Gotham "Rise of the Villains: Knock Knock" (REVIEW)

written by Omar Castillon (omar_castillon)

Ladies and Gentleman, I introduce you to the Maniax… with bodies of dock workers that have fallen from the top of a building. For once, I thought Gotham was hopeless having to deal with the newly named group of villains. The opening sequence alone was a good set up for what is to come in the season. Jerome has cemented himself as a true psychopath; more so than Barbara. Before we really get down to business with the Maniax, let’s breakdown some other plot points during the episode.

Bruce and Alfred have yet another moment where their ideals clash as they discover more of Thomas Wayne’s secret cave. When Bruce realizes the computers in the cave could lead to more answers, Alfred destroys any hope of Bruce finding out what was in the computer. A furious Bruce ends up firing Alfred for his actions. Alfred merely wanted to protect Bruce from the truth of Thomas Wayne’s potential dealings with illegal weapons and the like from Wayne Enterprises. From that action, it does seem genuine what Alfred did for Bruce, but of course Bruce wasn’t up for the destruction of answers he was looking for. Don’t worry, this plot point obviously gets resolved by the end of the episode with happy results but at the price of Alfred and Lucius Fox sharing a moment and agreement to protect Bruce and his future calling.

The Maniax…where should I start? Theo Galavan definitely assembled a team of psychopaths worthy of destroying Gotham piece by piece. He is sort of the ringmaster to the group of clowns he’s in charge of. One scene in particular shows everyone doing their best impression of a host at an event really struck a chilling chord. Jerome (aka Joker/not Joker) channeled a hint of Mark Hamill’s Joker from the Animated Series and Arkham games. The following scene between the crazy cannibal and Jerome playing Russian Roulette in front of Galavan is the most intense scene so far in the series. Let’s just say that it’s easy to tell who the boss in the Maniax crew was. This leads to Gordon being involved with the latest crazy antics involving the Maniax with a truck that was stolen from the docks and a school bus. The school bus at least didn’t have small children but regardless of age, this was psychotic terrorism at its’ finest. The sequence is TV gold and of course Gordon does save the day. The final sequence of the episode is a lot more destructive as the Maniax cause chaos in Gordon’s precinct. I won’t explain what happens next, but let’s just say it’s worse than what happened to Gordon’s precinct last year. 

A few little extras from the episode include another Nygma vs. Self moment that makes him seem like the crazy person we will eventually get to see. Another thing to take note is that the series wasn’t afraid to not show Penguin in the entire episode. The writers probably thought the Maniax were solid enough to stand on their own and be their own episode with Gordon in the middle of the chaos. I’m actually glad the writers decided to leave him out and use him sparingly. Completely different from the mess that would eventually be season 1 after the midseason finale. Again Fish Mooney didn’t need to be in almost all of the episodes last season. Hell even Barbara was tolerable despite being meh in the middle of a bunch of charismatic villains. So far this has been one of the better episodes of the season but then again it is only 2 episodes in. This does seem promising, but that’s also what I said last season on a few episodes and was completely disappointed for a lot of them. I’ll keep an open mind regardless and hopefully, Gotham City does descend into chaos… for the sake of good television, of course.