This episode was a bit of a trip and packed in a lot. It’s hard to break this out into separate story lines because some of them keep intersecting. But let’s get started, shall we? Let’s dig into the Red Queen.
Note: This covers the various story lines based on the characters involved. Some of these events overlap.
Jervis runs an errand
Jervis, meets with a drug dealer of sorts. He purchases two things—an accelerant to speed up the effects of Alice’s blood on his victims, and something else that catches his eye. Red Queen—a mix psychotropic plants that the drug seller thought would be a good high, but in the end only made people looney. The dealer tried to discourage Tetch from buying it because it will fry your brain, but Jervis has someone special in mind for the Red Queen.
Tetch and the two Tweed brothers invade the Gotham City Morgue and steal Alice’s frozen body.
Jervis Tetch drains Alice’s blood and adds the accelerant.
Following up on Jim, Valerie, and Lee
Jim Gordon visits Valerie Vale after her surgery. Valerie confirms what some of us suspected in the last episode—Jim told Tetch to kill Lee because he knew (or suspected) that he would do the opposite. Gordon denies it, but Valerie holds fast and ends what was starting between them saying, “Tetch was right. You’re nothing but trouble.”
We find out later that Lee also knew that Jim didn’t actually want Tetch to kill her when he said, “Kill Lee.” She knew he’d figured out Tetch and knew the outcome—and this is what she tells Mario. Mario is still angry, feeling like Jim offered Lee up and couldn’t quite buy that Jim would choose to save Lee over the woman he was currently seeing. He wants Jim out of their lives, and Lee agrees—just as Jim arrives.
Lee confronts Jim and tells him that she knows what he was doing when he chose her name for Tetch. That he was trying to save her. Jim denies is and insists he wanted to save Vale. Lee doesn’t buy it and accuses him of being afraid before she walks away.
While he’s watching over Vale, he sees Tetch in the hospital hallway and gives chase.
When he catches up to Tetch he gets a face full of Red Queen. Let the head trip begin.
Jim finds himself in an elevator with Barbara, his guide for this hallucination, and there’s a lot to go through.
First Stop—Inner Demons
Jim finds Bruce, wearing a mask. Bruce tells him that he (Jim) doesn’t have much time just as he gets tackled by Penguin and lands in a war zone. At first, what comes from Penguin’s mouth makes no sense, but finally, it becomes clear. “Never leave your unit behind.” Penguin hums merrily as Jim goes searching for Bruce.
When he finds him, Bruce shows him GCPD where there’s been a massacre. Everyone is dead. “It’s because of you,” Bruce says. This appears to be playing on his guilt of having left the GCPD and refusing to rejoin—as if he abandoned his fellow officers.
Jim turns back to Bruce who shoots him in the gut, then pulls a string of red beads out of his abdomen before pushing him over the landing.
Second stop—Family Life
Jim steps out into a beautifully decorated home where he’s greeted by two adorable children, one boy and one girl. Lees exits the kitchen and greets him, calling everyone to dinner.
Jim is overwhelmed and seems to crave this reality—this future. The lights start flickering, signaling an end to this hoped for life and he’s back in the elevator with Barbara. He almost loses it, demanding Barbara take him back to them, back to that life, but she reminds him that he still has further to go.
Last Stop—Father and son
Barbara gives Jim a key before letting him out of the elevator and wishes him luck.
All of a sudden he’s on a road. When he turns, he sees a man looking for his car key. He realizes it’s his dad and they both get in the car as he starts to hear voices. In real life, Mario and a nurse have found him and work to bring him back.
Jim and his father drive. And talk. Jim remembers how his father always fought the good fight but never brought that home to affect his family. He feels that he’s the opposite—he can’t let it go. His father confronts him about his lone wolf habits and encourages him to be the kind of man who knows his limits and can ask for help.
His father tells him to remember the family code. The answer is in his ring.
GCPD with Capt. Barnes and Harvey
Barnes and Harvey determine that it was Jervis Tetch who stole Alice’s body. Since she was frozen, her blood is still viable, which means if Tetch warms her up he can collect her blood to use as a weapon.
Gordon shows up and demands to be let in on the investigation but Barnes kicks him out since he’s not willing to rejoin the force. Harvey tries to stop Gordon from going rogue but also refuses to help him. Harvey is frustrated with Gordon always interfering lately and tells him to get out of the way so people who want to wear the badge can do their jobs.
Lucius Fox confirms the test results that Lee has told Barnes about. The rats lost their minds, became aggressive, and one killed the rest. They’re working on a cure, but it could take years to formulate.
Later they interrogate the guard they believe let Tetch use his ID to get into the morgue. After the guard insults the GCPD, Barnes loses his cool and grabs him by the neck and starts ranting at him. Harvey has to intervene, but they finally get the guy to admit that some big bruiser threatened him and that he was using a catering van. Harvey and Barnes realize that they’re going to try something at the Founders Dinner.
Budding romance and a love triangle
Nygma and Isabella spend the whole night talking on her stoop. Remember, Nygma was supposed to meet Oswald for dinner at the Mayor’s Mansion. They arrange to meet for dinner and part ways, but not before sharing a kiss.
Nygma arrives at the mansion just as Penguin is trying to file a missing persons report, we assume, for Edward himself. When Nygma rushes in and interrupts to apologize, Penguin drops the phone and rushes to capture him in a desperate hug. As he’s expressing how glad he is that Nygma is ok, Edward informs Penguin that he met someone and he thinks he’s in love.
Later, Nygma helps Penguin get ready for the Founders Dinner. Penguin ruminates over the fact that this is a long standing tradition started by the first families and makes a comment about it being a shame he doesn’t have a plus-one. That backfires, of course, because Nygma tells him about his date with Isabella that night. Penguin is obviously jealous and when Nygma suggests one tie, he rejects the advice and selects the other saying, “The Brocade brings out my eyes.” Nygma excuses himself, but not before Penguin asks where Isabella works.
Penguin goes to the library under the pretense of needing a book and then does his best to sabotage the budding relationship, letting it “slip” that Nygma had recently gotten out of Arkham. Isabella knows people normally go to Arkham for murder.
Later that evening Nygma explains his history to Isabella. Kristen, Arkham, all of it. He fumbles with his words and Isabella tells him that she knows. She spent the afternoon researching him. Nygma is amazed that she could know and still show up for their date.
The Founders Dinner
Tetch and the Tweeds spike glasses of wine with Alice’s blood.
In the dining room, Penguin ends up in a conversation with Kathryn, who tells him she’s part of an organization that oversees everything that matters in Gotham, and that they’ve been watching him and will be in touch. She leaves.
Everyone gathers at the table. As Penguin is asking about Kathryn, Tetch, and his goons come in. They distribute the win glasses and Tetch orders them to drink the tainted wine.
But the GCPD arrive just in time to save the day. Barnes attacks Jervis, and in his anger you see him struggle with the effects of Alice’s blood. Jervis sees this and becomes overjoyed at knowing that his sister is “in him.”
Bruce and Selina—a cautious start
In preparation for their date, Bruce makes a meal fit for a full-blown candle lit dinner back at the manor.
That evening, Bruce waits for Selina but she seems like a no show. Alfred tries to perk him up and suggests saving the food for lunch the next day and starts to pack up. Right then, Selina finally arrives and Alfred excuses himself.
Bruce is angry. Even though she’s there, she’s late. She stood him up. They’re very different people and Selina isn’t used to the sort of connection that Bruce is trying to forge. She gets defensive at first, but they both admit how weird the whole situation is and their moods diffuse. Selina asks him to cut the cake.
Tetch and the Tweeds
Jervis and his goons are locked away in Arkham. But I have to ask… for how long? The whole season appears to be tailored for Tetch and his brand of insanity.
After Mario resuscitates Jim, he finds a box of his father’s belongings. He sifts through the items until he finds the ring engraved in Latin. Those words translated are, “While we breathe, we shall defend.”
Jim visits Capt. Barnes and requests to be reinstated to the GCPD. He says he made a promise to someone and he intended to keep it. Barnes welcomes him back to the force.
Kathryn and the shadow organization
Kathryn sits in a room with a man in shadow. They discuss Penguin, who Kathryn’s gut says will always be a criminal. The man suggests that judgment is coming for everyone. Before the scene cuts, we see a ring on his finger that’s identical to Jim’s father’s ring.
I’m a little disappointed at how little time was spent on Bruce and Selina, but I guess we have the whole season to see their relationship unfold. I was also hoping for a little more conflict when Selina did finally show up at the manor. It just seemed a little anti-climactic.
I’m also rooting for Jim and Lee. I don’t think it will happen since that would just be too perfect in my mind, but I’m not invested in Mario and it breaks my heart that Jim was pitted between her and Vale. Also not very interested in Vale. Maybe she and Mario can hook up. She’d always get the inside scoop being related to a former crime boss.
Ok. Who is shadow man and why does he have the same ring as Jim’s father?! Now I want to know more about daddy Gordon. It looks like Jim’s family may have been one of the early, and powerful, families of Gotham. This makes me wonder… was the accident that killed Jim’s dad really an accident? It was ruled to have been caused by a drunk driver, but could he have had a change of heart about the shadow organization (assuming he was a member) and that got him killed?
And as I asked before, is this the end of Tetch and the Tweeds? He still strikes me as the main villain for the entire season, but I could be wrong. Perhaps we'll see some old villains or new ones. We're still waiting to learn more about Fish and her plans for Strange. And perhaps Barbara will play a more prominent role after her appearance in Jim's hallucination. She was in Arkham after all. We can still classify her as quite... "mad."
I'm also still a little heartbroken over Edward and Isabella. I was rooting for Penguin. But let's not lie to ourselves. Oswald Cobblepot is not one to take things sitting down.
What do you think?
What are your theories? What do you hope happens, or doesn't happen? Did you notice something I didn't cover? Tell me in the comments below!