WARNING: Spoilers

Last week, I said Gotham’s season two premiere was it’s best episode, yet.  Well, episode two already topped it.  The show is excelling with more action, more potent characterization, and more of  intriguing storylines.  It’s cut the fat of season one, which tried to set-up to many characters at once.  So far, this season hasn’t tried to jam pack everyone in a episode either, which made the show feel cluttered.   It’s not without flaws, mainly regarding Bruce Wayne, but so far, it’s other storylines are overpowering my quips with it.


Bruce Wayne, and this very early evolution into what seems like Batkid, has definitely been more interesting since finding the cave, but there seems to be an unnecessary need in creating tension.  My issue arises with the relationship with Bruce and Alfred.  Alfred smashes the cave’s computer after seeing a bulletproof vest, guns, and empty shells. He believes the information will be more harmful to Bruce than good.  Bruce is deeply upset by this, as nothing will stop him in finding and studying his father’s work; thus, Bruce fires Alfred.  However, Alfred is Bruce’s legal guardian, which he confirms in a conversation with Lucius Fox.  I don’t care how rich Bruce is; he can’t live without or fire his legal guardian, so that bothered me.  It does get resolved, as Bruce makes a deal that if Alfred comes back he must train him and fix the computer in exchange to going back to school, but it’s sloppy writing and a little insulting to the audience.

That being said the rest of the episode was brilliant, mostly regarding Jerome Valeska, the future Joker.  His development has been a breath of fresh air.  I mean if batfans aren’t going to see The Dark Knight himself, they have to compensate with one of the greatest villains ever.  Jerome Valeska is currently being cultivated by Theo Galavan, the mastermind behind breaking out Jerome, Barbara Kean, and the rest of the Arkham Asylum gang.  The group is now calling themselves the MANIAX with Jerome taking a vital leadership role and they are killing everybody out there!

Cameron Monaghan, who is playing Jerome, is spot on with his twisted mannerisms, quirky evil jokes, and erupting laughter.  He is really providing a spark to the show and a good homage to the infamous comic book character.  The characters progression has been consuming.  After the premiere, Jerome has really taken charge.  He lead the MANIAX in three separate murderous missions.  First they needed to mark their presence, which they accomplished by throwing shipyard workers off the roof of a building.  Then, they hijacked a school bus filled with young cheerleaders, doused them with gas, and attempted to set them ablaze, but the lighter wouldn’t light so they ended up just killing cops in a one-sided mirage of bullets.  The lighter thing was a bit cliche; however, the show is on basic cable and not everything can be Game of Thrones, so it’s understandable.  Finally, in a huge massacre that reminded me of Nolan’s Batmans, the gang dressed up as cops and proceeded to kill or injure the whole department including Commissioner Sarah Essen.  Jerome looks to be in full bloom as Joker, just without the label.  In between missions, Robert Greenwood, a cannibal, challenged Jerome’s status within the MANIAX hierarchy.  Theo let them decide captainship with a game of Russian Roulette, in which Jerome took three turns and effectively won.  Later, Jerome just shoots Greenwood amongst the police station takeover. It’s only a matter of time before he challenges Theo Galavan for complete control, or goes solo.  Gotham has surprisingly handled the Joker extraordinary well.


Other characters are growing as well, even with brief screen time.  Barbara Gordon is accentuating her crazy, whipping the captured mayor with Tigress, and then luring Jim Gordon out of the station during the police station takeover.  After he gets pummeled, she straddles him, telling him “I’m not sick. I’m free!” with a blood smudged face from kissing his smashed face.


Edward Nygma continues to develop his schizophrenia, especially after botched conversations with his co-worker crush.  He now has begun talking to a glassesless “cooler” version of himself.

Jim, even after his soul crushing work for Penguin, seems to be static.  Perhaps the show will get back to that moral delimia because otherwise his character is a little dry, a little predictable, and a little boring.  Oh, and Harvey Bullock is back!

Overall, Gotham, has reached new ground with great characterization and developments of the MANIAX villain group.  They are more compelling than Morone, Falcone, Penguin, and definately Fish Moony.  Also, the flow of the show is vastly helped when it limits the character arcs in an episode. Penguin and Selina Kyle weren’t present at all and others, as mentioned, had limited, yet important screen time.  The show is best when it limits transitions and focuses on the development on a singular character.  In this instance, it was Jerome. The Joker is here!

I give this chapter a 4.5 out of 5 stars, or a strong A-.

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