“What good is this feud doing you?” A question Jim Gordon raises to the Grayson and Lloyd families in this episode, but usurps the outer lying theme of the entire show.
NO JOKING AROUND
This episode presents arguably the best storyline of the season. This episode is less of the “new villain-Gotham police station-occasional Bruce Wayne appearance” mechanism, and turns out to be a colorful and creative insight on what the show can do outside of its normalcy.
As promised in Episode 15, Jim and Leslie go to the circus, and see the Flying Graysons. Of course, the circus turns into a bigger circus when Uncle Owen Lloyd attacks Alphonse Grayon, and a brawl breaks out, complete with flying clubs, broken bottles, and circus-performer pile-ups. This family feud between the Graysons and Lloyds has spanned generation upon generation since WWI. Are we sensing a little Montague vs. Capulet action here? The ongoing fight has always been about Lyla, a snake dancer in the circus, who has gone missing.
Luckily, Jim is at the circus and lets Lyla’s snake out of its cage to use as a trail to her. Unfortunately, the snake uncovers a corpse covered in a hay pile. Lyla’s son Jerome survives her.
Meanwhile, much to our dismay, Barbara reappears to her apartment, with her engagement ring still on her finger. She is not alone in the apartment though. She comes to find Ivy and Selina living long-term there, and she doesn’t seem the least bit reluctant to find two strange kids in her apartment. The girls don’t seem nervous that Barbara walks in either, and Barbara even uses Ivy and Selina as fashion consultants in a ploy for her to win Jim back. As Barbara walks in to try to surprise Jim at work, she sees Leslie and Jim showing their affection for each other. Be gone now, Barbara. Be gone.
The only upside to Barbara in this scenario is that she does not interrupt them and just leaves. Hopefully she is now gone for good, but I doubt we are this lucky. Maybe Barbara’s failed re-entrance into Jim’s life is a sign of the strength and balance of Jim and Leslie’s relationship in and out of the work place. Alongside Jim, Leslie is acting more like a partner to solving the crime rather than a medical examiner, and she is asking questions and trying to figure out the case, seemingly in a more inquisitive way than Gordon. They seem as they could be the new detective duo. Did we just see Harvey Bullock’s replacement?
We finally get to the strength and the strangeness of this episode, with Jim’s interrogations about the murder of Lyla. We are introduced to Paul Cicero, a sidekick in the circus, and a friend of Lyla’s who claims he is a psychic.
As Cicero channels Lyla saying “the servant of the devil lies in the garden of the Iron Sisters,” Leslie is the one who thinks she knows what the message means. She directs Jim to the site where the devil lies, which is under the towers on the Gotham side of town near Arkham Bridge. They find an ax with the acronym THFC (The Hell Fire Club), which is a Satanist club which has committed string of ritual murders. Since they have not been active for over a decade, Jim claims Cicero comes up with the message and plants the hatchet to use as a decoy to protect someone else.
That someone else is……Jerome……who is the son of Cicero. What?!
Jerome morphs from a sobbing, caring son who just lost his mother, to a maniacal criminal accusing his mother of being a harlot, while letting out an uncomfortable and unsettling familiar laugh. Joker, it is nice to meet you.
Although we do not know what happens to Jerome in this episode, we do know that the Lloyds and Graysons reconcile, and Mary Lloyd and John Grayson get married. Cue Robin’s entrance.
Of course this episode cannot be complete without Fish Mooney. As she appears in this episode, she strongly claims her dominance by using a person as a pedestal, and preaches to the group about a revolution she is planning for her underground community.
“We are family. We are all we got. That’s family.”
The mantra Fish describes is to save her underground family from simply being used as organ donors. She is forced to sacrifice a person, but it is evident she feels bad for the life she sacrifices. She says it’s worth it for the benefit, and that it will help the greater good. Fish is getting a softer, more maternal side to her. Before, she would use people in her favor and now she’s trying to help them. How is Fish able to maintain her dominance though? Why is this whole group of large men OK with following Fish’s lead? The ending is also strange here. You see Fish walking out from the underground jail. Did Fish escape from the underground jail? We still don’t know how Fish got there. Hopefully we will find this out in the next few episodes.
A few more minimalistic plot points include Victor Zsasz bringing a lobotomized version of Butch to Penguin to help run his club, and Baby Batman voicing his concerns for the corruption of Wayne Enterprises. In a room full of board directors, it is hard to see Bruce making any sudden changes to the company. It will be interesting to see if he can get the results he wants though.
This has been the best episode of Gotham yet, and this drive and momentum and introduction of the potential Joker has added more dynamic and drive for the rest of the season.
+Butch dancing on Penguin’s command
+Spectacular Clown fight
+Barbara’s face when she walks in on Jim and Leslie
-Never mind, I’m sure we would rather not see Barbara ever again
Photo Credit: Fox.com