If the essence of the Batman legend has always been the narrow line between sanity and madness, this episode of Gotham – Knock, Knock – crosses over the line. Here, the lunatics don’t so much take over the asylum, as escape and take over the city.
The story arc we are following is basically that of Theo Galavan, who has appeared out of nowhere, arranged a breakout from Arkham, and formed a gang, the Maniax, with the stated view of bringing chaos to Gotham. Their first act – throwing a number of bankers off an office building – seems intended to do nothing but that. But of course Galavan has a wider plan, and Jerome (whether he is to become The Joker or not) is his ringmaster.
Part of Galavan’s plan is to take the place of Mayor James (who we haven’t seen for some time). That worthy has been kidnapped and terrorized, and he’s an easy man to terrorise. Monsters are coming, Galavan promises, and the Mayor won’t be able to stand up to them.
The next moves by the Maniax are even more horrific – a threat to set alight a busload of cheerleaders, followed by a raid on the police precinct which results in the death of several cops including valiant Sarah Essen.
Only this can lure back to the fold Harvey Bullock, who has taken over a bar with his girlfriend Scottie (remember her from “The Fearsome Dr. Crane”?).
Meanwhile, Jim Gordon’s ex, Barbara, sidelined by the Maniax, has taken Galavan’s sister Tabitha as a lover – ooh, kinky – while Alfred has cosied up to Lucius Fox (not in that way) in order to put him to work on Thomas Wayne’s damaged computers.
The final note, though, comes from deranged Jerome, doing his best Jack Nicholson impersonation, and promising ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet”. But we feel that his days must be numbered – he’s known to the police, in fact he’s their number one target, and he’s just crazy enough to get himself killed looking for kicks.
So how, if at all, can Jerome tie in to the legend of the Joker? Could Barbara be his Harley Quinn? And what is Galavan’s real plan for the city?
In a notably violent and, dare one say it, Burtonesque episode, these questions remain unanswered. But Jim Gordon’s path is clear; he’s on a collision course with the Maniax, and inevitably with Galavan. Things are going to get even more brutal.
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