Final Thoughts from the Gotham Episode “The Last Laugh”

by StevenHelmer

Thoughts from the season 2 television episode that first aired October 5, 2015.

Synopsis: Still reeling from the attack on the Gotham City Police Department, Gordon (Ben McKenzie) leads the hunt for Jerome (Cameron Monaghan), Barbara (Erin Richards) and the rest of the Arkham Asylum escapees. Things reach a boiling point when Jerome leads an attack on a charity gala and takes the guests hostage.

My Thoughts

1. Well, I guess this episode answered the question about whether or not Jerome would eventually become the Joker. The fact he didn’t survive pretty much tells us he won’t. However, I did like the idea of him actually inspiring others to copy him (which, ultimately, will likely result in the real Joker showing up eventually).

2. That being said, his death reinforces one of my biggest pet peeves about this series, the really memorable bad guys tend to get killed too easily.  Jerome might not have been the Joker, but he was still entertaining to watch and he and Barbara made an interesting team.

3. Along those same lines, I’m not overly enthused about the main bad guy this season, Theo Galavan (James Frain). This is mostly because his intentions are pretty obvious, he’s removing Gotham’s government piece by piece and creating chaos while painting himself as a hero so he can take over as mayor.

4. Oh, and while we’re on that subject, did people seriously fall for his performance at the gala? Even without knowing what I already know, I could have told you his speech/standing up to Jerome was staged. You can’t tell me someone with keen observation skills like Gordon couldn’t see that. The only logical conclusion is people were fooled by Barbara hitting him over the head. But, even that looked like more of a double cross than anything.

5. One thing I’m still really unclear about, however, is Galavan’s plans for Gordon. His henchmen have now had two opportunities to kill him but are apparently under standing orders to let him live. While I understand he might be doing this because he has feelings for Barbara; that just doesn’t seem like an intelligent choice given Gordon’s track record.

6. Speaking of Barbara, of all this season’s criminals, I think she is the one to watch. She is obviously manipulating Theo Galavan and may be trying to put a wedge between him and his sister (Jessica Lucas). The thing, in particular, I like about her is, unlike Galavan, she’s actually pretty unpredictable and there’s no telling what she has planned or what steps she’ll take to achieve her own agenda.

7. I have to say, it was great seeing Bullock (Donal Logue) back in action in this episode. The way he confronted the Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) and verbally knocked him down a couple notches was fantastic to watch. Gordon is still the hero of this series. Bullock, however, is the only person who is truly watching the hero’s back. Every hero needs that.

Final Opinion

As I mentioned, I’m a bit upset they killed off a classic villain like Jerome so soon and think the writers made a mistake by doing that. However, overall, I thought this was a good episode with plenty of suspense and even some entertaining magic tricks and I did enjoy watching it as a result of that.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 10/06/2015, StevenHelmer
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