Fox‘s Gotham The Last Laugh TV Show Review. Gotham: Season 2, Episode 3: The Last Laugh continues the (still young) season’s trend of building up Jerome Valeska (Cameron Monaghan), whom it’s more and more counter-intuitive not
to just call “The Joker”. Certainly, the iconic rogue is still part of a gallery also including Theo Galavan (James Frain) his sister Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) and the now increasingly psychotic Barbara Kean (Erin Richards), but Monaghan still has by far the most stage presence.
This is apparent because The Last Laugh is, unprecedented in the show’s recent history, remarkably straightforward. The gang of villains crashes a hospital gala, taking, among other hostages, Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee) and Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), forcing Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and the force to mount a cautiously slow rescue while The Clown Prince of Crime hams it up.
As captivating as this is, it arguably presents a problem: Jerome Valeska is growing into his iconic future self much faster than Bruce Wayne is; a work can’t very well have The Joker in it and downplay that it doesn’t have Batman. Mazouz’s take on the character can be given some slack for being whiny and unsure of himself (after all, most people can’t even fathom what it’s like to see their parents murdered and few past incarnations of the character explored it in this depth), and he’s still an admirably tenacious spirit, but he’s not remotely intimidating; nor does he yet possess any skills that stand to make him so, and it’s troublesome to think he may go the whole TV show like this.
On a more positive note, it seems that Gordon may finally have developed as a result of all his walks along the edge of the ethical line, because here, he’s dispensed of any pretense of being the “Good Cop”. Of course, only time will tell how long this lasts, and obviously, he gets back in that role by his most iconic appearances. It’s lucky that the episode ends foreshadowing a different conflict that focuses more on the police next time, because after three episodes, the Joker business was wearing out its welcome.
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