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Gotham - One of My Three Soups - Review

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Ben McKenzie’s first hand at directing in “These Delicate and Dark Obsessions” was one of the strongest outings of Gotham, and his writing effort, “The Demon's Head” was just fantastic from a character standpoint. “One of My Three Soups” is another showcasing of Ben McKenzie’s fantastic creative talent and should we be lucky enough to get a 5th season, I’d love to see him dabble further in this. Gotham’s creative team is right now the best in the DCTV game, I personally feel the movie side which is struggling a lot could use help from the writer's room of Gotham. There is no one else that knows and understands these characters, these incredibly layered villains as they do. Cameron Monaghan has proven time and time again what a blessing of a “Joker” he is, I truly believe there is no need for this character in the movie universe when the TV version is the greatest depiction of him since Heath Ledger. I’m in awe of his vocal and facial mannerisms, he’s made Jerome such a realized character it’s hard to see where Cameron starts, that’s how brilliant of an actor he is. Plus the clothing, Jerome's entire look, is just perfection, he doesn’t feel like he's putting on a costume, like he's wearing cosplay, in the way some characters in comic book shows (and movies) can look.

“Our moment is fleeting, my dear Mr. Crane, it’s winds, desperately beating.”

The opening scene was instantly engaging. Jerome bursting through doors, free and proud thanks to Mr. Crane’s concoction left such a strong impression. It does make me wonder where Tortuga’s headphones disappeared to, did Jervis (or someone else) just grab them off her beforehand as well as silence her before the other guards heard her, who knows. I find it pretty funny (and icky) that the prison toilet was Mr. Crane’s makeshift bomb lab, though it worked out quite well.

“When I say three hairs past a freckle, gentlemen, I do not mean five hairs past.”

This unlikely banding together of Mr. Crane, Jervis Tetch, and Jerome Valeska is utterly entertaining. They are all loners in their own right but put them together and they make a functionally diabolical gang. Also, just a side note, Jervis’ Gotham Gazette newspaper-made top hat is fantastic, it’s the little things like this that show how sensational the costume department is. Together, the three breaking the rest of their cronies out of Arkham Asylum, the drummer in the courtyard which was just insane, and Jerome taking a bow outside the gates as they set forth to wreak havoc upon Gotham was visually striking visual. Which reminds me, with all the escapes and breakouts, you’d think they’d up security, I know the villains are more specialized and crafty now but still, I guess funds are being diverted to other pressing matters.

“There’ll be plenty of time to stab each other in the back later.”

Seeing Jim out of the hospital so quickly after being sent to the hospital does make me concerned for his health, he was shot quite a lot by Sofia (who really was quite resilient until the end.. at least till she wakes up). Jervis’ phone call to Bullock & Gordon not only helped move them away from the GCPD, which is what Jervis seems to love, getting them alone (as most villains seem to do) but really shows how damn talented Benedict Samuel is. I love how absolutely angry Jervis is, rhyming away flawlessly (the writing for his lines is icing on the cake) and then immediately ends the phone call with a smile on his face, his voice lowered, calmer. It’s psychotic excellence.

“Do it or I’m gonna kill someone, in case you had any doubts.”

The married couple smashed down by the wrecking ball was gruesomely well done quickly, bravo to the people who made that come together. Jervis rhyming away to Gordon was once again just a stage for Benedict Samuel’s noticeable presence on screen. I cannot commend the casting director enough, every single villain on this show has been chosen with such precision, there is no other DC show that has not only fantastic villains but highly capable actors playing them.

“Afraid of change. Afraid to take orders from a woman.”

Barbara being the new demons head is surprising to me. When Ra’s gave her a gift, I always expected it to be some kind of power, something to help her, something like Ivy Pepper’s gift but unique to her. I never expected him to be passing on the torch. It never occurred to me. I guess he must’ve foreseen his demise or been taken by Barbara’s strength that made him rethink who he wanted to take over his legacy. I did find their relationship to be somewhat a little rushed and strange but seeing why he choose her, that moment where he raised her back to life off that altar makes me understand why he saw something in her. Though I’m not sure quite how to feel about her glowing hand. The league of shadows in its small appearance definitely feels a lot stronger than their role in another DC show, which is another reason why I value this show. I do, however, wish we had more scenes with Alexander Siddig, this flashback with Barbara showed how marvelous an actor he is and every time his names comes on during the credits, I do wish there’d be more of him.

“What part of League of Shadows do you not understand?”

So Gotham giving a woman such a prominent role, to be the new leader of the League, is something that makes a lot of sense. I’ve found that amidst everything on this show, it's few downfalls, the roles of female characters have always been stellar. Sofia’s role was a strong femme fatale, despite anyone's feelings on Lee, she continues to get exceptional character development, Ivy Pepper’s third iteration is quite good, Barbara has been nothing but superb since she shed the skin of her Season 1 character. They may be love interests at times but the women in this show always have more to do than that which is highly commendable. It took several seasons for The Flash to give Caitlin Snow and even Iris West more than the just the background scientist and the journalist who dabbled for a few episodes, Gotham did this from the beginning (with Fish Mooney, no matter how you felt about the character) and continues to do so. Even if I’m not sure how this storyline is going to play out, and how I feel about it, I have the utmost faith in Erin Richards to deliver an award-worthy performance, she’s been a force to be reckoned with. Shiva Kalaiselvan’s Leia made an instant impression as one of the main Sisters of the League. I’m looking forward to seeing more of her and I do wonder how she personally feels about a stranger, without training, given such a coveted role. Will she turn on Barbara or is she happy to see a woman finally given a powerful position?

“Your ego Bruce, it’s huge. Not everything is your fault or your responsibility. Get over yourself. Make you a little easier to be around.”

Bruce slipping into his billionaire boy persona at the precinct (to cover for Selina snooping in Gordon’s office) created a fun scene. The way David Mazouz played the character overly tough at first, to bribing the officer, to immediately emotionally breaking down was entertaining. I’m sure Jerome would’ve liked to see this act and give his thoughts.

Bruce and Selina’s scenes throughout the episode were strong, I quite enjoyed how it seemed like Bruce was leaning in for a kiss but was really opening the car door for Selina to go. It was so similar to that hilarious scene with Tony Stark seemingly leaning in to give Peter Parker a hug but really it was to open the car door for him to go in Spider-Man: Homecoming. It’s also really nice to see Bruce back to his usual self and having more interactions with Selina.

“Boy Billionaire Bruce Wayne, my savior!”

At first, I felt bad for Jerome’s uncle, and then the tables turned, and I realized that Gotham is full of awful people. Watching Jerome talk about soup to eating the gross various shades of under-the-table chewing gum was amusing. Cameron revels in Jerome’s off-kilter personality and it’s a delight to watch.

Seeing Jerome being treated in such an inhumane fashion by his uncle made me feel for him. Bruce coming to his defense was a heroic moment, it shows how he’s learned from this mistakes, he's not selfish, he knows who he is, which is someone with a good heart. That guy attacking Bruce was a lot stronger and bigger than him but he didn’t give up which is admirable. Jerome reciting the tale of the constant beatings from his Uncle Zack was short but Cameron’s injection of humanity into Jerome at that moment was powerful. For just a couple of seconds, we saw his demeanor alter, becoming vulnerable, his acknowledgment that no one ever helped him and his face growing despondent was not only splendid acting but added another layer to an already spectacular character. It really makes you wonder had your life not been shaped by the trials and tribulations you faced, would you be someone else, would you be better or worse than you are now. It’s something I think you can debate with Jerome. Like everyone in Gotham, they are shaped by the path they walk upon, sometimes they have no choice to walk down it, especially in a child's case (Jerome). Jerome might've not been this way had he had the family to give him a better life. Though such a life has given us both a sensational character and actor to watch. Immediately switching to that iconic laugh, Jerome leaving Bruce to fend for himself was very in character. Selina showing up to save Bruce was great as where Jerome’s thoughts on her.

“Try and they die. Standby and they all try to fly.”

The balcony scene with all the brainwashed people standing on the edge of the rooftop was dangerously breathtaking.

Jim & Jervis’ scene in the radio station played out wonderfully. Benedict reciting a rhyme of his dear sister Alice dying to the fate of the rooftop people is yet another fantastic moment in which his talent oozes on the screen. Benedict’s facial acting and the sheer emotion in his voice elevate every single one of his scenes tremendously. Like Cameron's Jerome, both are exceptional voice actors.

“I can do this crazy thing cuz if it goes sideways Jim Gordon will save me.”

In some ways, I think the words of “save each other” uttered by Jim was not only his last resort of helping the mind-numbed people upon the rooftops but a metaphor for his relationship with Bullock. It was lovely to see a rare smile from Jim after everyone was saved. Jim & Harvey have both been through so much together. These past four seasons have shaped their souls, the actions of the devils within the city and their responses helped define their identity yet amidst all those moments, the strife's in between, they always had one another to lean on. I’m so thankful we’re seeing this relationship on the mend. That touching moment in Jim’s office with the heartwarming score added a lot of meaning to one of the best scenes in the episode. The heart of the Gotham beats in the friendship and bond between Harvey & Jim, in my opinion. It's great to see such impressive character growth in that scene alone. If there are no “Heroes in Gotham”, then these two are all they need. They are flawed, they aren't perfect but they keep trying and they learn, and anyone who does that, they are making the world better.

“I judged you for a long time, I shouldn’t have done that.”

The ending was equally wonderful as the beginning, I’m so aboard Jerome’s crazy train and I cannot wait to see where it goes. As Alfred said in The Dark Knight,

“Some men aren’t looking for anything logical like money, they can’t be bought, bullied reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just wanna watch the world burn.

Tune in this Thursday at 9/8c on FOX to see Jerome's plan unfold in all its glory with "Mandatory Brunch Meeting". Please watch live and tell your friends to, that's the most important thing you can do to help get the show renewed. Thanks for reading and please stop by in the comments with any thoughts you have on the episode, the season so far and anything you may not like, always happy to discuss with you all.

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