Ben McKenzie directed this episode. I sometimes think I am a bit harsh on the guy when I write these things up. His Jim Gordon is…well, nothing special. He’s a stalwart good guy that doesn’t make much of an impression, particularly when there are more experienced character actors around him and the very eccentric villains the show continues to toss out. But I blame more the writing on Gotham than anything else. It’s not his fault he’s often working opposite Donal Logue. I’d watch that guy in just about anything.
So, what happens in this episode? Three eccentric bad guys break out of Arkham? Well, I guess Gordon will continue to be front and center whether I want him to be or not.
Yes, Jervis Tetch, Jonathan Crane, and Jerome Valeska all broke out of Arkham because Tetch knows hypnosis so good, he can get guards to slit throats, including their own. Crane might have been recast with a more intimidating actor since his face is covered the entire time and the original guy wasn’t quite that spooky. And Jerome…well, he’s Jerome. He’s nutty.
Man, I was hoping Gordon had killed Tetch by ripping his arm off or something back at the tail end of that stupid virus plotline. I mean, they took his blood in what looked like a full mason jar, and this is the first he’s been on the show in a while. Granted, I don’t expect the series to kill off Batman’s enemies before Batman actually shows up, but Tetch seemed more obnoxious than most.
Still, he was at least a criminal mastermind. Not like Barbara, who is somehow in charge of the League of Assassins now. Ra’s al-Ghul picked her to be the replacement because…maybe he was trying to bring them down from the inside. That’s the only reason I can think of based on what I’ve seen so far. I mean, it’s Barbara. She is not a criminal mastermind, and to prove it, her stirring words get the female members of the group to kill the men…and leave them with about a half-dozen Assassins when all is said and done. That’s not much of a League…unless it’s the Justice League, but most of those half-dozen members have superpowers. And the other one is Batman.
Speaking of Batman, Bruce opts to go find Jerome, arguably the most murderous of the murderous trio. Jerome is off doing stuff to an abusive uncle at a diner, requiring Selina to make sure Bruce doesn’t die…again.
Now, Gordon should have been helping but Tetch was using a radio station to convince a bunch of citizens to jump off the nearest tall buildings at the stroke of midnight, and any attempt to get these folks to, you know, not do that would only make them jump early. Gordon, though, he just tells people to save each other because Tetch didn’t think of that loophole. Tetch would make a terrible contract lawyer if he keeps leaving loopholes lying around for Gordon to easily exploit. Looks like it’s back to jail for Tetch.
Or it would be if Crane and Jerome didn’t rescue him. Why do these need that weasel? I don’t know. It better be something good. Something involving explosions or weird asides or maybe someone spilling soup onto Jerome like the episode title promised.
So, did McKenzie direct a good episode? Well, this show if nothing else is consistent in its level of quality. What that level is, well, it’s Gotham. It tends to defy expectations than most network shows might at least try to put up.
That may or may not be a good thing.