With 100 episodes of Gotham made, there were a lot of opportunities for relationships to drive the storyline of the series. More often than not, the romantic entanglements between the characters were a major part of the conflict rather than a distraction from the plot.
Not all of the relationships were created equal. Some pairings, like that of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, maintained a presence throughout the entire run of the Batman prequel. Others, like that between Edward Nygma and Lee Thompkins, were a flash in the pan. We’ve taken a look back at the best and the worst.
10 Best: Butch And Tabitha
Likely to the surprise of most of the audience, Butch and Tabitha painted a fascinating romantic picture. The two had their start on the series as villains working with opposing forces.
Teaming up gave them a chance to get to know one another. Over time, both showed a softer side. They may have presented fierce fronts to their enemies, but around each other, they could be their true selves. Tabitha used extreme methods to get through to Butch when he lost his memories, but she was the only one who could get through to him.
9 Worst: Bruce And Silver
Silver St. Cloud befriended Bruce under false pretenses. Assigned to make him fall for her by her uncle, Silver played the part perfectly. Bruce only realized much later that Silver manipulated him.
The one good part of their relationship is that Silver eventually confessed everything to Bruce, and even tried to stop her uncle from using Bruce as a sacrifice. Before that however, she isolated him from his only friend (Selina) and constantly lied to him. Considering how few meaningful relationships Bruce had in his young life, Silver’s manipulation certainly makes this one of the worst.
8 Best: Jim And Lee
Jim and Lee seemed like a perfect fit from the start. Though they had their differences, at their core, they both just wanted to help the people of Gotham. As much as Lee thought Jim put Gotham first, that similarity drew them together time and time again.
Luckily for the two of them, Lee knew Jim well enough to know that saying goodbye was only temporary. She left him to help the city multiple times throughout the show’s run, but always came back to save the day in the end.
7 Worst: Jim And Sofia
Sofia was a great antagonist for the series. Just when Jim Gordon thought his biggest problem was burgeoning supervillains instead of crime family warfare, Sofia Falcone came to Gotham.
She entered into a relationship with Jim in much the same way Silver did with Bruce. The difference was Sofia continued to lie to and manipulate him for her own gains, not someone else’s. Jim remained blind to her desire to rule Gotham’s underground for most of their relationship. The duo never would have lasted, no matter how long it took Jim to uncover her secrets.
6 Best: Harvey And Fish
While the audience didn’t get to see much of a romantic relationship between these two characters, a past was alluded to repeatedly. Harvey and Fish had a sort of understanding when it came to crime in Gotham, and it’s informed by their past.
Harvey didn’t typically cross Fish, even when he changed his ways and began trying to make Gotham better, just like Jim. Likewise, even when Fish went after members of the police department, she termed herself and Harvey “cool.” The two allied repeatedly, keenly aware of the past the audience was teased with.
5 Worst: Ed And Lee
Intellectually, Lee Thompkins was a match for Edward Nygma. She’s one of the few on the series who consistently unraveled his riddles. Sharing intelligence however, doesn’t necessarily make for a romantic match.
While Lee lived in the Narrows as a medical doctor, she and Ed formed an unlikely partnership. That partnership, like many in Gotham, came from a place of lies. Lee needed Ed and his other personality kept under control, so she used his feelings for her to do just that. She was still in love with Jim Gordon.
4 Best: Barbara And Tabitha
Barbara Kean became a much more interesting character the moment she decided to do whatever she wanted instead of what was expected of her. Her change from Jim Gordon’s love interest to a villain in the Gotham underground made the show better. One aspect of her life that fleshed out her character was her relationship with Tabitha.
Though the two didn’t maintain a romantic relationship through Tabitha’s run on the show, they did maintain a partnership with The Sirens. When they united, they used their resources and skills to help women in Gotham, even if they did it illegally. They were nearly unstoppable together.
3 Worst: Jim And Valerie
After falling out with Lee, Jim met reporter Valerie Vale. Inspired by comic book character Vicki Vale, this incarnation was meant to be the character’s aunt.
Unfortunately for Vicki, she joined the series at a time that made her nothing more than a blip in Jim’s relationship past. Valerie was just as stubborn and as inquisitive as Jim. That caused them to butt heads on more than one occasion. Just when it seemed like the two might be able to get past that, it became clear that Jim was still in love with Lee, and Valerie left town.
2 Best: Bruce And Selina
Some fans of Gotham preferred to watch the evolution of the villains. Others preferred to watch the evolution of Bruce Wayne. The best of both worlds came as a result of the relationship between Bruce and Selina Kyle, future Catwoman.
The two met as children at the start of the series. As teenagers, with Bruce’s parents gone and Selina a witness to their murder, they struggled to find common ground. Selina grew up on the streets of Gotham, was untrustin, and cynical; Bruce grew up in a mansion with his own butler, and his first instinct was to trust. The two couldn’t be more different, yet watching them find common ground, fall for one another, and save the city was one of the best parts of Gotham over its five seasons.
1 Worst: Barbara And Jim
There’s no question that Barbara and Jim made compelling allies when they found themselves forced to team up. As a couple however, they just didn’t work.
When dating Jim at the start of Gotham, Barbara was lost. An addict who couldn’t figure out why she was so unhappy, she didn’t fit into the world Jim was making for himself. It wasn’t until she struck out on her own as a villain that she became her own person. Likewise, Jim treated her more like a helpless child than a partner when they were together. It wasn’t until she became a villain that he saw her as capable adult.