Gotham Just Made That Penguin/Riddler Storyline A Lot More Uncomfortable

gotham penguin riddler

Spoiler alert for anyone who hasn't watched tonight's episode of Gotham.

With as many villains as Gotham has introduced over the past couple of years, the show obviously has to make some wild creative decisions to keep everyone interesting, and the current narrative arc being explored by the Penguin and the Riddler got a lot more deliciously devious in tonight's episode, which completely removed one of the participants in this love triangle-ish shape. And in a way that explained exactly nothing and also gave us the most uncomfortable makeout scene of Primetime TV 2016.

Things started off quite immaturely, with Ed inexplicably giving a delighted Oswald the favor/privilege of breaking up with Isabella for him. It was as if Penguin got a hold of Mad Hatter's goodies and used them all on his puzzle-embracing friend. In the annals of sordid break-ups, few things top a guy using his boss, who also happens to be the city's corrupt mayor, as a personified Dear John for the woman who too-closely resembles a woman he killed not that long ago. Gotham always gets points for super-random originality.

But no, instead of heeding Oswald's termination of all things Ed & Isabella, the young woman once again stared logic in the face and cut off its windpipe's circulation. Because this murderer loves her, she cannot have it be that they are not together. And so, as any of us would do for someone we care about, Isabella puts Ed through a form of exposure therapy for which she has no real guarantee of safety. And she does it while dressed up as Miss Kringle, which she was able to accomplish thanks to INTERNET RESEARCH. This was the most disturbing moment Gotham has delivered yet for me.

gotham riddler kringle isabella

She confronts him about his fears and puts his hands around her own throat, showing him that he can indeed overcome his dark urges. Because Isabygma. Luckily for her temporary safety, he does manage to keep all murderous intentions at bay, and some super uncomfortable lip-locking follows. However, it is unclear if he starts kissing her as a celebration for not squeezing hard enough to kill her, or if he's just totally turned on by the situation. (Perhaps Riddler would find a better partner in crime through the likes of The Fall's Paul Spector.) In any case, Ed's happiness is as short-lived with Isabella as it was with Miss Kringle.

While driving home with some major self-confidence mojo emanating, Isabella tried to stop for an oncoming train and it became immediately obvious that her brake lines had been cut, or some similarly damaging act. No one needs to call the world's finest detective to this case, as all signs point to Oswald Cobblepot as the culprit. I guess the brake lines could have just decided to cough up all the brake fluid, but it's not likely. Either way, Ed is going to undoubtedly take an even darker turn now that Oswald might not be as attracted to, and if Ed ever finds out what happened, Gotham City's underworld will get even more complicated.

While this was all fun and shit, I'm rather frustrated that Isabella died without giving viewers any indication as to her "true" side, assuming she has one. Why did she look exactly like Kringle? Why was she so enthused with Ed's infatuation that she dismissed so many warning signs? Hopefully a third version will get introduced that offers up some exposition.

Gotham airs Monday nights on Fox. To see what else is coming to the small screen, check out our schedules for both fall debuts and midseason premieres.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.