TV Reviews

Gotham Season 3 Episode 12 Mad City: Ghosts Review

If you would like to read my recap of the last episode, click here.

So Gotham is back, for the month of January before it takes a break until April for some reason. This show has been frustrating to watch to say the least. The series just has way too many characters and lacks any clear direction whatsoever. It has to balance so much, leaving the rest of it to suffer. Its return still leaves me hopeful with Jerome, who may or may not be the joker, still lurking in the shadows (or at least that’s what the promos have shown) despite being dead but I am highly skeptical.

Synopsis:  Gotham super-villain Jerome Valeska returns. The uncle of James Gordon appears on the city. (IMDB)

Writer: Danny Cannon

Director: Eagle Egilsson

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 42mins

We are back and we are once again greeted with another episode that goes nowhere, at least not until the end where the episode foreshadows the return of Jerome. But many other things happened before that point.

The previous episode left us with the cliffhanger of Gordon shooting infected Mario as he was about to kill Lee. This episode starts at his funeral where Lee and Carmine are still upset over what happened. Lee concedes that Mario was infected but Carmine still saw him as his son and that it was wrong for Gordon to kill him as it wasn’t his responsibility. He and Lee seem to be on board with putting a hit out on Gordon despite Carmine asking Lee if she was able to shoulder his death on her conscious.

Lee changed drastically in this episode as she vehemently exclaimed her hate for Gordon on several occasions including a visit at the GCPD, asking Bullock to arrest Gordon for murder. This change in behavior just felt odd and never really worked, no thanks to Morena Baccarin’s performance. She of course changed her mind after a meeting with Barnes where she got to see how insane he became and convincing her that maybe Gordon did the right thing. She convinced Carmine to call off the hit but he still wants Gordon dead.

The only fun thing about the episode were Gordon and Bullock’s run-ins with Zsasz and his crew as they kept engaging each other while trying to kill Gordon. Zsasz also happened to like Gordon so it was nice that he warned him before officially going after him.

Selena’s mother Maria (Ivana Milicevic) also showed up in the last episode and saved Selena, Bruce, and Alfred from impending doom back at the Court of Owls. They managed to retrieve some sort of glass owl but they had no idea of its importance until Bruce left it near a window where sunlight shone through it to reveal something shiny within the owl. Whatever is inside will probably be revealed 2-3 episodes from now.

Selena and her mother have had a tough history. She left Selena behind in Gotham when she was five (11 years prior) when she was on the run. She hadn’t come back to see her until now. The reason she came back apparently was money and Selena had to name drop Bruce and his money and the bad guy that was after her was interested.

The last thing was Penguin going a little crazy. He was on edge as he usually was but he was even more so here. He started to hear strange voices and get visions of his dead father. Things were also going well for him as mayor but only because of all the bad stuff he was doing on the side. He still has his deputy chief of staff named Tarquin (Dave Quay). In order to publicize his success, he has a live interview with a popular TV host named Margaret Hearst (Jan Maxwell). Hearst was not a fan of Cobblepot/Penguin and was adamant of getting the truth for her viewers, almost implying that she had some knowledge of what was really going on.

What put him more on edge was the fact that his father’s remains were stolen. The spirit he saw told him that he had to go back underground and to not trust Tarquin. One thing led to another and Penguin killed him thinking that he had something to do with the remains but it was really just Ed all along playing mind games. Obviously, he was called to the interview just after killing Tarquin but he was still on edge and walked off on camera, much to Hearst’s delight.

Back to Jerome, Gordon and Bullock’s case about a woman died from getting stabbed, coming back to life through electric shock, and then being hit by a train led them to the morgue and a man named Dwight Pollard (David Dastmalchian). He claimed to be innocent but Gordon and Bullock knew better so they followed him to a gang of people who worshipped Jerome, or at least his spirit, as they all watched a video of him projected on a wall. Gordon and Bullock broke up the party but the end of the episode showed Dwight getting ready to try and bring Jerome back to life with electricity.

Overall, this was another nothing episode full of incoherent subplots that seem to always go nowhere. It’s nice to be a little unpredictable but it should at least have some vague sense of direction. The Ed and Penguin subplot feels forced and rushed, I don’t care about Selena’s mom, and I don’t care about Jerome coming back. I’ll still come back, begrudgingly at this point, because I still kind of like Gordon and Bullock and their dynamic.

Score: 6/10

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