“Beware the Green-Eyed Monster” was one hell of a Gotham Mid-Season Finale

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Beware the Green-Eyed Monster Plot Summary:

Infected with the Tetch virus, Mario (James Carpinello) plans to ruin Gordon (Ben McKenzie) once and for all, just hours before he marries Lee (Morena Baccarin). Barbara (Erin Richards) pushes Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) to suspect Oswald (Robin Lord Taylor) as the man who murdered Isabella. Bruce (David Mazouz) plots to steal the one thing that can bring down the Court of Owls.

That was one hell of a mid-season finale. By the end of this week’s Gotham, all three storylines had me salivating for the next episode that unfortunately won’t come until 2017. While the first twenty minutes were a tad slow out of the gate, it all seemed to reach a fever pitch in the final half hour.  Everything seemed to be left on a tense cliffhanger with revelations sprinkled on top. There’s a lot of lover quarrels, over parenting and revenge fueled plots to dissect, so let’s dive right in.

Photo Credit: Jeff Neumann/FOX.
Photo Credit: Jeff Neumann/FOX.

As we usually do, we begin with the center piece of the show, Jim Gordon. We got my favorite kind of Gordon in this one – the unhinged, but sort of still in control Jim Gordon. Gordon is still in love with Lee, but he seems to have moved on in a somewhat healthy manner. When he learns Mario is infected with the virus, it’s literally the worst possible thing that could have happened to the guy.  Not only does it unleash angry Gordon, but now he has everything to lose. We get one scene with Jervis Tetch (Benedict Samuel), and it’s a doozy. When Gordon is rattled, he’s also at his most brilliant. The way he plays Tetch in that interrogation was awesome.

While that was a tense moment, it doesn’t compare to the exchange Gordon and Lee have before the wedding. Gordon completely unleashes his guts here, and it all comes crashing down. This makes the climax of the episode that much more impactful. Tetch’s master plan has a 99.9% success rate, but it’s that .1% where it all hits the fan. What I loved most about the climax is just how quick it was. The Gordon/Lee/Mario Battle Royale had it all. You saw Jim Gordon at his best and worst.

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I’ve been saying it all along, but Nygma has been the season three MVP. That didn’t change. This week was a more subtle Nygma. It was a slow burn, but I loved the progression of Smith’s performance. First off, Barbara and Nygma’s first real scene together was seamless. These two will make a great pairing. We’ll have plenty of time for them though. This season has been all about Nygma and Oswald. While their big scenes felt a little rushed, they still hit home, especially Nygma’s last words to Oswald. I used the term salivating earlier, and that couldn’t be truer in how we leave Nygma by the end of the episode. I can only imagine how all that is going to play out. The possibilities are endless.

The one storyline that was lacking was Bruce, and the whole Ocean’s 11 subplot. Eh. While it was strengthened by the always great Bruce/Selina (Camren Bicondova) moments, the set-up was extremely underwhelming. As soon as Alfred (Sean Pertwee) got into the action though, I was in. Whenever Alfred gets into a fist fight, the entertainment value goes up astronomically. To cap it all off, we get one heck of a “wowsers” moment at the end, even if it does come out of nowhere.

You couldn’t have left these characters in a more interesting place. The Gordon shenanigans shined brightest, although I wish Mario was a more interesting character. Not only do we have a lot of great continuing storylines to look forward to, but the second half of season three promises the return of a big character.

I only have two questions: Where is Fish Mooney (seriously, did I miss something?), and is Harvey Dent still a character on this show?

Rating: 8.5 out of 10 (Really Great)

Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.