Martin Carr reviews the third episode of Gotham season 2…
is Straight Outta Compton crossed with New Jack City wearing police blue. Bullock is back in the hat blocking out light and looking to kick arse. While Gordon uses suspects for interior demolition in between questions. Unfortunately for them that rule book is torn up and salvation is a long drop through an unopen window.
I smile when Gordon gets his freak on. It is part of an off the chain charm which McKenzie brings to a role which had the potential to be one note. Having proved he can cross over the line if necessary Gordon now personifies a contradiction in terms. A police officer with criminal undertones. Trying to counterbalance those sides not suitable for law enforcement, whilst maintaining a relationship when emotions are difficult to express. Where Donal Logue’s Bullock excels is in watching his back. Whether facing off against Penguin or jeopardising his happiness for the job.
What this episode reminded me of more than anything was the other charity events which always happen in Batman films. Whether in Batman Forever, The Dark Knight or Batman Returns, there is a sense of been there done that. The set up was good enough and Jerome’s magician was a nice touch, but things somehow felt contrived. Theo Galavan’s gallantry act was well played, but things seemed to drag out beforehand. I got the impression that there were exchanges here which merely meant characters touched base. Selena Kyle and Bruce had a needless exchange which failed to further the plot. Doing nothing more than offering Bruce a way out of his predicament.
What I did enjoy were the moments between Doctor Thompkins and Alfred. Played with sincerity yet flecked with humour, it provided a perfect antidote to the pantomime villainy. Another idea which came out of this was that The Joker is never just one person. As events unfolded on television sets across Gotham, citizens began picking up mannerisms, vocal inflections and compulsive reactions. This remains the cleverest thing yet shown on Season Two.
There are no fancy words, big explosions or promises of more to come. Here is a simple demonstration of power. Everyone gets influenced by commercials telling you what to buy, where to take holidays or which deodorant needed to attract a partner. This is just an extension of that ethos. It also throws the door open to a reintroduction. Joker could be anyone. Like Doctor Who but with more face paint and less sonic screwdriver. Whether they decide to replace Cameron Monaghan or not, there is a certain comfort to be had from knowing The Joker will never die.