Gotham Season 3 Episode 7: Red Queen Review

Gotham backtracks on some of its most promising recent narrative choices, but still delivers an entertaining episode.

This Gotham review contains spoilers.

Gotham Season 3, Episode 7

Oh, Gotham. Did you really have to backtrack on so many of the bold choices you have made so far this season? There’s still a lot to like about the super trippy “Red Queen,” but it’s tough to see the show bring Jim back to the G.C.P.D. after his time as a freelance bounty hunter has proved so lucrative, backtrack on its bold decision to have Jim choose Vale over Lee, and go all-in with its Vertigo-themed sidelining of the Ed/Oswald relationship. Let’s get into everything that went down in “Red Queen”…

Jim goes deep into his own subconscious.

I’m not usually a fan of dreams/hallucinations/etc. in stories. Most of that time, they are lazy plot devices for explaining a character’s internal processes. Gothamdoesn’t completely side-step that narrative trap, but Barbara’s exasperated, yet delighted position as Jim’s shepherd through his subconscious makes up for any laziness this particular trope delivers.

What do we learn from Jim’s Red Queen trip? Basically, he wants to get married and have lots of kids with Lee. Which is… fine, but weren’t we having so much more fun when Jim was reinventing himself as someone other than the self-righteous sad sack of a police officer who put more energy into judging criminals than catching them? OK, maybe that’s harsh, but I am bitter that Gothamgave me a taste of what a fun, subversive, confused, and relatable Jim Gordon could look like, only to snatch him away at the first psychedelic drug trip.

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I’m not saying Jim’s return to the G.C.P.D. doesn’t make sense. Sadly (for me), it does. Jim Gordon has always been driven by a very specific idea of what a hero should be, one — as was outlined very clearly in this episode — that was formed by his father. But that can’t stop me from hoping for a better outcome for our poor, tortured Gordon. One that involved a little less moping and a little more Valerie Vale. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted. Besides, with Barnes slow, steady descent into the mad clutches of Alice’s blood virus, the G.C.P.D. needs all hands on deck. Even if Barnes did manage to nab Tetch.

Before we move onto another plot point, however, let’s take the time to chat about that teaser at the end. We finally “met” another member of the Court of Owls and he was wearing the same ring as Jim’s dad had. Were they friends? Did Jim’s dad somehow fake his death to become the full-time kingpin of Gotham’s most powerful organization? On this show, anything is possible.

Ed is in love.

I am not stupid enough to think that everything would work out well for Ed and Oswald, but I was hoping for at least an episode of happiness. I guess that’s what the tea-drinking scene was for. That’s all the happiness we’re going to get for these two crazy kids. Well, that’s not quite true. Ed seems plenty happy with his new lady love, even though he just met her and Oswald is already quasi-planning her murder. First, though, Oswald tried something a bit less drastic: telling Isabella about Ed’s murderous past. Isabella is unphased, seemingly further proof that she was hired by someone to lure Ed away from Oswald. (Again, my money is on the mysteriously-quiet Butch.)

Whatever the truth behind Isabella’s motivation — whether it is love or something more nefarious — this can’t last. As we’ve seen time and time again, Oswald doesn’t like it when something doesn’t go his way. The question is: how bloody and/or heartbreaking will this get before it’s over?

Bruce makes Selina dinner…

If you needed further proof that Bruce is a 45-year-old in a 15-year-old’s body (he’s like the reverse Ivy), then look no further than his turtlenecked preparation of an entire meal (complete with cake!) for his and Selina’s first date. Though Alfred is worried Selina won’t show up, Bruce has every confidence that Selina wouldn’t do that to him. Though Selina is a bit late showing up for dinner, she makes it up to Bruce by being honest with him: this isn’t easy for her. Bruce assures her that it’s not easy for him, either. Yep, the teenagers have the healthiest romantic relationship on this show.


3 out of 5