It’s the day after Jervis Tetch forced Jim Gordon to choose between the two women in his life, and both of them want to talk about what he said. The Mad Hatter’s tea party game fulfilled its purpose: Gordon decided who would get the bullet, and Valerie and Lee got the same message. “You love Lee,” Valerie says to him from her hospital bed. “Which means we’re done.” This very conversation is the reason why Tetch didn’t shoot to kill.
While Gordon wrestles with the personal truths Jervis’ guerilla therapy session brought to the surface, Jervis is widening the scope of his revenge. Gordon gets the blame for Alice’s death on the micro level, but it’s the entire city of Gotham with her blood on its hands. What better recompense then, than to use that blood to drive all its citizens insane? Jervis and the remaining Tweeds collect Alice’s body from the morgue to harvest the poison still inside. But first, Jervis visits a perverse medicine man to purchase an accelerant. Along with the additive that will help him spread Alice’s blood through the city like an unstoppable virus, he comes into possession of a bottle of “Red Queen” — a powdery blend of psychotropic plants. It was created to produce the highest of highs, but the dealer tells Jervis it blows the user past that point and straight into full psychosis. Jervis takes a dab and blows it into the man’s face for his troubles.
Gordon turns up at the morgue when he hears about Alice, ready to get to work. As a civilian, like you do. Whatever sympathy Barnes was feeling toward the ex-detective has run out, and even Bullock is tiring of Gordon’s determination to have it both ways. “Barnes is right,” Harvey says. “Be a cop or don’t.” Over the past three years, Bullock has located a lot of the pride in his job that he’d thought he’d lost. Gordon is his friend, but he’s run out of favors. Serving the city means serving the city, not cherry-picking cases that personally affect him. There’s a fear there that Gordon still hasn’t faced. “Let those of us who want to wear the badge do our damn jobs,” Bullock demands, and then he escorts him out.
Jervis and his men gained access to the morgue by bribing a guard with a record. It’s the GCPD’s only lead on finding him and, more importantly, Alice’s blood. Lucius Fox debriefs Barnes on the lab’s second round of testing. Just as it did in the first, a few drops of Tetch’s serum sent lab rats into an increasingly manic and violent state, accompanied by an increased strength. Barnes was hoping for better news, not just for himself now, but for Gotham. It won’t take long after Jervis disseminates the liquid for the residents of the city to grow mighty and savage — they will rip one another apart, quite literally.
Back at the hospital, Lee is trying to calm down Mario, who’s understandably upset that Jim Gordon told a psychopath to kill her. Lee knows the truth of it — that Gordon was just trying to save her — and she’d like Mario not to fixate on that either. Mario wants him out of their hair. Lee agrees. Gordon appears at that moment, there to bring Valerie the recovery whiskey she’d requested before they broke up. Lee wants Gordon to be honest with himself about the feelings that directed his actions at the tea party. He stubbornly sticks to his guns, insisting he wasn’t working the reverse-psychology angle. He did want to save Val, so there. “Bullock was right,” Lee says, sadly. “You are afraid.”
He has reason to be. Finding Val asleep, Gordon pokes his head into the hallway. He sees Jervis, who leads him down the stairwell and into the hospital basement. The Red Queen was for Gordon; more than the entire GCPD, the greatest threat to Tetch’s ability to plunge the city into madness. Jervis blows the substance into his face. “Enjoy the trip.”
NEXT: The other woman