Gotham is intent on proving that it’s no longer the goofy, terrible show it was last year because for the second week in a row, I found myself shocked by just how entertaining it was from start to finish.
Undoubtedly, the best thing about these two episodes is the serialized storytelling that the show never followed through in its godawful first season. There’s a much longer narrative arc driving Gotham’s sophomore season, and while we really need to save our apologies for crapping and almost giving up on this show last year before we see how they map out its still-long 22 episode season, the show is already benefitting greatly from liberating itself from its procedural elements. I’m sure no one is going to miss the atrocious weekly cases.
The Maniax is a terrific team to take on the villainous role because, unlike Fish Mooney, this group of lunatic inmates are absolutely compelling to watch. Who would’ve thought that Barbara teaming up with Jerome and the rest of the lunatics would be the only way to love this character? All of her scenes were fantastic, especially when she calls Jim and lures him out to an alley and tells him that she’s “free” now. For once, Barbara seemed like one of the most well-developed characters on this show but I’m still not buying into fans’ theories about her becoming the eventual Harley Quinn. Even if Barbara is teaming up with Jerome (the potential future Joker) here, Harley’s backstory is a lot different than what we’ve seen of Barbara so far.
A case should be made for Cameron Monaghan’s excellent and nail-biting performance this week as he’s truly living up to all the Joker hype. That final videotape scene in particular is outstanding and very reminiscent of The Dark Knight. That’s a huge compliment on its own, but even everything prior to that was top-notch. The team taking over the GCPD and putting those officers down one by one was such a suspenseful and terrifying sequence.
And to top it all off, Bruce and Alfred got another superb storyline after the world’s favorite butler gets fired for ruining Bruce’s old man’s computer. Even if it was predictable that he’d come back by hour’s end, their reconciliation was still very heartwarming. David Mazouz and Sean Pertwee have great chemistry together, and I’m so glad the show is realizing that. The more the show acknowledges its strengths, the easier it is for us to forget season one.
– That was one hell of an opening sequence. The inmates dropping bodies from the top of a building and introducing themselves as The Maniax is exactly the kind of creepy/awesome this show can pull off.
– The show isn’t nearly as goofy as it was last year, but it’s certainly having fun with some lighthearted moments. The bit with the mayor’s head locked in a box was batshit crazy though (pun intended).
– I forgot about Scotty, Bullock’s girlfriend. And how could I not?
– Lucious Fox is back! I’m so excited.
– Bruce telling Alfred that he’ll be happy to provide references for future jobs was so cold and sad. Don’t do it again, Bruce.
– Nygma’s transformation is taking a bit long. Come on, show us your dark side already!
– The Maniax (almost) blowing up an entire bus of cheerleaders was both intense and entertaining. God, I can’t believe how fun this episode was.
– I can’t say I’ll miss Commissioner Essen because she was hardly a character on this show, but at least her death was meaningful and brought Harvey back even if I still don’t really like the guy.
Cracks From Gotham
Jerome: Give me an “O”.
Jerome: Give me an “N”.
Jerome: Give me another “O”.
Jerome: What does that spell?
All: “Oh, no”!
Alfred: If it turns out that I can’t trust you, I swear on my mother’s grave, you, my old sausage, are a dead man.
Jerome: You’re all prisoners! What you call sanity, it’s just a prison in your minds that stops you from seeing that you’re just little tiny cogs in a giant absurd machine. Wake up! Why be a cog? Be free like us.
Another great installment from the show’s second season. Could it sustain this level for the rest of the year?