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– by Mark Cook

Photo Courtesy of Fox.

Photo Courtesy of Fox.

This is the last episode before Gotham’s Winter Finale!  What does Jerome have in store this episode!?

As Jerome’s followers are taking over Gotham, he breaks in to Wayne Manor in order to kidnap Bruce.  I still enjoy Cameron Monaghan’s portrayal of The Joker.  He does draw some of his words like Heath Ledger’s take, but it has its own feel to it which is refreshing, yet close to many adaptions of the comics.  I hope they do not run through this storyline as it has been one of the best of the series.  Jerome captures Bruce as Gordon comes to help Alfred.  Jerome stabbing one of his men and using the blood to paint Bruce’s face was morbid, unexpected, and extremely well done.  Between this, having his face cut off, and stapled back on, Gotham has become edgy  which has made it more interesting.  Jerome telling Bruce that, “Gotham has no heroes,” seemed to be a defining moment which we all know will lead to his eventual transformation.  This leads to Bruce almost killing Jerome, but he stops himself which is reflective of the code we all know Bruce / Batman has.  Bruce acknowledges that he did not cross the line, and Alfred tells him that if he continues to fight, he has to have rules that he will never break.  This leads Bruce to the lines, “I will not kill.” The most graphic part of the episode was seeing Jerome’s face slowly slide off as Bruce, and later Gordon, continuously punched him in the face.  It has been great to see the “A Death of the Family” story line on the small screen.  At the end, Jerome is arrested with the intentions of sending him to Arkham.  I hope they elaborate on this plot when Gotham returns.  Even though it seems like the series will shift to focus on Nygma and The Court of Owls, Jerome’s character is too intriguing to only use in two episodes.

Photo Courtest of Fox.

Photo Courtest of Fox.

Nygma and Cobblepot come face-to-face in the confrontation that has been building for weeks.  Nygma’s sociopathic nature is seen as he threatens Cobblepot’s life.  The conversation between the two was extremely well done and continues to be one of the better parts of the show, although awkward.  Nygma leaves Cobblepot tied to the car Isabella was killed in and has a trap set above him, which reminded me of something from the Riddler Missions in the Batman Arkham Series.  I am hoping this will bring both characters to their evil, manipulative ways and we will see them trying to one-up each other in order to establish dominance. Tabitha and Butch return to Cobblepot’s mansion looking for Nygma, and capturing Penguin at the same time.  The original alliance of Barbara, Tabitha, and Butch with Nygma now seems to be over, which was short-lived.  Not surprising.  Barbara is now trying to use Cobblepot to get to Nygma so they can kill him.  The twist came when this was all Nygma’s plan, which backfired on him as Cobblepot didn’t give up where he was.  As much as I enjoy the interaction between these two characters, and feel they are two of the best actors on the show, this story line continues to be odd.  It has gone back-and-forth so many times.  I want to see a cut-throat Penguin as we have in seasons past, feud with a sociopathic Nygma.  Interestingly, Nygma shoots Cobblepot in the stomach and pushes him off a barge. This may be a huge twist for viewers who do not follow the comics, but it didn’t seem like a surprise to me.  Cobblepot will obviously be back; he’s too big a character in the Gotham mythos to completely do away with.  The death of Fish and Jerome were believable because Fish was a character made for the show, and the audience thought Jerome was merely an inspiration for the eventual Joker.  We know what Cobblepot comes to be and how important he is to the comics/show, which made his death not quite as believable for me.  For now it seems as if Nygma will truly be embracing the second personality within him leading to his alter-ego, The Riddler.  This story line looks to take focus when Gotham returns in April.

Photo Courtesy of Fox.

Photo Courtesy of Fox.

The Court of Owls were seen viewing the destruction of Gotham.  Remember them?  This story line has been completely dragged out, and mishandled.  Too much time has lapsed between their initial impact on the show and their spotty appearances, which leads to it not making a fluid transition into the episodes.  The return of the Court also reveals the return of Bruce’s doppelganger, which most thought would be used by the Court.  Viewers also get to see Gordon’s Uncle Frank, who we assume is the one who had the family ring, and is attached to the Court.  Once again, there are too many stories going on.  Yes, they seem to be connecting them now, but it is a slow connection.  I had honestly forgotten about Bruce’s doppelganger, but it wasn’t a huge reveal as I had figured he would align himself with the Court earlier this season…or was it last season?  Anyways, the stories on Gotham have such great potential, but the issue is the pacing.  It seems they are either too rushed, or too drawn out leading to fluidity issues (Bruce’s doppelganger / Gordon’s uncle, etc.).

What did you think of the Winter Finale?  Do you think Gotham will get it right when it returns in April, or do you expect more of the same?  Leave your comments in the usual spot, and thanks for reading!