Hey, at least Gotham finally remembered that the Court of Owls is a thing and is way more interesting than pretty much anything else this trainwreck of a series has going for it. It also looks like Carmine Falcone (John Doman) is back to doing mob stuff-- yay? I just need the series to deal with Dr. Mario (James Carpinello) and his apparent Tetch-blood affliction (or something that looks a helluva lot like it) as soon as possible because I don't care anymore. WHY WON'T THEY LET THAT STORYLINE DIE?
Poor Mario has never been anything more than an inconvenient hurdle to the true love of Jim Gordon ( Ben McKenzie) and Lee Thompkins ( Morena Baccarin) that Gotham has long insisted on, as well as a way to make Falcone's return to the everyday running of the city feel a little more personal. Unfortunately for Mario, Falcone is delightful and didn't need a reason to return in my book. However, getting saddled with that bane of television storytelling-- the dreaded love triangle-- means my patience for Gotham's inability to do anything worthwhile with Mario is approaching non-existent. Could the series have picked three characters more uninteresting than Lee, Jim, and Mario to force through these motions? Clearly not, because the Butch (Drew Powell)/Tabitha (Jessica Lucas)/Barbara (Erin Richards) and even the dreadful Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor)/Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) romancing is varying degrees of good.
The problem here is that Gotham decided long ago that Jim and Lee are the most important people on this show and their great and tragic love must be end-game, but Jim and Lee just aren't that interesting or sympathetic compared to literally everyone else on this show right now.
Determined to avenge Isabella's death, the dumbed-down-for-the-sake-of-drama Ed Nygma spent much of "Time Bomb" terrorizing Butch and Tabby before Butch FINALLY broke down and admitted to shooting Isabella in the head...except we know and Ed knows that that's not what happened at all. Unfortunately, at that point, Tabby's good killin' hand already paid the price for this infuriating storyline, but yay for Batsh-t Barbara to the rescue. This is the sort of kooky and weirdly sweet love triangle I can get behind. Give us more of this and less of whatever Lee and Jim are doing.
Batsh-t Barbara has turned into one of the best examples of Gotham's ability to evolve and adapt as the situation calls for it-- kinda like the show's source material. Ain't comics grand like that? In the beginning, Barbara Keane was dull and kind of irritating and then Gotham went and turned her into a homicidal maniac with a stint at Arkham under her belt. She's great. I love her.
Jim himself has the most potential for growth these days. I like to think his Mad Hatter acid trip was the beginning baby steps in the right direction. The fear here is that for every great evolution Gotham gives us — Bruce, Selina, Barbara — there's a Poison Ivy or a Fish Mooney or a Penguin. Instability has always been Gotham's weak point, but the stress fractures are really starting to show these days. The great storylines are really great, but the terrible ones are so terrible that their very existence detracts from all the good the show otherwise has. This isn't about Nygma (or Bruce, or Barbara) getting a better story than Jim. This is about Nygma etc. consistently getting a better story than Jim and Jim's stories being so craptacular that they make watching the show a chore.
Get it together, Gotham.
Gotham airs Mondays at 8/7c on Fox.