Gotham Prepares For the Finale by Taking Cues From Batman Comics


first_img After Jim Gordon’s run-in with Jeremiah’s bomb last week, he’s missing and feared dead. Bullock puts about as much stock in that as we do. He’s chewing out the rest of the cops for standing around, mourning. He knows just as well as we do that Gordon is going to walk in sooner rather than later. It’s nice to see Bullock take on the lead again. He falls into the role so naturally, you almost forget how bad things went the last time he was in this position. The rest of the cops haven’t, though. They aren’t too keen on taking orders from the man that got them slaughtered by the Pyg earlier this season.They don’t really have a choice, though. Jeremiah shows up outside the department with a warning. More bombs are planted all over the city, and they’ll go off in six hours. That’s the amount of time he has to evacuate everyone. And just to show he’s serious, Jerome blows up the clock tower. It’s that kind of massive setpiece action that lets you know we’re in the final two episodes of the season. A massive city-destroying threat like this should bring all of Gotham City together, and that’s what this episode is trying to do. All these previously unconnected stories are uniting to either save the city or take advantage of the chaos.Donal Logue (Cr: FOX)With Gordon seemingly out of the picture for much of the episode, Bruce Wayne is forced to take matters into his own hands. He tries offering his services to Bullock, admitting that Wayne Enterprises funded Jeremiah’s generators. He can give the schematics to Lucius Fox in hopes that he might be able to disable them. While that is exactly what happens, Bullock does it without Bruce’s help. With Gordon gone, Bullock tells Bruce to get to safety, to be with Alfred. There’s just one problem. Jerome’s goons kidnapped Alfred last episode. We all knew the show would eventually get back to that plot, but it’s still a little weird that such a major plot point of this episode was given half a scene’s worth of time in the last one.The show puts it all together really well. It’s one of those rare episodes where every storyline and subplot is important. Ever piece is important to the outcome. Lucius figures out that (the increasingly DiCaprio-esque) Jeremiah uses a main relay to trigger the bombs. Meanwhile, Penguin and Butch have found out the same thing. Their method just involved a lot more torture. They, Barbara, and Tabitha find the relay, and threaten to blow it up so they can extort Jeremiah for $50 million. Unfortunately for them, Jeremiah has a backup plan. He blows up the relay himself, and says he’ll use a direct sequence instead. Only now his terms have changed. Rather than the six hours he promised, he’ll blow up the city as soon as he gets clear.Robin Lord Taylor (Cr: FOX)Penguin and crew survive the ensuing henchmen attack, and make a call to the GCPD. They want to own the city, not see it blown up after all. On hearing the words “direct sequence,” Lucius comes up with a new plan. All they have to do is disarm the first bomb in the sequence, and the rest can’t blow up. Now if only they knew where the bombs were. That’s where Jim Gordon comes in. It’s one of those moments of perfect timing that makes me let out a delighted squeal. This episode was filled with moments like these, and was so much fun for it.See, while all this was going on, Gordon woke up in Lee’s makeshift hospital in the Narrows. Since she still has him on painkillers, he can’t run off to the GCPD just yet. He has to enlist the help of The Riddler and Lee to figure out what the schematics he stole from Jeremiah’s maze mean. There’s a great scene where the Riddler tries to puzzle together Jeremiah’s plan. It’s like watching these two iconic villains pit their skills against each other. Last year in the Batman comics, there was an arc where the Riddler and the Joker faced off, and it was a fantastic run. This scene reminded me of that. Together, Gordon and Nygma figure out that Jeremiah is targeting specific buildings in Gotham. He’s turning the city into a maze, like the one he spent his entire life in.Donal Logue, Chris Chalk and Ben McKenzie (Cr: FOX)Gordon rushes off to the GCPD to give Lucius the information he needs. Oh, and there’s some drama with whether or not Lee actually likes The Riddler or if she’s just using him. Because of course there is. Honestly, with as much fun as the rest of this story was, I just can’t care about this relationship drama. What’s important is, the one bomb is disarmed right as Jerome pushes the detonator. Because that’s just how things work on this show. When the explosions don’t happen, his gang turns on him. That’s when Jeremiah decides he’d rather work alone and incinerates all of them. He may not have the joker laugh or smile, but he certainly has the tactics down.Speaking of which, Bruce tracks Alfred to a warehouse, and this is where Jeremiah really starts to feel like the Joker. His lack of laughter or a permanent twisted smile is a little disappointing, I’ll admit. His obsession with projecting sanity makes him a little less like the clown prince of crime than his brother was. But here, with the elaborate torture maze that forces Bruce to watch Alfred in agony, Jeremiah really comes into his own. This is a Killing Joke-level trap right here. Which is certainly intentional, as the episode is called “One Bad Day.” And you know? Without the ’80s comics industry misogyny and almost-permanent sidelining of an important female character for no reason… this is better than The Killing Joke. (Even Alan Moore never liked the story. It’s bad. Fight me.)Erin Richards, Drew Powell and Jessica Lucas (Cr: FOX)This one ends in a much scarier image too. Bruce finds Alfred strapped to a chair, the entire maze filled with scarecrow’s fear toxin. Alfred takes a razor and cuts a smile into his face. He tries to do the same to Bruce. It’s a legitimately scary scene, and for a second it had me fooled. The Selena finds the real Alfred. It turns out it was Bruce, not Alfred, under the influence of fear toxin. He just saw a random person with grey hair cut his face up. Still disturbing, but not as bad as if it had really been Alfred.Last night’s Gotham was really well put together, and might be the most the show has ever felt like the Batman comics it’s based on. For better and for worse, really. It’s only in the episode’s final moments that it started not to work for me. First, while contemplating his next move, Jeremiah is contacted by Ra’s Al Ghul. Because we can’t just be done with him already. Maybe this new partnership will finally make this version of Ra’s work? I hope? Ra’s Al Ghul sets Jeremiah after Bruce Wayne, and that’s where this episode completes its adaptation of The Killing Joke. The worst part of The Killing Joke. As Bruce and Selina talk over everything that happend (and kiss! Awww!), Jeremiah shows up and shoots Selina in the stomach. Did we really need to repeat this part of Batman history? We can only take comfort in the fact that they’re probably not going to paralyze Catwoman. At least not for long. And we can be reasonably sure that nobody at DC looked at this plot point and said, “cripple the bitch,” as Alan Moore recalls Len Wein did when he brought up the idea for The Killing Joke. I guess there’s some comfort in that. We’ll have to see how they handle it in next week’s season finale. No matter what, this episode set us up for a spectacle.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. 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