I'm going to be honest with you guys. I don't 'ship Barbara Kean and Jim Gordon. They lost me the second Barbara walked out on Jim — and was next seen in Renee Montoya's bed. If it wasn't clear then that Barbara has no idea what she wants, then Monday night's episode of Gotham smacked you in the face with that fact. After waking up once more in Renee's apartment, Barbara throws a fit when Renee calls her out on her drinking and wallowing, airs very valid concerns that they're just plain toxic together, and goes so far as to encourage Barbara to go back to Jim. That's right. Renee Montoya! Encouraging Barbara back into Jim's arms! I was shocked, too.
The thing is, at this point, while I'd love to love Renee and Barbara together, or even love to love Barbara and Jim, the fact of the matter is that Barbara doesn't deserve to be with either of them right now. Barbara deserves to be with herself right now, because it's clear that she is on a downward spiral and the only person who can save her is her. I can understand why Renee would want to put some distance between herself and Barbara, because it's clear to her what is clear to me: Barbara doesn't want to be with her. Barbara just wants a distraction from her own issues.
Don't get me wrong. Barbara more than anyone has understandable reasons to be so broken. Even without knowing the details of her tumultuous backstory, she has been through a lot over the course of the first half of the season. Nearly dying, nearly watching Jim die, knowing both of those things could reasonably be considered her fault — I mean, I'm shuddering just thinking about having to deal with one of those things let alone all of them at once. But that's exactly why I don't think that Barbara and Jim should get back together before the season is over. (Thankfully, Ivy seems to have nipped that in the bud, but we'll see how long that lasts.)
Those aren't the kinds of things you just get over and then immediately proceed to throw yourself into a relationship. Those kinds of things take time and self-reflection. Barbara needs to love herself before she's ready to love anyone else. Especially Renee, who must have taken a lot of time, maturity, and courage to be able to admit to herself, let alone to Barbara, that they were falling back into their old, toxic patterns. At this point, I'm really not sure which couple I'm rooting for most, but it's clear that both Jim and Renee really care about Barbara. If she cares about them, she'll sort herself out and make sure that she knows what she wants before she falls back into someone's arms too soon.
Image: Jessica Miglio/FOX