Gotham Signs Off for Winter with a Twisted Disturbing Circus

first_img Well, that was something. I thought playing Face/Off with Jerome last week was messed up enough, but Gotham was apparently just getting started. Last night’s episode was everything you’d want out of a midseason finale from this show. It had plenty of action, moved the story forward in some significant ways, and it cemented Jerome/the Joker as the scariest villain on the show.Gotham‘s midseason finale began immediately following the end of last week’s episode. Gotham City’s power has been cut off, allowing the citizens to run wild. Jerome appears to have similar motivations to The Joker in The Dark Knight. He wants to prove that everyone, deep down, is like him. They just need an excuse to act out. We don’t see much of that happening, though, maybe because normal citizens who go outside during the power outage are put in Jerome’s horrific circus. We’ll get to that later.For now, the GCPD is being overrun by clowns. It may be too much for the cops to handle, but they appear to be getting as many in cells as they can. Since Bullock is overwhelmed with phone calls from terrified citizens, Gordon must stop Jerome on his own. And since Lee was the last person he talked to… Well, it wouldn’t be an episode of Gotham without a tense, bitter conversation with Gordon’s ex, now would it?Morena Baccarin in GOTHAM (Credit: Jessica Miglio/FOX.)Lee tells him that the last thing Jerome remembers before dying was that he’s about to kill Bruce Wayne. Gordon runs to the manor, but he’s too late. Jerome and a few henchmen beat him there. Bruce can buy himself some time by convincing Jerome that he needs an audience. Jerome takes Bruce away but leaves Alfred to be killed by the henchmen. Fortunately, Gordon arrives just in time to fight off the goons and save Alfred’s life. The two men track Jerome and Bruce down.Jerome has taken Bruce to his nightmare carnival. All the rides and games you’d expect from a normal carnival are there, but with a sadistic twist. Hit the target and you drop a man into a piranha tank. Play Whack-A-Mole, only with real people. (The blood spatter after this game was shows was especially chilling for some reason.) Once Jerome figures he’s traumatized Bruce enough, it’s time to kill him. He handcuffs the boy to a pole and aims a cannon at him. Fortunately, Alfred and Gordon bust up the party and start punching clowns. That gives Bruce just enough of a distraction to pick open his handcuffs.The cannon goes off, and it looks to Alfred like Bruce didn’t survive. But Bruce Wayne can’t be killed by a cannon. That would go against canon. (Not sorry.) He escapes and leads Jerome into a hall of mirrors. The first showdown between The Joker and proto-Batman is pretty spectacular. Bruce frustrates Jerome by having him waste bullets shooting at mirrors. When Jerome throws down the gun, Bruce tackles him from behind. After a brief struggle, Bruce ends up on top and beats the absolute crap out of Jerome, tearing up his stapled-on face in the process. All the while, Jerome is laughing. It isn’t until Bruce sees himself about to kill Jerome that he realizes he doesn’t want to be a murderer.Donal Logue, Sean Pertwee and Ben McKenzie in GOTHAM (Credit: Jessica Miglio/FOX.)He stops, picks himself up, and goes outside to find Alfred. As the two hug, Jerome comes out with a gun, about to kill them both. Gordon steps up and punches Jerome so hard his face flies off. There’s a disturbing image to haunt your nightmares for the next few months. Thanks, Gotham! It does lead to Bullock’s best line all season: “At least you can say you punched a guy’s face off.” Back at Wayne Manor, Alfred talks to Bruce about rules he’ll have to follow if he wants to protect Gotham. Bruce swears he will not kill and Alfred gets up to continue his training. We’re getting closer to Batman!Elsewhere in the city, Ed Nygma’s plan finally comes to fruition. He reveals everything to Penguin and ties him to a hood of a car. He’s rigged up a bucket to dump acid all over Penguin as soon as a block of ice melts. Penguin tries to tell Nygma that he loves him, but Nygma doesn’t believe it. If Penguin truly loved him, he would have sacrificed his happiness and not killed Isabella. Nygma leaves Penguin to die, but he’s rescued by a slightly dimwitted cop.Back at his home, Penguin is accosted by Tabitha, Barbara, and Butch. They claim they don’t need Nygma anymore and want Penguin’s help to draw him out. If Penguin helps, they’ll let him live. He finally understands what Nygma meant about love being a sacrifice, and refuses to give Nygma up. Nygma walks out of the shadows, having listened to everything. It turns out this was all a ploy to prove that Penguin’s love wasn’t real. Nygma doesn’t know how to react when he sees he was wrong. But of course, this love story doesn’t have a happy ending. Penguin still killed Isabella. Nygma takes him to a dock, shoots him and leaves him for dead in the river. Penguin looks pretty dead, but come on. They’re not going to kill off a major Batman villain like that, right? He’ll be back.Guest star James Remar in GOTHAM (Credit: Jessica Miglio/FOX)Gotham closed out the first half of it season with on hell of a strong episode. Both main plots were engrossing and ended in a satisfying way, which is rare for this show. Jerome’s circus was legitimately disturbing, as was the way Gordon brought him down. Gotham managed to tell a pretty great Joker story, and Cameron Monaghan is perfect for the part. His sense of comedic timing makes you laugh even while he’s scaring the pants off you. It might be a while before we see him again, but I’m already looking forward to more Jerome.The last few moments were spent setting up the rest of the season. The Court of Owls is back, having trained the Bruce Wayne clone (remember him?) for some kind of mission. They also send Gordon’s uncle out to throw another wrench into Jim’s life as well. But the most exciting thing we have to look forward to in the second half of the season is The Riddler. Nygma has (for all intents and purposes) killed the Penguin. Now, he can become the villain we’ve been waiting for since season one. We’ll all get to see what riddles he has in store when the show returns in… April? How are we supposed to wait that long? Stay on target NYCC 18: The Cast of Gotham On Bane, Batman and Saying GoodbyeDC TV Comes to NYCC, Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Grin & More DC News last_img

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