mobsters, and Gordon keeps him at the MCU while he orders his men to arrest all of those involved. Out of desperation, the mob agree to accept the Joker's offer to take out Batman.
Soon, he discovers the Joker card amongst the legal paperwork of the mob trials, and Gordon learns from Ramirez that there are traces of DNA on it. The DNA is identified to be that of Commissioner Loeb, Judge Surrillo and Harvey Dent, who Gordon tries to get into protective custody. Commissioner Loeb does not take this threat seriously, and ends up drinking acid spiked in his alcohol bottle before dying. Two corrupt cops rig Judge Surrillo's car with explosives and give her false directions to head to safety, before blowing it up. Harvey Dent is saved by Batman.
Due to the failed attempt to kill Harvey Dent, the Joker tries again, and Batman gives Gordon information on where the phone call came from. He investigates a crime scene, where they find two policemen murdered, who have the last names "Harvey" and "Dent", and Batman takes a bullet hoping to identify the fingerprints on it. Gordon also notes that the Joker has named the mayor as his next target.
During the funeral of Commissioner Loeb, Gordon prepares to foil the assassination attempt. The Joker, disguised as a police officer in the parade, points his gun at the mayor, but Gordon jumps in the way on time, where he takes the bullet and fakes his death. The police inform his family that he has died, and his wife Barbara blames Batman for it. Feeling responsible, Batman considers turning himself in, but Harvey Dent takes the blame, claiming to be the caped crusader during a press conference. He is arrested, and after the Joker tries to kill him, is thwarted by the real Batman during a car chase. Batman crashes his batpod and is knocked out, and the Joker is arrested by Gordon as he tries to unmask Batman.
At the MCU, the mayor formally announces that Gordon has been promoted to Commissioner. The same night, Gordon visits his family who are relieved to see he is alive, and remarks to his son that he saved Batman. He learns that Harvey Dent never made it home, and returns to interrogate the Joker, who is uncooperative and has Batman take over. Eventually, Batman learns of the addresses in which Dent and Rachel Dawes are being kept, and heads for Rachel, not knowing the addresses were swapped. Gordon arrives at Rachel's location, but is too late to save her and gets blown up. He also learns that the Joker has escaped the MCU and taken Lau with him.
As Harvey Dent has been severely maimed, Gordon visits him in hospital to apologise for what happened to Rachel. Dent confronts him for not dealing with the corrupt police that led him to his disfigurement, and embraces the nickname "Two-Face" that he was given in Internal Affairs. Before Gordon leaves, Dent tells him that he is going to pay. Salvatore Maroni is outsde the room, expressing remorse for allowing the Joker to cause so much chaos, informing the Commissioner of his location.
During the Joker's next plot against Gotham, where he claims control of the city and has two ferries full of people flee, Batman triangulates his location and informs Gordon. He sets up a squad of snipers and SWAT teams on the building adjacent to the construction site where the Joker is. They see that there are hostages in plain sight, and Gordon believes Harvey Dent is among them. Realizing that the Joker wouldn't have made it so simple, he gets into a disagreement with Gordon, who is desperate to save Dent, while Batman wants five minutes to investigate. Gordon orders his SWAT teams to breach, who are unaware that the hostages have been framed as the Joker's men, and vice versa, causing them to be targeted. Due to Batman foiling their actions to save the hostages' lives, they try to arrest him but fail, and eventually identify the real henchmen. Throughout, Gordon receives a phone call from Harvey Dent, who reveals that he is holding his family hostage where Rachel died.
Gordon heads to the aforementioned location, and is ambushed by an armed Dent, who berates him for not doing more about police corruption. He taunts Gordon by pointing his gun at his wife, and takes his son, who he intends to kill, as an eye for an eye due to Rachel's death. Batman appears and tries to reason with Dent, and gets shot. As Dent tries to kill the boy, Batman tackles him off the building and saves his son. Gordon tries to call for medical, but Batman stops him. Feeling that Dent's crimes would undo the mob's prosecution, Batman takes the blame for his crimes, which Gordon reluctantly agrees, before the caped crusader vanishes, and destroys the batsignal.
The Dark Knight Rises
Eight years later, Gotham has been free of organized crime, with the Dent Act established to deny parole to those involved. During a celebration of Harvey Dent Day, Gordon considers revealing the truth about the circumstances of his death publicly, but finds himself unable to. Back at the MCU, he looks at some files while standing next to the broken batsignal, before being approached by John Blake, who informs him of a missing congressman. Blake expresses his skepticism regarding the fate of Batman, as well as his belief that he knew Batman's identity. Gordon wasn't interested in discussing further.
As the police trace down the location of the congressman, whose cell phone Selina Kyle tricked Phillip Stryver into using, he orders a SWAT team into the bar that he was located in, and successfully secure him. In a nearby alley, they find that the remaining henchmen have headed into the sewers, and a bomb goes off before Gordon is captured and brought into Bane's lair. Bane steals the written speech from Gordon as he escapes down the sewer. He is shot badly and hospitalised, thanks to Blake finding him on time.
Blake heads to Wayne Manor to tell Bruce Wayne he knows he was Batman, telling him that Gordon was shot. This prompts Wayne to visit him in hospital in a mask, where Gordon warns him that there is a plot unfolding, requiring Batman to come back.
After Bane's attack on the stock exchange, Batman attempts to intervene on the remaining getaway drivers, stopping all but Bane. This is seen on TV, and Gordon smiles as he watches from his hospital bed. He is later seen when Bane murders John Daggett, where Blake reports to Gordon the location his body was found. While Foley is dismissing claims of Bane's existence, Gordon promotes Blake to detective.
Blake has Selina Kyle arrested and imprisoned as he learns Batman has disappeared at the hands of Bane. He informs Gordon as Bane begins to unfold his plot against the city, where Foley apologises for not taking him seriously. As Gordon orders every cop into his lair to capture Bane, Blake discovers he has rigged explosives across the city, discovering too late it will be used to trap the police officers underground. After the explosives go off, Blake correctly anticipates that Bane's men will assassinate Gordon, and storms to the hospital. Fortunately, Gordon gets out of bed on time and defeats the two assassins easily. Blake arrives and Gordon teaches him to clear corners, before he is moved out.
At Blake's apartment, Bane publicly reads out the speech he stole from Gordon, which causes the situation to escalate as he frees the prisoners from Blackgate Prison. Blake is disgusted at Gordon for having lied for so long, and Gordon explains that Batman "had his hands plunged into the filth" so his could be kept clean, which Blake doesn't understand at the time.
Later on, a Special Ops team arrives in Gotham, and meets up with Gordon, Foley, Blake, and the remaining cops who were not trapped. They explain that the nuclear bomb is being moved around the city by a lead-lined truck, and that there are decoy trucks present. However, the team are compromised due to Miranda Tate (later revealed to be Talia al Ghul) selling their location out, and Bane hangs them on public television from a crane.
With less than a day before the bomb's detonation, Gordon is desperate to identify the truck containing the bomb. Realizing Foley is absent from the meeting, he storms to his house to confront him for giving up. Afterwards, he is met by John Blake who is with Miranda Tate, who he reluctantly allows to help. Unfortunately, she misdirects him to the wrong truck and Bane's mercenaries arrest him, and are sentenced to death in Jonathan Crane's kangaroo court. They are forced to walk on the ice where they would most certainly freeze to death.
During that night, Batman rescues him and gives a signal blocker for the bomb. He continues to search for the bomb as the uprising begins, by predicting the paths of the trucks and setting up makeshift roadblocks. They steal some of the vehicles belonging to the mercenaries, and go after the remaining truck, where he barely succeeds in planting the signal blocker to the bomb. He is unable to escape the truck until Batman forces it to a stop, where it is seemingly too late due to the timer being minutes from going off. Batman thinks fast and decides to fly the bomb out of the city as fast as possible, and Gordon asks if Batman could tell his identity, to which he cryptically tells.
After Batman successfully gets the bomb out of the city, seemingly sacrificing himself, he delivers the eulogy of Bruce Wayne outside of his manor. He tries to talk Blake out of quitting the police force, who explains his reasoning in the same words that Gordon previously used. Finally, he sees that the batsignal has been rebuilt, to which he smiles at.