Jada Pinkett Smith’s Fish Mooney began as one of the best characters on Gotham. She was one of the only people who started the show without a comic book origin story, and her crazy wardrobe, spiky manicures, and over-the-top villain delivery added some fire to the Batman tale we all know and love. Now, though, we’re more than halfway through the season and Mooney’s dramatic hot-air balloon rise to the top is feeling a little deflated. At this point, fans have to wonder if Fish Mooney will ever gain control of Gotham.
All of Gotham’s other characters have developed in really interesting ways: Jim Gordon has risked everything to solve a case he believes in (the Waynes’ murder); Bruce Wayne has turned the rage and sadness of losing his parents into a cause for not revenge, but careful analysis of his parents' business; Selina Kyle has gone from irresponsible street urchin to a friend and ally of both Bruce and Gordon; and Cobblepot has begun a fast ascension into the upper echelons of Gotham’s murderous villains. Mooney has only plotted her rise to the top.
Since the midseason break, Mooney has regressed, becoming single-minded to the point of recklessness, not to mention extremely sloppy in her schemes to become Gotham’s biggest and baddest. Her latest plot to dethrone Carmine Falcone, her mobster boss, is a perfect example. Why? Because she let it fall on the shoulders of one songbird named Liza. Mooney hired Liza to seduce Falcone, make him fall in love with her, and spill all of Falcone’s secrets to Mooney. Sounds foolproof enough, especially because Liza has no other mob connections and is very easily swayed.
There was one thing Mooney didn’t account for: Oswald Cobblepot. Cobblepot is a double agent to both Falcone and Don Maroni, Falcone’s nemesis, and he knows everything about everyone. Playing both sides against the middle, Cobblepot told Falcone about Mooney and Liza’s plan, causing Falcone to kill Liza, capture Mooney and her henchman, Butch, and give away Mooney’s club and mob of angry men to Cobblepot. Game, set, match, Mooney?
Cobblepot is highly adaptable, so he has repeatedly clawed his way back to the top. From his almost-getting-shot by Jim Gordon and frat boy grand theft auto to getting in good with Don Maroni and sniffing around Liza’s apartment, Cobblepot is continuously plotting his next steps. He knows that as he slithers through the snakes of Gotham, he will have to be ready for higher stakes.
Mooney, on the other hand, is so blinded by her need for power that she has stopped looking toward the future, and, simultaneously, looking out for other obstacles. Is her name, Fish, a nod toward where she’ll be soon: sleeping with the fishes? Now a prisoner of Falcone, her future is uncertain except for one thing: she’ll never be one of Gotham’s top crime bosses.
Images: Jessica Miglio/FOX; giphy (3)