Gotham (2013) season 2, episode 3
"The Last Laugh"
WRITER: JOHN STEPHENS
DIRECTOR: EAGLE EGILSSON
AIR DATE: OCTOBER 5 2015
"The Last Laugh" - quite appropriate as an episode title, as Gotham continues the storyline of the gang of lunatics who’ve escaped from Arkham at the behest of Theo Galavan (James Frain), who’s passing himself off as a pillar of society while pursuing his own aims. While it ends the speculation as to one character eventually becoming the Joker, it certainly gives rise to any number of Gothamites taking up the legacy - and the laugh of the lunatic who will one day become the Dark Knight’s greatest enemy.
I like the set-up for things. Galavan’s playing the long game, and his gang of lunatics play into that. Barbara (Erin Richards) is integral to all of that - and she’s stringing along both Theo and Tabitha Galavan with romantic attention; we’re left to wonder who’s playing who. Jerome (Cameron Monaghan), who’s proven himself to be a showman in how he commits crimes (it’s his circus past) certainly settles into a leadership role within that gang. The crisis at the heart of this episode involves the gang infiltrating a charity benefit under the guise of magicians - something that involves some of the other regular cast members.
The GCPD is trying to come to terms with things. Last episode saw the massacre of several cops in the station house, including Commissioner Essen (which was a shock). Gordon (Ben McKenzie) is driven to bring down the gang, who have christened themselves the Maniax. Previously he had tried to talk Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) into returning to the force to help him. It seems natural that at the end of the last episode, Harvey came back of his own accord, instead of being talked into it. As time has gone along, I’ve enjoyed how Logue plays the character - Logue is one of those actors who can pretty much play any character and make it compelling. I’ve also liked how the character’s evolved from corrupt when we first met him to increasingly principled. The toughness is still there - his threat to the Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) doesn’t feel like an empty one.
Theo Galavan, Tabitha Galavan, and Barbara Kean
The Galavan siblings remain an enigma. We’re only starting to see bits and pieces of them, gradually, as they shape up to be the big bads of the season (all while Theo passes himself off as respectable). Tabitha seems to be the enforcer of the pair (and swings at least one way, given her interaction with Barbara, who of course swings both ways). Theo is more the suave leader - he hints this time out that his family built Gotham, while others took credit for it, and he wants revenge for that. This is not the sort of thing that bodes well for a young Bruce Wayne, is it? I find myself wondering if the series is going to hint at the Court of Owls storyline that played out in the comics.