Last week on Gotham, the show gave us a little prep and got back into the swing of things. They reintroduced the old characters and added a couple of new faces. Gordon made a power play and had Commissioner Loeb removed from duty, though he had to make an unsavory deal with The Penguin to get things done. Bruce continued to delve into the mystery of his father’s secrets. And a pack of baddies escaped Arkham Asylum and now work toward terrorizing the city under the orders of a certain mister Theo Galavan. Will Gordon be able to stave off the crazies and save his city? ‘Knock, Knock’ suggests that the job isn’t going to be an easy one.
We begin by visiting the new player in town – Theo Galavan. He’s torturing the mayor and running yet another one of Gotham’s familiar faces out of town. He’s also making some big speeches about how he’s going to mess the city up. Meanwhile, his evil crew gets to work throwing shipyard workers off of a building. They’re making their presence known and letting the people of Gotham know what’s in store for them. But keeping a pack of lunatics entertained is no easy task. Galavan is forced to break up chainsaw fights and then, when leadership of the loony super villain team is called into question, he solves it the old-fashioned way – with a friendly game of Russian roulette. Naturally, Jerome the maybe-Joker wins this contest and takes over the pack.
With crazies everywhere, it’s up to the GCPD to find and stop them. Gordon is at the helm, of course and he even tries to get Harvey Bullock to come back and lend a hand. Harvey ain’t having none of that, but he does give Gordon some advice – advice that leads our hero to discover that the bad guys have stolen a truck filled with gasoline. So what’s the gasoline plan? Why, light up a bus full of cheerleaders! Fortunately, a faulty lighter delays the bonfire just long enough for Gordon and the GCPD to save the say. They even capture one of the villains. At least until a bullet makes him dead.
When he gets back to the station, Gordon gets another call from his psycho ex-girlfriend, Barbara. She’s walked right into the police station to taunt him. It’s no surprise when Gordon gives chase. And even less of a surprise when he falls into a trap and gets beat to shit. And while he’s out and about, Jerome and his merry crew walk right into the GCPD and massacre pretty much everyone, including the new Commissioner. The only upside of this is that Bullock comes back to the force, so it’s the old team, back together again. And in the end, Jerome sends a little message to the city of Gotham – that the massacre is only the beginning of what they have planned.
Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce is dissecting his father’s computer, trying to find out all those secrets. All of a sudden, Alfred goes ape-shit and smashes said computer. He’s trying to keep Bruce safe, but little Batman is NOT happy. In fact, he fires Alfred. Of course, this doesn’t last too long. Eventually, they work out a deal whereby Alfred will teach Bruce all that he knows about being a bad-ass. In return, Bruce will listen to Alfred and do whatever he says in the interest of safety. Now officially part of Team Batman, Alfred heads out to recruit one more person – the man who built Batman, Lucius Fox, thereby starting Fox on his road to becoming one of the best weapon designers in Gotham city.
And then there’s a little bit going on with Edward Nygma. He’s gone full-Gollum now, with “normal” Nygma squaring off against evil Nygma in a battle for control of his mind. He’s also still pursuing Miss Kringle and even manages to save her from certain death when Jerome and his lackeys invade the GCPD. Is love in the air? I guess we’ll have to wait to find out the answer to that question.
This week’s episode of Gotham set up quite a bit and managed to push the bar for brutality on the show. With Jerome and the crazy bunch wandering about killing all sorts of people, the stakes have been raised. It makes a bigger impact on us as the audience to know that people are going to die. Sure, we know that Gordon, Bullock, Alfred, Bruce and all the important folks will live, but side characters that we know and love (or hate) are dropping like flies.
It was also nice to see Alfred being a bad-ass again. He’s not afraid to get his hands dirty when he needs to – something that he proved in season 1 – and I’m hoping that the writers let us in some more of his secrets as the season progresses. We’re seeing the origins of Batman and Gordon and so many others, it would be nice to take a trip down memory lane and explore one of Gotham city’s lesser known heroes – Alfred Pennyworth.
The main beef I had with this week is the growing presence of Jerome the maybe-Joker. He’s playing the role over-the-top and sometimes I feel like I’ve been transported back to the campy days of Adam West’s Batman. Then the next moment he channels the spirit (although somewhat unsuccessfully) of Heath Ledger. It’s like the actor has no idea what he wants to do with the role, so he’s just taking bits and pieces from all previous portrayals of The Joker. It’s rubbing me the wrong way and if he doesn’t settle in and make the character his own soon, this could very well go down in history as one of the worst Joker performances ever. Assuming that Jerome IS the Joker, of course…
Next week, ‘The Last Laugh’ looks like it’s going to be a showdown between Gordon and Jerome. Where that will lead the show is anyone’s guess, but Gotham could use an episode that centers in on a single plotline right now, what with all the chaos of the last two episodes. Will this be the one to calm the raging storm long enough to draw us in?