Gotham 2.03 – “The Last Laugh”

We’re now on the third episode of Gotham’s Second Season and it’s showing no signs of slowing down! Things continue to feel high stakes and unpredictable, which is always great to have in a show. You never want to be able to predict too much — even though some things still we’re a bit obviously coming *cough Theo cough.” I don’t want to sound too much like a fanboy and complain about the mythology and origins and all that, so I won’t. Let’s just deal with the episode itself as it’s own story, completely on it’s own. One downside is that Gotham continues to have the characters literally state their motives and intentions and histories, which is annoying and makes me feel like they think the audience is stupid. We aren’t stupid! We can figure things out! Anyways, to the episode…

************SPOILERS BELOW*******************

Last week, Jerome (Cameron Monaghan) and his Arkham Asylum buddies wreaked havoc on Gotham, specifically the Gotham City Police Department, where newly appointed Commissioner Sarah Essen (Zabryna Guevara) was the chief victim. Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie), of course, wasn’t going to take that lightly. He and back-at-it Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) are gonna find Jerome, no matter how many goons they have to throw out windows! Jim is super mad and not even hot girlfriend, Lee (Morena Baccarin), can get his mind off it. He won’t even go to the timely appropriate Children’s Hospital Gala fundraiser that she is throwing! Surely nothing bad will happen there.

Meanwhile, Theo Gavalan (James Frain) finally spells out his motive for us (he literally tell us why he is doing all of this) saying his family used to run the city and he wants it back, while also destroying Jim Gordon for Jim’s ex-girlfriend, Barbara (Erin Richards), who is now sort of his girlfriend and also has been making out with Theo’s “sister,” Tabitha (Jessica Lucas). I don’t really understand this dynamic. Theo also explains that Gotham wants a “hero” and he’s going to give them one. Not gonna lie, I saw this coming. And once again, thanks for so easily spelling out your intentions for the viewers, Theo.

jerometabLater, Jerome and Tabitha track down Jerome’s father: the blind fortune teller from Season One. Jerome then (literally) explains his origin story, saying he was abused and ridiculed as a child in the circus and his dad did nothing to help him! His dad predicts Jerome will have a “legacy of death” and Jerome promptly stabs him in the eye as Jim and Harvey arrive. A weird gas knocks them out, yet Jerome and Tabitha don’t kill them. Why not exactly? Don’t get that.

bruce alfMeanwhile, the Children’s Hospital Gala is in full swing. Everyone is excited for the upcoming magician. Alfred (Sean Pertwee) and young Bruce (David Mazouz) are there. Selina (Camren Bicondova) is also there, pickpocketing and acting like an adult child. Alfred hits on Lee repeatedly and it is very uncomfortable. Luckily, Bruce is the ultimate cockblock and that conversation ends.

As you can predict, Jerome and Barbara pretend to be the magician and his assistant and chaos and guns ensue. They bring Bruce up for a trick, but do nothing to him — only to later search for him. It makes no sense. Jim shows up. He’s always to the rescue! Jerome broadcasts what is going on to the world. Lee is captured and tormented…but the only surprising thing that happens is that Theo stands up against Jerome and saves the day by stabbing Jerome in the neck. Or was this all part of the plan? Barbara escapes and recoups with Theo later. The real fun begins now…

jerome2What could he be talking about? Oh, just the now thousands of Jerome imitators. By killing him, he is now a martyr and a legend. So, that’s great for Gotham. Also, in case you forgot about the Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), he’s still there, twiddling his thumbs as the “King of Gotham.” Yeah, okay…? It’s truly unfortunate that we never got a scene of Jerome with Penguin. That would’ve been amazing!

Overall, the episode was good, keeping up the high stakes and seasonal storyline. It is all still a bit predictable and over-the-top, but I think Gotham is finally starting to find its own personal groove, so that’s good. As for Jerome, we hardly knew ye! He was certainly fun to watch and his smiling corpse will be etched in my mind for days to come.

What did you guys think? Comment below! Did you see Theo’s move coming? Are you glad Jerome is gone? And most importantly, are you now shipping Alfred and Lee? Until next week…

Gotham airs Mondays at 8/7c on Fox. Watch full episodes on Fox.com, Hulu Plus and On Demand (check with your local cable provider).

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Post Author: Ben Fleck