Seriously, instead of teasing Batman’s Rogue Gallery each week, I’d be perfectly content watching Gordon, Bullock and Baccarin’s Leslie Thompson solving crime in Gotham a la “Castle” style and the producers need to bump Baccarin up to series regular ASAP.
Gordon and Leslie are at The Haly Circus watching The Flying Graysons. With the subtlety of the show, I was half expecting Mary to ask what John thinks about Richard for their future baby’s name. The show gets cut early after a brawl between The Graysons and some clowns. Gordon has to break up the fight at the circus leading to the discovery that the fight stemmed over the snake-charmer, Lyla.
Lyla’s son, Jerome (Cameron Monaghan), doesn’t know where she is, but Gordon has the bright idea of releasing one of Lyla’s snakes, which finds her dead in a truck. That was kinda goofy, but it worked. The important thing is Gordon reluctantly agrees to let Leslie accompany him on the investigation. A “Gotham” investigation hasn’t come close to being this much fun and it’s completely due to Leslie’s infectious fun-spirited nature.
They encounter a blind fortune teller who has a psychic message from Lyla. Gordon blows him off, but Leslie is able to decipher it during a home-cooked meal. Gordon finally gets a taste of what it’s like to have someone put work ahead of quality time. Gordon and Leslie find the murder weapon and now he’s convinced of the killer’s identity.
After bringing them both in the interrogation room, Gordon tells Jerome the fortune teller is his father, which sends Jerome into a fit until he starts snickering — the inference is clear. This is supposed to be a young Heath Ledger version of The Joker. And exactly how do they plan on paying this one off? Jerome was tired of his mother nagging him while she was whoring around. Pretty weak as far as alibis go. Leslie is rattled with that revelation, but proving she’s a far better love interest, she gets past it and jokes with Gordon.
On another positive note for the future Bruce attends a board meeting with Wayne executives and tells them he’s concerned about some of the reports that look like his company is engaging in some questionable activities. He gives them the heads up that corruption in his company won’t be tolerated. This is a welcome switch for Bruce as learning the ins and outs of his company at a younger age is more believable than his junior vigilante training.
So now for all the stuff that didn’t work…
Penguin’s inclusion this week was wholly unnecessary. The writers need to stop forcing Penguin into every episode as Robin Lord Taylor’s quirky brilliance can’t save every scene. Penguin’s been treading water ever since his reveal as Falcone’s inside man and this week does nothing to make him relevant. Penguin is struggling to drum up business at his club since taking it over from Fish. Falcone isn’t happy with the numbers and sends Zsasz to fix things. Zsasz can’t be bothered with operating a club so he brings his new associate Butch to help him get it up to speed. Butch is broken and is fully under Zsasz’s control.
At random prison, Fish has rallied the prisoners into “her family.” She gets them to stand up against the guards in exchange for water and food. What’s frustrating here is that Fish is somehow dictating policy like the great negotiator when she could easily just have her eyes gouged out like the prisoner from last week.
And then in the absolute worse misstep this episode, Barbara’s back. She comes back to her place where Selina and Ivy are having another sleepover. Barbara doesn’t care who they are and plops down on the couch to munch on some cereal. Ugh. Why did Gordon not bother to change the window locks after catching Selina crashing? The most gag-triggering moment comes when a now sobered up Barbara is taking fashion advice from the girls. All that was missing was a montage with Barbara trying out several outfits.
Then as Gordon and Leslie are making out in the locker room, you know the men’s changing room at the police department where presumably not just everyone can waltz into no matter how short their skirt. Barbara is shocked and runs off. This is where if she’d been developed any we’d care, but since she wasn’t, who the heck cares?
In all, Leslie’s team-up with Gordon helped carry the episode through the rough spots and certainly piqued curiosity about Jerome’s future, especially with the tease next week with the arrival of The Red Hood.