If you can't bring yourself to be heavily invested in Gotham's big, angsty love story of Jim (Ben McKenzie) and Lee (Morena Baccarin), it's okay, because they're the worst, but unfortunately, that means that "Beware the Green-Eyed Monster" didn't have much to offer. Sure, sure, there were shout-outs to the show's other wayward couples: Bruce (David Mazouz) and Selina (Carmen Bicondova) kissed and broke into the Court of Owls' secret swanky lair; Ed (Cory Michael Smith) FINALLY figured out the truth about Penguin's (Robin Lord Taylor) role in his ladyfriend's tragic death.
As usual though, the main event was Jim Gordon's repressed love racking up a body count and possibly/probably starting some kind of mafia war when Gotham returns from its winter break. This is what happens when a dude promises Carmine Falcone (John Doman) that he'll bring his rogue doctor son back alive but what he actually means to say is "I'm totally going to panic and waste that mofo — shoot him dead in front of our shared point on the love triangle, and watch like a doofus as the knife he was about to gank her with conveniently falls into a lake. This way, everybody doubts the legitimacy of my actions, which also cannot be backed up by SCIENCE because something something our miracle blood test for sniffing out psychopaths isn't all that miraculous if you know how to use chemistry."
I swear to the TV gods that if that woman (Lee) is still hanging around the GCPD, doing her medical examiner thing and giving Gordon the stink eye every time the camera lingers on the two of them for more than ten seconds, I'm going to scream. So go ahead and consider the screaming done in advance because Morena Baccarin is a regular and Lee isn't going anywhere, even if her continued presence in Gotham and around Jim makes zero logical sense, traumatic event after traumatic event. Gear up for several weeks of "romantic tension" (PC for "co-dependent bull) followed by angry make-up sex before a return to our regularly scheduled workplace romance with supervillains.
Jim's kerfuffle with dearly departed Dr. Mario (James Carpinello) paired with the unfortunate and unfortunately predictable end to Nygma and Penguin's bad romance, at least puts Gotham in a potentially promising position when we return to the scene of the crime in a few weeks. As infamously awful as Gotham's first season was, the mob stuff, featuring Fish Mooney's (Jada Pinkett Smith) fall from power and Penguin's ascension, Falcone's exile, and escalating chaos as Jim Gordon ignored all the warnings and tried to drag the crime-ridden city into righteousness was actually very good. More of that and less Balloonman antics would have made a world of difference during that dreadful first season.
I've been hard on Gotham this season because it's hard to watch a series featuring a franchise that I care about, and actors that I genuinely like, and a concept that I should be in love with, continue to fumble through violent cycles of good and unwatchable. I know Gotham can do better. It has done better. Perhaps by finally getting all of the Tetch blood nonsense out of its system, fridging Mario and gearing up for a mob war between Penguin and his former friends, and officially taking on the Court of Owls, that Gotham is trying to rebuild on the strongest of its roots. This is the kind of streamlining Gotham needed, but I'm going to reserve judgement until we see it in action. After all, they are trying to turn Bats--t Barbara (Erin Richards) into some kind of Fish Mooney wannabe.
Gotham airs Mondays at 8/7c on Fox.