Well that was unexpected.
There was so much to love about The Last Laugh, an unsubtly titled episode which proved (for the third time in a row) that Gotham might be a good show (and therefore increasing the chances of it getting cancelled soon). Looking back at it, Jerome’s death is undoubtedly the most shocking and noteworthy event that occurred in this hour. I was almost certain that if he wasn’t going to become the Joker, that he would at least last the entire season.
So there goes the show again, defying all odds and delivering a game-changing, risky hour that’s both fantastic and troublesome. It’s fantastic because the show has been delivering such an incredible streak of episodes in the past 3 weeks, shifting the focus on a more serialized narrative and eliminating all the unnecessary characters in the process. It’s hard not to worry, though, that Jerome’s death will only bring back the useless weekly cases no one ever wants to see. Galavan is more than capable of handling the villainous role perfectly (as his despicable actions this week solidified), but he hasn’t officially announced that he is evil yet. So it worries me that until the GCPD and everyone in Gotham finds out that Barbara and Galavan are teammates (and a little more; sorry, Tabitha), the show might resort back to some procedural elements to waste time. Let’s hope the writers continue to defy my expectations though.
What worked about this week’s episode was the inclusion of Bruce Wayne into the lunatics’ terrifying plans. So far, the show has always had Bruce on a subplot that’s separated from the GCPD and all its crazy criminals, so it was a very welcome change to see these two worlds collide for once. Jerome calling after Bruce was chilling and very Joker-like, and Barbara working with him continues to be an impressive transformation from the ill-developed, dull Barbara we saw last season. I didn’t even mind how she managed to escape because that was mostly Jim’s fault for not attempting to search for a secret hatchet or something and rather consenting to the notion that she “disappeared”.
In fact, Jim continues to be the unfortunate disappointment of a so-far exhilarating season. He and Bullock investigating again was boring and useless because, as always, we knew where Jerome and Barbara were but had to sit there and watch these two buffoons slowly figure it out on their own. It was like a weekly case all over again, sadly.
It’s a shame to say goodbye to Cameron Monaghan so early. He’s been the MVP this season, but let’s hope the writers know what they’re doing and still have exciting stories to tell, even without their most compelling character.
– Jim throwing bad guys out the window in slow-mo wasn’t the most interesting teasers I’ve seen on this show. Again, that’s all Jim’s fault. The character needs to improve drastically.
– The show still needs to do something about Selina. She wasn’t nearly as useless and annoying as she was the last time we saw her, but she’s so disconnected from everything else happening, it’s distracting.
– They really built up the whole “there’s gonna be a magician” thing quite a bit. The city’s fascination with magic is very amusing.
– I didn’t really enjoy Alfred’s awkward subplot with Leslie. It was mostly unnecessary.
– Jerome’s interactions with his father were compelling. I wish we saw more of that.
– It’s kind of funny that the city is throwing a gala in the midst of a time where a group called The Maniax just shot several officers and barged into the GCPD. Ah, this show sometimes is still so season-one.
– I was so worried Leslie was going to die. Phew, thank God that didn’t happen.
– Bullock doesn’t get a lot of good scenes, but I really loved his speech to Penguin in the end.
– That final sequence is one of the most memorable and chilling endings this show has ever done: Jerome’s laugh inspiring criminals/lunatics everywhere to take on his legacy. While it’s slightly disappointing to see the show saying that the Joker was inspired by Jerome rather than the famous laugh being part of his own personal identity, I still love the idea that on this show the Joker is merely a thought and not one particular person.
Cracks From Gotham
Barbara: So you’re going to take over Gotham by releasing a bunch of loonies? Awesome plan.
Bullock: Call yourself whatever you want, man. The king of Gotham…but to me, you’ll always be that little umbrella boy.
Another week, another surprisingly compelling episode of Gotham’s second season.