Gotham S2E3: The Last Laugh

Good day ladies and germs!

Last night’s episode of “Gotham” was huge and amazing. So much happened in this episode that changed the game going forward… I’m still thinking about it now. Let’s start off with a synopsis I guess.

MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD FOR GOTHAM SEASON 2

In this episode, after Jerome kills his father to frame him for helping him escape,The Maniacs make their move: posing Jerome as a magician and Barbara as his assistant, they infiltrate a children’s hospital charity ball and hold the patrons hostage. Theo decides to play the hero, but ends up getting knocked out by Barbara (all according to plan, of course). They specifically grab Lee and tie her to a wheel just to mess with Jim, and after some time Jerome decides to take his “first official victim of the night”, calling up his “favorite volunteer”, Bruce Wayne. However, at this point Bruce is in hiding behind a curtain, so instead Barbara tells Jerome to call up Alfred to lure him out. When Bruce is about to go and save him, Jim, who had snuck in using a passage that Selina used to get in and out of the building, stopped him, and the two formed a plan to capture Barbara and Jerome. They carry it out, and all goes well until Jerome gets a knife to Bruce’s neck. Jim and Alfred can’t do anything, in case he harms Bruce. However, Theo stands up, surprising Jerome and stabbing the clown in the neck, killing him and the leading theory for Joker candidates. He’s hailed as a hero by everyone, including Bruce, Alfred, and Jim. After all this is shown on television, a number of citizens start to laugh along with him while watching, creating more Joker candidates, including a pair of teens that brutally murder a homeless man before turning on each other. The episode ends in a stunning shot of Jerome lying dead on a coroner’s table, bleeding from his mouth, which is still turned up into a horrifying grin.

So yeah, this episode was crazy. Where to begin?

Let’s start with Jim’s relationship with Lee. It’s starting to fray a little here, with Jim’s start of a descent into darkness after Sarah’s death pulling them apart some. They’re still close obviously, but this may change. Also, when Lee first meets Alfred and Bruce, Alfred starts hitting on her, and it’s obvious that she considers saying yes to one of his date offers, meaning that she and Jim are indeed slowly breaking apart. After watching the end of the episode, though, I’m pretty sure that Lee and Alfred won’t come to be. Alfred’s comments to Bruce when he learns of her and Jim’s relationship make it sound like the writers aren’t planning on going there.

Next, Jim’s descent into darkness. It’s obvious that he’s starting to get obsessed with catching Jerome after what he did to Essen. Where only two episodes before he was unsure about killing anyone in the first place, even a gangster, now he’s killing people on the streets to send the message that Jerome needs to be caught, and he’ll do anything to make sure it happens. As previously stated, it looks like this is also negatively affecting his relationship with Lee. Also, when he goes into the benefit alone, he’s obviously risking his life on this obsession, where most of the other cops wouldn’t, because it was a suicide mission. With the current Batman in comics canon being Jim Gordon, maybe the show is moving towards this happening somewhere in the future of that continuity. It was personally not a change I enjoyed in the comics, but it may be going there.

There’s also Jim’s relationship to Penguin. And no, I’m not talking about Gobblepot, you sick shipping bastards. I’m talking about their business relationship. Obviously it’s seen very differently on either end. Oswald sees it as a friendship – give some, take some. He and Jim can work together for mutual benefit, as they have in the past. However, Harvey points out in this episode how Jim feels about it: he’s purposefully avoiding Oswald, because he’s afraid of the former regime’s policy of blackmail showing itself and threatening him to do more. Obviously this wasn’t a part of Oswald’s plan initially, but someday maybe it will be, as he evolves into the Penguin we all know and hate. Oh yeah, and this episode Oswald starts thinking of getting a new laugh, which will obviously lead to his well-known squawking.

Ever since his introduction, there’s been a lot of talk about who Theo Gallivan was. One theory that I enjoyed was that Theo would turn out to be Ra’s al Ghul, the Demon’s Head, but after this episode, all that is down the drain. It’s obvious to me that his story arc is leading to the Court of Owls, which has already been confirmed to appear in this season. His talk about his family helping to build the city, but getting no credit, is what sealed the deal for me. He isn’t a member of the Court, obviously. Instead, his family was probably excommunicated from it generations ago, and now he’s coming in, not knowing about the Court, though he’ll become a target of them, and will introduce them into the show.

And, of course, The Joker. Jerome was killed off this episode, the leading Joker candidate. This destroys my theory that Barbara becomes Harley Quinn, since I doubt she’ll be getting very close to any other Joker candidates. There is always the chance that she’s the Joker, but I’m still doubting this a little in the back of my mind, since the writers of the show continuously refer to The Joker as a “he”, even with at least one female Joker in comics history. This show also introduces plenty of new candidates, through the people laughing at the television. I highly doubt that the guy from the bar would become The Joker, but any of the others could. If any of them are it, my money’s on the teen that killed the homeless man and his friend. Maybe I’ll write an article on Joker candidates sometime in the future.

So that’s this episode. It was a magnificent piece of showmanship, and, while I’m saddened by the loss of dear Jerome, I feel that they did him justice. This is undoubtedly my favorite episode yet, and I can’t wait to see what else this season does.

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