Gotham “The Last Laugh”

OK, I come to this series more or less aware the show does a lot to tease that certain characters may or may not be the Joker at some point…but I still didn’t expect, well, that ending.

Cool.

Any episode that opens with a defenestration, namely Gordon and Bullock tossing a suspect through a second floor window into a pile of garbage bags, is already off to a good start for me.  Gordon and Bullock really want Jerome for Essen’s death, and Jerome, well, he’s still out there.

As an added bonus to the overall storyline, we get an inkling of what Theo Galavan is after.  He’s not just some petty criminal or mob boss letting a lot of psychopaths run around the city causing trouble. No!  His family comes from a long line of rich people who helped shape the city, but something happened, and now he wants to shape the city his own way.  To do that, he needs to look like a hero first.

Basically, he set up Jerome and the others only so he could stop them himself as publicly as possible, but the only one he shared that with was Barbara because for some reason the show wants us to be more impressed by Barbara than we logically should be.

Barbara, by the way, might be carrying on with Tabitha and Theo.  Mostly Tabitha.

Regardless, something about this plan also requires keeping Gordon alive because…well, just because, I guess.

To that end, the plan is for Jerome to replace a magician at a charity event.  Bruce is there with Alfred.  Lee is hosting.  Alfred tries flirting, and she can’t get a word in edgewise to explain she’s spoken for (there’s a small comedic moment in the end when Alfred does figure it out and he chides Bruce for not telling him).  Selina is there, robbing the crowd.  And Barbara is there as Jerome’s masked assistant.

I suppose now would be a good time to say that Theo’s plan seems…a bit rough.  He does give a speech about standing up to the psychos directly to Jerome, but it sounds rehearsed.  Like, intentionally so.  I mean, in-universe, it is.  He’s playing a part.  James Frain made the decision to deliver his lines that way.  But why did anyone think he was sincere?

Regardless, there are some nice character moments.  Selina’s conscience kicks in to help Bruce escape, but his own has him go back for Alfred, the only person in there to put up a good fight to stop Jerome’s henchmen.  Jerome laughs it up.  Bullock isn’t there, but he does have a good scene with the Penguin later.  And Gordon does get inside to almost save the day.

I say “almost” because Theo stabs Jerome in the neck, presumably killing him.  Jerome sure looks dead.  Happy but dead.  They stuck him on a slab and everything.

And for some reason, people around the city see this on TV, and start laughing their own Jerome laughs because, well…he might be contagious.

So, really, I didn’t expect Jerome to die.

We’ll see if he stays dead.  The character was far too much fun to keep dead.

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