December 6, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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Gotham “That Old Corpse”

Season Four, Episode Twenty

There’s a moment in this episode where Lee, arrested for her part in robbing a corrupt bank, tells Jim he should come down to the Narrows with her, and once there, he could make his own rules to make people’s lives better.

Jim could make his own rules?  Has she not been noticing he more or less does that anyway?

However, before I get into that, I will say…I don’t really want to get too much into that.  Sure, it’s fun watching the Riddler come up with an elaborate scheme to rescue Lee that involves four followers carrying random stuff he apparently requested, to say nothing of Butch and Penguin interrogating a captured goon since that’s just two guys who really enjoy their work, but most of this episode is dedicated to  Jeremiah Valeska taking his dead twin brother Jerome’s place as the craziest criminal in Gotham City.  And yes, I am well aware that the series never confirmed where either Velaska was going to be the Joker (possibly because the Joker was for some reason out-of-bounds for the show to use), but Jeremiah did have his silent assistant Ecco dress up in jester’s bells like a certain Harley Quinn, so yeah, hint strongly and never confirm.  Got it.

Instead, well, even though both Jerome and Jeremiah are played by the same actor, and Cameron Monaghan is a very welcome presence whenever he popped up on the show at least when he was Jerome, so what kind of villain is Jeremiah?

Jerome, of course, was more of a force of raw chaos, someone who just got his jollies hurting people and somehow amassing like-minded followers.  Seriously, any other show and I’d be asking why so many people would willingly follow the example of someone like Jerome, but on Gotham, you really should just shrug and accept it because to do otherwise would lead to madness.  Gotham makes sense on its own batspit level.  Even Breaking Bad at its most over-the-top would never get close to the insanity that is Gotham.

Regardless, credit to the show that Jerome and Jeremiah, while both crazy and evil, are not being treated like the same character.  Part of that comes from Monaghan’s performance, part of it comes from the script, and the rest just comes from someone making note that continuity does sort of matter on this show.  Gotham remembers past storylines when they have to, and the important thing here is while Jerome was an artist (sort of), Jeremiah is an engineer (for real).  So, naturally, his plan involves special generators that look like large bug zappers that will explode and take big chunks of the city with it.

That said, something about Jeremiah feels less impressive.  His plan here is to pretend he’s Jerome, sort of, to get Jerome’s followers to go do some stuff while pretending to Bruce that he’s not completely insane yet.  The beauty of a Jerome plot is they’re so darn weird that they’re essentially unpredictable.  Gordon even says as much in this one.  But this plot I more or less saw coming from the start.  For a genius, Jeremiah isn’t anywhere near as brilliant as Jerome was in pulling off big stunts and crimes.

Then again, I could be wrong.  It’s not like he’s not still running around loose when the episode ends.

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