A Look at Gotham- Season 3, Episode 14: “Mad City: The Gentle Art of Making Enemies”

You know the thing about chaos?  It’s fair.  And in Gotham City, the everyday citizens just need a little push to embrace their darker sides, assuming most people in Gotham even have good sides to them.  Point is with Jerome switching off the lights and mass hysteria in the city, it’s a dangerous night to be in Gotham City.  Let’s jump into the winter finale with “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies.”

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The episode begins with the GCPD precinct under attack.  Jim, Harvey, and the rest fight off as many people as they can, but the crazies continue to stream in with no sign of Jerome in sight.

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Penguin and two flunkies arrive at a garage and find an unharmed Nygma.  Oswald is overjoyed to see his friend, but Nygma has other plans, as he quickly guns down Oswald’s two cohorts.  He then shows Isabella’s wrecked car to Oswald and admits that he knows what Oswald did.  Now it’s Nygma’s time for revenge.

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With panic in the streets, Kathryn- remember her?- speaks with an unnamed man named played by James Remar.  Remar’s character has a name, but we’ll get to that later.  The two discuss the current panic in Gotham, with Kathryn noting that the city will bend long before it breaks.  The man believes that the GCPD can fix this mess, and Kathryn notes that this faith in Gordon could be dangerous.

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Back at the GCPD, power is still out and there’s no word on Jerome’s location.  Mobs have taken over the city and now ordinary citizens have taken Jerome’s words to heart. This would be a good time to have a leader calm things down, but Mayor Cobblepot is currently missing.

However, Jim figures that if Jerome is taken down since he’s the symbol, the public might calm down.  The task now is finding out what he wants since he wanted to plunge the city into darkness.  Jim goes to find Leslie.

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Nygma secures Oswald to Isabella’s car and tells him all about his plan, including stealing the remains of Oswald’s father- which now rest in a dumpster.  Oswald forgives Nygma, saying that killing him isn’t the way, and soon confesses to killing Isabella.  Hell, he thinks Nygma should thank him.  Ed counters that he could’ve been happy, but Oswald is certain that Ed would have eventually killed Isabella, just as he did with Miss Kringle.

After, Ed would’ve hated himself, but then Oswald admits that he did it for love.  Ed doesn’t believe that.  To him, love is about sacrifice and putting someone else’s needs before your own, and Ed believes that Oswald would sacrifice anyone to save himself.

Nygma then shows off his death trap, which looks more to the point than the one he had in Batman Forever.  Suspended above Oswald is a cauldron of acid that’s being held in place by a chain.  Once the ice block melts, the chain will loosen and the acid tips. Oswald pleads for his life, saying that his love for Ed proves that he can change, but Ed believes these are the words of a desperate man about to die.

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Back at GCPD, when Jim asks Leslie if Jerome said anything vital, Leslie responds that Jerome did say that he wanted his face back…and that he asked if Leslie was still with Jim, so of course Leslie brought up how Jim killed Mario.  When Leslie is done being an ass, she eventually admits that Jerome didn’t tell tell her his plan, but he did remember that the last thing he planned to do before he died was kill Bruce Wayne.

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As if on cue, we cut to Wayne Manor, where Alfred and Bruce get a phone call.  Before Alfred can answer, he senses someone else in the room and is knocked out before he can stop Jerome and his cronies from entering the room.  They start trashing the place and Jerome soon gets his hand on and smashes the owl figurine.

Jerome tells Bruce that he’s here to kill him.  Bruce remembers the night that Jerome took over the benefit.  He’s not afraid, though- just disappointed.  After Jerome comes back to life and makes this spectacle, killing Bruce in Wayne Manor when few will see it lacks flair. This isn’t some regular kid.  Bruce Wayne’s death should mean something, damn it!

So yeah, maybe Jerome should have an audience.  Jerome figures that Bruce is stalling to buy time, but he does agree that it’s time to take this murder show on the road. Jerome knows the perfect spot.  He takes Bruce with him, but Alfred is to remain at the manor.

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Back at the death trap, Oswald’s life hangs in the balance and acid drips between his legs when a lone officer enters the area.  Oswald pleads for help, but the officer demands to know what Oswald did.  Since there’s no time for an explanation, the officer cuts through Oswald’s ropes and frees him just in time as the acid spills over and eats through the car.

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Back at Wayne Manor, Alfred taunts and distracts the henchmen long enough for Jim to enter so he and Alfred can overtake them.  Alfred then tells Jim that Jerome has taken Bruce hostage.

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Where at?  Some theme park from hell that is apparently the one spot in Gotham City that still has power, despite Jerome cutting the power, but whatever.  Jerome’s goons put Gotham’s citizens in the games and royally screw with them.  Jerome beckons Bruce for some fun before the main event.

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At GCPD, Jim and Alfred discuss Bruce’s situation when Bullock enters and tells them that Jerome and his followers have taken over a few places over town, including the Boardwalk Circus.  And remember that Jerome was raised in a circus.  The three head off with a strike force set to meet them at the location.

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Back at the circus, Jerome isn’t a fan of Bruce’s new paint job, so he fixes it by stabbing one of the clowns and smearing fresh blood on Bruce’s face.

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Oswald returns to the manor and finds Butch and Tabitha waiting to finish him.  They were instructed by Barbara to not kill Oswald, but Butch doesn’t see Barbara as his boss. Penguin taunts Butch, saying that his days of being someone in Gotham are over.

But Tabitha reminds Oswald of when she put a knife in Gertrude’s back.  Penguin had a chance to get revenge by killing Tabitha, but didn’t, so he shouldn’t try to turn her and Butch against each other.  The two take him hostage.

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Back at the carnival, Bruce asks Jerome if there’s a plan to this madness, but Jerome insists that the people don’t want a plan- just an excuse to do terrible things.  All they need is a little push.  Bruce is confident that a few maniacs won’t hold the city hostage forever, and that’s true, but Jerome’s point the average people in Gotham City have shown their true colors now that the lights are out.  That’s the point.

Bruce is confident that there are good people in Gotham, but Jerome believes otherwise. In his mind, Gotham has no heroes.  Before Jerome can go through with the dunking game, Bruce pushes him.  He’s ready to fight, but Jerome just pushes the button and drops the man into into the vat of piranhas.

As Jerome staples his face, he then his staple gun on Bruce, who soon buckles under the pain.  Time for the main event.  At the same time, Jim, Harvey, and Alfred arrive at the carnival with backup still two minutes due to the riots. The three soon head in.

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Under the big tent, Headmaster Jerome is ready to begin the show when he silences one goon in particular for being too loud.  He congratulates his followers on successfully bringing chaos to Gotham City and thanks them by presenting Bruce Wayne himself. As Gotham’s billionaire playboy is brought out, Jerome begins loading a cannon with a cannonball and sharp objects.  Of course.

As Jerome loads the cannon, Bruce manages to pull one of the staples out of his arm and uses it to loosen the handcuffs.  As Jim, Alfred, Bullock, and the rest of GCPD arrive, Bruce drops one of the staples, but he makes use of another one and escapes just before the cannonball fires.

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At the nightclub, Oswald is brought before Barbara and deconstructs her entire plan to turn Nygma against him and destroy everything that Oswald created, all ending with his death.  And now that Barbara has what she wants, there’s no need for Nygma.  As for Oswald’s options: he can either help Barbara find Ed and live or stay quiet and die.

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As Bruce escapes into a hall of mirrors, Jerome follows him.  Bruce steps out and admits that he wanted Jerome to follow him.  It’s time for Jerome to pay.

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Barbara orders Oswald to call Nygma and say that he’s alive now that Ed knows Oswald isn’t the head of the underworld anymore.  Oswald won’t give up Nygma to save himself. He thinks back to Ed’s words about selflessness.  Sure, Oswald should want Nygma dead, as Ed betrayed him, but Oswald now doesn’t even know if he ever loved Nygma. Ed just happened to see Oswald as no one else had since his mother.

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But Oswald killed Isabella because he wouldn’t share him.  Oswald should’ve been ready to sacrifice his happiness for Ed’s, so he’s now ready to die.  It’s so insane that even Ed can’t believe it, as he soon enters the scene.  Oswald now sees that Barbara and Ed were in this together because Ed wanted to take what Oswald believed, not just what he had.

He wanted Oswald to die knowing he was incapable of loving another person, but since Oswald has just proven that he can, Ed is unsure how to proceed from here.

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Back in the hall of mirrors, Jerome sets his gun down and beckons Bruce to come. Bruce, believing that Alfred has been killed, is ready to do what’s right.  He tackles Jerome from behind- not Jerome’s favorite move- and punches Jerome over and over, but Jerome just laughs and taunts Bruce to keep letting out his anger.  Before Bruce can deliver a killing blow, he looks at the mirrors and sees what he’s about to become.

He leaves Jerome and heads outside to reunite with Alfred.  When Jerome stumbles out of the mirror hall, Jim takes the opportunity to punch off Jerome’s face.

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The next day, word of Jerome’s arrest has spread and the streets of Gotham are quiet again.  Once Jerome’s is reattached, he’ll be sent back to Arkham.  Harvey offers to buy Jim breakfast while Leslie takes her leave.

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While Alfred stitches up Bruce, Bruce tells Alfred how he feared for Alfred’s life.  Alfred, though, is proud of the man Bruce has become, but Bruce admits that he almost killed Jerome.  Yes, he controlled his anger, but after all the pain that Jerome caused, the idea of killing him felt right to Bruce.  Hell, it felt like justice.

Alfred tells Bruce that there’s a fine line between justice and vengeance, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one.  Tonight, Bruce didn’t cross that line.  That’s the first rule of Alfred’s training.  Bruce is unsure what he’ll do with this training, but Alfred says that if Bruce is to continue, he’ll need rules that he must never break.  And what is the first rule that comes to Bruce’s mind?  He will never kill.

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If anything, Kathryn is at least pleased with the recent turn of events.  Gotham could have been lost for good, but soon, the Court will act and the Bruce clone will be called upon. The clone is unsure how he’ll help, but he’s just a part of the plan.  Things could go wrong if he refuses, but no one refuses the Court.  No one.

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Jim pours himself a drink when he gets a surprise visit from the man speaking with Kathryn, who we can now identify Uncle Frank Gordon.

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At the docks, Nygma holds Oswald at gunpoint.  Oswald pleads for his life yet again, saying that murder will change Nygma.  While Nygma has killed before, this murder will be the death of someone that Nygma loves, even though Nygma is adamant that he doesn’t love Oswald.  The point is that Oswald still killed Isabella, so Nygma still wants Oswald to suffer, and there’s no way to talk out of this.

Oswald reminds Nygma that when they met, Nygma was just a loser working at the GCPD.  Oswald is the one who created Edward Nygma and he sees Ed for who he is and can still become.  It seems like Oswald is getting through to Ed, but Nygma admits that he still loved Isabella.  And since Oswald killed her, he must suffer, so Nygma fires.  Before Oswald can react to the bullet in his stomach, Nygma pushes him into the water.

So here we are at the oddly timed Gotham winter finale and it was a good one.  Granted, a lot of that has to do with Jerome managing to elevate an episode, even if I think he leans too much on Ledger’s performance.  To the show and Monaghan’s credit, Jerome does come a bit into his own here and he begins to feel like his own incarnation instead of one that falls heavily on what’s come before.

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There are shades of Joker plans here, whether it’s putting on a spectacle at a carnival, taunting his enemy to kill him and lose himself in a blind rage, or throwing a city into chaos. Gotham is a campy show, but when it goes dark, it does so very well when it hits the mark.  This is one of those times, as you have the city plunged into darkness, all citizens in danger, and mass chaos in the streets.  Should make for a good watch.

And that’s a downside of this finale: we don’t get the human element or see how ordinary citizens are affected by this darkness or Jerome’s words.  We know that mobs have taken over the city and people have bought into Jerome’s message, but only because we’re told.  If need be, a quick snippet or montage of seeing how regular folks have been impacted would have been nice.

Not that Gotham often deals with the everyday citizen of the city, though we did get a bit of it in the first season, but for an event as big as killing the power and imploring people to do what they want and kill who they want, it would have made the stakes seem bigger if we saw that widespread panic from a citizen’s perspective.

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For example, think back to The Dark Knight Rises when Bane told the people of Gotham that the city was now theirs.  We saw scenes of folks taking up arms, breaking into and tearing the rich out of their homes, and Jonathan Crane holding trials to judge Gotham’s elite.  Sure, we didn’t get an entire movie’s worth of this, but we did see the impact Bane’s words had.

We’re talking about all power cut.  The scope of Jerome’s plan is huge.  He turned off the lights and gave people the push they needed to reveal their true selves.  This doesn’t take away from the episode, but it’s that old adage of Show, Not Tell.  Don’t have Jim just tell the audience that there’s mob rule in Gotham City- let us see that so we can feel how this has led to disarray for the average people in the city.

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That aside, what we got was very good with the Bruce and Jerome confrontation.  While I’m still iffy on why Jerome is fixated on killing Bruce just because it’s the last thing he remembers- keep in mind that these two have only had one encounter prior- it did allow Gotham to give us a sort of Batman/Joker face-off without these two actually being those characters yet.

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It hit all the familiar notes: the Joker tempting Batman to cross a line, Bruce establishing that there is indeed a line between justice and vengeance, and admitting how much a psychopath like Jerome deserves to die for all he’s done.  It has what you’d expect from and even though we’re looking at kid Batman and kid Joker, David Mazouz and Cameron Monaghan have good enough chemistry that I could see this rivalry lasting.

A Dead Man Feels No Cold- Bruce hopes that killing changes him

Plus, this is significant growth for Bruce.  In “A Dead Man Feels No Cold,” he told Selina that he hoped that committing a murder would change him, much to her warning.

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Here, even though it’s a bit on the nose with him saying this early in his journey that he would never kill, not to mention the swelling musical score accompanying this declaration, this is a who will will later don the cowl and become Batman.  All the scene between Bruce and Alfred needed was for a bat to fly into the room, but his act does prove that Gotham has its heroes, big and small.

Also, Bruce’s motivation was that he thought Alfred had been killed.  It’s not an unfair assumption and the motivation comes from a good place, given how Alfred had been left alone with Jerome’s followers, but come on: Alfred has taken plenty of beatings, has been stabbed, and outnumbered before in a fight, but came out just fine.  No reason to think Alfred couldn’t get out of this situation as well.

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Then there’s Jerome, who I’m guessing wants fame and attention since he did agree that Bruce Wayne’s death should mean something.  At the same time, like in The Dark Knight, he sees madness in people.  Like gravity, it just needs a little push and Jerome here is an agent of chaos.  He just has to kill the lights, give a message on television, and then watch the fireworks when the chips are down.

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Jerome seems to see society for what it is: harsh, cruel, and unusual.  The people walk around wearing masks, but dream of doing terrible things to one another.  Granted, the people of Gotham City are already awful, corrupt citizens, so Jerome probably just hastened their bloodlust.

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And the carnival is a hellish, yet cartoony sight, I’ll admit, and appropriate for Gotham. Though I’m still left wondering how Jerome found the time to orchestrate this or how the carnival has electricity, it was a nightmare that fits the tone of this show.  Using citizens in the games, smearing a goon’s blood on Bruce’s face, and stapling his arm, it was gruesome at times.

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With Jerome out of commission and locked Arkham, though, it seems like peace may return to the city, but his message and impact have no doubt been left on Arkham, if his followers are any indication of anything.  And given how easy it is to break into almost anywhere in Gotham City, I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Jerome.

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Moving onto Oswald and Nygma, I’m wondering whether Nygma intended for Oswald to survive.  After all, he wanted to see if Oswald had what it took to put someone else’s needs above his own, and that wouldn’t have happened if Oswald had died, so maybe that one inept cop who wasn’t helping control the riots was just a plant.  Who knows?

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Oswald is smart enough to see through most of Barbara’s plan except for her working with Nygma, and it makes me wonder what happened to the cunning and calculating Penguin from the first season.  I don’t want to say his emotions have blinded him to logic, but if he saw through Barbara twice now, it’s unfortunate for him to still fall into this trap.

He seemed desperate enough to do or say something to save his own ass, but he did refuse to give up Nygma, so perhaps he has gained a bit of selflessness, as he admitted that he didn’t want to share Nygma with Isabella.  Despite that, and even though it looked like Nygma might have reconsidered, he shot him anyway.

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First, I don’t think that Oswald is dead not just because he ended up in this same situation in the pilot, but because I don’t see Gotham killing off The Penguin in this way, even though there’s precedent with the show killing Maroni and Sarah Essen.  But second, I’m curious what’s next for Nygma, given how Tabitha and Barbara still want to kill him. But if Nygma could mastermind this entire plan, these two should be no issue.

It’s strange that Gotham just returned in the new year and we’re already headed for another break until April.  Even still, despite my minor issues, this was a very good and, at times, dark episode of Gotham that explored the Batman/Joker dynamic without actually having those characters at the moment.

With Jerome headed for Arkham, our not-Joker is out of the picture for the moment, but don’t forget about the Court of Owls, as the organization is still a major player behind the scenes.  And with Uncle Frank apparently in cahoots with them and paying his nephew a visit, the Bruce clone, and the owl statue now shattered, I expect the Court to play a larger role for the remainder of the season.

A Look at Gotham- Season 3, Episode 13: “Mad City: Smile Like You Mean It”

Ladies and gentlemen, gather around.  It’s time for everyone’s favorite not-Joker to make his grand return to Gotham.  After ending on his body last time, Dwight is set to revive Jerome and put his plan into motion.  And even though I had some issues with this episode, it was a fun one all the same.  Let’s jump into “Smile Like You Mean It.”

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The episode begins with Dwight and his clown-faced entourage entering a facility.  One of the guards is killed by his laughing cop cohort, so he picked the wrong day to work the night shift.  The mob makes their way further down until they find Jerome’s chamber.

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As per usual, GCPD are quick to follow up on the scene.  Turns out that after Indian Hill was shut down, everyone was shipped to this facility, which happens to be a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises.  Of course.  And given that Hugo Strange worked on psychopaths, it’s no surprise that Jerome wound up here.

Lucius Fox tells Jim that to revive someone requires warming the body.  If GCPD is lucky, they have three hours.  The three hear a noise and soon find one of the cult members hiding. Rather than take him to a hospital, Jim elects to bring him to the precinct instead.

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Over at Wayne Manor, Cole speaks with Bruce and Alfred about Maria Kyle owing him $200,000, even though it was originally $100,000.  Now Cole would never hurt Maria, but he’d feel justified in giving GCPD enough evidence to put her away.  As long as Cole gets his money, he’ll vaporize.  Sounds simple.

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Next day at GCPD, Jim tells Leslie that he needs to talk with the cult member, though Leslie insists that the member should be sent to a hospital.  On the relationship front, Jim is grateful for Leslie asking Falcone to call off the hit, but Leslie would prefer if Dwight could revive Mario.  There’s always a condition.

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Jim asks the cult member why the group stole Jerome, but the member replies that it’s far too late to stop Jerome’s awakening.  It gets worse.  While the cult may appear small, they are, in fact, everywhere.  Jim immediately puts out a citywide call  to the rest of the officers.

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At the same time, just as the vans are packed and ready to go, Dwight gets to work reanimating Jerome.

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Barbara speaks with Oswald about his on-air gaffe, which has now made the headlines. Oswald is more concerned with Ed than the city, but Barbara tells him to focus on his real job: being the king of Gotham.  Some of the Gotham families, and Tommy Bones in particular, apparently have been talking about Oswald losing his spark.

To mitigate this, Barbara will call the families together so Oswald can squash the rumors.  As for why Barbara is helping, people think that Oswald is scared of her.  As long as that’s true, she gets to keep living.

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Bruce gets the money since it’s the least he can do for Selina and Maria, though Selina wants Cole arrested to prevent him from returning.  Maria offers to leave, even though she’d rather not, but Selina isn’t a fan of any of this.  She leaves in a huff.

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Jim and Harvey go over some pictures, with Jim thinking that there’s some truth to the possibility of Jerome having a cult.  Then Lucius enters with a map.  See, the amount of electricity that Melanie Blake received when she was revived would have caused a power surge.  There were several from a specific location, and a similar surge just came 15 minutes ago.  As Jim and Harvey organize Strike Force, one officer makes a call…

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Dwight continues the reanimation, but Jerome still hasn’t awakened.  Gus has a few suggestions, but Dwight kills him and advances his plan.  People just want to see Jerome’s face, so Dwight grabs a scalpel and gets to work.

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Jim, Harvey, and Strike Force converge on the location, but don’t find Dwight…just Gus’ body and Jerome with his face carved off.

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Dwight, now wearing Jerome’s face, addresses the cult and tells them that Jerome has arrived.  The crowd isn’t convinced that he’s the prophet.  They want the real Jerome. But Dwight convinces the group that they all kept Jerome alive.  As such, they are all Jerome.  Soon enough, the crowd buys into it and begins to chant “We are Jerome.”

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Back at GCPD, Leslie gets to work on Jerome, who isn’t altogether dead.  Meanwhile, Lucius, Jim, and Harvey examine a phone that last received a call from the GCPD, indicating that a mole at the precinct tipped off Dwight.

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With that in mind, Jim addresses the officers about a possible mole in their ranks.  To weed out the traitor, Jim begins to call the last number.  This throws the mole, Officer Dove, played by James Mount, into a run, but he’s subdued in no time.  Nice bluff, Jim.

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Penguin pops by Barbara’s club, but no sign of the families, so he figures that they are rebelling against him.  Barbara suggests that Tommy Bones be killed in order to clean house, but then Penguin reveals that he knows Barbara had a plan: get him to do the dirty work of attacking subordinates so Barbara could pick up what’s left.

Barbara insists that she wants to help, but then she gets a call from Tommy Bones, who tells Oswald that he doesn’t work for him anymore.  This, of course, gets under Oswald’s skin and he issues a threat, but Bones says that if anything happens, Nygma will die.  With that, Oswald vows vengeance.  Oh Oswald, you almost figured it out.

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Once Oswald leaves, Barbara calls Bones and speaks with Tabitha, telling him that Oswald bought it.  With that, Tabitha kills Bones.

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In interrogation, Dove tells Bullock and Gordon that he stopped being the cop on the night that the Maniax attacked the precinct.  He’s not afraid of being sent to Blackgate and despite both officers pulling a bad cop and beating the hell out of him, Dove just laughs.  I guess the two have nothing to threaten him with- nothing to do with all their strength.  You know the line.

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Leslie  enters and sedates Dove with a solution that will get him talking.  Jim is grateful, but he didn’t want her to do that, even though he didn’t fare much better with the bad cop routine.  Leslie reams him out for bending the rules, which she did as well, but it got results.  Jim is fine with Leslie blaming him for Mario’s death, but he doesn’t want her hatred to turn her into something that she’s not.

Why the hell is Leslie even here?

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Anyway, Dwight is about to make an announcement on a local news network this evening, and he gets right to work when he and his entourage enter and take over the station and prevent it from closing.

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Leslie returns to the medical examiner’s lab and finds an officer knocked out.  Before she can do anything, a bandaged Jerome surprises her from behind.  He’s feeling a bit fuzzy and is surprised to be alive, as last year was nothing but darkness to him.  He then asks Leslie about the cult.

He then wants to know if Leslie and Jim are still an item, but of course that’s not the case. Tragic news for Jerome, as he liked the two of them.  Leslie tells Jerome what Jim did to Mario, which Jerome finds hilarious.  He finally remembers how he was about to kill Bruce Wayne, but then Theo Galavan killed him.

But of course, Theo Galavan died, then also came back to life, and was blown to hell. After this round of questioning, Jerome finally asks where his face is.  You’d think that would be the first question.

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GCPD arrive at the channel 9 news station, where they find the cult holding the employees hostage.

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Because nothing else is on the air, Cole is watching this hostage situation just as Maria arrives with the money.  He tells her that the two won, but then Selina enters and figures that Maria took advantage of her being with Bruce Wayne just to pull this scam.  Maria doesn’t deny that.

Even if Bruce and Selina don’t care about the money, Selina is still upset that her mother came back just for money.  Selina tells Maria to never come back to Gotham.  Well, that was petty drama.

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Dwight goes over his prepared speech when one of the members alerts him that GCPD has arrived.  Jim calls and tells Dwight to release the hostages since he knows the cult won’t follow Dwight.  He doesn’t have what it takes to lead.  Dwight, though, insists that he is Jerome.  However, Jim tells Dwight that at least Jerome never bored him.  Bullock, meanwhile, finds a way in through the ventilation system.

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Over at the club, while the families bicker, Tabitha and Barbara marvel at Nygma’s plan. However, Tabitha reminds Barbara that Nygma must still die once this is all over.  As for the families?  Well, Tabitha guns them down.  Barbara then calls Nygma and tells him that Oswald is his for the taking.

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Dwight finally begins his address while Leslie and Jerome watch.  He’s unimpressed by Dwight’s lack of charisma.  After donning a cop uniform, Jerome leaves.  He just waltzes right out of the precinct without any officer putting up a fight.

And then he manages to get his hands on a police cruiser that he uses to speed down Gotham’s streets.  He even hit a man who, to be fair, is busy yapping away on his cell phone and not paying attention while crossing the street.

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At the same time, GCPD enters the station and manages to subdue Dwight and the rest of the cult.

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Because this was a plot point, Bruce gets back to training when Selina storms in and asks if he knew that Maria only wanted the money.  He did, yes, but in his defense, hehad hoped that Maria sticking around for a bit would let her get to know Selina a bit more instead of skipping town.

He just didn’t tell her the truth.  Selina’s anger rises and she slugs Bruce, but he manages to dodge each subsequent attack.  Before leaving, Selina tells Bruce that he is the reason that Maria returned.  Hell, Selina, that’s not Bruce’s fault.

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As GCPD cleans up, Leslie calls Jim and tells him that Jerome is alive and coming for Dwight.  And the officer who was taking Dwight away?  Oh, he’s dead.  Pity how that happens.

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Dwight, meanwhile, is being whisked away in a news van with Jerome, who soon staples his face back together.  Dwight likes the look, but you wouldn’t lie to a guy you just brought back to life. Jerome isn’t angry about Dwight cutting off his face.  He’s just happy to be alive again and is prepared to make a statement to Gotham.

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Gabe tells Oswald that Nygma wasn’t at any location belonging to Tommy Bones’ or The Duke.  Oswald insists that Nygma is in danger when he suddenly gets a call from a frightened Nygma who can’t talk for long.  Before Penguin can learn where Nygma is being held, the line disconnects.

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Jerome interrupts the Channel 9’s feed and addresses the city.  He tells the city that death itself is dull, but coming back is something else, as dying gives you a new perspective on life.  He tells the citizens that tonight, there are no rules.  Do and kill who you want.  When morning comes, everyone shall be reborn.

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He then tells Dwight, who is strapped to a number of explosives, that he doesn’t forgive him for his face after all.  As the fuse gets closer, Jim heads to the precinct rooftop just in time to see the explosion near the power plant.  As such, all power goes out and Gotham slips into darkness.

So Jerome is back and in a big way.  They’ve been teasing it for some time, but Gotham has brought Jerome back from the dead to bring mayhem to the city once again.  And as much as I’ve enjoyed the Mad Hatter, Jerome brings a certain level of energy that you come to expect from the Joker or a Joker-like character since Gotham hasn’t flat out said this is that proto-character, despite the telltale signs.

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While I was iffy on him before just because I wasn’t sure where the show would take him, I do like the intensity that Cameron Monaghan brings to his performance.

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Gotham pays homage to actors who have played the Joker prior to this, but as has been the case before, it weaves in elements from The New 52.  In this case, instead of the Dollmaker cutting the skin from Joker’s face, it’s Dwight taking the face for his own purposes: inciting the cult to believe that they are all Jerome.

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And a brief aside, I did like that they didn’t immediately buy into Dwight wearing Jerome’s face and accepting his proclamation.  They were, as most people would be, confused as hell, which I find appropriate.

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It was foretold that Jerome would be a curse upon Gotham and that’s evident here not just in the dressed-up members, but those like Officer Dove, who was inspired by the attack on the GCPD that left many officers and Sarah Essen dead.  And there’s something twisted about that, but hey, if he’s the only convert, maybe there’s hope for some sanity and rigidity at the GCPD.

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I don’t have an issue with Monaghan’s performance, per-se, but my issue is that it’s too similar to Heath Ledger’s take from The Dark Knight.  And understandably so.  If you’re gonna borrow, borrow from what I would wager is the most memorable live-action Joker.

It helps to take inspiration from what came before, and there have been shades of both Ledger and Jack Nicholson in this performance, but here, all I can think of is Ledger specifically, more so from the mannerisms and inflection in Jerome’s voice.  It’s like watching an imitation rather than using that to establish your own take, even if I did like the performance.

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Say what you will about Suicide Squad, but Jared Leto’s performance and that entire design are, without a doubt, his particular Joker.  When I watch Leto, I don’t find myself thinking about how I hear other Joker actors in his voice or actions.  Even if you disagree with the aesthetics, and I have my own issues with the design as well, it is very much a different Joker than what we got with The Dark Knight.

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By comparison, Jerome, as fun as he is to watch, feels like taking what Heath Ledger did and just porting it to the small screen.  Again, a lot of that is in the voice, but if I wanted to stretch, perhaps Jerome sounds this way a. because he stapled his face back together, and b. he’s still delirious from being brought back to life.

With all that said, I’m still interested to see what he has in store.  Plunging the city into darkness and telling the citizens to kill who they want and they will be reborn is a good way to spread mass hysteria throughout the city just for the hell of it.  And the sight of Jerome with his face stapled back on- which can’t be safe, but whatever- is a gruesome sight that I find appropriate for Gotham.

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So even though I find Jerome all-too-similar to Ledger this time around, he’s still fun to watch and all of his antics, from taking over a broadcast to having a civil, yet tense chat with Leslie, did all felt very Joker-like and kept me entertained.

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That said, I still have to question how the hell Jerome, who is a known psychopath and killer, just brought back to life, could walk right out of the police department without anyone stopping him and he manages to get his hands on a police cruiser.  Look, I’m all for the ridiculous on this show, but that’s just absurd and makes the officers look even more incompetent.

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With Jerome taking center stage, the other plots weren’t as engaging.  Jim and Leslie are still having their spat, but I’m left wondering why Leslie would even return to the GCPD. Yeah, it’s her job, but she and Jim are  going to have tension, more so after she wanted Harvey to arrest him.

She helps out with Officer Dove and rightly rakes Jim over the coals for abusing his authority, but just one episode ago, she wanted him killed…and then changed her mind. She’s not in any position to get on a high horse.

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Then there’s the Bruce and Selina stuff, and I’m wondering if Maria is going to play a greater role in the Court of Owls stuff or this storyline going forward.  Otherwise, bringing her back felt like a waste of time.  It just made some easy pathos for Selina, who now has issues with Bruce as well for not being honest with her.

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We didn’t even need Maria if she was going to turn out to still be a deadbeat mother. That’s not even worth our time.  And the relationship didn’t progress.  In fact, Selina is in a worse place with both Maria and Bruce.  Again, if there are bigger plans for this and Maria manages to redeem herself, then fine.  Otherwise, this felt like a pointless detour.

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And Oswald should be smart enough to see through this ruse.  Maybe not that Nygma masterminded it, but he was so close to exposing Barbara.  For a guy who crawled all the way up to become the king of Gotham, he’s not showing his smarts right here.  And with Jerome throwing the city into darkness, this subplot could turn just as upside down as the city soon will.

“Smile Like You Mean It” was a good, energetic episode despite my reservations, as there was far more good than bad here.  It was a welcome return for Jerome as he incites the city to do as they please in order to be reborn.  With power now out in Gotham and Jerome on the loose, we’re about to experience a real mad city.

A Look at Gotham- Season 3, Episode 12: “Mad City: Ghosts”

Gotham returns for a three episode arc before going on a break until April.  With Jim killing Mario, Nygma plotting to take down Oswald, and Selina reuniting with her mother, this should make for a pretty emotional and character driven episode.

Not the case here, but hey, Jerome is coming back to Gotham.  The show’s proto-Joker is set to bring anarchy back to a city that’s known for anarchy.  Let’s jump right into “Ghosts.”

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The episode begins with Mario’s funeral.   Jim, fully aware of what Falcone may do, watches from a distance, though Bullock advises that he leave.  Jim justifies his decision, saying that the infected Mario would’ve killed Leslie.  Even still, this isn’t the time or place to apologize or discuss the past.  As the two leave, Falcone watches them from a distance.

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Penguin, meanwhile, gets zero call time with Nygma, but there’s good news on the horizon.  As Oswald enters for his press conference, he’s greeted with applause and learns that his numbers are high across the board- jobs are up and crime is down.  Oswald’s new Deputy Chief of Staff, Tarquin, played by Dave Quay, tells him that the best way to capitalize on his success is a sit-down interview with Margaret Hearst.

After all, everyone watches her show, so she can help solidify Oswald’s legacy on a national level.

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Jim returns to his crappy apartment, where he hears a noise and finds Zsasz waiting for him with a message: Jim messed up by killing Mario.  Jim wants to speak with Carmine, but there’s no time for that, as there’s already a hit out on Jim.  Zsasz promises that Jim won’t see him coming.  If the two don’t talk before Jim’s death, Victor has at least liked getting to know Jim.  Well, that’s a minor consolation prize.

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Bonding time.  Selina demands to know why Maria is in town after 11 years without ever bothering to check in on her daughter.  Fair question.  Maria apologizes, but she promises that Selina has been in her thoughts, even though Maria left her at the same orphanage where she grew up- St. Maria’s.  When Selina asks about her father, Maria switches gears and asks if Selina is dating Bruce.

Maria admits that she got in trouble with the law, and since she couldn’t run fast with a five-year-old, she had to dump Selina.  Bad call, and though all Maria wanted to do was tell Selina how much she loves her, she’s got her chance right now, so Selina then shows her the door.

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Oswald is introduced to Margaret Hurst, played by Jan Maxwell, who tells him that she plans to get in his head and share what she finds with Gotham’s citizens.  Hurst has some conditions: the interview is to only happen this Friday at City Hall.  Live.  Hurst isn’t one of Oswald’s fans, so she has no intention of holding back.

If the truth is in Oswald’s numbers, then Gotham should have no problem seeing him for who he is.  And then Oswald has a quick glimpse of his father.  Wait, what?

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Over at GCPD, Lucius Fox show Jim and Bullock the body of Melanie Blake, who was found wandering the train tracks last night.  She collapsed soon after and died in the ambulance of coronary failure.  Before the train tracks, though, someone gave her a strong electrical current.  More than that, she’d been stabbed three days ago by her boyfriend and was pronounced dead in the ambulance.  Ms. Blake can’t catch a break.

So even though Ms. Blake here was taken to a morgue, she then wound up walking down train tracks.  Bullock is quick to question whether anyone in Gotham City actually dies, but hey, we’re talking a comic book based world, so of course not.

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But enough about that.  How about some drama?  Leslie storms into the precinct and demands that Leslie enters the precinct and demands that Harvey arrest Jim for Mario’s murder.  Sure, Mario was infected, but Jim spared Barnes’ life, but he killed Mario on his own wedding day.  Leslie goes as far as calling Jim a virus, saying that he seeps into people’s lives until he destroys them.

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That night, Penguin awakens in a cold sweat and finds one of his framed certificates smashed.  He then spots Elijah’s ghost pleading for help and saying that someone is not to be trusted.  Who?  Never mind that.  Oswald then receives a late visit from GCPD officers who inform him that someone broke into the cemetery and dug up Elijah’s remains.

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At the morgue, Jim and Bullock speak with the night manager, Dwight Pollard, played by David Dastmalchian, about Melanie Blake.  To his surprise, her body isn’t in the designated drawer.  Worse for the detectives, the morgue has no  security cameras since nothing ever happens there.  Jim decides that he and Bullock should stick around, though Bullock can’t help but notice how jumpy Jim is right now.  Heh.  Jumpy Jim.  Claimed.

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At Wayne Manor, Bruce and Alfred ponder why the owl ornament is so important to the Court, but they’re interrupted by a knock at the door.  As Bruce finds a spot for the ornament, he doesn’t see that when light reflects on the owl, images display on the wall.

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Turns out that the visitor is just Maria Kyle popping before she leaves town.  She hands Bruce a box to give Selina, but Bruce, knowing what it’s like to miss family, advises Maria to stick around.  He’ll take it upon himself to speak with Selina.

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Falcone isn’t concerned with whether Mario was indeed infected, even though the autopsy confirms that he was.  Jim still killed him, and while Falcone cared for Jim, he must take Jim’s life- blood for blood, after all.  In agreement, Leslie blames Jim on all the bad things that have happened to her.

Carmine cautions Leslie: if Jim dies, that’s a weight they will both have to carry.  Falcone is used to such burdens, but not Leslie.  As such, Carmine will be the one to kill Jim.  He asks Leslie if she can live with that.

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Bruce pops by Selina’s spot with the box from Maria, but Selina’s not in a talking mood. While Bruce can’t imagine what Selina is feeling, he knows how hard it can be to forgive. Selina admits that she’s upset about Maria leaving her, but Bruce tells her that Maria is at least trying to reach out.

This may be Selina’s only chance to reach back.  If she pushes away, she may never see her mother again.

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Selina opens the box just as Maria enters and the two hug.  To my dismay, there is no cat costume inside the box.

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Jim and Bullock, having learned that Dwight used to work at Indian Hill- of course- tail Dwight to an old theater where a crowd has gathered.  Dwight takes center stage and rails against Gotham’s finest, calling them slaves who are mentally shackled, but do nothing about it.  But there was one fearless man who understood and stood up to the jailers and puppets.

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Dwight hits the projector and plays footage of Jerome’s message to Gotham when the Maniax attacked the GCPD.  The crowd eats into Jerome’s speech about sanity and repeats it like a mantra.  Jim and Harvey crash the scene and the crowd disperses.  They beat down as many followers as they can, but are unable to locate Dwight.  As the two flee, Jim spots Zsasz and his henchwomen start opening fire.

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Jim flees into a restaurant while Zsasz and his attackers pursue him.  As Zsasz gets out some new guns, he monologues about Jim having a good run.  However, Jim soon engages Victor in a fight and manages to overtake him.

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Meanwhile, back at Oswald’s manor, Elijah’s ghost tells Oswald that he cannot rest until he is underground again.  Worse than that, Isabella is also on the other side and whispering tales of murder.  He informs Oswald to not trust the birthday boy.

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At Arkham Asylum, Leslie speaks with Barnes, who tells her that the virus has made him more focused than ever before.  He calls the virus an antidote for his body and doesn’t believe he needs a cure.  In his future, he plans to judge Jim once he escapes.  Following that, the rest of Gotham’s garbage will be tried, convicted, and executed.  Getting nowhere with this, Leslie leaves.

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Back at Wayne Manor, Alfred gets some compliments from Maria in his cooking, though he ought to keep his eyes open, as both Maria and Selina are able to deprive him of some valuables.  How Alfred keeps Wayne Manor running when he can be robbed so easily is anyone’s guess.  Anyway, Bruce says that Maria can stay the night and leave tomorrow morning.

The next day, an exhausted Oswald arrives at City Hall and hears a crowd wishing Tarquin a happy birthday.  Well, there you have it.

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Oswald enters Tarquin’s office and finds footprints that soon lead him to a closet.  Inside said closet is a bag containing a skeleton.  Tarquin enters, though when Oswald accuses him of this crime, Tarquin admits that he has no idea what Oswald is talking about.  Unsatisfied with Tarquin’s answer, Oswald beats him to death.

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With a bit more clarity thanks to her talk with Barnes, Leslie requests that Carmine call off the hit on Jim.  Carmine rightly guesses that Leslie doesn’t really hate Jim.  Instead, her anger is just to mask the fact that she still loves Jim.

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Interview time.  Ms. Hurst’s first question is how did Oswald do it?  There’s a huge spike in job growth and prosperity.  Immediately, Oswald goes for his glass of water before finally speaking.

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Jim again returns to his crappy apartment just as Bullock enters with extra firepower.  He wants to know why Jim didn’t mention the hit, and it being just Jim’s business isn’t enough of an excuse, given what the two have been through already.

Zsasz enters and lets the machine gun fly.  As the two sides come to a standoff, Carmine enters and tells Zsasz that the hit is off.  Without argument, Zsasz leaves.  Before Carmine exits, he tells Jim that if it were up to him, Jim would still be dead.

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Ms. Hurst chronicles Oswald’s rise, fall, and how people died so he could reach this point. Oswald calls it scandal, but it was murder that sent him to Arkham.  Even still, he considers killing Theo Galavan a service to Gotham City.  Then Hurst brings up Elijah’s suspicious death.  As it turns out, there are rumors that Oswald killed the family to inherit Elijah’s wealth.

Oswald then spots Elijah’s ghost making off with a bloody trophy.  Even though Hurst insist that Oswald stay since the people of Gotham and America want to know the truth, Oswald says the hell with the people and rushes off.  Not the best thing to say on air, Mayor Cobblepot.  However, when he returns to the office, he finds no body or sign of a murder.

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From a distance, Nygma hides the two bodies and congratulate Clayface on a job well done.  Barbara and Tabitha applaud Nygma’s ability to predict that Oswald would go mad on national TV, but Nygma says that it was just about the power of suggestion.

He walks us through his plan, though Tabitha wonders why Nygma didn’t leave the bodies for the cops.  That, Nygma says is too easy.  Rather than send Oswald to jail, Nygma wants this to be a slow and painful death.  First, you take away Oswald’s mind, destroy and take his empire, and once Oswald is alone, put him out of his misery.

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Before Maria can leave, she has some unattended business to attend to, as Selina follows her to a room where she speaks with a man from her past: Cole Clemons, played by P.J. Marshall, who is asking about his money.  Selina tells Cole that the two can get him his money since Bruce Wayne is a friend of hers.  That’s good enough for Cole, who soon leaves.

Maria tells Selina that they have to warn Bruce about Cole.  This man was Maria’s past coming back to haunt her.

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Over at a lab, Dwight reams out a lab technician over Melanie Blake’s disappearance from the morgue.  Upset as he is, this proves that the designs work.  She came back to life, but not for long, as her body couldn’t take the current.  Dwight tells the man to gather the others, as it’s time to get him.

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And who is him?  Why, it’s Jerome, who is in stasis at Indian Hill.

So “Ghosts” throws us back into character conflicts as Jim deals with the consequences of killing Mario, Selina and Maria attempting to bond, Nygma’s revenge on Oswald, Leslie’s conflicting feelings for Jim, and an extended look at the Jerome cult that we saw a bit of on Season Two.

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Now I’ll tackle that first because it was the most interesting part of the episode.  A bit odd, considering that Jim and Bullock don’t get that much ground covered.  They learn about resurrections from Lucius Fox, and Jim has already seen this cult before.  He and Harvey don’t find Jerome or, as far as I can tell, even know that there are plans to resurrect him.

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Maybe that’s because Jim spends the bulk of his time running from Zsasz.  Victor manages to energize any scene he’s in and I’ll admit that I liked the shootouts here more than I have any of Jim’s previous shootouts.  Though for all his talk of how he doesn’t try to kill but outright does it, and then fails, he’s not the best at following up on his assassination promises.

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But once Carmine calls it off, I’m left wondering why.  Jim still killed Mario and Falcone sees that Leslie still has feelings for Jim.  Wouldn’t that make him even more enraged that his son died and Leslie didn’t fully love him?  If anything, I would think that he would still want to have the hit carried out to completion and not change his mind just because of Leslie’s visit with Barnes.

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That’s another thing: Leslie already knows the effects of the virus and what Barnes did while under the influence.  Why would a visit change her mind?  She seemed gung-ho on having Jim killed, which was a huge step up from blaming him for the crazy stuff that’s happened to her, but how does Barnes’ behavior lead to a change of heart?  It didn’t tell her or us something that we already knew.

It felt like an easy way to create conflicting feelings on Leslie’s part, but she was so all over the place here that I almost expected her to try and carry out the hit herself.  She’s already got motivation and Jim, as far as I can tell, hasn’t brought up the knife or done a good job defending himself.

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And I agree with Bullock: why wouldn’t Jim bring up that Falcone is gunning for him? These two have been through hell- a courtesy of living in a city where nobody dies- and there’s no rhyme or reason why Jim would keep this from Harvey.

Oh, about Jerome’s return: who found him?  I would guess Dwight, but Jerome was one of the escapees on that bus that Fish stole in the Season Two finale.  We heard his laugh as he and various others made their way into the city, so between then and now, someone had to find and stick him in this chamber, but I don’t see Jerome going down without a fight. Unless that wasn’t Jerome and just a tease.

Okay, I’m pretty sure that no one really gives a damn about this in the grand scheme of things, so let’s move on.

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As with him getting the better of Jim last season, I liked seeing Nygma be the architect of someone’s slow downfall, even though this wasn’t through riddles- just mind games and screwing with Oswald’s head.  Though in hindsight, when all was said and done, him being involved made sense since Tarquin was only introduced this episode and it would be easy to finger him as the culprit when we don’t know his motivation.

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And between Oswald losing his mind and his comments on public television about the public, his popularity could begin to wane, which could lead to a slow descent for Mayor Cobblepot. And by the way, if Gotham was going to bring back Paul Reubens, even for a bit, I wish more had been done with him.

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Meanwhile, Selina and Maria get a chance to bond, and I appreciate that they don’t click right away.  Of course Selina is going to be upset about Maria for abandoning her and she has every reason to resist Maria’s attempts to reach out to her.  But Bruce, who can’t reach out to his parents anymore, had a point about giving Maria a chance because she may not get another opportunity to reconnect.

Plus, while I don’t know whether the show is trying to set up Maria with Alfred, I did like seeing the two Kyles pull a fast one on Alfred and get some of his goods.

I’m glad that Maria’s presence hasn’t brought the Court of Owls storyline to a halt, as Bruce and Alfred still have the ornament and Court on their mind, but I’m guessing that Maria’s past and Cole’s presence could push the Court to the sidelines for the moment.

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Oh, and one more thing that I’m sure everyone and their mother has no doubt noticed, David Dastmalchian- you remember him, right?  Played schizophrenic Thomas Schiff on The Dark Knight.  Sheesh.  Whether in Nolan’s Batman universe or here, this guy just cannot escape the Joker.

“Ghosts” was a decent return for Gotham, but a bit tedious at times with the main storyline involving Jim, Falcone, and Leslie.  Tedium aside, I am curious where things go and do like the setup.  Nygma will no doubt continue his plan to bring Oswald to his knees, Bruce and Alfred will soon have to deal with more than the Court, and Jerome is set to cause mayhem in Gotham once again.

And with Gotham set to go on another break until April once the next two episodes air, here’s hoping Jerome’s return is an exciting one.

A Look at The Walking Dead #162- “The Whisperer War: Part 6 of 6”

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Before jumping into issue #162, think back to the ending of All Out War: Negan had been taken down, the communities seemingly had a new ally with the reformed Dwight leading the Saviors, and for the first time in a long time, it appeared that the communities could be at ease without some looming threat outside of the occasional roamer.

Fast forward to today and the ending of The Whisperer War might be the end of The Whisperers trying to overtake the survivors, but they don’t have to do the heavy lifting anymore.  You saw the herd that Alpha showed Rick.  A string of small victories against The Whisperers is nothing when they still have a massive weapon to unleash.

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But we’ll get to that later.  We start off with Negan laying Lucille to rest…which is funny and somewhat tragic at the same time.  The Lucille that we’ve known since issue #100 has been a staple for so long, so to lose her is a huge deal for Negan.  It makes sense that he’d want to bury her.

At the same time, this is his chance to say goodbye to Lucille for real.  As “Here’s Negan” has shown us, Negan never got a chance to bury his actual wife, Lucille, so this is a way for him to pay his respects to his wife and the bat for which she’s named.  Serious of a moment as this is, I did get a laugh out of Negan hoping that Lucille is in Heaven getting her brains fucked out and in by someone special.

Who thinks that?

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William and his entourage from the Kingdom finally arrive at what remains of the Hilltop. While it’s unfortunate they were too late, Maggie is correct to tell William that it’s not his fault.  Who could’ve predicted such an attack?  Like Maggie says, the Kingdom could’ve been hit.  There’s no telling how long it would take reinforcements from other communities to arrive.

But regardless of what’s happened, I like that William isn’t an unwilling leader.  He’s out on the frontlines and offering whatever services he can to Maggie.  But Maggie is already looking towards the future.  I don’t expect the Hilltop to be rebuilt overnight, and with both the Whisperers still out there and the time it would take to remake this community, even without interruption, I’m very curious to see what comes next for the Hilltop.

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And it looks like Lydia is here to stay, despite how disturbed she is by what’s happened. As a Whisperer, she and her group would ravage a community and leave.  She never had to deal with the aftermath, but now she’s seeing firsthand what her people did and that bothers her.  She knows that she’s done terrible things to strangers who didn’t deserve it, and she feels that would make Carl hate her.

But this is Carl Grimes we’re talking about.  We can’t count the number of terrible things Rick’s merry band of survivors have done to get to where they are, whether their actions were warranted or unprovoked.  Carl knows what it’s like to commit atrocities, even if it’s just to survive, but the point of getting to where they are is to not live like that anymore. You remember where you came from and that makes you a better person.

It’s a nice way for the two to bond in the wake of what they’ve endured and shows that, despite where Lydia came from, she has more in common with Carl and his group than she knew.

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This conversation is in stark contrast to what Rick and Andrea discuss, as they acknowledge that killing other human beings is their world now if they’re to survive.  While Carl talks of moving past those dark moments to be a better person, you’ve got these two accepting that this is their life and there may be no coming back from this.

By the way, the shooting system used to indicate who is arriving at Alexandria…I get why it’s useful, but it’s brought up here, used when Dwight and company arrive, but when Eugene arrives with the ammunition, someone just yells out that he’s there.  My question is do you need both?  The gunshots could just alert roamers much more than someone’s voice.  Just something on my mind while reading this.

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Anyway, Dwight and company return and it is a good feeling when the groups reunite, but the moment is short lived.  There’s this false sense of security with Dwight telling Rick what happened.  Beta nearly beaten to death, the plan to mix among the Whisperers…it all sounds like Dwight’s group took care of business no problem.

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Therein lies the problem: Rick knows better because he’s seen it.  I’ve gotta wonder who else knows about the massive roamer herd that Alpha showed Rick.  I would assume that Lydia knows of it, but aside from her, does anyone else know that the Whisperers have a trump card with that herd?  Not that he would intentionally withhold it, but it would help to keep people aware of what the Whisperers may unleash down the road.

So even if the communities get comfortable after managing to thin out a hundred or so Whisperers and their roamer hordes, they’re always aware in the back of their mind that there’s an even bigger threat on the horizon that would take days to clear.

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And that’s just what’s heading their way.  Sweet merciful crap, that is a terrifying sight. Rick called the herd “a sea of the dead that roared like an ocean” and it’s an apt description.  The scope of this enormous herd, I feel, eclipses what Alexandria endured during No Way Out and it spells impending danger for the survivors.

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What’s more, the Whisperers don’t have to lift a finger right now.  Their war is over, as Beta says, so now they can just leave the dead to finish what they’ve started.  The Whisperers can recuperate and heal while the roamers lay waste to Alexandria.  Plus, remember that the Saviors are still out there and waiting to make their comeback, so this conflict will no doubt continue well after this arc.

The Whisperer War is over, but the survivors are nowhere near done with fighting just yet.