Review: Gotham – Season 2, Episode 3 “The Last Laugh”

I don’t want to say that I’ve done this to myself, but…

Last week, I really liked the episode. This week, not so much. If only I’d kept up my Wall of Hate I wouldn’t be so disappointed now.

When will I learn that Gotham is a clusterfuck that only increases in fuckedupedness with each passing episode?

Usually I would break down the A/B/C story by characters. Since all stories tie to the A story (good job, Gotham writers!) Imma run it down.

We start this episode with a very angry Jim Gordon throwing people out of windows. Yep, the only “good cop” in Gotham is tossing marks out windows like he’s Cusco sans groove. This doesn’t get them anywhere.

Bullock thinks that they should a) throw more dudes out windows, and b) go talk to Penguin as he’s running the underworld now. Jim is all, “NO MY PRECIOUS INTEGRITY (that didn’t matter in the first episode of the season)!” and he storms off through the department. Hey, look! Not all the cops are dead. They all looked pretty damn dead last episode except for like 6 people. Maybe they have a Lazarus pit?

He gives a rousing “whose house?” speech to the surviving detectives which is not answered with the classic refrain “RUN’S HOUSE!”

Missed opportunities, guys.

Leslie (STOP TRYING TO MAKE LEE HAPPEN, SHOW) comes over to tell Jim and his toe thumbs that she’s supports him and blah blah blah. Oh, BTW – there’s a benefit that she’s hosting, with a magician! Is this magician Zatara? NO. (We will discuss this later.) Harvey interrupts their moment to tell Jim that Jerome’s dad is still in Gotham and they dash off to see him (and to probably get Harvey a danish, let’s be honest here.)

Of course, Jerome and Tigress get there first. Jerome sets it up so it looks like a blind man broke his son and 4 other people out of a heavily guarded institution. I love that Jerome leaves a copy of the building plans for Arkham…plans that are not printed in braille.

Jerome tells a “MY MOM FUCKED A CLOWN WHO BEAT ME AND NOW I LIKE TO KILL” story. Then he stabs dear old dad in the eye, but not before he gets a “prophecy” out of him relating to Jerome’s future in Gotham. Jerome’s dad is the blind version of this:

I WISH I WAS BIG THE CLOWN PRINCE OF CRIME!”

Gordon and Bullock bust in just as Jerome kills his dad. Harvey pokes the dead body and sets off knockout gas. Jim and Jerome fight, Tigress kicks Jim in the face, and he’s knocked out.

At the benefit, who should show up but Bruce Wayne and his date Alfred. Bruce doesn’t want to be there. Over at io9, Rob Bricken says it better than I could:

Bruce pouts and wants to leave, and Alfred completely ignores his employer’s wishes all so he can flirt with Leslie, which adds more credence to my theory that in the world of Gotham, Bruce Wayne’s greatest enemy is his asshole butler.

I try to avoid using the word “thirsty” to mean “desperate for the sexing” because I am not young nor am I hip. But, motherfucker, Alfred is THIRSTY in this scene.

I have no problem with an Alfred/Leslie romance – when they’re PEERS. Meaning, when they’re close in age, like, no more than 5 years apart. I am not ok with Leslie boning an Alfred who is old enough to be her father. Close in age? Hell yes, I am here for that shit all day and twice on Sundays. I may even have a smut fic rattling around in my head about an age-appropriate, both late 40s/early 50s Alfred and Leslie fucking each other in front of a Wayne Manor fireplace one cold Christmas Eve. I mean, if I wrote that sort of thing. Which I never would. No. Not me…

Bruce, terrified that Alfred’s boner is going to smack him in the face, slips away when he sees Selina. Selina is picking people’s pockets. Bruce “confronts” her, but he seems more amused than anything. That’s because he loves her. (Is he actually taller than her now or is that a camera angle thing?) He mentions the magician, Selina tells him she hates magicians, which just makes Bruce love her more because they hate the same things. (This is 50% of the Batman/Catwoman relationship. The other 50% is a mutual love of fucking on rooftops.)

Selina then runs off to steal more shit, leaving Bruce to go make awkward eye contact with Leslie while they both pretend not to notice that Alfred’s boner keeps tripping party guests.

Backstage, Jerome has replaced the magician – WHO IS NOT ZATARA. For a show that loves references as much as Gotham does, you’d think they’d throw a line in like:

“First Zatara drops out because his daughter is sick and now his replacement has disappeared! How did you find out about it again, Mr…?”

“RODOLPHO!”

Again, missed opportunities, guys.

The magic show starts featuring Barbara as the assistant. (She’s pretty good here.) The crowd is into it even though it’s magic. Jerome kills the deputy mayor and takes hostages, but not before Leslie recognizes Barbara and calls Gordon.

All hell breaks loose, Alfred punches people using his Fists of Pent Up Sexual Frustration, and Bruce runs after Selina, who saves him by pulling him away from the bullets. Bruce then pulls a “I miss you, Selina” thing BECAUSE THEY ARE MEANT FOR EACH OTHER FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER. OTP OTP OTP TEARS TEARS TEARS.

We all know Selina is going to seek out Bruce in a future episode, her heart all fluttery because he missed her, only to find him sucking face with Silver St. Cloud. Watch. I’d be shocked if I were wrong. WHY CAN’T THEY EVER BE HAPPY? I guess I’ll have to stick to the (legal age!) Batman/Catwoman smut fics that I in no way wrote. Why would I? I’m an adult. Why would I care about two characters who have been meant for each other for 75 years but keep getting driven apart by stupid editorial decisions and should be allowed to LOVE EACH OTHER?

Theo (the Big Bad of the season) tries to be a big hero with a “LET MY PEOPLE GO” speech but Barbara knocks him out with a tiny mallet (adding more evidence to the “Barbra is Proto Harley” theory.)

Selina escapes, Jim sees her and makes her show him how she got out.

Leslie is captured and tied to one of those spinny wheel things. Barbara taunts her with a “JIM AND I ARE MEANT FOR EACH OTHER!!” which…what? Since when does she love Jim? I thought he didn’t understand her and she’s happy because she’s finally free of bullshit? But ok. Sure. Wuv or whatever.

Jim gets inside just in time to see Bruce sacrifice himself to save Alfred’s life/libido. Just before Jerome can slit Bruce’s throat, the guy who people say is Ra’s Al Ghul regains consciousness and stabs Jerome in the neck, killing him. And this is where I lost all faith in this fucking show. The whole reason last episode was so good was because of Jerome. The actor was killing it in the role and the show finally felt like it had a real threat in Jerome. Theo Big Bad isn’t nearly as menacing, and neither is Barbara. The story was on track for Jim to have to overcome serious obstacles to stop Jerome and his crazy. This could lead to amazing character development for Jim and everyone around him. Now none of that can happen because YOU JUST KILLED THE MOST INTERESTING CHARACTER, SHOW! I knew he wouldn’t last forever, but not even a 6-episode arc? Or dying in the “fall finale”?

This also speaks to the larger problem plaguing Gotham since season 1 – the show is moving too quickly. It’s burning plot lines. This isn’t Empire, which is a show that can turn 14 plots to ash in an episode just because, this is a show that needs more of a slow burn. And they continually do themselves a disservice but rushing through things that could lead to great stories if they’d just SLOW THE FUCK DOWN.

Barbara gets away, everyone wants to high-five Theo, and Jim kisses Leslie in front of Alfred to make sure the old man knows she’s off the market. Eww.

Instead of ending it there, we have Jerome’s dad’s voiceover as people all over the Gotham metro area are “infected” by Jerome. Jerome is the Ebola of stabbing hobos in an alley while laughing! I don’t know what I hate more – dead way too early Jerome or Curse-Induced Ebola Joker? Both are terrible.

Things Not Worth Mentioning in the Main Review:

  • Barbara/Tigress flicking each other’s beans because lesbians and DudeBoners
  • “Every evil bastard in the world was just a kid once.” – Harvey Bullock, stating the premise of the show he’s on
  • Barbara/Theo fucking and making Tigress jealous
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