Sunday, 31 January 2016

TV Review No. 6 Gotham: The Last Laugh (S2, Ep3)

Strong Points:
Action
Humour
Great acting especially from Jerome, Barbara and Bullock
Fast-paced
Evenly spaced out between all characters (no one seemed to just be in there to be there)
Great character development...

Weak Points:
...which may have been cut short
No Nygma
Cringe worthy scene with Alfred
Actors acting as their character acting never turns out good
Disguises were like Jessie and James from Team Rocket
The writers seem to still have no definite goal in sight

Spoilers ahead:
In-depth Review:

Choo Choo! The Gotham train is whistling ahead at full pelt, with this episode covering more ground than the first half of season 1. There were deaths, phone calls, hostages, cheese tasting and backstabbing (one of these is not true, guess which) and no stopping in sight, at least for some characters. Other characters, such as Jerome, the deputy mayor, the commissioner (from last episode) and Harvey's sobriety will never see the light of day again.

The synopsis of the episode is that Jerome and his ever decreasing gang of Maniax are interrupting a gala for a children's hospital so as to gain screen time and fame in Gotham city. They do this by disguising themselves as magicians (in what can only be described as Jessie and James uniforms), ready to perform in said gala. They then invite Bruce to participate in a magic trick and while removing Bruce from the Gotham equation may have allowed it to venture out a bit more in terms of story, today was not the day. Instead, the deputy mayor gets stabbed and a hostage situation takes place.

Galavan then walks up to Jerome and Barbara and asks them to stop with the violence. They of course, don't oblige and Barbara proceeds to hit him on the head with a hammer, knocking him unconscious. This is of course, all part of the plan as Galavan wants to be seen as a hero to Gotham. How to do this? Set up an increasingly elaborate and bloody charade involving a team of maniacs, a children's hospital and the death of the people he wants to think he's a hero, of course! You know, he could just donate to charity or something? Anyway, the conversation between Jerome and Galavan to 'get him to stop' was the cringiest of cringe. Something about actors having to play a character acting never seems to work and the fact that Lee or any of the others couldn't spot anything wrong (they didn't kill Galavan unlike with anyone else) was a bit odd.

Talking about cringe, there was a delightfully odd scenario of Alfred trying to get a date with Lee before realising that she was with Gordon. I guess this was used to diffuse the tension of the situation as the show is still young adult but it was a bit odd. In other news, Selina was back and as stubborn as always but you could see some slight character growth when she helped Bruce to escape instead of just running away by herself.

In the end, Galavan wakes up and stabs Jerome in the neck in a twist that I wouldn't have seen coming if I hadn't read it when doing some research about last weeks episode for the review (why can't the US and the UK have the same showing times!). Running parallel to that was a conversation between Harvey and Penguin with Penguin lamenting over Jerome's inept skills before Harvey comes in and demands what's going on with Penguin and Gordon. This conversation allowed us to see two of the best actors in the series which was nice to see, although I do feel sorry for Harvey as he was trying to build a life before having to return to the force.

Another thing that was quite nice to see was some Dark Knight parallels emerging. When Jerome try's to frame his father for the breakout of Arkham, we were treated to a nice little monologue about how bad his father is. We were also so close to the line 'let's put a smile on your face' (he was holding a knife and everything) but, alas, Gordon arrived. Penguin also pointed out that Jerome was causing 'chaos for chaos' sake' another parallel to the Dark Knight and a contrast to season 1 where most of it was organised crime compared to the lunatic plots of this season.

One disappointment about the whole twist ending is that we won't be able to see Jerome again, a character and actor that has really developed over the past couple of episodes into one of the best. This is my major problem with the series at the moment as it seems to be making great characters only to see them killed straight away without us being able to see what they truly possess.

Conclusion: overall it was quite a good episode with unpredictable twists and turns. Hopefully, with this fast a pace, Gotham won't run out of steam before the end of the season.

Rating: 79%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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