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GOTHAM Review: The Last Laugh

Warning: this review contains spoilers

After last week’s shocking ending, we find Jim and Harvey trying to find a lead on the Maniax case. This episode starts off strong with a fun interrogation scene with Gordon and Bullock. It’s nice to have the two working together again. Harvey and Jim have good chemistry and make the episode. Hopefully they can keep this for the remainder of the season, because things are about to get weird.
We see Jerome and Barbara at his father’s house. Jerome plans on blaming his father for his escape from Arkham Asylum, setting up evidence that makes it look as if the whole plan was his idea. His father then tells Jerome what he sees in his future (apparently he’s psychic?). Giving him a prophecy of him being a curse upon Gotham and his legacy will be death, things that make all parents proud. Jerome then straight up kills him with a knife to the eye. This whole scene was bizarre, the way it was shot, the dialog, and prophecy. I’m not sure what they were going for here, should we be  angry at Jerome? I don’t think so because we don’t really even now his father. We don’t have much sympathy for him, he’s just a blind guy that Jerome wants dead. It was a scene that didn’t work at all, and I don’t see how it added anything to the show because Jim and Harvey dismiss the idea of him being in on the plan within five minutes.

So now we have Bruce, Alfred, and Leslie at a fundraiser, a magic show to be exact. Bruce, Leslie and Alfred have some good banter here. Alfred flirting with Leslie was a really fun moment and a nice running gag throughout the episode. We don’t see this side of Alfred often so this was a pleasant surprise. While at the magic show Bruce runs into Selina, they have an awkward moment (as usual) and then she disappears. Selina finally makes a decent appearance in this season. She only appeared in the season premiere for a couple of minutes then she was missing in action. She doesn’t add much to the episode (besides brief interactions with Bruce), but it’s good to see her back in the fold. So far Selina has been lost this season. They never give her anything to do, and when she is present she does absolutely nothing! She can be written out of the show and we’d never notice. I hope they have a decent story arc for her because she’s just being wasted.

On to the magic show! The magician could not make the show so he sent someone to take his place, that someone(s) obviously being Jerome and Barbara. This was pretty easy to figure out once you knew there was going to be a magic show. Leslie realizes that the magician is Jerome and his assistant is Barbara, so she calls Jim before being kidnapped. Jim sees Jerome on television and calls for back up. This was the best part of the episode. Jerome takes the stage and just becomes the Joker. Regardless of what you think of the character, he sells this performance. The laugh, the grin, the gag gun etc. he was the embodiment of the Joker. This is as close to the Joker he is ever going to get.
They somehow got this broadcast on every single channel in Gotham City and mange to kill the mayor. Bruce and Alfred are still in here with Jerome and Barbara. With all the gunfire Bruce rushes to find Selina against Alfred’s wishes. Selina leads Bruce to a back exit so they can escape, but Bruce refuses because he won’t leave without Alfred. Selina leaves without Bruce while he goes back for Alfred. This scene doesn’t make sense, if he won’t leave without Alfred, why did he leave him in the first place? If they had gotten out when Alfred said they all would have been safe, but since they didn’t Alfred ends up as Jerome’s next target instead of Bruce.

With Bruce out looking for Selina, Jerome decides to kill Alfred instead. Jim finally comes in with the rest of his squad and plan on taking down Jerome, but if Bruce doesn’t come forth and takes Alfred’s place Alfred is dead. Bruce and Jim work together to save Alfred and Leslie from Jerome and Barbara. The two villains still have time to escape until the unexpected happened, Theo Galavan kills Jerome in cold blood. Galavan has a plan; he wants to be the savior of Gotham. If the people believe he’s a hero they’d never suspect he’s the one controlling villains. This was a twist that needed to happen, having Jerome gone should give other some villains a chance to shine.
Bruce, Alfred, Leslie and Jim all thank Galavan for his bravery and courage after taking down Jerome. Galavan says if they ever need anything just call because they are fighting for the same thing. The final scene of the episode is strange to say the least. We have voice-over of Jerome’s father giving the prophecy, and we see boys and adults watching Jerome on the news as they start laughing, hinting at more men like Jerome, more Jokers. Jerome had the last laugh.

I’m not quite sure what they were trying to do with that last scene. It felt forced, like they have to show us that the real joker is out there somewhere. If they believe they have to give us the joker they don’t really know the Joker. The Joker is unpredictable, we don’t know where he came from or why he is the he is, it’s a mystery. Maybe that was their way of keeping it a mystery, but they are never that subtle.
Overall this episode was the weakest of the season, but it was still a solid outing. I liked what they did with Jim, Bullock and Leslie but the villains plans and motives didn’t make much sense except for Galavan. The show is going to be in a completely different place next week, hopefully it’s for the better.

Gotham airs Mondays at 8/7c on FOX.

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