THE MAN WHO LAUGHS
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
There’s only one place to start with this week’s Gotham review, and that’s with whether or not we just saw this shows version of the Joker. This episode had been billed as the beginning of the Joker’s story, and it certainly seemed like an origin of sorts. After watching the episode, I’m not exactly sure what to think. Everything we see here points to Jerome being the future “Clown Prince of Crime,” but was it too obvious? The Joker’s hidden history has always been a big part of his character, so having it laid bare in such a way may be off-putting to some fans. Hell, I’m not too big a fan of the idea of having the Joker on the show at all, but I’m willing to see where this leads.
Cameron Monaghan did a fine job playing the deranged Jerome. He may have veered a little too close to Heath Ledger territory, but Jerome’s switch from quiet young man to full blown psychotic was suitably unsettling. The murder mystery case preceding the Jerome revelation was little by the numbers, with a whole circus full of suspects getting wheeled into the GCPD. Continuing the trend of introducing important members of the Batman universe, John Grayson and his future wife Mary, AKA Robin/Nightwing’s parents, were introduced. This felt like a little one off appearance to me, with Gordon playing a vital role in them getting together and a nice nod to their yet to be born son.
I’m still really enjoying the Gordon and Leslie material. They have great chemistry together and their romance has progressed quite well following on from that first rushed kiss. They teamed up a lot to solve the case this week, with Bullock taking a backseat to proceedings throughout. The big worry now is how long this new romance can last. A very drunk Barbara returned to town intent on getting Gordon back. To say Barbara isn’t very well liked is a massive understatement, but I’m hopeful that teaming her up with Ivy and Selina may show us a different side of her.
The Fish Mooney side of things dragged the episode down a little. I enjoyed seeing Fish manipulate her way to the top of the prison food chain last week, but it seems to have gotten out of hand with people already sacrificing themselves for her plan. Her segments were mostly filler this week, with it taking the entirety of the episode to set up a meeting between her and the mysterious person in charge of the prison. Also stuck in filler territory is Penguin. I was worried about what exactly he would do now that he has no open conflict left, and the answer seems to be placating his mother and running the club into the ground. I’m not really sure what Penguin is going to get up to until Fish comes back into the picture, but a brainwashed Butch will surely add to the tension.
This was a solid episode of Gotham, one that will long be remembered as the episode that potentially introduced the Joker. Due to a strong performance by Cameron Monaghan, I’m kind of curious to see what they could do with the character. On the flipside however, I would be perfectly fine with never seeing him again. If he is indeed the Joker, then I’m a firm believer that less is more when it comes to the character’s origin. Along with the filler and Gordon’s burgeoning romance with Leslie, Bruce stirred up a real hornet’s nest in the Wayne Enterprises’ boardroom. It’s been a little while since this story took center stage on the show, but young Bruce may find himself in mortal danger again quite soon.
Do you think Jerome is the real Joker, or did you think it was all a big ruse to distract us? Tweet your thoughts @OldSnake24 or let me know in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow us @YouNerded.
79/100 – Good
*We do not comment on anything relating to previews for the next episode and beyond.
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