Gotham: “The Last Laugh” — Oct. 5, 2015

Bruce at the magic show on the Gotham episode "Last Laugh."

Photo courtesy of Fox

Why is everyone laughing on Gotham this week? Special Contributor, Ralph S., believes some joker is to blame. — Elaine F.

This week’s segment in the tale of the formative years of the Dark Knight has an unexpected turn or two that play out. Chaos will be caused in Gotham, yet again, and a “hero” will rise out of all of it. So let’s get going, shall we?

For the second week in a row, the show begins with bodies falling through the air. Unlike last week, though, the heights aren’t enough to smash the life from these hapless thugs and those who are launching the bodies are on the other side of the law. Turns out it’s just Bullock and Gordon trying to get info on the whereabouts of one Jerome Valeska from some of Gotham’s less-privileged inhabitants. Gordon seems to have a serious hard-on for finding Jerome, probably has something to do with the fact that Jerome is responsible for Sarah Essen ending up on the other side of the dirt last week. Tossing thugs outta windows is Gordon’s way of getting the word out that he’d like to have a sit-down with Jerome.

While Gordon and Bullock are busy gathering intel, it seems things are heating up at the Galvan residence. Apparently Barbara and Tabitha (Tigress) are setting up housekeeping and getting quite cozy at it. However, before there’s any real skin-on-skin contact Theo shows up with breakfast and promptly sends Tabitha off to chaperon Jerome on his latest escapade. Over tea and toast, Theo divulges the fact that he believes his family didn’t get the recognition it deserved for its contributions to the building of Gotham, and his current wave of mess and mayhem serves as payback. Oh yeah, as part of this scheme he plans to destroy Jim Gordon in the process. He tells Babs that’s where she comes into the picture. Well, he has her undivided attention now.

Back at the precinct house, Bullock tells Gordon that they should talk to the Penguin because he may have incited into this latest bit of chaos that’s befallen their fair city. Gordon’s non-committal on the idea but Bullock presses on with it. After barking some orders at the precinct’s surviving minions, Gordon gets some understanding and affection from his girlfriend Leslie, the medical examiner. She also tells him that the Gotham Children’s Hospital benefit will be happening, and she wants him to accompany her — there’ll be a magician she says, trying to entice him. He begs off. Manhunts for notorious killers can’t be put on hold, not even for magicians. Bullock interrupts the tender moment the two are having to say that’s Jerome’s father, the blind fortune teller from last season, has been located and, well praise be, he’s still in Gotham. How the fuck about that!

Now we find out what Jerome’s latest errand is, a visit to see dear old dad. After reminiscing over old times, Jerome implies that his visit is about tying up loose ends and the old man is a big loose end. He also is going to leave all kinds of evidence lying around to make it seem as though this latest bit of criminal commotion was the blind man’s idea. This’ll take any suspicion off Theo. “You will be a curse upon Gotham… Your legacy will be death and madness,” the old man tells his son after Jerome explains the master plan. “Say hi to Mom,” Jerome replies before poking his pop in the eye with a four-inch blade. Gordon and Bullock arrive just in time to find the body and to be incapacitated by the knock-out gas that was left behind. There’s a small encounter with Jerome and Tigress in which Gordon goes down for the count.

Now for the main event. Young Bruce Wayne and Alfred arrive at the hospital benefit with Alfred explaining to the young caped-crusader-to-be that they have to keep up appearances. They’re greeted by Leslie and Alfred immediately falls under the spell of her charms, poor sap. While mingling Bruce runs into Selina Kyle. She’s all fashionably dressed and acting real innocent and young lady-like as she picks the pockets of Gotham’s rich and powerful. “Well, you wanna steal stuff it helps to go where the rich people are,” she tells Bruce after he inquires about her being there. She then reminds him that he also benefited from her nefarious talents at one time thus helping him gain info on the dirt happening at Wayne Enterprises. Theo and Tabitha show up at the benefit as well and immediately manage to make the acquaintance of the deputy mayor. The mayor, of course, is still ‘indisposed’.

The show gets underway with Leslie acting as emcee. She introduces the magician, the Great Rudolpho, along with his pretty assistant. Don’t they both look rather familiar? Rudolpho performs a few standard, corny tricks, including sawing Bruce in half, and then he performs his first real trick — killing the deputy mayor. Leslie, of course, recognizes Babs, the assistant, and calls Gordon just as Jerome, Rudolpho, kills the deputy mayor with one of his blades. It seems as though knives are to be the theme for the evening. As the deputy mayor falls to the floor, the usual hell breaks loose, goons shooting guns, people running and screaming, you get the picture. Alfred acquits himself well handing out an ass-whipping or two as Bruce runs after Selina. Gordon shows up on the scene to find that his girlfriend is in dire straights, being held hostage by Jerome and Babs. Theo strides forth, reminding one of Donald Trump, and chastises Jerome for his “behavior” and showing that he’s not afraid to stand up to such scum. Jerome promises to shoot him in the face later. Theo even offers himself as a hostage; I don’t know if Donald would do the same under such circumstances, though. Selina leads Bruce toward a little-known exit and escapes when he decides that he has to go back for Alfred, but not before telling Selina that he’s missed her. Ain’t young love something! I’m sure that’ll have repercussions of some kind later on in the season. Gordon sees Selina coming out the exit and heads into the building.

For his next victim, Jerome calls upon Bruce to come up to the stage but when Bruce is a no-show he threatens Alfred. Gordon shows up to stop Bruce from stepping forth, but he fails. Jerome grabs the kid but not until after Bruce manages to slip Alfred the gun Gordon gave him. Gordon comes in, guns blazing, and he and Alfred quickly dispatch Jerome’s goons. Jerome, meanwhile, stands grinning onstage holding a knife to Bruce’s throat drawing blood. Gordon can’t get a clear shot, and things look grim. Then Theo pops up behind Jerome and stabs him in the neck, I said knives were the theme for the evening, didn’t I? There’s shock on not only Jerome’s face, but Barbara’s as well (not to mention mine) as Jerome departs this life. “I’m so sorry Jerome; you have real talent,” Theo quietly tells the gurgling, gasping, dying psychopath. “But now you see the plot thickens. Enter the hero.” Don’t think Donald’s tried that one yet. Pity, it might do wonders for his poll ratings that seem to be slipping as of late. Before anyone can do anything else, Babs exits stage right and literally disappears.

While all this goes on Bullock pays Penguin a little visit and reminds Oswald that Bullock holds him responsible for what happened to Fish Mooney with whom Bullock was rather tight. This seems to somewhat upset Penguin’s little umbrella cart.

In the aftermath, Theo gets to play the hero, and Alfred gets the blues when he finds that Leslie and Gordon are an item. Meanwhile, as Jerome lies cold on the coroner’s table, random folks all over Gotham start laughing uncontrollably for no apparent reason and one of them even murders a couple of folks. So I have to really wonder, as we see Jerome lying there with an unmistakable grin on his face if we’ve seen the last of him. Hmmm?

Elaine G. Flores, Chief Editor
Elaine is the chief editor of TV Recappers' Delight. She's an experienced entertainment reporter, reviewer, editor, blogger, columnist and Bon Vivant.

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