Warning: this recap contains major spoilers from Monday’s episode of Gotham, “Mad City: Follow the White Rabbit.” This is, after all, a recap! Don’t say we didn’t warn you …
Holy wow, Gotham is actually doing it, you guys! After weeks upon weeks and months upon months of internet speculation and fan fic, Penguin finally confessed that he had feelings for Ed Nygma. As in, real, romantic feelings. We still don’t know how Ed feels in return, since Penguin didn’t get the chance to tell his BFF how he felt, but still. This is a step in the right direction!
I never thought the show would actually commit to this kind of storyline after all the teases it had been dropping, but right out of the gate in this week’s episode, “Mad City: Follow the White Rabbit,” Penguin told his maid that the time had come to confess his feelings to Ed, since love is no good when it’s one sided. He repeated a quote his mother always told him about how “life only gives you one true love,” so we are absolutely talking real, romantic love, not a friendship kind of love, just in case you were still doubting it. But now the big question is: does Ed feel the same? Let’s recap this game-changing turn of events!
Mayor Cobblepot’s Chief of Staff Ed had been keeping busy organizing all of Penguin’s mayoral duties as well as his duties as kingpin of the underworld, but the one thing he couldn’t do was find where Butch disappeared to after betraying them both. And when Penguin almost confessed his feelings right then to try and cheer up Ed to distract him from his feelings of self-pity, he ended up chickening out and kept silent. After a day of agonizing over his unrequited love, Penguin finally decided to just bite the bullet and do it. He invited Ed to a private dinner at his mansion to finally open up about his feelings.
But when Ed was picking out a bottle of wine to bring to their dinner, he ran into … wait, is that Kristen Kringle? As in, Ed’s first girlfriend who he brutally murdered then buried her body deep in the woods so no one would ever find her? As in, the murder that got Ed locked up in Arkham before Penguin managed to get him out? Of course not!(?) Nope, it’s actually a Kringle lookalike, (allegedly) named Isabella, who also loves inserting riddles into everyday conversations. Suspicious … There’s no way it’s not like another Indian Hill clone or something, right? But Ed fell for her charm and smile and riddle-loving brain right away. This can’t be leading somewhere good, especially since it’s getting in the way of Penguin and Ed’s love story! I’m officially not a fan.
But this week’s episode wasn’t all about Penguin and Nygma’s love story. Jim Gordon’s love life was also becoming more complicated than he ever wanted or expected it to, since after agreeing to help his new flame Valerie Vale with her journalistic investigation into Alice Tetch’s blood and her serial killer brother Jervis, Valerie told him she needed a sit down interview with Lee, the person in charge of the case. That’s going to be one awkward meeting for sure, and Gordon knew it. But apart from that, Gordon and Valerie’s new relationship seems to be in a good place … unlike Gordon’s professional life, as his new gig as a P.I. hadn’t turned up any wins just yet.
But when Jervis decided to set up a big Alice In Wonderland-themed game for Gordon to play at the expense of innocent lives, his day took a turn for the worse. Jervis still wanted revenge on Gordon because he believed Gordon was the reason that Alice died even though it was clearly Jervis’ own fault. But hey, that’s what you get from a psychopath! Turns out he wanted to teach Gordon a lesson that he can’t save everyone, so he made Gordon choose between saving the lives of a newlywed couple or a little boy, and Gordon saved the kid, only to have to watch the couple plunge to their deaths. Jervis then led Gordon to an empty apartment where he phoned in to talk with Gordon, but Gordon decided to play some games of his own and kept hanging up on him. I think he’s finally getting his sense of humor back!
Gordon’s laughs dried up real quick however, when Jervis kidnapped both Valerie and Lee, meaning Valerie ended up getting her sit down with Lee after all, just in much more dangerous and dire circumstances. Before playing with Gordon’s love life, however, Jervis tried to make Gordon choose between the lives of another journalist and another doctor, and right as Bullock, Barnes (who was starting to show symptoms of his blood poisoning with super strength and super anger) and the rest of the GCPD showed up to help, Jervis fried both of the innocent men’s brains since Gordon wouldn’t choose between them.
When Gordon finally figured out Jervis was keeping Valerie and Lee at Lee’s apartment, he shockingly enough partnered up with Mario, Lee’s fiancé, to save them. Too bad Jervis predicted that (but seriously, how?! Even I didn’t see that unlikely pairing coming) and switched the magazine out of Mario’s hidden gun for an empty one, foiling that plan. So Jervis then made Gordon choose which woman he would kill, and Gordon actually chose. He told Jervis to kill Lee, which, for a second, made Valerie extremely relieved that both her life and her relationship were safe.
But we’re dealing with the Mad Hatter here, people! Of course, Jervis did exactly the opposite and shot Valerie in the stomach instead of Lee. We all saw that coming, though, right? Jervis had told Gordon he would end up killing Gordon’s love today, so of course the woman Gordon wanted to save was the one he loved most. But did Gordon choose Valerie because he loved her more than Lee, or because he was trying to move on from her and this was the most permanent solution? Or did he know what Jervis was going to do and outsmarted him, making him think he loved Valerie more when he really truly wanted to save Lee more? My brain hurts!
The episode ended on quite the cliffhanger as Gordon and Lee rushed Valerie to the hospital where her life was now in Mario’s hands. Although, let’s be real, Mario shouldn’t be allowed to operate on her, right? That’s a total conflict of interest. But this is Gotham, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
What did you think of tonight’s Gotham? Are you as happy and relieved as I am that the show is actually going there with Penguin and Ed? What do you think is up with the Kringle lookalike? Tweet me your thoughts at @SydneyBucksbaum!
Gotham airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on Fox.