Gotham "Rise of the Villains: The Last Laugh" (REVIEW)

written by Omar Castillon (omar_castillon)

What a week for insanity. Jerome takes care of his father, Galavan finally sets up his plan to look like the better person compared to his rouges gallery of crazed inmates and Gordon is in the center of the chaos once again. The plan involves being at a charity event with big wigs of Gotham and causing a hostage situation. Jerome would be the star of the show replacing the magician scheduled for the night. All of the players will be in line; it’s only a matter of time. But first, let’s talk about the aftermath behind the attack at GCPD.

Gordon feels pretty awful after seeing the carnage that was left by the Maniax in the previous episode. In a foreshadowing of his future persona as the commissioner, Gordon gives a grandiose speech to keep the remaining police officers in focus of the real threat in Gotham. Gordon also gets to team up with his old partner again in order to take down his number one target: Jerome. Bullock suggests to Gordon that they arrange a deal with Penguin but things get a little awkward when Gordon hints at the dirty deeds he had to do in order to be in Penguin’s good graces. Bullock does end up paying Penguin a visit and confronts him. It’s a small exchange but enough to move the story forward. 

Tense and shocking, that is all I can say

This leads to Galavan and his troop of Maniax as they prepare for the chaos they are about to orchestrate. As mentioned before, Jerome is the center of attention impersonating the magician. Barbara is his assistant and their dynamic chemistry just screams Joker and Harley. On a side note, there is a break from all the darkness before the storm where Alfred hits on Gordon’s girlfriend. Anyways, so Bruce and Selina meet up once again in a sort of heartfelt(ish) moment where Bruce says he misses Selina. On the other hand, Selina being the heartless loner that she is rejects Bruce’s affection by saying that she was “working.” I guess a charity auction would be the best place to steal from the rich…maybe. This all leads to the magic act connecting with Bruce being the volunteer for the night. Jerome is well aware of who Bruce is so the connection is intentional. This is where things get pretty intense since Bruce is put in a box meant to be split in half. It’s further nerve-racking since the audience knows Jerome is the magician and Alfred unaware of the connection insists Bruce participate.

The entire time I’m like, “Are you crazy? Why would you let Bruce do that?” Everything is fine for a moment until Jerome and the Maniax finally go into motion and hold the guests at the party hostage. After some random gunfire, Bruce connects back with Selina and tries to escape. Alfred insists he escape without him but Bruce refuses and right when he is about to leave, he heads back for Alfred. This is where Gordon comes into the scene as he sees Leslie being held hostage at the charity auction. The police officers on scene detail the situation to Gordon and he ends up being in charge of the scene. Worlds collide as Gordon meets up with Bruce who ends up in the room with all of the hostages. Leslie is being taunted by Barbara in her crazy Barbara ways (basically annoying). A tense stand still happens between Jerome with Bruce at knife point, Gordon ready for a gunfight and Alfred with his SAS skills. An awesome scene unfolds and the biggest “are you serious?” scene happens when Galavan puts a stop to the situation by taking care of business, just like he planned it. 

I won’t say what happens since the big twist is still sort of shocking even for me, but this episode really did just change the game a little bit. I’m sure many people have different opinions by the results but honestly, I’m a bit skeptic about the rest of the season. It’s not like it will fall apart or anything, it’s just that the marketing behind the show and the promos lead the audience thinking one way when actually it was just a set up for something bigger. I kind of wish they had gone with this approach later in the season to keep viewers, but there really isn’t much that can be done about it. Tense and shocking, that is all I can say about this episode. Bring on the next episode.