Spoiler alert for anyone who hasn't seen tonight's episode of Gotham.
Romance is not something that goes well for everyone on Gotham. Or anyone on Gotham. So there isn't much optimism being built into the fabulous storyline involving Oswald Cobblepot's growing sense of romantic longing for his partner in mayorship and crime, Ed Nygma, especially now that someone new (sorta) has caught Ed's eye. Tonight's episode took things a little further for all three characters, and not only did things get more complicated, but they're a lot weirder now.
When we first catch up with Nygmobblepot, the Penguin half is going berserk over the Riddler half not showing up for a dinner date the previous night, with steps being taken to put out an early missing person report on Ed. Viewers know that Ed was perfectly safe with his new woman Isabella that he met in last week's episode, and he's so smitten that he doesn't even apologize to his boss for his absence, which doesn't impact Oswald until Ed reveals he thinks he's in love with another. That's when Oswald goes into Penguin-lite mode for some evil-doing.
Penguin has a conversation with Isabella in which he uncarefully clues her in on Ed's past at Arkham Asylum, down to the fact that it was murder that landed him there. (I could not have hooted louder at Robin Lord Taylor's reading of the line "Ed loves a neck!") But instead of being frightened away, Isabella does some research and decides to accept Ed's excuses and apologies, and the discomfort was palpable when Oswald stumbled upon the two of them kissing. It's admittedly silly to see this dangerous villain fumbling his words and mannerisms over an attraction to someone, but love has the power to do that kind of thing, I guess.
It's not clear what Penguin's next move will be in this situation, but I really want to know where the hell Isabella came from and why she's basically Miss Kringle's doppelgänger. And I also want to know why everyone who has seen her isn't freaking the hell out. It isn't normal behavior for somebody to start dating someone identical to a former infatuation that he or she strangled murdered, or is it normal to date the murderer in that situation. That's not love, I don't think. So what's her story?
We only recently saw the Court of Owls snatch up Bruce Wayne 2.0, and we've seen many of Hugo Strange's experiments showcasing different personality traits after being resurrected. It's likely that very few dead people went to final resting places with Indian Hill in operation, so this could legit be Miss Kringle's new and unaware-of-her-past form. Or maybe she's a twin sister. Or maybe it really is just a passing resemblance (made all the more ridiculous, considering it's the same actress). Either way, Penguin won't want her around for much longer, so maybe viewers shouldn't get too used to her. Unless she's got some secrets of her own.
"Red Queen" was pretty crazy for more than just Penguin and Riddler's missed connections, with Mad Hatter giving Jim Gordon a mind trip that he won't soon forget. (You can read more about that here.) But for those of us who are far more giddy about Gotham City's underworld than its lawful side, this uneven love triangle is one of the most fun things the show has given fans yet. Because hell hath no fury like a Penguin scorned, and if Ed doesn't start to quickly realize what's happening, he may become the target not of Oswald's love, but his aggression.