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Gotham - That’s Entertainment - Review

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So does “That’s Entertainment” live up to its title? Not quite. The primary plot of this week’s “Gotham” has to stretch to fill time, but has some good moments, while the secondary story is mostly a snore.

Jerome has got big plans as the episode begins with him and his rogues’ gallery of Arkham Asylum escapees – including a visibly perturbed Penguin – kidnapping the mayor, the police commissioner, and other city luminaries. He brings them to the Gotham Music Festival (and sidebar – this is likely an issue of production logistics, but this event looks very rinky-dink for what it’s supposed to be) and straps them up with bombs, threatening to blow their heads off (and actually following through in the case of the commissioner; I wonder if that’s setting up Gordon becoming the city’s top cop sooner than later) unless Gordon delivers his brother and Bruce to the stage. But this turns out to be a stall, in several senses, while his associates whip up more Joker laughing gas, with the goal of contaminating the crowd via blimp (which is comparatively a well-done effect).

The resolution of this threat, and the season’s Jerome arc in totality, is pretty anti-climactic. Lucius outfits Bruce and Jeremiah with devices that disable the bombs' trigger. Penguin – outed as a traitor for trying to warn Gordon earlier in the episode – is put on the blimp instead of just being killed so he’s in a position to overpower the hypnotized pilot and steer the blimp out over the river. And after being shot and falling off a roof, Jerome chooses to plummet to his death rather than let Gordon pull him to safety, content that his anarchist philosophies will live on in the shadows of Gotham. Like most deaths on the show these days, it didn’t have much impact on me because, you know, Jerome’s already come back to life once before.

But there is a twist in the final minutes. Jeremiah returns to his bunker where he finds a giftwrapped package purportedly from Wayne Enterprises. Stupidly not questioning who could have left this on the desk in his fortress-like and off-the-grid home, he opens it up and gets sprayed in the face with a special strain of the laughing gas. And while Jerome taunts him from beyond the grave via a recorded message, Jeremiah starts maniacally cackling, his face twisting into a more classic Joker visage. I mean...I’m happy that Cameron Monaghan remains in play, but I would have liked to have seen more psychological warfare between the brothers – particularly given the hints that it’s not as cut-and-dry a case of good twin versus evil twin as it seems – instead of this deus ex jack-in-the-box.

As an aside to the A-plot, it’s also Bruce’s birthday. He and Alfred have a sweet scene where Alfred gifts him a proto-Batmobile, with bulletproof paneling I suspect will come in handy before the season’s over. And there’s a cute shipper moment with Selina when she shows up to have some cake with him. Also, Camren Bicondova makes some funny faces of disinterest in the background of the scenes of Gordon and Lucius showing up to ask for Bruce’s help with Jerome.

In the subplot, Barbara is really feeling herself as the new leader of the League of Shadows, but Tabitha is thoroughly unimpressed. I’m Team Tabitha on that score. Anyway, Barbara’s new acolytes bring her to a stronghold of Ra’s al Ghul’s in Gotham that Barbara’s glowy hand is able to open. There, she finds tomes detailing Ra’s' influence and impact on history throughout the ages. More intriguing, there’s also a 400-year-old portrait of Ra’s with Barbara, or a woman who looks a lot like her.

Drinking the Kool-Aid, Barbara becomes convinced that continuing Ra’s work is her destiny, her true purpose. And when Tabitha tries to remind her about the partnership she’s supposed to have with her and Selina, Barbara turns on her hard and has her servants throw Tabitha out on the street. Seconds later, though, Tabitha is snatched up by a rogue sect of the League that refuses to acknowledge Barbara as their leader. I hope this League of Shadows thing isn’t the main thrust of the season’s final episodes as I find it rather boring. Also, this subplot really drove home for me how repetitive it has gotten on this show for various alliances to shatter, be repaired, and then shatter again. I mean, how many times has that happened with just Babs and Tabs?

So did “That’s Entertainment” entertain you? Let me know what you liked or disliked about this episode of “Gotham” in the comments section.

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