“When you smile, the whole world smiles with you”
I’d like to brag and say ‘I called it!’ when I predicted what the circus would bring after Lee mentioned it in last week’s Gotham (see here for my review!), but anyone with a minimal knowledge about Batman’s sidekick would have also reached the same conclusion. The circus can only mean…the Graysons! Fortunately, we didn’t see Dick Grayson in nappies with an R plastered on them (although I wouldn’t have put it past the people behind Gotham). We didn’t see the future Robin at all. What we did get was another average, over-stuffed episode of Gotham.
In the first five minutes of the episode, we go from Bruce asleep on a couch, to Penguin’s mum singing in Oswald’s (a line from the song is the quote I picked out above…a Joker reference?!?!?), Fish and the dungeon, Barbara going into her flat and finding Selina and Ivy, and finally Gordon and Lee enjoying the Flying Graysons. I was exhausted already! Talk about pacing. Apart from the Barbara scene (and maybe Oswald’s), none of the others felt necessary. They were only put there to remind us of everybody’s location for this episode. Stop treating the audience like idiots! There is a ‘Previously On Gotham’ segment before the show starts!
The central plot involves a murder at the circus. Lyla is found dead after Jim sets her snake loose to locate her using her scent. Snake have a great sense of smell, after all…It turns out she has been moved after the Ringmaster (maybe, I’m not sure) found her dead. Obstruction of justice? Definitely! And you should be able to guess who the murderer is right from the bat. Really, there is only one suspect. SPOILER ALERT: It is the son. It’s your typical CSI: Gotham plot, with a blind fortune teller added for extra effect.
It seems to exists for a few reasons. One, to give us a reference to Robin. Two, to put a bit of friction between Gordon and Lee. She believes in the supernatural, while Gordon thinks it’s a load of rubbish (like Mulder and Scully, but the roles are reversed). Three, after it’s revealed that he is the killer, the son Jerome becomes another Joker candidate. His turn into a laughing psychopath at the end was the true highlight. Mocking, sneering, growling, shouting…what a Joker he could be. Part Ledger, part Nicholson. I thought his performance was awful throughout the episode until that point. Then it all made sense. The perfect psychopath? Or just another Joker decoy? But if you smile, the world smiles with you…
“We are all spare parts”
The rest of the stories did feel like spare parts, simply there to fill the time. Fish’s story, in particular, was far-fetched. The prisoners were initially afraid of one man with a blade. But Fish turns them into a fighting group of rebels? I know her speech was awesome, but come on…however, the group meditation may have hypnotised them. I guess that’s what the meditation scene was all about? The use of the prisoners as organ donors was a nice little touch, however. And, in the end, she gets to see the Manager. So we’ll find out who’s behind it all next week.
What else…oh yeah, Barbara seemed non-plussed about these strangers in her flat. She even tried on a few clothes for these two girls, so they could give her their opinion on them. Two young girls who have been living on the streets are sure to know the latest thing about fashion, aren’t they?!?!? Barbara wants her man back. Of course, she finds Gordon and Lee kissing each other’s faces off. Poor, poor Barbara. But she did have a lesbian affair, so what did she expect?
Cobblepot’s story was NOT the best thing about this episode, for once! All is showed us was that Butch was still alive, and Zsaz has turned him into a mindless robot. Butch will help Cobblepot turn Oswald’s into a decent nightclub. Surely Cobblepot has enough sense to know his mother’s singing isn’t going to bring the punters in? Or maybe not. Bruce Wayne had to be in the episode as well, so he meets with the Board of Wayne Enterprises and tells them they are corrupt and he has proof. And Bruce will tell the shareholders about his findings…
VERDICT: 5/10. Nothing but average. A throwaway murder plot, and characters forced into stories just to give them something to do. However, Jerome was a revelation. Everything we want from The Joker! If he is The Joker…
(Click here for my review of Episode 15: The Scarecrow)