Review: Gotham (S2 E3/22), Monday 25th January, Channel 5

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Gotham_Season_2_The_Last_Laugh_Recap_Header_Jerome_Knife_Bruce-850x560With Essen dead and the Maniax on the rampage, Jim and Harvey do what they do best – beating suspects – in an attempt to find crazy Jerome, and equally crazy Barbara. If the first two episodes of the season set a high standard, this one passes it, certainly in terms of shocks, violence and action.

We know that Galavan has a plan – that the chaos caused by the Maniax is not an end in itself – but here the plan takes form.

Incidentally, Jerome kills his father and leaves evidence that he planned the Arkham breakout, but this is distraction; the real target seems to be Bruce Wayne.

Galavan plans a fundraising event to which Bruce, Alfred, Leigh, Jim and Selina are invited; not on the guest list are Jerome and Barbara, who take the place of the magician and assistant, and look like they’re planning to do in little Bruce.

This is just the sort of setup you would expect Batman to crash with spectacular results, but here of course the hero is Jim. Or is it? It’s Galavan who kills Jerome and saves Bruce. Jerome is baffled by his own unexpected death, and perhaps we are too. Was this not the character destined to become The Joker? The clues were there in the laugh, the grin and the pranks, but of course there were counter-indicators too; the name, the background, the all-too-obvious deathwish.

No, Jerome is not The Joker; but his anarchic sociopathy plants an evil seed in Gotham, and one day The Joker will spring from it. His legacy will indeed be death and madness.

So if Jerome isn’t The Joker, Barbara of course can’t be his sidekick Harley Quinn (again, the backstory was wrong anyway) – but Barbara’s character has evolved from being vapid and uninteresting to being fascinatingly freaky.

In this episode she looks great in spangles has a fabulous bitch-fight with Lee, and hooks up with both Galavan and his sister; so maybe Barbara will turn out to have more potential as a villain than Jerome in the end.

But all this leaves Galavan in the position of power he wants, the saviour of Bruce Wayne and a hero to the city; so what is his plan, and how will Barbara help him attain it? Jim would seem to be the key to both, and we can see him falling under Galavan’s spell. But who is left to see through the machinations of this master plotter? Our money’s on Selina, so place your bets.

Chris Jenkins

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