Gotham Just Revealed Who's Pulling The Court Of Owls' Strings, And Whoa

the mad hatter gotham

Spoiler alert for those who haven't watched Gotham's latest episode.

The Mad Hatter's presence in Gotham City has been a pretty exciting one, with Benedict Samuels' Jarvis Tetch giving Gotham another memorable villain to keep in its back pocket for future appearances. Tonight's "Red Queen" took place partly inside of Jim Gordon's mind, which was being stretched to its limits by a hallucinogenic concoction Mad Hatter dosed him with. During this trip, we got to meet a brand new character that was later seemingly revealed to be the person pulling the strings for the mysterious Court of Owls: Jim's father, Peter Gordon.

With so much WTF-ness happening on Gotham on a weekly basis, it's sometimes hard to know if random narrative details are truly important in the long run or if they're there to strengthen just that scene. So when Jim's psych-out trip put him face to face with his dad Peter (played by Michael Park), just as his unconscious self was being found by Mario Falcone, it was hard to know if this moment was something that would solely offer insight into Jim's history or if it would have overarching effects. It turns out it did both, and now we're wondering just what Peter Gordon's story really is, since Jim appears to be completely out of the loop.

jim gordon

No metaphors were abound for this father and son's conversation, and all feelings were plainly stated during their car ride together. Jim brings up that his dad as a hero district attorney (not like that other one) that never brought his work home, and Peter goes on about how Gordons have to follow "the code" in order to be the kind of man that Gotham City needs, offering up a last clue about looking at his old ring to find answers. And then this part of Jim's hallucination gets cut off by the implication that another car plowed into Peter's side, so audiences were led to the assumption that the elder Gordon died long ago, probably by a car accident.

But then we got that last scene of the episode, in which the Court of Owls' Kathryn was relating to a mysterious shadowy person that she believed the potential recruit Penguin to be just as much of a criminal as mayor than he was before. And right after mystery man gave the ominous message that "Judgment is coming, Kathryn, for all of us," that's when we got to see his ring, which is the very same one that Peter was wearing. And the one that Jim did indeed find at home, with the phrase "While we breathe, we shall defend." engraved in Latin.

So it appears that Jim has been completely wrong about his father's fate, although Peter almost definitely knows exactly what his son has been doing, as well as everyone else in Gotham City. Of course, there is the possibility that someone other character is wearing the ring in those final moments, since we didn't actually get to see the man's face. But his voice was pretty familiar, and given the number of times Gotham has used different versions of certain characters, this could easily be a former version of Peter Gordon that has been turned into something or someone else, Hugo Strange-style. Any way it goes, it looks like the Gordon family is now right up there with the Wayne family as far as Gotham City's history is concerned.

With more expected to come from this crazy new reveal, not to mention the introduction of another character's parent, Gotham airs Monday nights on Fox. To see what else is coming to the small screen in the near future, check out our fall TV schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.