A Look at Gotham- Season 3, Episode 11: “Mad City: Beware the Green-Eyed Monster”

If there’s one positive thing you can say about Jim Gordon, at times, it’s that he’s obsessed with his job.  That’s it.  I never said he was obsessed with doing the right thing or always playing by the rules, but he did just rejoin the force, so maybe he’s back to normal.  Maybe Mario and Leslie’s upcoming marriage won’t cause any more complications than it already has.  Maybe Jim won’t rush to judgment.

I like a good joke every now and then.  We’re now at the halfway point of Gotham’s third season, and by episode’s end, our hero has indeed become the green-eyed monster. Let’s dive right in.

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The episode begins at Gotham Bio Lab, where hematologist Ryan Pfeffer, played by Jonathan Fielding, examines Alice Tetch’s blood.  After leaving, he heads to a bar, where he’s joined by Mario, who tells Pfeffer that he’s getting married tomorrow.  Mario didn’t believe in love at first sight until he met Leslie.  Pfeffer confirms that he is indeed working on Alice Tetch’s blood.

As Mario’s fiance is the medical examiner on the case, Mario brings up the fact that the lab has a test for the virus- a fact that Pfeffer can neither confirm nor deny.  Mario then brings up how Leslie almost married someone else who hopes that Leslie will come running back to him.  With voices blaring in his head again, Mario soon pins Pfeffer to a wall and crushes his skull.

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Over at Wayne Manor, Bruce and Alfred learn from Jacob that Dmitry and Luka have been killed by the Court’s assassin, Talon.  And if Talon saw Bruce with Volk, then the Court may already know Bruce has broken the deal.  Despite still not knowing what’s in the safe, whether it’s okay to trust the Whisper Gang, and the cost of taking on the Court of Owls, Bruce is still willing to fight the Court.

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As GCPD examines the crime scene, Bullock is prepared to hand the case over to Alvarez and wants Jim to take the day off.  Jim, though, refuses, even though it’s the day of Leslie’s wedding.  As the two examine Pfeffer’s head, they realize that it would take an immense amount of strength to crush his skull, and Barnes is ruled out since he’s locked away at Arkham.

Pfeffer’s wallet is still on his person, but whoever killed him took his work badge.  Bullock sees this as a classic case of wrong place, wrong time, but then Jim finds a receipt from the cafeteria of the Gotham Bio-Lab, where Alice Tetch’s blood is being tested.  Jim heads off and has Harvey, acting captain, finish up at the crime scene because he can do that.

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Barbara makes yet another stop by Penguin Manor and is surprised to find Nygma still working instead of looking for Isabella’s killer.  But Nygma isn’t worried, as he has spies all over the city in the event that Isabella’s killer reveals themselves.  Barbara fake coughs out Penguin’s name, but Nygma finds that notion both amusing and absurd.

But Barbara presents a good point: a crime just needs means, motive, and an opportunity. And Oswald had the oldest motive- rich men want it, wise men know it, and the poor all need it.  The answer?  Love.  Nygma finally begins to piece it together, but he still finds it unbelievable that Oswald would be in love with him.  Not Barbara, since she saw Oswald’s jealousy towards Isabella, which led to her unfortunate accident.

With all the evidence in front of him, Nygma asks what Barbara’s motive is, and she’s only interested in seeing justice.  But Ed is still in denial about both Oswald being in love with him or the possibility of him killing Isabella.  Poor, dumb Ed.  With the seed planted, Barbara leaves.

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Bruce, Alfred, Selina, and Jacob do surveillance at one of the Court’s buildings.  Jacob explains the security layout of the building, including one room in particular that has a safe, but also is littered with infrared sensors, so whoever enters the room must cross on a rope.  Jacob offers to do it himself, even though he still doesn’t know what this mystery object is.  Some help you are, Jacob.

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At the lab, a guard tells Jim that Pfeffer’s card key was last used 20 minutes ago and he hasn’t logged out since.  As Jim goes down to check, he finds another dead doctor and is soon attacked from behind from Mario, who he doesn’t see.  With great strength, Mario throws Jim through a window, but won’t kill him since that would make him a martyr and have Leslie love him forever.

For Mario’s plan to work, Leslie has to hate Jim.  Mario leaves a message on Jim’s hand and beckons Jim to find him.

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Later, GCPD arrive, with Bullock and Lucius Fox agreeing that Jim’s attacker was looking for research on Alice Tetch’s blood and, as many of Pfeffer’s files are missing.  In addition, the writing on Jim’s hand spells Arkham, but Jim realizes that this isn’t about Barnes.

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Realizing that Alice might have accidentally infected someone, Jim goes straight to Arkham and confronts Jervis Tetch, who had his suspicion about the accidental infection, but kept quiet until the symptoms started to show.  Jervis sees no reason to give Jim a name, and he’s locked in Arkham, so his life is already hell.  Rather, Jervis speculates what the blood would do to Jim since he already has anger in him.

So Jim plays along with Jervis’ game by rhyming to learn the name of the infected individual, but Jervis doesn’t like Jim’s attempts of playing the game.  Instead, he reveals that Jim will know his name when it is too late, when the one he loves will be murdered by hate.  And one part of the rhyme specifically mentions “from healer to killer is no easy to trick.”  Jim realizes that the victim is a doctor.  He soon leaves Arkham.

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Back at Wayne Manor, while Bruce practices his wire work, Selina prepares to leave, as she has a bad feeling that they’re all being watched.  She’s concerned about Bruce taking on the Court, but Alfred stands by Bruce since it’s ultimately his decision.  Not to mention that even though he made a deal with the people who killed his parents, Bruce did it to protect the people he cares about, including Selina.  And that cost him dearly.

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So Jim has brought Mario to the police department to be tested.  It’s a stretch, but Jim figures that Tetch infected Mario that night at the hospital, which would hopefully explain some of Mario’s behavior, such as the rage he showed when attacked at the shop. Harvey maintains that Jim should have waited until he had enough proof, plus if Mario was infected, there’s no telling why he would want Jim to find him.

As it turns out, after three tests, Mario does not have the virus.  Though Bullock apologizes on Jim’s behalf, Mario sees no issue.  Jim still believes that Mario has the virus and vows that he won’t marry Leslie, but Mario just heads off for his big day.

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As Alfred and Bruce prepare for the break-in, Bruce tells Alfred that once they find this item, the Whisper Gang may try to take it from them.  But it’s not the Whisper Gang that worries Alfred.  Not long after this, Jacob is murdered by the Talon.

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So Oswald is glad that Ed is back to his old self, but he’s stunned when Ed hands over his resignation, as Isabella’s death has changed things.  Oswald won’t allow this, as it’s not in Ed’s best interest to leave- he keep himself busy instead.  Ed asks Oswald if the two of them are friends, and they are, but since the accident, Ed has had the desire to become more than a friend or employee.

Oswald admits that he’s been feeling the same and was too worried to say so due to Isabella, but there’s a problem: Ed meant becoming a business partner.  Easy mistake, I’m sure.

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Jim finds Mario and demands to know how he passed the test, but Mario maintains that he’s not infected.  If the virus stoked Barnes’ anger, it also awakened Mario’s jealousy at the thought of losing Lee.  What keeps Mario up at night is the thought that part of Lee still loves Jim.  In that case, Jim figures that Lee should decide if she’ll go through with the marriage, but Mario isn’t on board with that idea.

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And since, as Falcone’s son, Mario has connections, he has Zsasz hold Jim hostage. For a moment.  Zsasz waits until a certain time to let Jim go, and he’s knocked out for his trouble.  Come on, Victor, you’re smarter than that.

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At a library, after Oswald presents an award, he tells Nygma that he wants things to go back to the way they were before.  He admits that Ed is his best friend and doesn’t want to lose him.  Nygma puts the knife away and hugs Oswald, saying that Oswald is his best friend as well.

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Jim arrives at the chapel just in time to tell Leslie that she can’t marry Mario.  But Leslie expected this, as she knows that Jim arrested Mario and had Fox test him for the virus. Leslie figures that Jervis is planting ideas in Jim’s head and that Jim is obsessed with this marriage.

In another wild theory, Jim thinks that this is what Mario wanted: he wanted to get arrested so Jim would look like a jealous ex, he figured out how to beat the test, and Zsasz let him go so he’d race to the chapel to stop the marriage.  To be fair, Jim, no one made you go to the chapel as fast as you did.

Leslie tells Jim to get help, but Jim admits that he never stopped loving Leslie.  He should have seen her after he got out of prison, but he had to set things right.  But then he saw her happy and he’s regretted not making his move ever since.  Touching, but Leslie says that after the wedding, she and Mario are leaving Gotham.  And damn Gordon for admitting this on today of all days.  She slaps Jim in a rage.

While Leslie and Mario are joined in holy matrimony, Jim fights some of Carmine’s men and gets the hell kicked out of him.

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Bruce and Alfred do more surveillance of the Court building, but Jacob is nowhere to be seen.  No kidding.  Selina joins the two to help out, prompting Bruce to ask if this means that Selina is his girlfriend.  Bruce, shut up.  As the three get to work, they are unaware that they’re being watched…

beware-the-green-eyed-monster-lucius-has-a-theory-on-how-mario-might-have-passed-the-blood-test

Meanwhile, Lucius discusses a theory of how Mario could have beaten the test- it turns out that the test looks for a particular marker in the blood, and this marker can be masked by other drugs.  Turns out that Mario’s blood came off the charts for Cloracinamine.  It’s not proof that Mario killed those men, but it’s enough for a search warrant.

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While is tossed from a speeding car, Alfred, Bruce, and Selina infiltrate the Court’s building and soon find the infrared room.  As Alfred goes to check the rest of the building, Bruce holds a tightrope so Selina can make her way across the room.  Too bad Bruce doesn’t have a grappling hook yet.  Selina reaches the other side and unlocks the safe to find an owl sculpture.  Not the most prized possession, but Selina pockets it anyway.

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Then the Talon enters and attacks the two.  Bruce tosses down a flash bang that gives the two a chance to escape while Alfred soon attacks the Talon.  The Talon is soon knocked out by the mysterious watcher from before, who turns out to be Selina’s mother, Maria, played by Ivana Milicevic.  That came out of nowhere.

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Lucius finds the chemical that Mario used, only for him, Jim, and Bullock to learn that Mario and Leslie snuck out of the reception, so Alvarez was unable to catch them.

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Nygma stops by Barbara’s bar to tell Barbara that he doesn’t want to kill Penguin. Rather, he tells Barbara, Tabitha, and Butch that he wants to destroy him and take away everything that he loves.  With Penguin gone, the underworld would need a new leader, and Barbara volunteers herself.

Nygma knows the crime families would never follow her lead, but Barbara is aware that Ed knows the ins and outs of the families and is great at strategy.  It’s a great combination: the family’s brawn, Ed’s brains, and Barbara’s…screen presence, I guess.  Before Ed can destroy Penguin, he apologizes to Tabitha, who managed to get her hand reattached. Like any person, Tabitha doesn’t buy the apology, but we can work on that.

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At a cabin by the lake, Mario and Leslie talk of Jim’s obsession and how Leslie vowed she would never see Jim again.  What Mario wants to know, though, is if any part of Leslie that still loves Gordon, and he will never ask her again.  Part of her will always care for Jim, yes, but she married Mario and loves him.  And that’s all Mario needed to know.  With that, the two kiss.

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Jim confronts Carmine to tell him that Mario is indeed infected, and while Carmine didn’t know that, he knew his son was in danger.  Carmine will have his men bring in Mario, as he knows Jim would kill Mario if given the chance.  If Mario does have the sickness, he could harm Leslie and do more damage, even if he’s cured.  To speed things up, Jim shoots Carmine’s henchmen and then swears to bring Mario in alive.

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Back at the cabin, Mario continues to hear voices in his head as he approaches Leslie with a knife.  Before Mario can stab her, Jim fires and kills Mario on the spot.  The knife falls into the water and Leslie is left as her husband has now been killed by her ex.  Nice going, Jim.

It’s funny.  Jim rejoined the GCPD in order to make things right and get his life back in order.  And for a minute, it looked like he was on the right track, but his love for Leslie blinded him from being rational.

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However, in a bit of delicious irony, I do like how Jim’s shoddy work and cutting corners have now bitten him in the ass in one of the worst ways possible.  One of my complaints about Jim in the past has been his random hunches and ability to piece a case together on nothing more than a guess.  And now, Jim is trying to solve the matter with Mario without getting all of the facts.  He’s the very green-eyed monster the episode title sees him as.

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If Jim wanted to try and win Leslie back on his side, close the case, and keep Mario from doing any harm, all he had to do was stay away.  If he’d gotten hard evidence to support his claims, Mario might have been arrested and Leslie wouldn’t have ended up with a dead husband.  Instead, Jim’s jealousy and irrational got the better of him, he’s harmed his relationship with both Leslie and Carmine, and it will be hard to prove himself now.

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In addition, he’s now incurred the wrath of Falcone after promising that he would bring Mario in alive.  Yes, he was right about Mario being infected, but why make a decision as rash as shooting and killing Mario?  Put aside how fast Jim seems to get from one location to the next between scenes- teleportation, perhaps?- he also didn’t even, as far as I can tell, call for backup or tell Bullock or Fox, who did have the information that Jim needed.

Let GCPD take care of the situation.  Jim already looks bad for being suspicious and arresting Mario just to have him tested.  There was no need for him to head out to confront Mario on his own except for easy drama.

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Some of the drama is earned, though.  I’ve enjoyed the slow growth of Jim and Leslie’s bond, so for him to admit his feelings for her and how he missed his chance to make things up felt genuine, as did Leslie’s anger that Jim would pick today as the opportunity to come clean to her.  But she’s got every right to be angry because Jim did come off looking like a jealous lover.  Somewhere in Arkham, the Mad Hatter is laughing.

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It will be interesting to see if and how Jim can even get himself out of this mess.  Mario’s knife fell into the water and the only thing Lucius can prove is how Mario beat the test. Not the kind of news that will change Leslie’s mind or make her any less livid at Jim.  While I have some issues with how this all ended, I am looking forward to hopefully seeing what kind of ripple effect Jim’s actions have caused.

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Same can be said for Edward teaming up with Barbara, even if I still find it ludicrous that he couldn’t figure out that Oswald had been playing him.  But he knows now and has every reason to take down Penguin.

What I don’t get is why Ed needs to partner with Barbara.  He said he has spies all over the city, so he must have some network of allies.  I imagine Barbara just wants in for the hell of it and just to see some fireworks.  She did tell Butch last time that she only wanted to start a war, not be involved.

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And it’s a huge leap to go from bar owner to leading Gotham’s underworld, but stranger things have happened.  Look at Penguin.  He went from being Fish Mooney’s umbrella to declaring himself the king of Gotham and he’s still got a great deal of power as mayor, so it might not be too strange for Barbara to have a similar rise.

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Side-note, I was hoping that Tabitha would get some sort of replacement for her hand, like Butch did, but no.  Her hand has been reattached.  Well, you can’t have everything.

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The Court of Owls stuff with Bruce, Selina, and Alfred was fun to watch at times, and they were put in a precarious position as they didn’t have a member of the Whisper Gang to help them.

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Plus, having the Talon after them put them in a dangerous scenario, but they got help from the most unlikely of places in Maria Kyle, who has not committed suicide in this interpretation of the Batman world, unless Maria has nine lives.  Either way, given how little Selina has spoken of her parents compared to Bruce, I hope we get to learn more about their relationship in the rest of the season.

While “Beware the Green-Eyed Monster” sort of crumbles towards the end due to Jim’s actions, it leaves everyone in a challenging position.

Jim has now further damaged his relationship with both Leslie and Falcone and has little to go off of for presenting his defense, Barbara and Ed have teamed up to raise hell on Penguin, and Maria Kyle’s debut should provide an interesting diversion as Bruce, Selina, and Alfred continue their battle against the Court of Owls.  Here’s looking to the second half of Season Three.

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