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Gotham: That Old Corpse

In terms of theater, this is the best reveal that Gotham's ever done.

While the core twist of this episode is entirely unsurprising - the audience knows that Jeremiah is "the Joker", but the characters do not - the way the show goes about it, including the secondary twist at the end, is as brilliant as it is effective.

The first thing of note is how Cameron Monaghan has managed to create a "twin character" both suitably different from and equally-or-more scary than the original. In effect, just as David playing "Five" in the third season, this only further cements how he's not a one trick pony.

The second thing is how well he and the aforementioned work together. Bruce and Jerome had one rapport, Bruce and Jeremiah has another, but they are both superlative.

The most compelling thing about choosing Jeremiah as Bruce's ultimate nemesis - and while the initial bait and switch was rather lazy, this outing makes me a believer - is how they're really so alike. Young and brilliant, Jeremiah is the detached intellectual who never left his ivory tower. By one way of looking at it, he's the Bruce of season one who for various reasons never got out, sprung into action by the plot of a madman. In other words, Jeremiah is the perfect choice to tell Bruce how "all that separates you and me is one bad day," whereas Jerome was not.

Did Jerome's laughing gas change him, or was it, as claimed, completely ineffective? Who knows. I tend to doubt it. I'm not even sure it ultimately matters, or maybe, how we don't know is what matters. While we know who the Joker is, in this manner what creates him remains shrouded in mystery.

There are several more things I should've pointed out in this too-short review. I reserve the right to fill it out. For one, I don't know if Gotham's changed or I've just suffered minor brain damage, but this show is actually getting really funny. Gotham's humor was always there but it was rarely the stuff to make you laugh out loud.

In contrast, the scene with Lee knocking out the Riddler with a fire extinguisher and gasping "Ed!" realizing her mistake is absolutely hilarious. All of the characters at work in this installment turn in great performances - even Jim, as he snaps at Harvey suggesting him to let Lee go, which would only give him one more thing to lord over him later. Most importantly, as has not always been the case, no-one is downright unbearable.

In short, this is Gotham's strongest episode in a long while: expertly paced and acted with a solid script and a great climax. The scene of Jeremiah wiping off his "Jerome face" on television is amazing.

The arc with Bruce and Jeremiah just starting, the final two episodes could prove fantastic.


  1. Monaghan is sublime, but one problem for is that we didn't really see Bruce and him spending much time together, and the audience hasn't spent as much time connecting to Jeremiah. Jerome's evolution to the de facto role of the Joker was gradual, organic, and felt earned, whereas in comparison Jeremiah feels a bit rushed. I think spending a little more time with pre-gas Jeremiah and a little more time watching Bruce and Jeremiah become friends would have made things better.

    Not that I am not enjoying Monaghan's super creepy performance, mind you.

  2. The Jerome/Jeremiah arc just keeps on giving and there was no Barbara in the episode so it was twice as good.


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