Here’s a wedding tip for you: When you’re still in love with the bride, it doesn’t matter how many innocents the groom has killed. If you don’t forever hold your peace anyway, you’ll come off looking like the jerk. Jim Gordon learned this lesson when he discovered the frightening truth about Lee’s fiancé, Mario — to her, the seemingly noble doctor who turned away from his family’s criminal lifestyle and chose a career of service instead.
For all we know, that’s who Mario really was before Jervis Tetch pricked him with a laced needle. But now he’s going the way of Chief Barnes, being consumed by the blood virus and the concentrated fury it brings out in him. The cop’s inner darkness is his disillusionment with the state of crime and punishment in Gotham City. Mario’s is his insuppressible fear that Lee still loves Jim, and when she realizes that, she will leave him.
Mario knows what happened to Barnes. He can’t have his happily ever after with Lee if he’s been thrown into Arkham right next to him, so the doctor sets his sights on the Tetch test developed by the bio-lab. He cozies up to a tech at a bar to steal away some information and his key card. The man’s death isn’t necessary, but Alice’s blood overpowers reason. The man’s face morphs into Jim’s as Mario holds it in his hands. He pushes and pushes until he’s crushed it, blood spattering onto his impassive face.
Harvey gently suggests Jim should leave this murder to Alvarez, our catch-all GCPD detective who’s not Bullock or Gordon. His ex is getting married, and Jim should be drunk. But the manner of the man’s death has piqued Jim’s interest, particularly the strength required to pop a skull like that — plus the victim’s profession linking this case to Alice Tetch, at least tangentially. When Gordon arrives at the lab, the guard informs them the victim’s key card was just used and hasn’t been punched out yet. Jim takes off to investigate. Mario knocks out Jim without revealing his identity and explains, for our benefit, why he doesn’t just kill him then and there. If Jim dies in the line of duty, Lee will be affected by it. Mario wants him erased from Lee’s heart. He’ll kill Jim, but only after he’s tricked Lee into loathing him.
Jim comes to with the word “Arkham” scrawled on his hand. Barnes is raving, so his attacker wouldn’t have sent Jim to see his former boss. Instead, he pays a visit to Jervis, the inmate looking resplendently nuts in his mod-podge newspaper hat. There’s another citizen infected with Jervis’s “dear sister,” and Jim wants to know who it is. Jervis is giddy; his revenge on Jim moves forward even as he rots with the rest of the criminally insane. He’s so pleased, he can’t help but reveal more than he should. Jim is predisposed to expect the worst of his rival and, by now, is familiar with Tetch’s way of doing business. As soon as “healer to killer” comes out of Jervis’s mouth, Jim is on the phone to Mario.
But Mario left the lab with what he needed: the ability to pass the blood test. Jim isn’t satisfied, and this is where Tetch’s puppet-mastering starts to bear fruit. The test is conclusive. Jim’s inability to accept the results makes him look irrational and biased. He can’t help himself. Bullock apologizes to a gracious Mario for the misunderstanding; Jim grunts out a threat: “I promise you, you will never marry Lee.”
Maybe Lee will hate him for it, but Jim doesn’t have a choice in the matter if he wants to keep her safe. He tries to arrange a meeting to warn her, but Mario intercepts the message. The doctor confirms Jim’s suspicions about his contamination and his obsession with Jim and Lee’s history. He leaves him in the hands of Zsasz, who babysits Jim for an allotted amount of time. Part of the plan is for Jim to make a plea at the church; Lee will see it as an intrusion and doubt her choice less and less.
NEXT: Speak now