TV Review: Gotham S3E14 Mad City: The Gentle Art of Making Enemies

season_3_posterWith Jerome (guest star Cameron Monaghan) on the loose with one target in mind, Bruce and Alfred’s safety is compromised. Meanwhile, Gordon’s uncle Frank (guest star James Remar) pays him a visit, and ‎Nygma and Penguin are forced to confront their issues face-to-face, with possible deadly consequences.

Gotham ends its winter run before returning in April with an episode that is an interesting one as it has much more of a focus on Bruce becoming Batman, something the show has hinted at then slinked away.

Jerome is on the loose and after Bruce, eventually kidnapping him taking him to a display of carnage and never quite explaining why of it all. Jerome, a proto-Joker, is a combination of Nicholson and Ledger tip-toeing the line between the goofy of the former and pure chaos of the latter. And, the results are mixed. Monaghan in the role clearly is leaning more towards Ledger’s performance with a raspy voice and hunched over body language to evokes the iconic and award winning Dark Knight performance. Except, it comes off as a facsimile, not quite as good as the original.

We begin to see Bruce standing up and figuring out his beliefs when it comes to justice. David Mazouz in the role is his usual stiff self giving off no reason to be entranced by the character. There’s a lack of charm. There’s a lack of confidence. There’s almost no emotion in the performance which is par for what we’ve seen in three seasons. One hopes if the series jumps forward we get a new actor to fill the role.

The Penguin/Nygma plot line continues to an interesting ending, but one we’ve seen before. And I think that’s some of my issues of the series and this particular season, it’s things I feel like I’ve seen. Jerome evokes past performances with a swirling plot around him that feels lifted directly from comics. Penguin’s result here is something we’ve seen already. Cor Michael Smith as Nygma for some reason channels Nolan’s Batman with a raspy voice that makes a case he could take on the role in the films.

There’s also the ADD like plotting. Selina is absent this episode. Ivy has disappeared. But, the Court of Owls are back setting up the next story arc in a season that can’t stay focused on one or two things for too long.

We’ll see what type of show we get when the series returns in a few months. I hope during the break things might have been retooled some to figure out the “vision” of a show that feels like it has too many cooks, too many ideas, and not enough adults to keep it focused.

Overall Rating: 6.15