This article contains spoilers for Gotham season 4, episode 18, ‘A Dark Knight: That’s Entertainment’.
Tonight’s episode of Gotham revealed Jerome Valeska’s (Cameron Monaghan) big plan, which seemed like he had recently watched the Tim Burton Batman movie before breaking out of Arkham, but we’ll get to that. His plan starts with interrupting a meeting with the Mayor (Peter McRobbie) and a few prominent citizens. Mr. Freeze (Nathan Darrow) and Mad Hatter (Benedict Samuel) take them hostage and out to a truck where Scarecrow (David W. Thompson), Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), and Jerome await. The Mayor offers up rewards to let him go, but to no avail. Scarecrow tests the new laughing gas on one of the women in the group, and she reacts as expected.
Meanwhile, it’s Bruce’s (David Mazouz) birthday, and Alfred (Sean Pertwee) has gotten him a bulletproof Ford Mustang — sort of a prototype Batmobile.
At the station, Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and Bullock (Donal Logue) try to figure out where Jerome is going when Gordon gets a call to meet Oswald in the back of the station. Oswald tells him about the gas and that he played along thinking that Jerome wanted to take over Gotham, but Jerome is crazy and needs to be stopped. Bullock comes in and tells Gordon that Jerome has been spotted.
There’s a temporary stage with a band playing in front of a crowd when Jerome comes out and takes over. He brings the Mayor and the citizens onto the stage, has bombs strapped to their necks, and then broadcasts on television for Gordon to come to see him. Firefly (Michelle Veintimilla) threatens the crowd with flame if they try to leave. Meanwhile, Freeze, Hatter and Scarecrow break into Wayne Enterprises labs and force the scientists to make more of the gas. Back at the stage, Gordon arrives and Jerome shows he has two empty chairs. He demands that Gordon bring him Bruce and Jeremiah. Gordon offers himself up instead, but Jerome gets upset and blows the head off of one of the hostages.
At Wayne Manor, Selina (Camren Bicondova) visits Bruce. She says she had no idea it was his birthday and that she never bought the whole “spoiled rich kid” act. Gordon and Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk) arrive with a plan to stop Jerome, but they need Bruce’s help. He would approach the stage with a signal blocker, disrupting the bomb trigger and allowing snipers to take out Jerome. Bruce agrees and goes with them to get Jeremiah, whom Bruce convinces to go as well.
Bullock goes to check on a break in at the lab and finds out about the gas. At the stage, Bruce and Jeremiah approach, but before the snipers can take out Jerome, inmates from Arkham kill the snipers. Bruce and Jeremiah end up on stage with bombs on their necks. Hatter, Scarecrow, and Penguin take the gas to a blimp hanger. Scarecrow kills one of the pilots with fear toxin while Hatter hypnotizes the other. When Penguin protests the plan, we find out that Jerome knew Penguin went to Gordon and expected the betrayal. Penguin is knocked out and put on board the blimp with the gas.
At the stage, Gordon orders Bullock to take back the roofs while Jerome taunts his brother, telling everyone that Jeremiah is just as crazy and a killer. He cuts Jeremiah free and gives him a knife. Jeremiah lunches at Jerome, but Jerome knocks him cold. The blimp comes into view and on it, Penguin comes to and takes out the pilot, calling Gordon for help. Gordon tells him to steer it towards the river. Gordon then moves in on Jerome as Bullock and the others take out the inmates on the roof.
Gordon shoots Jerome and rushes the stage, dodging a blast of fire from Firefly. Bruce gets himself loose and takes out Firefly as Jerome runs. Gordon chases after him. They end up on the roof, and Jerome calls for the gas to be dropped. Gordon fires and shoots Jerome in the chest, sending him off the roof. But when Gordon checks, he finds Jerome hanging from a drain pipe. Gordon has the choice to let him fall or help him up. He chooses to offer a hand. Jerome refuses and falls, slamming into the roof of a car and appearing to be dead.
In the aftermath, Bruce offers to fund Jeremiah’s energy project with a grant. Penguin calls asking how to get out of the blimp, and Gordon says he’ll find the backup pilot. And Gotham goes back to normal… except when Jeremiah gets home he finds a gift waiting for him on his desk that says it’s from Wayne Enterprises. He opens it to find a Jack-in-the-Box that hits him with a special dose of laughing gas. We hear Jerome’s voice talking about how he was just the start, but that unleashing Jeremiah was his true plan and we see the gas turning Jeremiah into the Joker.
There was a subplot running through the episode with Barbara Kean (Erin Richardson) being approached by a gang lord that felt wrong and who threatens her. Before Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) can do anything, the League of Shadow takes them out and then ask Barbara if she’s ready to follow Ra’s al Ghul’s legacy. They take her to a room with a door that is locked with no key. Barbara’s power opens it and we see this is where Ra’s kept a bunch of important things, including a painting with a version of Ra’s and Barbara from centuries ago. She’s convinced this is her destiny, but Tabby thinks its crazy. Barbara has her people throw Tabby out and put a beat on her. When they leave her in the street, she is helped up, drugged, and taken by an opposing faction of the League. So this is going to be a thing.
Both Jerome’s plan and the ending when he fell was straight out of the Batman movie. But we see now that the producers weren’t lying when they said that Jerome was not the Joker, but a prototype. Now Jeremiah can be the Joker and we still get Monaghan playing him. Interesting decision.
Penguin being forced into playing the hero was entertaining, as he is so not good at it. I like that Bruce is getting his early Batmobile, but the product placement part was a bit over the top. It could’ve been a custom design. One of the things I think was most important but may get overlooked was Gordon offering his hand to Jerome near the end. Over the seasons Gordon had gone from being the good cop in a corrupt city to just as bad as everyone else if not worse. Him choosing to do the right thing over the wise thing puts him a little back on the right track. I was happy to see that.
With Jerome gone, the Horribles are still out on the streets, and the League of Shadow story still has to be resolved, but I get the feeling that by the end of the season we’ll be seeing Sofia (Crystal Reed) again… I mean, she’s in a coma, not dead.