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Police Report #6 – Gotham, The Flash, and iZombie

It’s time for another police report on the police and crime scene work depicted on Gotham, The Flash, and, at the request of my editors, iZombie. For those new to this column and wondering why I’m qualified to write it, I am a full-time police officer with nearly twenty years experience and a State of Indiana certified crime scene investigator with nearly eight years experience in crime scene work.

This installment takes us to the breaks on The Fish Mooney Show Gotham and The Flash.

Warning: Spoilers ahead. Proceed at your own risk.


Episode #18 (“Everybody Has a Cobblepot”): Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) discovers that Arnold Flass (Dash Mihok), the corrupt narcotics detective he had arrested for murder is out of jail and reinstated. This is thanks to the corrupt Commissioner Loeb (Peter Scolari), who wants people on the department he can control. Gordon’s livid about this and confronts Loeb, who shows him a videotape of Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) admitting to fabricating evidence in the Flass case. Gordon confronts Bullock, who admits he did it because Loeb has a blackmail file on him and every other cop in town. This leads Gordon and Bullock to track down the secret stash of police files and learn a secret about Loeb in the process.


Bullock: Sorry, Jim. The commissioner’s blackmailing me. Gordon: He’s not using my shoddy case against me? Thanks, pal!


But why did Loeb bother blackmailing Bullock into a false confession when he had all he needed to get Flass back on the force? As I wrote in Police Report #4, Gordon botched the evidence in the case by (A) getting one of the Penguin’s (Robin Lord Taylor) goons to force a confession from a suspect and (B) dumping the murder weapon on a desk in a public room thus ruining it for DNA processing. Flass’ attorney would’ve had the taped confession and the murder weapon thrown out before trial began and Flass would’ve been home in time to watch…

The Flash

Episode #15 (“Out of Time”): Yes, this was the best episode so far, but it still had some errors that made me cringe.

The worst was the first. At the crime scene involving the dead coroner in the morgue, Captain Singh (Patrick Sabongui), walks in for no apparent reason other than to yell at people. He does this while carrying a drink that he proceeds to spill all over himself and the scene when Barry (Grant Gustin) bumps into him. Judging by the color of the drink, it was either milk or a milkshake. Either way, he shouldn’t be carrying it into a crime scene, especially one in his own police department. He snaps at Barry for ruining his coat, but Barry should’ve yelled at him for ruining his crime scene.

Later, the Weather Wizard (Liam McIntyre) confronts Joe (Jesse L. Martin) at the police department. The department knows that the Wizard is after Joe, yet Joe doesn’t raise an alarm when the man who wants to kill him steps out of the elevator. Yes, I know he was trying to protect his fellow officers, but then why doesn’t Joe put two rounds into the Wizard as soon as he spots him? Even if the Wizard stops him, the other officers certainly will know and hear what’s happening and unload several magazines at the Wizard.


Joe: What are you doing here? Weather Wizard: Wondering why you haven’t shot me by now.


Episode #16 (“Rogue Time”): There wasn’t much police work in this episode, but there was a crime scene in a casino in which the CCPD kept too many people (witnesses were all over the place) and where Eddy (Rick Cosnett) slugs Barry in the middle of it. Captain Singh smartly pulls the men apart and calls out Eddy for his bad behavior. He also should’ve suspended Eddy that night for (1) potentially ruining the crime scene more than it already was (What if Barry’s blood would’ve been spilled in the scene?) and (2) doing such a thing in front of all those witness who shouldn’t be there, because they will certainly tell everyone they know they saw two cops duking it out in the middle of a crime scene and that information will get back to the Rogues’ defense attorneys if they’re ever caught.

On a different note, why do the Rogues need to steal stuff if the Golden Glider (Peyton List) has a gun that projects gold?

flash rogue time scaled

Golden Glider: Wait…This thing MAKES GOLD? What are we doing here?


Episode #17 (“Tricksters”): Eddy tells Iris (Candice Patton) that the whole police force is assigned to look for the park bomber. Does this mean no one is looking for the Rogues? First no one mentions their escape from transportation to Iron Heights, and now they get a free pass after they robbed a casino and kidnapped, tortured, and killed some people. It’s no wonder the Rogues love Central City so much; the police there don’t care about them.

Barry and Joe go to see the Trickster (Mark Hamill) in Iron Heights to get information on the new Trickster (Devon Graye). While doing so, Barry watches the streaming video of the new Trickster claiming he’ll blow up the city. Apparently, the Wi-Fi in Iron Heights is so good you can get it in the maximum-security areas.

flash-episode-17-tricksters-henry-allen scaled

Trickster II: I can’t believe you guys get Wi-fi in here! Henry Allen: Whoa, whoa, whoa! Wi-fi? Why didn’t anyone tell me about this?


A major problem with The Flash was revealed in this episode. Barry tells his father (John Wesley Shipp) that he is close to catching the man who killed his mother and thus clearing his father’s name.

How, exactly, does he plan to do this? Right now his plan only seems to involve catching the Reverse Flash / Dr. Wells (Tom Cavanagh). Does Barry plan to drag the Reverse Flash into a courtroom and say, “Here’s the guy from the future who killed my mother.”? He’ll be told to shut his crazy mouth and leave.

How will Barry bring the real killer to justice without revealing he’s the Flash? He can’t (although he’s revealing it to practically everyone in Central City by now). Does he plan to have Joe take the Reverse Flash into custody and then to trial? If so, how is Joe going to keep the Flash’s involvement out of the criminal hearing and case?

Perhaps they plan to exonerate Barry’s father with a full confession from the Reverse Flash. Any reasonably competent defense attorney will offer up that Dr. Wells is mentally incompetent for trial because he’s a lunatic who claims he’s from the future.

The only way to do it is by doing what the show appears to be setting up – a trip back in time to change the events that led to Barry’s mother’s death. Flashpoint anyone?


Episode #1 (“Pilot”): First, this show got off to a great start when Liv (Rose McIver) calls out her boss, Dr. Chakabarti (Rahul Kohli), on eating a bowl of cereal over a body on the slab. I clapped when she did that. She needs to work for Gotham City P.D.


Liv: No, really, Gotham City Police needs people who actually know what they’re doing. I’ll make a fortune there.


Liv’s detective partner, Clive (Malcolm Goodwin), does a good job by showing a photo of a dead woman to one of the suspects to gauge his reaction. The suspect’s and Clive’s individual reactions are great and were a nice show of good detective work, especially Clive’s follow-up questions.

Later, when Clive and Liv are racing to catch another suspect, Clive calls for back-up and is told dispatch will “leave a message” for it. Excuse me? That doesn’t happen. If any officer calls for back-up, they get it. Granted, it might not get there for a while, but it always shows up.

Am I making too much of all this? Should I just check my brain at the door? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment!

Episode #2 (“Brother, Can You Spare a Brain?”): The show that did so well in the first episode earns a big strike against it in this one. At the death scene of the murdered painter, we see the dead man’s wife (Judy Reyes) crying as she sits in the next room in full sight of her dead husband. This is a huge no-no in crime scene work. It’s a great way to traumatize a member of the decedent’s family. It’s also a great way for a potential suspect to remove something from or drop something in the crime scene.


Liv: Shouldn’t we, you know, put up a screen or something so this guy’s wife can’t see him? Ravi: No, no, no. Letting the decedent’s spouse stare at the trauma to the decedent’s head is common procedure on our department.


Am I making too much of all of this?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.


About the author

Nik Havert