GOTHAM cranks up some serious trouble with “Smile Like You Mean It.” Gordon and Penguin both face huge troubles this week. For Gordon, it’s the continuation of last week’s issue; Dwight is out there reanimating people and has a cult of Jerome Valeska followers waiting for him to bring the Prince of Chaos back from the dead. As if the office wasn’t tense enough, he keeps bumping into Lee and she can’t get let go of the whole Gordon-killed-her-husband thing. Of course, killing someone’s husband on their wedding day is frowned upon, but Lee needs to stop harassing the guy at work. The city is falling apart.
Bruce also finds himself in a tough spot this week. Cole Clemens meets with Bruce and Alfred and tells them Maria owes him $200K for breach of contract. He says if they don’t pay, he’ll send evidence to GCPD which will send Maria away for years. Selina smells a rat, she thinks if they pay now, Cole will just return for more; but it’s not her money or her decision. Bruce gives Cole the cash for Maria’s freedom, but Selina follows Maria back to their hotel room where she discovers Maria was part of the scam from the beginning.
Selina is crushed when she realizes the only reason her mother came back to Gotham, was to con Bruce out of money. She’s also angry at Bruce for playing along, not telling her the truth when they suspected Maria was working with Cole. I don’t think this is Bruce’s fault, he’s a kid in a bad position. There is a scene where Selina attacks him and he doesn’t fight back that is a great seed for their relationship as Batman and Catwoman.
Lucius Fox helps Gordon and Bullock track down Dwight after he raids the Wayne Enterprises warehouse where they keep the remaining freezer pods from Indian Hills. This is when he finds out they had Jerome Valeska in inventory and could have him thawed and back on the street in as little as three hours. Again, there is an interesting bit where Bullock asks Fox to invent crime fighting tech to short-cut their GCPD mole hunt. Fox will end up making many gadgets for Batman, however, as he helps Gordon, he gets an inside look at the irresponsibility inside GCPD.
Gordon figures a clever way to out the department mole, Officer Dove. After a few rounds of beating by Gordon and Bullock, Lee steps in with some sodium pentothal. Dwight is planning some sort of live television event at Gotham 9 news. Thawing Jerome didn’t go as planned so Dwight cut off his face and wore it as a mask to motivate his followers. At first, they don’t buy it, they all thought they were going to meet the real Jerome, but Dwight wearing Jerome’s face convinces them they have a legitimate movement. They storm the news station, kill some staff and strap explosives to others.
Gordon, Bullock, and their strike force infiltrate the station and capture Dwight. Meanwhile, Jerome wakes up back at Lee’s GCPD office. Jerome holds Lee hostage while she brings him up to date on everything he missed while he was deceased. It’s a lot to take in and the first thing on his agenda is getting his face back. He ties her up, steals a GCPD uniform and squad car, and heads down to the TV station where he intercepts Dwight after Gordon arrests him.
Jerome likes the idea of having cult followers and reaches out to them with a stolen news camera. He straps Dwight to a room full of explosives and detonates him in the basement of the old power building which causes a blackout across Gotham. Perfect conditions for his people to run around and cause chaos. It’s great having Jerome back. He brings a lot of crazy energy to balance Nygma’s slow cooking long-game crime.
Penguin is in no mood to face Jerome and his people. The press from his television interview meltdown is terrible and he still misses Nygma. Barbara visits Penguin and reminds him his criminal empire is also in trouble. It’s a lie of course, Barbara, Tabitha, and Nygma are all working to take Penguin down. Tabitha executes the heads of the five criminal families. I don’t think they planned for Jerome’s chaos and it will be interesting to see their response. The episode ends with Penguin receiving a call from Nygma who claims to be a hostage at Kane Chemicals.
We haven’t heard from Fish or Hugo Strange since the beginning of the season, but they’re still out there. This could be a smart time for their return with the current criminal heads recently deceased. Also, Carmine Falcone is back in town, retirement didn’t work out for him at all. It will be interesting to see if Gotham’s criminal backbone ends season three looking like the beginning of season one, with the additions of the Joker, the Riddler, and the Gotham City Sirens.
Season 3, Episode 13 (S03E013)
Gotham airs Mondays at 8PM on Fox
Eric lives in a world where the television is great, the smiles are warm, the pizza is hot, the puppies are playful, and the zombies are slow and meander while he reloads.
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Eric Rodriguez | Contributor