Gotham Episode Review: "Mad City: New Day Rising"

by StevenHelmer

A review of the season 3 television episode that first aired October 10, 2016.

Synopsis: Still under Jervis Tetch's (Benedict Samuel) control, Gordon (Ben McKenzie) seeks help from a reluctant Alice (Naian Gonzalez Norvind) in locating her brother. Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) continues his run for mayor but Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) and Butch (Drew Powell) disagree over how the campaign should be run.


After last week's introduction of Jervis "Mad Hatter" Tetch, I watched last night's episode with quite a bit more anticipation than normal. As it turns out, it didn't disappoint.

Of all the villains Jim Gordon has faced on this series, I think Tetch remains the best because, in addition to being one of the more clever criminals, his ability to use Gordon's own mind against him was fantastic. I kind of figured Gordon would ultimately figure out a way to beat it. But, for a while there, it was difficult to tell what would happen whenever he heard anything that sounded like Tetch's watch.

So far, I think my only real complaint about Gotham's newest villain is he still lacks depth when ti comes to his backstory. I figured his obsession with Alice in Wonderland would come later, likely from his sister's tainted blood. But, at least from all appearances, he already has that obsession. And, the way he obsessed over his sister (who, sadly, didn't make it through this episode), really makes me want to know more.

I'm also curious what happened to the syringes full of Alice's poisonous blood. Did Tetch take them when he left? Or, are they in evidence? Either way, I suspect those syringes will come into play later on.

The part with Penguin's rise to mayor of Gotham City was kind of predictable (and much faster than I was expecting), especially when Nygma proved his friend didn't need to bribe election officials to win. That being said, I do find myself intrigued by the growing friendship between Penguin and the future Riddler.

Their tight friendship could go one of two ways. Either they will continue to make a formidable pair. Or, one of them is either going to betray the other or let them down in some other way. And, knowing neither of them is mentally stable, if that were to happen, it could create a very fun-to-watch war between the two.

Of course, Butch is the main wildcard in all of this. With Penguin once again brushing him aside, I fully expect some sort of retaliation either against Nygma or Penguin himself.

The one part of the episode I'm still undecided on is the whole "fake Bruce" plot. I honestly was expecting more from that and, while there is some potential of him becoming a serious threat to the future Batman, that storyline is kind of fizzling out before it got started considering the only thing he has accomplished so far is getting Bruce (David Mazouz) and Selina (Camren Bicondova) to admit they have feelings for each other.

Final Opinion

Gordon's feud with Tetch is still very entertaining, especially now that Barnes (Michael Chiklis) might be Alice's latest victim. I also can't wait to see what happens now that Penguin is mayor. So, so far at least, I'm definitely enjoying this season.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 10/11/2016, StevenHelmer
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