Air Date: November 28, 2016
Genre: Crime, Drama, Action
Beware The Green-Eyed Monster opens just before Mario & Lee’s big wedding. James Gordon (Ben Mackenzie) comes to the realization that Mario (James Carpinello) has The Alice Tetch Virus. When he tries convincing people, no one believes him because of his love for Lee (Morena Baccarin). You see, Mario is playing him, making Gordon fall right into his trap every single time in an attempt to make Lee hate him. So, it’s pretty much just Follow The White Rabbit on repeat without any of the charm, urgency or characterizations that made that episode great. Meanwhile, Bruce (David Mazouz) and company attempt to bring down The Court Of Owls. Barbara (Erin Richards) also informs Edward (Cory Michael Smith) of Oswald’s (Robin Lord Taylor) betrayal, leading to an unlikely alliance.
For a great deal of Gotham‘s third season, I have been unbelievably impressed. For the last several episodes, the show was on a serious hot streak and episodes were ranging from great to flat out amazing. Beware The Green-Eyed Monster has officially ruined that hot streak, representing the single worst episode of Gotham‘s third season thus far. Believe it or not, after the dumb twist in last week’s episode, I was dreading this would happen. When they revealed that Mario had been carrying the virus all that time, I was worried. Now I can confirm that I had every reason to be. I actually put off reviewing this episode for a bit because of how much it angered me. However, the time has now come for me to delve into Beware The Green-Eyed Monster.
In the immortal words of Remy Zero, “Somebody, Save Me!”
Let’s get the positives of Beware The Green-Eyed Monster out of the way first because the episode isn’t ALL bad. The only plot line in the episode that really works involves Edward Nygma and Barbara Kean. It began when Barbara came to Nygma, trying to make him see the truth about Oswald; Oswald is in love with him and killed Isabella (Chelsea Spack) out of Jealousy. Nygma, for obvious reasons, didn’t want to see the truth at first. However, when Nygma discovered Oswald’s true nature, he resigned from Oswald’s office and vowed revenge. In addition, he formed an alliance with Barbara, Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) and Butch (Drew Powell), much to Tabitha’s disapproval.
To be fair, it was a rather satisfying subplot that led to an interesting setup for the latter half of the season. For all the forced drama in this episode, this was the one part of it where everything seemed to progress naturally. Given what Nygma did to Tabitha in the last episode, this could lead to some interesting conflict down the line. It was also interesting to see Nygma and Barbara, arguably two of the most intelligent characters on the show, team up for a common cause. But what really sold it was Cory Michael Smith’s performance throughout the entire episode. In some scenes, he didn’t even have to say a word. You could see the torment, sadness and anger in just his facial expressions. Overall, this was a good subplot.
Aside from that and a nice 2-minute Jervis Tetch (Benedict Samuel) cameo, the rest of this episode was a chore to sit through. Let’s just begin with Bruce’s subplot. After they discovered the key back in The Executioner, the episodes built up to this. Bruce, Selina (Camren Bicondova), Alfred (Sean Pertwee) and Jacob (Julien Seredowych) discover what the key opens. So, they plan this whole elaborate heist to steal whatever is inside and… discover a glass owl. That’s it, just a glass owl. It’s like watching National Treasure with no payoff. Granted it’s only the mid-season so they may want to milk this for awhile. But for how much they were building this up, this was incredibly underwhelming.
But then, they add something else to this subplot. In the end, they are discovered but they are all randomly saved by this hooded figure who… I guess, was following them around this season or something. I don’t know, it was very vague and they didn’t explain it very well. But, anyway, it doesn’t matter because it turned out this mysterious cloaked figure was really… Selina’s mother, Maria Kyle (Ivana Milicevic). Uh… okay? So Selina’s mother is back in town and magically saves everybody. I mean, of course. Why wouldn’t the mother who let Selina live on the streets, sleep in the gutter, watch her friends vanish and join Fish Mooney’s gang want to look out for her daughter after all this time? MOTHER OF THE ‘FRICKIN’ YEAR!!! UGH!!!! I’m sorry, I know they’ll probably explain this in the next episode but it’s so random and so out of place.
Was I watching this subplot to see Selina go through family drama? No! I watched this episode to see what that key unlocked. That was the entire point of this subplot. Instead of giving us that, we just got another clue instead of an answer. Then they completely undermined it by just tacking on Selina’s mom at the end. Why? What does Selina’s mom have to do with any of this? Now, maybe they’ll reveal that Selina’s mom was involved with The Court Of Owls in some way and that’s why she’s here now. Okay, well if that’s the case, then isn’t it just such coincidence that Selina witnessed the murder of the Waynes. Isn’t it also convenient that Bruce and Selina became such good friends over the course of these past two and a half seasons. Case & Point, it would still be stupid and convoluted.
I sincerely hope they prove me wrong in the latter half of the season.
Then we have the main story of the episode, which involves Mario going on a rampage, killing some random people and somehow using this to make James Gordon look like a pitiful, selfish, jealous moron. Gordon discovers that Mario has the virus after speaking with Tetch. Why does he have the virus? Why not? We need excuses for Gordon to look stupid and to force more unnecessary drama between him and Lee, even after we had that very sweet moment between them in Time Bomb. Never before has an episode of Gotham made James Gordon look like such an idiot. It’s actually a bit insulting to the character when you think about it.
Gordon, at every turn, plays right into Mario’s hand. It’s one thing when a criminal mastermind (Riddler, Tetch) outwits James Gordon. That at the very least makes sense. Mario is intelligent but he’s not a mastermind nor is he a career criminal, even if his father is one. Until the ending of Time Bomb, Mario was seen as a hell of a guy who would do anything to keep Lee safe. This actually created a good conundrum for Gordon, knowing that the woman he loved was in a relationship with a kind, successful doctor who truly cared for her. That’s where much of the season’s heart lay and it really worked. Beware The Green-Eyed Monster chucked all of that out the window by giving Mario the virus and trying to convince us that he’d had it since Red Queen.
Yeah, he’d had it since Red Queen. That’s why he saved Gordon at the end of Red Queen, right? Even though he’s trying to get rid of him in this episode, Mario on Tetch Blood had no problem saving Gordon back then, right? Am I the only one who sees how incredibly dumb this is? I’m sorry, I’m trying to understand this but it doesn’t add up. When Barnes (Michael Chiklis) was infected early in the season, we progressively saw his attitude change as he attempted to fight it. We got absolutely none of that with Mario. This is so unbelievably contrived.
But as I said earlier, Gordon tries to convince everyone that Mario has the virus and is a danger to Lee and obviously no one believes him. Of course, everyone is just going to see him as a jealous ex-boyfriend. You think Gordon would be a bit smarter about this whole thing. This ultimately leads to Gordon falling right into Mario’s plans. Lee ultimately tells Gordon that she never wants to see him again and marries Mario. Unfortunately, the jealous rage inside Mario brought on by the virus continues to grow. When Lee tells him that a part of her will always love Gordon, he attempts to kill her but she’s saved when Gordon puts two bullets in his chest. The knife falls in the water, Gordon has killed Falcone’s son and Lee looks at Gordon in horror. This is forced drama at its absolute finest.
The show needed a reason for Lee to hate Gordon again and for Falcone to go after Gordon. Well, it succeeded… why we needed ANY of that remains to be seen.
Overall, Beware The Green-Eyed Monster is a pretty bad episode. The subplot with Nygma works well but the main plot is absolutely ridiculous. The entire Court Of Owls subplot went absolutely nowhere, the addition of Selina’s mother felt tacked on and forced and Mario turning into some psycho beast killer with the virus was the dumbest thing I’ve seen all season. This isn’t a horrible episode. Horrible, in my eyes, is not trying. They tried to do a lot in this episode… it just so happens they didn’t do a very good job, at least in my opinion. Ultimately, Beware The Green-Eyed Monster is just underwhelming and disappointing, especially when you consider how good this season has been.
Hopefully, this is just a minor setback and Gotham can make a return to form with Ghosts when it premieres on January 16th.
- Barbara & Nygma's Alliance
- Nygma's Realization
- Tetch's Interrogation
- The Main Plot Is Ridiculous
- The Court Of Owls Plotline Goes Nowhere
- Uh... Hi, Selina's mom???? Okay... Lot's Of Questions... The Least Of Which Isn't "WHY ARE YOU ALIVE AND LETTING YOUR DAUGHTER LIVE ON THE STREETS?!"
- Ridiculously Forced Drama
- Terrible Ending
- James Gordon Comes Off As Stupid For Most Of The Episode