And that’s how the Joker got that smile on his face.
The episode begins with Mayor Holden Pritchard, played by Peter McRobbie, gathering some of Gotham’s moral authority and the future of the city. The people are unnerved by what’s happening- criminals taking office and corruption in the street- but the precinct is working on improving the way that the city conducts itself.
As if on cue, the lights go out and it grows cold all of a sudden. The group hears commotion from the other side and soon Victor Fries and Jervis Tetch, and they require the mayor’s presence elsewhere.
He brings the mayor to Jerome, who isn’t too tempted by the mayor’s offer of money. When none of the rogues accept Pritchard’s offers, he turns to Oswald, but Penguin is adamant that he’s working with Jerome, 100 percent. Still, the mayor warns them that everyone will be looking for them. Jerome laments that the mayor doesn’t know how to have fun. Crane can solve that, as he sprays one of the victims with the laughing gas.
Elsewhere in the city, it’s Bruce’s birthday, as Alfred presents him with a gift. He reminds him about one gift that Bruce wanted- a bright red wagon. Bruce wanted to build a home for his wagon, a secret place where only he knew the location. Bruce opens the box and finds a key. It goes to a bulletproof car that now belongs to Bruce.
Well, I guess there’s no need to ask if it comes in black.
At the precinct, while Jim and Harvey discuss Jerome’s possible location, Jim gets a surprise call from Oswald, who wants to meet him in the back. Alone. When Jim comes, Oswald tells him that that everyone Jerome has recruited is part of his plan.
More than that, Scarecrow has made something much worse than the fear gas. Though Jim would like details, Jerome hasn’t shared the full details and he hasn’t informed Oswald of his role yet. Oswald would’ve played along, but nothing good will come of this. Oswald knows that Jerome isn’t interested in power or money. He has to be stopped. Just then, Harvey alerts Jim and tells him that Jerome has been spotted.
Indeed, he’s crashing the Gotham Music Festival and tells the crowd that he and his Arkham Asylum Lunatics have come to blow some minds. He brings out the mayor and the rest of Gotham’s moral authority- all of whom get devices strapped around their necks- but he’s waiting for two more guests of honor. As for the rules: dynamite and trigger. If Jerome doesn’t get what he wants, that leads to headless people.
And who can get Jerome what he wants? Why, it’s James Gordon, of course, as Jerome calls out to him.
Tabitha speaks with one of Gotham’s mob leaders that wants retribution for the pain his brother suffered, but he was no saint, as he’s racked up an insane bar tab at the club. He wants Barbara’s blood as an apology, but before the mobsters can strike, they’re struck down by the League, even though Tabitha is confident that she could’ve handled that herself.
One member, Leila, played by Shiva Kalaiselvan, reminds Barbara that Ra’s chose her to carry on his spirit. She wonders if Barbara intends to continue his legacy instead of remaining in Gotham City. After all, there is much to show her, and Barbara is ready to see it. Tabitha, not so much.
At a Wayne Industries facility, Victor Fries and Scarecrow break in to gather some materials and inform the employees that more laughing gas is needed, and in large amounts, too.
Back at the music festival, Jim arrives and tells Jerome that he won’t speak with Jerome until the people on stage are safe. He tells Jerome that this is an act of terrorism, but Jerome finds it offensive to be labeled as such. He tells the crowd that if the trigger falls out of his hand, kaboom. There are two more chairs on stage, and Jerome knows that Jim can put his detective brain to use and figure out who belongs in the seats.
Jim figures that one belongs to Jeremiah, and the other belongs to the one other person besides Jim who has spoiled Jerome’s fun: Bruce Wayne. Of course. Gordon offers himself, but Jerome wants Jeremiah and Bruce. To prove he’s not kidding around, he presses one of the triggers, thus detonating the collar around the commissioner’s neck.
Back to Bruce’s birthday party, as Alfred presents him with a birthday cake. Selina spoils the fun by blowing out the candles just as Alfred returns with some plates. Bruce thanks Selina for visiting him on his birthday, though that’s not why Selina is here. Either way, Bruce is happy to see her. Selina again calls his previous drunken behavior an act, but then Jim and Lucius arrive in need of Bruce’s help.
They turn on the television to see Jerome’s message. His trigger finger is getting itchy, and Jim informs Bruce that Jerome wants Jeremiah and Bruce. Luckily, Jim and Lucius has a plan. Jerome, though, activates the detonator and kills another hostage. With Bruce’s help, though, Jim is confident that more deaths can be prevented.
Jerome is using a short wave radio trigger with a switch. Lucius gives Bruce a device that, within a few feet of Jerome, renders the detonator useless. This will give the police the opportunity to subdue Jerome and Firefly. And Lucius is at least 99 percent sure that it will work.
Leila and the ladies of the League bring Tabitha and Barbara to a home owned by Ra’s- a home where he housed many ancient secrets. There’s no key for the sealed door, but there’s no need for that or dynamite. The light emitting from Barbara’s hand will do.
Barbara is able to open the door, revealing a room filled with ancient artifacts. One of the objects is a painting with figures that eerily resemble Barbara and Ra’s. Barbara realizes that all her life, she was meant for more. Deep inside of her, she couldn’t explain that feeling. But now, she realizes that she’s home. As if on cue, the Ladies of the League bow.
Back at the festival, snipers take their position. Jim, Bruce, and Lucius go to Jeremiah, who doesn’t want to go into the line of fire, as he knows that Jerome intends to murder both him and Bruce on live television. Bruce introduces himself to Jeremiah and asks what he’s been working on, which turns out to be a compact electrical engine that generates power.
Bruce admires Jeremiah’s mind and understands if he doesn’t want to help, but assures him that Jim and Lucius will keep him safe. Plus, maybe by standing up to Jerome, this will prove to the people of Gotham that standing up to terror is the only way to take away its power.
Jim gets a phone call from Harvey, who informs him that Freeze and Scarecrow broke into a Wayne Industries chemical lab. Jim, remembering what Penguins aid about the new Scarecrow toxin, tells Harvey to get to the lab.
Indeed, Harvey arrives at the facility with some officers. He eventually finds one scientist, who tells him that all of the gas was taken.
Bruce and Jeremiah show up at the music festival, much to Jerome’s delight. He welcomes the two on stage. Lucius’ device is activated, so the snipers just wait for Jim’s signal.
Before the officers can fire, they are killed by Jerome’s henchmen who also took out vantage points last night, so they’ve been watching the SWAT team all day. So again, Jerome calls Bruce and Jeremiah on stage to start the party.
Penguin, Tetch and Crane arrive at an open facility housing a blimp. When Tetch asks one of the pilots if he can pilot it on his own, he hypnotizes him. Penguin realizes that the blimp is to drop the laughing gas. But before he can do anything about it, Crane tells him that Jerome anticipated his betrayal and knows that he went to Gordon, so Penguin is knocked out and to be placed on the blimp.
Barbara goes through Ra’s texts, seeing that he influenced history, but Tabitha still believes the League to be nothing more than a cult. Barbara wants to change the way the past is viewed and believes that she is the one who might bring that change. She goes to one book composed by shamans and mystics, saying that it contains formulas that can raise demons and get into contact with the dead.
Again, Barbara says that this is her destiny. She looks at the painting, saying that it’s her and Ra’s from years ago. Somehow. This is her true purpose, so she has the women escort Tabitha out of the building.
Jerome, meanwhile, now has Bruce and Jeremiah armed with the devices around their necks. He tells the crowd that Jeremiah was Mr. Perfect and got the best of life, while Jeremiah lived a sorry life at the circus. But Jerome believes that Jeremiah is as crazy as he is. It’s in his DNA. He pulls out a knife and calls the two identical. Killing is in Jeremiah’s nature.
He cuts Jeremiah’s bonds loose and hands him the knife, daring him to take his best shot. The second that Jeremiah lunges forward, Jerome punches him out. In the crowd, Harvey informs Jim of Jerome’s plan to flood the area with gas, so he wants the area evacuated. It’s time to take out Jerome one and for all.
As Jerome’s henchmen are killed, Jim gets in a good shot at Jerome. Bruce breaks free and battles Firefly while Jerome realizes that his device is now useless.
Then, up in the sky, everyone spots the blimp.
Inside said blimp, Penguin awakens and finds himself cuffed. He asks the pilot to help him, but the pilot is too busy trying to get the blimp into position over Paisley Square. There, he can drop the load by pulling the lever. Penguin breaks free, but the pilot is ready with a gun at the ready and won’t obey Oswald’s order.
As the crowd disperses, Jim chases after Jerome while the blimp hovers closer. Harvey believes that he can take it down with one sniper shot, but he’d run the risk of spilling the chemicals. Jim gets a call from Oswald, who tells him that he’s in the blimp with the gas. Gordon, though, tells Penguin to steer the blimp towards the river. And if people are dead, Penguin can’t exactly run an empire in a city full of lunatics.
Gordon finally confronts Jerome, finding him on the ledge of a building. Before Jerome can call the pilot, Jim shoots the phone out of his hand. However, the pilot still picks up. As Jerome calls for bombs away, Jim fires another shot into Jerome, which sends him over the ledge.
In the blimp, Penguin fights with the pilot for control until he’s able to knock him out, putting him in the driver’s seat.
Jerome clings to a convenient pipe and asks Jim to rescue him. Will he be a lawman now or a murderer? When Jim goes to help Jerome, the madman laments that Jim will always follow the rules. Jerome, though, doesn’t care about the rules and knows that he’ll outlive Gordon. He’s more than a man. He’s an idea, a philosophy, and will live on in the shadows of Gotham’s discontent. So Jim will be seeing Jerome again soon.
With that, he lets go and crashes to his death. So Jerome dies. Again. Jim and Harvey go to examine the body just as Jeremiah walks by without a word. Bruce stops Jeremiah and promises that Wayne Enterprises will fund his work with a grant. Jeremiah thanks Bruce for his kindness and leaves. Bruce soon departs as well.
Jim gets yet another call from Penguin, who is still in the blimp. Jim will get ahold of a standby pilot, and Jim thanks Penguin on behalf of Gotham City.
The Ladies of the League toss Tabitha onto the streets and inform her that she’s not needed, so it’s time for Tabitha to leave the city. Tabitha does manage to put up a decent enough fight, but she’s outnumbered and quickly gets the crap kicked out of her. Next time, Leila promises, the ladies will kill Tabitha. Why don’t they just kill her now?
Oh, whatever. Tabitha isn’t alone. She’s being watched and helped up by some men who tell her that they serve the one, true Ra’s al Ghul, not Barbara the Imposter. Before Tabitha can learn more, the men inject her with a serum and drag her away.
Jeremiah returns to his home, pours himself a drink, and finds a gift waiting for him on his desk. It’s from Wayne Enterprises, so says the card. When he opens it, it’s a Jack-in-the-Box that sprays him full of laughing gas.
A message from Jerome tells him that while his days were numbered, Jeremiah can continue on as Jerome’s revenge. This gas was a special mixture that Jerome had made just for Jeremiah in order to set him free. As Jeremiah writhes in pain, he soon finds himself laughing uncontrollably.
And now that he’s free, it’s time for him to burn it all down.
Well, here we are. Jerome is once again a thing of the past, and for all his antics and clowning around, it would seem that Gotham has at last settled on its actual Joker in Jeremiah. As Cicero said two seasons ago, Jerome’s legacy would be death and madness. Not exactly original for a villain in Gotham City, especially when we’ve seen large scale madness in Gotham before and after Jerome.
But it did foreshadow where we’ve ended up here with Jerome passing on his legacy to Jeremiah. Indeed, all it took was one bad day for Jeremiah to go from mild-mannered to absolute madman. That and opening an inconspicuous box from Wayne Enterprises. You’d think Jeremiah would be suspicious of that. After all, Bruce doesn’t know where he lives and Jim probably wouldn’t divulge that information.
Similar to what Jared Leto’s Joker said in Suicide Squad, Jerome here is an idea, and ideas often outlive their creators. After all, Jerome did have a group dedicated to him, so his legacy is already alive and well in Gotham. But to unlock that inner madness is the best joke of all. Doesn’t matter that Jerome’s dead. His brother will fill his shoes.
I have two concerns with this. For one, what’s going to happen to Jerome’s body? He’s been resurrected before, so unless GCPD plans to cremate his body, it’s entirely possible that someone could just snag Jerome’s body and bring him back to life yet again. Plus, you’ve got the League of Shadows around, so there’s the possibility that someone could dump Jerome into a Lazarus Pit.
The other concern I have is just how will Gotham differentiate between Jeremiah and Jerome. Monaghan embodied so much of the Joker’s history in his performance as Jerome, from all adaptations- comic and adaptations. He was the Joker in all but name. Now that Jeremiah stands to become the actual Joker, I wonder how Gotham will avoid making Jeremiah feel like a retread.
It’s inevitable that there will be similarities, but if Jeremiah’s Joker ends up being 1:1 the same as Jerome, it would beg the question of why Jerome was even killed off in the first place? I imagine there’ll be some differences, but for now I do hope that this Joker doesn’t feel like Jerome 2.0. I mean, that’s essentially what he is, but here’s an opportunity for Gotham to change things up a bit to make Jeremiah more distinct.
Furthermore, this Joker does have an origin of sorts, rather than just appearing. Hell, it’s the laughing gas that makes him who he is. I know that fans grapple on whether the Joker should have a backstory, but if it’s told well, it can be done. Both the 1989 Batman film and The Killing Joke gave him an origin of sorts, but other adaptations have left him as a giant question mark in regards to his past. This is merely Gotham’s take on it.
There were a lot of fun nods to Batman lore. Whether it was Jeremiah at the end having his Killing Joke moment at the end, the band playing the theme to the 60s Batman show, or Jerome’s plan to gas the citizens at a huge gathering through a huge object in the sky- not unlike what Jack Nicholson’s Joker did in the 1989 Batman film, there were some nice Easter Eggs for fans.
As always, Jerome brings a shot of energy to the show and we see again that he’s very meticulous in his plan, both in having gunmen ready to take out the snipers and predicting that Penguin would fold and talk to Jim. I still don’t like that Freeze and Firefly are just here for firepower, but hey, at least they’re getting work. And the show does give Mad Hatter and Scarecrow a bit more to do, which I like.
Briefly on some of the other characters. Penguin teaming up with Gordon is often entertaining, and that’s no exception here when Penguin unintentionally becomes one of the episode’s heroes. More than that, Oswald is about order, but Jerome’s philosophy clashes against that. As Oswald has said, Jerome has no interest in building things, so I very much buy that Penguin would confide in Jim about Jerome’s plans.
Plus, it’s nice that Alfred bought Bruce his first Batmobile. Okay, not really, but Bruce now has a ride that’s bulletproof. If he ever goes back to being a vigilante, I can’t think of an instance where he’ll need it since he seems to love scaling the rooftops, but it’s the thought that counts. It could be useful later.
And will the real Ra’s al Ghul please stand up? Because it doesn’t seem like that will be Barbara for long. She’s embracing her destiny, but I’m wondering just when Barbara decided that all her life she was destined for something great. Was this before, during, or after she was just Jim’s girlfriend?
In much of Season One, it felt like the writers had no idea what to do with Barbara, so they took her from girlfriend to lunatic. Made her more interesting to watch, yes, but at the start, Barbara was simply the protagonist’s love interest. Hard to believe that she’s felt that she was destined for something like this.
But Tabitha looks to be in the company of those who are ready to serve the real Demon’s Head. So Ra’s will probably be returning soon. Oh, and again, I’m left to wonder why the ladies of the League didn’t just kill Tabitha when they had the chance. They had nothing to lose at that point and giving Tabitha a chance to live will bite them in the ass.
With all that said, “That’s Entertainment” was a very good episode of Gotham. The main plot revolving around Jerome’s plan was entertaining to watch and while Jerome himself is out of the picture, his philosophy of madness lives on in Jeremiah. Jerome is dead, but long live the Joker.