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S03.E07: Mad City: Red Queen

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After coming in contact with a substance by the hand of Mad Hatter, Jim Gordon gets led on a psychedelic trip and must confront his past, present and future. Meanwhile, Penguin struggles with Nygma's new relationship.

 

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HI, Val. Bye, Val.

At least the Tetch arc is over. Too much of the guy gets on my nerves. At least we got a fun drug trip out of it. And even as a hallucination, Barbara is still fun to watch.

Still thinking Isabelle/Kinda Kringle knew who Ed was before they met, and she's setting him up. It seems to be too good to be true. Cute to see Oswald try his best to cockblock, for all the good it did him.

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Yeah, I agree with the PTV review: Val doesn't have the right to be pissed when she was barely interested in Jim as anything but a piece of ass that she could pump for a story.

Whatever. Hallucination Babs is more fun than her and Lee anyway.

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I was about ready to give up...then we had that last little bit with Jim's Dad and the Court of Owls that has me strangely intrigued.

This show...it just meanders along but it always finds a way to keep you in, doesn't it?

Having said that...well, I could have sworn tonight's episode was two and a half hours, because it felt like it. I'm just not invested at all in Jim's storyline or Jervis'. There's really nothing at all special about them- The Mad Hatter should have just been around for an episode or two, and although Jim's struggle with his pride is interesting, Jim's still a "hero" who does very little.

At least he's back on the Force, though, so now he'll actually get to do some real work instead of moping around pretending he's a scavenger...or something.

I did like Barnes getting worried about the aftereffects of Alice's blood, and the more he morphs into the Killer Croc the more excited I get. I've been waiting for Michael Chiklis to do more than just grandstand and bark and now that he is getting something meaty he's been a joy to watch.

Last, but not least...I'm not sure I like where this story is going between Oswald, Eddie and Isabella. Likely Isabella is a goner (again) and it's likely at the hands of Oswald, which will cause Eddie to hate him...one, it's predictable stuff and two, I think it's especially cruel that the show decided to bring back Chelsea Spack just to be fridged again. Yeah, it's in character for Oswald to ruin things for Ed, but it just feels like such a wasted storyline. I hope I'm wrong and "Osedabella" can find some way to coexist, but I doubt it. I just hope Isabella gets to do more on this show than to be killed- otherwise, why "revive" Kristin Kringle?

(Oh, there was a scene or three with Bruce, Selina and Alfred in it...but nothing happened. Nothing of substance, really)

The Bullock Meter- 7

There was Harvey Bullock, chomping and barking away. He had quite a bit to do in this episode, not just being the "bad cop" with Barnes and the security guard but also by foreshadowing Jim's return to the GCPD by telling Gordon that he's scared. I love my fiery and feisty Bullock, but it's sage, insightful Bullock where the character really shines. Bullock is at his best when he's the one who tells the character the right thing to do, even if the thing they're doing is legally or morally questionable. Why? Because Bullock truly is the only one who "gets" Gotham, and the character is at his best when he displays that. Unfortunately, like tonight, his flashes of brilliance lead to him becoming more of a spectator than a participant, which is why the score is a bit lower than it could have been. Hopefully now that Jim is back at the GCPD he'll pick up some more work.

Episode Grade: D+. A true sludge of an episode only saved by its future prospects.

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I think my favorite parts were Jims mind trip.   It was just nice to see Erin Richards with more to do.  Crazy Babs and Jim have a fun kind of chemistry that he just lacks with both Val and Leslie.

Edited by Chaos Theory
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Definitely agree about the fun chemistry between crazy Babs and Jim, I also found it interesting that his mind chose her as the guide. 

Glad that both Val and Lee guessed what Jim's plan was by picking Lee, even if he continues to deny it. He and Val had a hook up situation not a love connection. Also happy that Bruce called out Selena for coming late etc. 

For some crazy reason I'm liking Ed and nuKristen. 

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I won't mind if this was the end of Valerie because she really didn't add anything to what's already a Jim/Lee/Falcone Jr. triangle. And truth be told, it bugs me this show has two triangles in it. Generally I find one triangle to be one too many.

Maybe it's my lingering love of Kristin Kringle but I'd like to see Ed have some time with Isabella before it (inevitably) comes crashing down. And much as I look forward to both Ed and Oswald emerging as the full Batman villains they'll become, I can't say I'm all that enthused at the prospect of "a scorned lover" being what could end their friendship.

I quite enjoyed Jim's hallucinations with Barbara. He's been reluctantly turning to her this season so it was fun to see her take that further, even if it was just in Jim's head. And now that Jim's rejoined the police force, I'm hoping this means Harvey will have more to do in the coming episodes. I'm also figuring Barnes isn't long for this world, especially not after how nice his scene was with Jim.

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2 hours ago, Lantern7 said:

Still thinking Isabelle/Kinda Kringle knew who Ed was before they met, and she's setting him up. It seems to be too good to be true.

I HOPE this is where they're going, cause that's a great storyline.  Otherwise it's just more wheelspinning which god knows this show doesn't need.

I never liked Valerie, so I hope that's it for her.

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It would have been funny if the cops didn't show up in time to prevent everyone from drinking the wine, but no one was affected because the virus was denatured by the alcohol.

Loved the parallel between Bruce's dinner and Oswald's, but with the different outcomes.

Isn't it amazing how hallucinations are always relevant to the plot?

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I was enjoying bounty hunter Jim. I didn't want him back as a cop so fast.

So Jim's dad was part of the in charge group?

LOL at dream Barbara especially in the nurses uniform. Saying it was Gordon's dream of the mouth to mouth.

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What's with the band-aid on Mario? He got that during "Gordon's Choice"?? The Gordons are a founding family of Gotham??

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Well, that was a bit trippy. I'll admit we learned nothing in Gordon's subconscious that we didn't already know about the guy but I did enjoy the scenes he had with Barbara and his father though.

Why do I get the feeling the mystery man Kathryn was talking to at the end was someone we met in this episode? Nice to see the show hasn't forgotten the Court of Owls storyline as well. Liked Oswald's scene with Kathryn as well.

Oswald's attempts to sabotage Edward and Isabella didn't work but something is obviously off with Isabella though. Even the trailer for the next episode ran with that.

Tetch's latest plan makes me glad that he's on the way out. The character has been okay but it feels like the show has ran quickly out of steam with him in a way.

Get on with it, already, Barnes. And bye, Valerie. 

Bruce and Selina's little date scene was nice enough too, 7/10

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Does anyone have any idea what the meaning with Mario's band-aid at the neck was? Other than establishing how "there's something strange with Mario"?

Did I miss anything?

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11 minutes ago, Kathemy said:

Does anyone have any idea what the meaning with Mario's band-aid at the neck was? Other than establishing how "there's something strange with Mario"?

Did I miss anything?

I don't think so. It just seemed to be a 'ATTENTION - FORESHADOWING!' moment.

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So the Isabelle/Kringle thing is a play on the movie Vertigo right? I kept thinking Isabelle looked like Kim Novak.

Why do they insist on calling Valerie by "Vale"? It was driving me nuts.

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8 minutes ago, Writing Wrongs said:

So the Isabelle/Kringle thing is a play on the movie Vertigo right? I kept thinking Isabelle looked like Kim Novak.

Why do they insist on calling Valerie by "Vale"? It was driving me nuts.

Yep, a few of the actors have actually directly referenced Kim Novak in relation to her. Given 'Vertigo's' tale of madness, death and obsession, you don't get the feeling this will end particularly well....

On the episode: 

Only Jim could make a drug-fulled hallucination that bloody dull. 

Poor Oswald. Although drunkenly chuntering away about your love life problems to Court of Owls personnel is likely to come back and bite him.

What woman hears the compliment 'you have exquisite femurs' and doesn't run screaming? Isabella is shady. Very shady.

Edited by Blackcanary
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I think the show is at its best when it knows what it is.  The show is equal parts over the top nutso crazy and gritty action drama.  The show doesn't work when it tries too hard to be serious.  I enjoyed the episode mainly because it did more right then it did wrong.    I still say Barbara should have a bigger roll and she is Jim m's Twu Luv.  Those two make fun magic together.

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WritingWrongs:So the Isabelle/Kringle thing is a play on the movie Vertigo right? I kept thinking Isabelle looked like Kim Novak.

Yes, that's just what I said last week's episode thread:

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ratgirlagogo:Especially since she's done up like a Hitchcock Blonde - in fact an awful lot like Kim Novak in Vertigo - so, yeah, I'm expecting this to be a setup too.  Which could be a great storyline too  - blind obsessive romantic delusion.

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Well, I'm hoping Isabella is Kristin's sister and that she establishes a Gotham tradition of librarian-by-day-but-vigilante-by-night! Are we done with Jervis for now? I hope so. Sorry to see Jim go back to the GCPD so quickly. Not looking forward to endless reprimand scenes.

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9 hours ago, Kathemy said:

Does anyone have any idea what the meaning with Mario's band-aid at the neck was? Other than establishing how "there's something strange with Mario"?

Did I miss anything?

The only thing I could think of was that Jervis might have injected him with some of the Alice blood while he was at the hospital.

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Well, Jim's mind is sure full of many strange things like fighting in a foxhole with Oswald, his dad and their issues, a "perfect" live with Lee, and, of course, Crazy Barbara.  His mind even found a way to get her into a sexy nurse outfit.  Oh, Jim's mind!  You are so dirty!

Val makes it out alive, but she (and Lee.  And the show, I guess) all know that Jim actually said kill Lee because he knew Tetch would do the opposite, so they are already over, even though it never felt like they were anything more besides a casual fling.

Why do I have a feeling Tetch won't be in Arkham for too long?  Suspect it will somehow involve Barnes becoming even more unhinged thanks to Alice's blood.

Still have no idea what to make of Isabella.  Either she's going to a phony of some kind or is simply being setup to get killed by Oswald, so he can have Nygma for himself.  But anyone who can just shrug off Nygma's time in Arkham for murdering his girlfriend is...... something.

Bruce and Selina realize that this whole dating thing isn't as easy as it looks!

Bullock finally stepping up and telling Gordon he has had enough of going out on a limb for him was probably his best moment so far this season, which is actually kind of sad.  Poor underused Bullock!

Yeah, there is totally a reason they focused on Marco having a bandaid on his neck.

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I agree with previous assessments that Oswald is enamored with the Last Shiny Thing That Does Him a Big Favor. This triangle is easily the best romantic compilation so far, and I look forward to the blowup.

I also agree that Jim should have said Barbara was his True Love with his faceoff with Jervis, and based on his tripping, that may be true. a Barbara/Mad Hatter showdown may be inevitable, and I'm looking forward to that.

And it's a given that, down the road, all will not end well with Bruce/Selina.

Oh, and Jervis skated from being a target of Falcone's wrath because Marco blames Jim.

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Not a bad episode.  I do have to wonder if Cobblepot will end up bumping off the new and improved Kringle.

 

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Well, I'm hoping Isabella is Kristin's sister and that she establishes a Gotham tradition of librarian-by-day-but-vigilante-by-night! Are we done with Jervis for now? I hope so. Sorry to see Jim go back to the GCPD so quickly. Not looking forward to endless reprimand scenes.

Interesting thought.  I hope she sticks around for awhile, but I tend to think she is more of a plot device used to break up Cobblepot's and Nygma's bromance. 

As smart as Nygma is, when it comes to relationships he is clueless.  He has no idea that Cobblepot has a romantic interest in him.  To Nygma, they are best buds.  To Cobblepot, they are a budding romance.  It won't end well.

Edited by icemiser69
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I really do hope that is the last we see of the Mad Hatter.  His arc went on way too long, and I was bored with the character and I still don't care for the actor.  I'm also hoping that Valerie Vale is gone for good.  I still think that Jamie Chung is a terrible actress.  I agree with the sentiment upthread that she had no right to be all upset that he chose Lee.  She knew he was still hung up on Lee when she met him, and whatever she and he had, much of it was because she thought he would give him a story.

As far as why they keep calling her "Vale"... I think it's just so we make a connection that this person is supposed to represent Vicki Vale, the character played by Kim Basinger in the first Michael Keaton "Batman".  Or since this show is set at a time when Bruce Wayne is a teen, maybe Vicki will be Valerie's future daughter.  There was even a callback to the "Batman" movie when Valerie said "Stop the press".  Jack Nicholson's Joker uttered those exact words in the movie.  And Prince stitched together "Stop the press.  Who is that?" followed by Basinger uttering "Vicki Vale" for his refrain in the immortal "Batdance".

I like seeing Not Kringle and I was kind of surprised that Oswald just didn't have her killed immediately.  Instead, this will drag out.  I hope Not Kringle survives.

I'm intrigued by this Court of Owls business and Gordon Sr. having been a member.  Since Court of Owls people are from "Gotham's oldest families"... how come the membership rights didn't pass down to Jim?

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On 11/2/2016 at 5:37 AM, thuganomics85 said:

Still have no idea what to make of Isabella.  Either she's going to a phony of some kind or is simply being setup to get killed by Oswald, so he can have Nygma for himself.  But anyone who can just shrug off Nygma's time in Arkham for murdering his girlfriend is...... something.

 

Could she be a Hugo Strange experiment? Cloning rather than re-animation?

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12 hours ago, Kathemy said:

I would bet even money on UnKringle surviving through the series.

I hope you're right. I'm going to be deeply annoyed if they brought Chelsea Spack back just to a) throw her in as a roadblock to The Ed/Oswald relationship and feed their all-consuming addiction to love triangles and b) fridge her again.

Thinking about it, I am excited by the idea of her really screwing Ed up. He's had a lot of 'wins' so far this season and the arrogance is pretty much rolling off him. He must feel pretty much untouchable. Having Isabella destroy his composure should be fun.

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The idea that Edward's had a lot of wins is pretty biased. He's 1-1 against Jim Gordon, who's hardly a genius, and he even failed to escape from Indian Hill. In fact no other character on the show had to spend as long time as him incarcerated. He beat Butch but as Edward would say, "he's an idiot", and he even botched that job by failing to kill him off.

Actually even someone like Tabitha "wins" more. She got away scot free from the Dumas debacle in early season two, she's never spent a day in prison despite murdering tons of people, police officers to boot, and she's still strutting around unharmed despite murdering Ozzie's mom, plus she just broke Butch out on a whim instantly negating Eddie's win. The worst she's had to endure is something Alfred has to go through on a regular basis on this show.

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Only Jim could make a drug-fulled hallucination that bloody dull. 

At the very least he could have run into David. S. Pumpkins.

Edited by Jodithgrace
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15 hours ago, Kathemy said:

The idea that Edward's had a lot of wins is pretty biased. He's 1-1 against Jim Gordon, who's hardly a genius, and he even failed to escape from Indian Hill. In fact no other character on the show had to spend as long time as him incarcerated. He beat Butch but as Edward would say, "he's an idiot", and he even botched that job by failing to kill him off.

Actually even someone like Tabitha "wins" more. She got away scot free from the Dumas debacle in early season two, she's never spent a day in prison despite murdering tons of people, police officers to boot, and she's still strutting around unharmed despite murdering Ozzie's mom, plus she just broke Butch out on a whim instantly negating Eddie's win. The worst she's had to endure is something Alfred has to go through on a regular basis on this show.

I meant season 3 specifically really: 

He has...

been released from Arkham.

had his risky gambit to win the election 'clean' pay off.

been made chief of staff.

successfully out-schemed Butch and removed him as a potential issue.

lorded it over his loathed former colleagues at the GCPD.

seemingly had his perfect woman pretty much fall into his lap.

It's all coming up Ed currently, but that can't last.

 

ETA: But yes on Tabitha living a somewhat charmed life. I find it utterly perplexing that she's apparently off Oswald's kill-list despite her role in Gertrude's death.

Edited by Blackcanary
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Yeah. In character, Ed would at least feel like he has had a real great stretch. From the audience's perspective, we know better but Ed wouldn't have our perspective.

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This episode was alright.  I'm glad the annoying Mad Hatter is gone.  Another long lost father rises.  I feel like I've watched this plot before.

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On 11/1/2016 at 1:21 PM, Gulftastic said:

And speaking of gorgeous women, Selina looked very pretty for the date. Bruce needs to get over himself though. Grumpy git.

What does Bruce have to get over?  Trying to be nice to her?  Working by himself for hours to make a very nice diner that she shows up hours late for, when it's gotten cold and he's completely lost hope that she will show up?  Or perhaps it's for asking to have honesty between them?  Man, what a terrible guy; how could she lower herself to be with someone who tried to hard to be good to her, and only asks for some basic trust between them.  

I still like Jim as the hero of this story.  I don't think this is really a comic book story, in the traditional sense.  It isn't about bad guys versus good guys. There are obviously a lot of bad guys, and some good guys, but most of them are locked into their positions on Team Good or Team Bad.  They may have some growing up to do to fulfill their ultimate roles, but no one ever thought Oswald was going to be a good guy, or that Bruce was going to be replaced by close Bruce or truly turn dark at this point in his life.  No one wonders if Bullock is secretly the underworld kingin.

Despite the comic book end most people know about for Jim, this is why it's still his story.  He is still struggling to find himself, to wage the war for the goodness in himself, and to believe that he can make a positive difference for the world and his own soul.  He's recommitted to law and order at the end of this episode, but I can't but believe that Barnes's story is going to challenge Jim's faith in the police force again, as well as himself.  And it's Jim's constant struggle to figure out the right thing to do, amid so much over-the-top villainy and cliche that is the real story here.  

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Sorry for kind of bumping this thread up! I'm playing catch-up and I've been losing sleep over not being up-to-date and not commenting on the episodes.

this episode...was better than I'd thought it would be? I rather enjoyed it?

??? I mean, it was pretty average, but I didn't really mind it. Yes, it was slower.

I'm 3 weeks behind (or two now) because My interest has been waning. I missed this episode when it first aired, didn't catch up, the next episode aired, etc. 

The preview for this episode made me think this episode was gonna be a lot worse, to be honest, so I'm pleasantly surprised at this episode's averageness. 

I'll make this quick:

-I miss the good ol' times when Jervis used his hypno-watch skills and didn't rhyme. He was far more interesting in the first few episodes he appeared in. 

-owl lady and penguin have met!

-four for you, Harvey! Tell it like it is!

-I actually liked the hallucination bits, especially the stuff with Jim's dad, despite the actor being cheesy. And the court of owls stuff at the end...

-the Barnes stuff is also kind of cheesy, but I'll live.

-hallelujah! Please let Jim's lone wolf act finally be over!!!!! (Until it we inevitably get this storyline again in season 4)

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I liked the idea of Vale (and liked Jamie but would've adored if they somehow had nabbed The O.C. alum Autumn Reeser since it was a short term role), but like Babs and Lee before her, she just couldn't hang with Jim and his crap. Guess getting shot in the stomach made things real for Vale and she realized life's too short to stay with Jim. But again, she knew when she met him that he and Lee ended badly and there was a lost baby involved so even while he was trying to move on, he was dealing with some heavy stuff. Also just an episode ago she was all about it being casual, then pushing for him to open up to her for the benefit of her job, and sure, she seems to have fallen for him hard and fast, but seriously, it's not Jim's fault that Tetch is a crazy mofo. And given her job and the way Gotham is, she has to know her job is gonna bring the crazy and put her in danger.

So Mario went from being pissed that Jim said 'Kill Lee' to being pissed that Jim said 'Kill Lee' to save Lee because he still loves her? And then Lee was pissed that Jim wouldn't admit it?

Tetch is one sick mofo. Mind raping his sister in life, trying to control her in mind and body, stalking her, trying to take her as a lover, and in death violating her again by hanging her like a piece of meat and draining her of her blood  to use as a weapon. He's actually one of the sickest villains they've had on the show.

Bullock deserves more than being Jim's cheerleader and I was glad that he told him off about his picking and choosing to play cop.

Love the actress that plays Selena and like Selena on her own, but I've never liked the BatCat dynamic no matter what the age. She always comes across as a user and Batman always takes her crap.

The casting director must love the local soap actors from the defunct As The World Turns. First Grayson McCouch as Thomas Wayne and Michael Park as Jim's dad.

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This episode drove me crazy because when Jim mentioned he was trying to save them both and that he knew Tetch would do what he didn’t want to, all I wanted him to do was say he thought there was a better chance of them both surviving that way since Lee’s a doctor and had a better chance of saving Valerie than the other way around. 

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