Gotham (S03E14) “Mad City: The Gentle Art of Making Enemies”

Is this another mid-season finale? Or should we call this episode of Gotham the winter finale? Well call it whatever, the sad news for stans is that Gotham won’t be returning until April 24th after only airing 3 episodes this new mid-season. Lucifer has also suffered the same fate as it too has to make way for one of the 2 new FOX originals 24: Legacy and APB which will be taking over Monday nights. Quite some disorganized scheduling from FOX, but it isn’t too surprising considering this is the FOX network we’re talking about here. We’ve seen them ruin viewing schedules for Scream Queens, Family Guy, Brooklyn Nine-Nine etc. to accommodate more shows and sporting events, and it have become quite an annoyance for regular scripted TV watchers. Which begs the question ‘should we all just wait and binge watch these FOX shows via Hulu when the season finish airing?’ FOX’s scheduling problem definitely is a result of them developing/acquiring too many programs at once, but despite that FOX’s TV schedule is still quite baffling. Why only air 3 episodes then abruptly stop? Why couldn’t 24: Legacy and APB premiere in January?

Well there’s no hope in trying to figure out FOX’s TV schedule, but Gotham as a show has certainly learnt to live inside this muddle, and may have even found its stride within it. The first season of Gotham was quite a bumpy experience with unevenly vague storytelling, which may have also been a result of FOX unexpectedly ordering more episodes making it more difficult on the writers. But for the last 2 seasons it felt like this show was dealing with some of its major problems. It streamlined its vast ensemble cast into a few focused plots, and it broke out of many of its redundant narrative cycles. It is in fact very mediocre at time, but with multiple characters, plots and arcs Gotham has set itself up so they can keep producing good episodes in the further future no matter which direction the story-arc takes. Viewers have to realize Gotham no longer intends on being an ‘origin story’ for any of the many versions of batman in comics, films and shows. Instead Gotham is now its own ‘alternative’ batman story, depicting a world where the crazies came to town before Batman did.

Gotham shows just how unconventional they are with Ed & Oswald 

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Spoilers Ahead:

The romance between Ed and Oswald felt peculiar but at the same time organic. Well, maybe just Oswald’s side because there wasn’t much romance coming from Ed towards him, but this plotline itself was a big break-away from the show’s initial motive that was making Gotham an origin story for Batman. As for this episode, I was expecting Ed’s mind-games towards Oswald to be played for a bit longer. In his long going plan of revenge for the death of his girlfriend, Ed’s turned up the amp on mentally torturing Oswald even more but indiscreetly this time. It became a bit confusing when after being saved from a tank of acid dropping on his body, Penguin was kidnapped again by Barbara, Butch and Tabitha and questioned about the whereabouts of Ed. It was quite a predictable plot twist when Ed revealed himself to be the mastermind behind all the melodrama, but what was the point really? To spark self-recognition into someone you’re planning to kill anyway?  Well despite all the ups and downs the plot finally got some sort of payoff moment in the final scene where Ed shoots Oswald in the chest. Is Gotham showing just how different this story is from all the other batman projects by killing off one of the main villains? Well, I wish but I doubt it. We all know by now that these villains in Gotham never stay dead. We’ve seen the resurrection of Fish Mooney, Theo Galavan and Jerome. So many resurrections that death isn’t a factor in the show anymore, and sadly the show has lost its genuineness due to this fact. So was the last scene of ‘The Gentle Art of Making Enemies’ even a cliffhanger. The question we should be asking is not ‘Is Oswald Cobblepot dead?’ but rather ‘How will Oswald come back?’ Maybe we will see a return of Toy Maker who will help Oswald redeem himself. Going from Gotham’s lead villain to -whatever he is now- the writers have totally jumped the shark with this alternative Penguin character as he is degenerating quickly.

Gotham pays homage well to modern and classic Batman with Jerome

mv5bntg5ody1mdatmwq4yy00yjy2lwewmjutzdbhzdqynjc5ndk1l2ltywdlxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvyntc1mdy3mza  v1  - Gotham (S03E14) "Mad City: The Gentle Art of Making Enemies"

The crazy mad circus fest that was the result of the city being taken over by a cult of ‘Jeromes’ brought us back to a very familiar tone many Batman comics and shows possesses, but is mostly familiar when compared to the classic Batman: The Animated Series from creators Bruce Timm and Eric Romonski. The plot, soundtrack and execution of ‘The Gentle Art of Making Enemies’ really felt like a episode of the 1992 Batman animated series. It hard not to think the scenes where Batman Bruce was handcuffed to post and about to get shot with a cannon but managed to escape in the nick of time; and the hall of mirror fight scene where batman is about to kill The Joker Jerome but comes to his senses and doesn’t, we’re directly paying homage to the Batman franchise. Scenes like these are very familiar to Batman lovers but is fulfilling just the same no matter how repetitive it can get.

Cameron Monaghan has done exceptionally well playing Jerome, even though his depiction of Joker is like a carbon-copy to Heath Ledger’s. Replication acting is usually corny and overly done, but Cameron Monaghan pulls it off in such a way with the right amount of charisma it’s actually tolerable. Though he technically isn’t Joker, Cameron Monaghan is better at being Joker than Jared Leto is. His depiction is near-flawless it can’t help but be anything else than an homage to the guy who played the character better, Heath Ledger.