And now, Gotham introduces us to a man who could be crazy, or maybe even mad. And he wears a hat. Because he’s the-okay, skipping the allusions. It’s the Mad Hatter.
The episode begins with hypnotist Jervis Tetch, played by Benedict Samuel, entertaining a crowd at Barbara’s club. He then asks for a volunteer for something more arcane. One man ends up as his participant. Tetch tells the man to listen to his ticking pocket watch and to also look into his eyes. The man is now ready to do something impossible.
Tetch has the man to stand on the back end of a chair, as he’s weightless. Unburdened by fear, he says, means people can accomplish anything. This gets Barbara’s attention. After whispering something to him, Tetch awakens the man from his trance.
Barbara asks Tetch if he can get people to do anything, and he can, but it has to be a wish. Tetch, as luck would have it, is new to Gotham. He doesn’t have a place to stay, but something always pops up for him.
Bruce and Alfred watch the Bruce clone eat and acknowledge how weird this is for him. The clone has a number for a name- apparently someone’s been watching Stranger Things– but he doesn’t remember much before Indian Hill. He woke up in the lab over a year ago and was given books and tests. He only saw other roommates when Fish Mooney freed him. Bruce welcomes the clone to stay for at least the night.
Alfred isn’t a fan of that idea since, you know, this is a copy of Bruce Wayne. At the very least, they should give Lucius Fox a call tomorrow.
Having had their fun, Valerie and Jim get dressed and flirt. Jim is collecting his bounty from the GCPD, but he can spruce things up in case Valerie stops by later. She leaves.
At GCPD, Barnes tells Leslie that the department has missed her and advises her not to worry about Jim since he’s not affiliated with the GCPD. As if on cue, Jim arrives just as Leslie exits the captain’s office. Convenient. Leslie tells Jim that she’s moving to Gotham permanently with her fiancé, as he’s been offered a position at Gotham General. Small city Gotham City is.
That evening, the volunteer from before receives a call from Jervis Tetch, who repeats the phrase from before and then tells the man to head to his door. He answers it and finds Tech and his watch waiting for him.
The lady of the house awakens and heads downstairs to find Tetch approaching her. He tells her that he haunts her dreams like a ghost, so there’s no escape from the Magic Man. Then the man knocks her out from behind. Tetch then tells the man to bury the woman and then kill himself. As he gets to work, Tetch takes a seat and looks at a photo of his sister, Alice, as he’s been searching for her.
Then we cut to Alice herself, played by Naian González Norvind, being chewed out by her landlord over money. Alice has lost her job as of recent, so the landlord, so the wants another form of payment. He goes in for a kiss, but his body reacts harshly to Alice’s touch.
Mayor James tells the press that he’ll be resuming his duties as mayor, but you know who isn’t a fan of that? Oswald Cobblepot. Penguin arrives with yet another mob- where is he finding these people?- and finds it dishonorable that James announce himself Mayor, despite his shady business in the past.
Valerie asks Penguin if he’s challenging James for office, and Penguin is doing just that. One should be legally elected, so Oswald Cobblepot announces his mayoral run and declares that an emergency election be held forthwith.
At Wayne Manor, Alfred trains Bruce when the clone arrives. After being offered to practice, the clone laces up and squares off with Alfred. The clone gets in some pretty damn good punches. The clone is unsure who taught him.
Alfred gets in a punch of his own that causes a nosebleed, but the clone doesn’t even register the pain. Then Bruce notices a scar on the clone’s neck and asks just what the hell happened to him at Indian Hill.
Tetch visits Jim Gordon and asks him to find his sister. Tetch became Alice’s guardian, but her condition proved too much, so Tetch sought out Hugo Strange. Alice had some sort of poisonous ability.
Of course Tetch didn’t go to the police because this is Gotham. After the breakout, Tetch hoped his sister escaped. The GCPD offers five grand for any Indian Hill escapees, so Tetch offers double. He leaves Jim a photo of Alice and contact information.
Oswald’s mayoral campaign is somehow already up and running, but Butch fears politicians above everything else in Gotham City. Penguin feels this is his opportunity to make a legacy. Then Oswald learns that Mayor James wants to meet him alone.
As the clone looks at some photos, Bruce tries to find a reference about the scars. He then hides the clone when Selina makes a surprise arrival to tell him about Ivy’s disappearance. This time, Selina feels that Ivy won’t return. She has a bad feeling, though Bruce finds it odd that Selina even gives a damn. But it’s more than that- no one would even talk to Ivy.
That much is true, yeah. Selina doesn’t give up, though, and wants Bruce’s help, but obviously he’s occupied. It’s not a good time. For this, Selina calls him a selfish son of a bitch. Whoever wrote that line didn’t have a kid in mind, because it sounds awkward hearing it from Selina.
To further prove how small Gotham City is, Jim spots Selina scaling a building and asks for help and offers payment, even though he couldn’t possibly know if Selina is even familiar with Alice, but whatever. Selina explains Ivy’s disappearance and asks if Jim can keep an eye out for her. After seeing the photo of Alice, Selina confirms that she’s from Indian Hill and tells Jim her current job.
Jim does some snooping at a burned out room when three men enter. When they hear about Alice, they tell Jim that she started the fire in this building. Just as the three attempt to teach Jim some manners, a fight breaks out with Jim, despite taking a baseball bat to the skull, overpowering the men.
So Jim then gets an examination from a doctor who I’m gonna assume now is the man that Leslie is dating. As the doctor gets to work, he tells Jim that Leslie speaks very highly of him. The man’s name is Mario Calvi, played by James Carpinello, and he is, indeed, Leslie’s fiancé.
Called it. He tells Jim that he’ll take good care of Leslie. Jim, in response, wishes the best to both of them since he and Leslie are old news. However, if Mario hurts Leslie, Jim will hunt down and kill him. And only after does Jim ask for information on Alice.
Meanwhile, Penguin sits with Mayor James at a restaurant. Penguin feels that the public is behind him, but James calls Oswald an unstable maniac. James has Gotham’s elite behind him. Before Penguin can lash out, James’ reinforcements arrive. Unfortunately, Penguin has even more reinforcements. He tells James that he’ll need help and knows the person in mind.
I’m not gonna question this. Jim arrives at another home when the landlord from before rushes out and attacks him. Alice fires from behind and kills the landlord, telling Jim that she infected the landlord. Jim tells Alice that Tetch is looking for her. But since Alice doesn’t want to be found, she sets fire to the body and flees.
As Bruce sleeps, clone Bruce gets to work cutting his hair. That’s how it starts. The haircut. That morning, Bruce and Alfred find that the clone has escaped with some clothes in order to look more like Bruce.
At Arkham Asylum, Penguin tells a warden that he’ll grant him any request once he becomes mayor. In exchange, Penguin needs his friend to be released. If not, Oswald can leave the man with nothing and have him stay in Arkham forever.
Back at Barbara’s club, Jervis performs on Barbara herself and asks the crowd what they’d like to see her do. So he orders Barbara to find him irresistible. Indeed, when Barbara awakens, she finds herself deeply in love with him, but what if Barbara loves another? That throws Barbara into a rage, as she’s sensitive to rejection. Go figure. Tech snaps her out of it.
Jim arrives at the club and tells Tetch that Alice wants nothing to do with him. It’s a complicated matter. The two take their conversation to the rooftop. Tetch draws Jim to the sound of his watch and puts him under his control. To demonstrate this, Tech orders Jim to take out his gun and put it on the ground. He then tells Jim to climb to the edge of the roof because suspense. Deep down, Jim wants to end this miserable, loveless life.
So Tetch wants to help Jim by having him step off the ledge and find everlasting peace. Before Tetch can finish counting to 10, Alice arrives with a gun at the ready. She tells Tetch to leave her alone or she’ll kill him. She fires her gun, snapping Jim out of his daze, but causes him to fall over for a bit. Alice rescues him, but still gets cuffed.
Edward Nygma, meanwhile, gets a certificate of sanity. The murders were all committed when Nygma was insane, so he’s a free man now. Before Nygma can question this, a car pulls up to Arkham and Nygma receives a visit from an old friend.
Mario and Leslie discuss Jim, as Mario wants to make sure that nothing’s left unsaid. He tells her about his encounter, but their talk is interrupted by the arrival of Mario’s father, Carmine Falcone.
You see, Carmine promised his wife that Mario would never be a part of the criminal life. He’d lead a good life and won’t use the Falcone name. However, one thing would have worried Carmine’s wife: Leslie is too beautiful and all tragedies start with a pretty face. And that beauty makes men like Jim Gordon do crazy things. Leslie assures Carmine that she’s moved past Jim. And with that, the three toast.
Bruce clone somehow knows how to drive a car and spots Selina in a random-ass location. He apologizes for his behavior and offers to take Selina for a ride. Selina notices something off, but accepts Bruce’s offer for dinner. So no one in the city noticed a child driving a car?
Oh, forget it.
Okay, so “Look Into My Eyes” gives us Gotham’s take on The Mad Hatter and he’s fine so far. For as over the top as some villains have been on Gotham, Samuel’s take on Mad Hatter felt pretty grounded, even a bit more so than Penguin back in the pilot. Granted, this is just his introduction, so he could easily turn on a dime, but right now, it’s solid for this show’s standards.
And we do see shades of a darker side through his hypnotism. Between that and his sister’s condition, there’s a more sinister side to these siblings that I hope we’ll learn more about as the episodes progress. And hey, it’s a way to tie Tetch to Hugo Strange and all the experiments going on at Indian Hill. Though, if I wanted to stretch, Alice’s poison abilities feel similar to what I expect from Poison Ivy.
Then you’ve got Jim and Leslie’s reunion, which is just chock full of conveniences. Whether it’s Jim showing up at the precinct just as Leslie is or the three men attacking Jim when he offered to pay them, sending him to the hospital where Leslie’s fiancé works, it was predictable. After all, there’d be no point in Leslie mentioning that her fiancé worked at Gotham General if there wouldn’t be a payoff in the same episode.
So Mario is Falcone’s son. It’s nice to see Carmine return and he does know what honor means, so it will be interesting to see whether Mario really does stay away from a crime life and just pursue Leslie. And even then, would Jim be a thorn in his side? Obviously not since both Jim and Leslie claim that they are over, but from their facial expressions when they talk, you can tell there’s still lingering interest between them.
And there’s definitely still some chemistry between Bruce and Selina. I’m glad the show is taking its time with them instead of shoving the two of them in our faces, as was the case in Season One. While Bruce cares for Selina, he’s got bigger problems to attend to with his clone. But what does the clone want? To just take over Bruce’s life? Maybe learn how to feel since he doesn’t register pain.
As for Penguin, a mayoral run for him makes sense now that he’s got the people of Gotham on his side and sees someone like Mayor James as old hat. Hopefully we don’t get a repeat of what happened when Galavan ran for office. Why Oswald needs Nygma on his campaign, I don’t know, but hey, hopefully this will give us some more Penguin and Nygma interactions.
By the way, the scene of Penguin one-upping James with his armed followers gave me a big “Almost Got ‘Im” vibe from Batman: the Animated Series. Could just be me looking for a Batman reference.
“Look Into My Eyes” was pretty good. Mad Hatter made a good introduction so far and with him still out there, I’m certain he’s about to cause some mayhem in the city. Meanwhile, Jim gets another love triangle with Leslie’s return, which could be complicated by her connection to Falcone. And is Selina smart enough to see that she’s going out with a Bruce Wayne clone? We’ll see.