I don’t know how I feel about this episode. On one hand, it was the exact kind of useless crap I’ve come to expect from Gotham. But on the other hand, why was it ridiculously entertaining?
Maybe the show’s inability to produce consistent and well-written material in the first half of the season is limiting my expectations when I decide to watch a new episode, because even with all the mess and horrendous procedural format we saw this week, I wasn’t bored. The Bruce storyline in particular was a highlight (obviously). His involvement in his parents’ company and the meeting he held at the end was captivating. I’ve said it so many times before but it really deserves repeating: David Mazouz is incredible. There isn’t a single moment when he’s on-screen that the show feels weak or shallow; truly the best casting decision this show has made so far.
Equally captivating is the development between Leslie and Jim. I loved that they were the ones investigating this time (sorry you had to sit this one out, Bullock) even if it meant them accidentally stumbling into evidence, listening to a blind man deliver them messages from the beyond, and literally have a snake lead them to a body (I still can’t believe that actually happened). With all those ridiculous subplots, though, came the payoff that Leslie and Jim’s relationship is moving forward. And when Barbara (yes she returned, to everyone’s dismay) walked in on them kissing, I literally giggled out the Joker laugh.
Speaking of which, we MAY have seen his backstory. It was never clear from the start whether Jerome will become the Joker on this show, but props to the actor for delivering quite an impressive performance. I found him lame and ludicrous the first time he showed up (for a few seconds), but his final, albeit a bit long, interrogation scene with Jim, Leslie, and his father was thrilling if only because of Cameron Monaghan’s bone-chilling act. That laugh is still etched in my head, and if he ever shows up again as Batman’s future arch-nemesis, I wouldn’t mind at all. It’s a tough role to fill after Heath Ledger’s mind-blowing performance in The Dark Knight, but Cameron did a fine job here tonight.
But at the end of the day, looking back at this episode, it’s hard to see this as anything more than “mediocre” because, like with every single Gotham episode, nothing really important happened. I’m just gonna sit here and wait for this show to actually kick off anytime soon because so far it’s been nothing but a complete circus.
– More ridiculous moments: Fish Mooney literally standing on a man’s back in the underground prison and giving a horrendous speech. I HATED that entire subplot so much, it’s starting to sicken me.
– I appreciate the show’s reluctance to literally say the words The Joker here because it added more needed-mystery to this character. After all, Jerome might just be a red-herring, even in a show as not subtle as Gotham.
– I really wished Jerome killed his father right there, during that interrogation scene.
– I wanted more Ed Nygma this week!
– I don’t want to see Butch dancing on this show ever again. Or anyone else dancing on this show.
Cracks From Gotham
Jim: What you said earlier…about hypocrisy, sharing lives. You’re right, let’s go.
Leslie: I’m what?
Jim: Why did you kill your mother, Jerome?
Jerome: Oh you know how mothers are. She just kept…pushing. And I’m like, fine mom. Be a whore. Be a drunken whore even. But don’t be a nagging, drunken whore. You know? Don’t come yell at me to do the dishes if you’ve been banging a clown in THE NEXT ROOM! …you know? (laughs hysterically)
Bruce: I haven’t told you all I know.
Man: No? What else is there?
Bruce: I hope you do look closely into these issues. ‘Cause I’ll be raising them at the next shareholders meeting with a view of possible legal action.
Despite all the hype, this episode was still weak and ridiculous because Gotham is unwilling to let go of its procedural format.