Gotham Returns and Brings Back the Dead

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first_img NYCC 18: The Cast of Gotham On Bane, Batman and Saying GoodbyeDC TV Comes to NYCC, Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Grin & More DC News After the first half of the season’s relatively slow start, Gotham wasted no time getting to the action for its midseason premiere. This episode had pretty much everything that makes Gotham fun. There were plenty of villains, creepy foreshadowing, mob hits and of course, Jim Gordon making stupid decisions.The show begins with one of those, actually. Gordon decides to show up to Mario Falcone’s funeral. You know, his ex’s late husband and the son of gangster Carmine Falcone. Bullock shows up to tell Gordon just how terrible an idea this is. Bullock can talk some sense into Gordon, but not before Carmine sees him. This leads to Lee and Carmine deciding to put out a hit on Gordon.That means we get a very Zsasz-heavy episode. Zsasz is an underrated Batman villain, and one of my favorites in the comics. His gruesome kills and sadistic arrangement of bodies is terrifying. When Zsasz shows up on the page, you know something real messed up is about to happen. On Gotham, he’s been toned down a lot, but he’s still creepy. This version may rely on guns too much, but Anthony Carrigan knows how to unsettle you with just a look.Donal Logue and Ben McKenzie (Credit: Jeff Neumann/FOX.)In addition to dealing with Zsasz, Bullock and Gordon have to investigate a strange case involving the dead coming back to life. A woman who had been murdered by her boyfriend a few days prior was found dead again, having left the morgue to walk on the railroad tracks. When they question the morgue attendant, Gordon notices a hat with a strange logo on it. It’s a face with the words “Ha Ha Ha Ha” forming a bright red smile. Oh yes. He’s back. Or will be anyway. The detectives tail the attendant to a secret meeting in an abandoned theater. A group of Joker (or Jerome, in this case) cosplayers watch his old video messages to the city, having memorized every word.Gordon and Bullock break up the meeting and chase everyone outside. The morgue attendant is nowhere to be found. The investigation is cut short by Zsasz and his two assistants trying to murder Gordon. He leads the assassins into a restaurant, which gives us the episode’s big action scene. Gordon dives behind a kitchen counter, allowing him to deal with the threats one at a time. After using one of Zsasz’s assistants as a human shield (damn, Gordon), he beats Zsasz unconscious with a baking sheet. It’s a pretty cool-looking fight.Gordon and Bullock escape to Gordon’s home, but Zsasz follows close behind. He gets the drop on Bullock, but Gordon appears behind him with a shotgun. The standoff doesn’t last long. They’re interrupted by Carmine, who has been asked by Lee to call off the hit. Partly because she saw how insane Barnes had become since his infection, and partly because she still loves Gordon. With the hit called off, Bullock and Gordon survive to continue their investigation in the next episode. At the close, we learn that the morgue attendant is experimenting on dead bodies, with the ultimate goal of reviving Jerome.Cameron Monaghan as Jerome’s corpse in Gotham. (Photo: Screenshot via FOX)The detectives aren’t the only ones dealing with the return of the dead. While all that is going on, Penguin’s life is spiraling out of control. Nygma is nowhere to be found, and he doesn’t fully trust his deputy chief of staff. That lack of trust is exacerbated by what appears to be the ghost of Penguin’s father telling him not to trust “the birthday boy.” Penguin soon finds the corpse of his father has been dug up and put in his closet. He murders his deputy chief of staff and has a meltdown on national TV. His empire is starting to crumble. Of course, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Nygma is behind all this. It’s the first step in his elaborate revenge plan. The “ghost” was actually Clayface taking the form of Penguin’s father. Gotham is bringing back all the hits this week.The only storyline that doesn’t really go anywhere this week is Bruce’s. There’s a hint that shining a light through the owl statue they recovered the last episode does… something. We don’t see what. Their subplot this week focused on Selina’s relationship with her mom. Selina rejects her at first, angry about being abandoned at five years old. Bruce, who doesn’t want anyone else to miss out on having a family, convinces them to give each other a chance. Things go well until a man catches up to Selina’s mother and demands a large chunk of money. Selina mentions Bruce’s name and the man leaves to go after him instead. That’s all that happens for them.The second half of “Mad City” started off really strong. It had great action, some genuinely scary moments and a surprising amount of classic Batman villains. Even though it was pretty obvious that Nygma was behind all the weird stuff happening to Penguin, it still came as a surprise when the “ghost” was revealed to be Clayface. And I couldn’t be more excited for the return of the Joker/Jerome. It was smart of Gotham to keep Jerome in the background for so long. The presence of any Joker-like villain would overshadow all the other fun things the show has going for it. Now, three and a half seasons in, I’m ready for him to come back and I can’t wait to see what they do with him. Stay on targetlast_img

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