Gotham – Rise of the Villains, Episode 2: “Knock, Knock”

Fox’s Gotham
Season 1, Episode 2: “Knock, Knock”
Directed by Rob Bailey
Written by Ken Woodruff

* For a recap & review of the Season 2 finale, “Damned If You Do…” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Last Laugh” – click here
IMG_0111Theo Galavan (James Frain) has Mayor Aubrey James (Richard Kind) with a box on his head. Soon, a spider will be dropped inside. Or the Mayor can do as Theo wishes, which is what James decides on doing. All part of a “great cleansing.”
Monsters are coming, Mr. Mayor. Monsters, who will cleanse this city in blood and fire.”
A few inmates from Arkham, including Jerome (Cameron Monaghan), are tossing people off buildings in the downtown streets outside the Gotham Gazette. In doing so they’ve spelled out: MANIAX! Nearby, Tabitha Galavan (Jessica Lucas) watches on as they work.
IMG_0112Commissioner Essen (Zabryna Guevara) an Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) are heading up all the madness down at the station, things are getting into gear. They’ve got Jerome and a handful of other supremely dangerous inmates out there, the Maniax, about to do who knows what sort of horror.
Before they do, Theo wants his new crew to learn a bit of “stagecraft,” to make things more theatrical for the news. The one natural of the group? You guessed it: Jerome. Even Barbara (Erin Richards) is getting into the swing of things with Tabitha.
At Wayne Manor, Bruce (David Mazouz) and Alfred (Sean Pertwee) are poking around. The butler advises not to poke too much. However, the young billionaire decides he wants to know everything he can figure out about his father, what he was doing down there. That is before Alfred goes mad and busts the place up, he thinks it’s dangerous. Holy shit. This sends Bruce into a fit and tells him to leave, “never come back.” Too intense.
The Maniax are picking out weapons to use, even if Jerome comes up against some of his teammates. This puts him up against Robert (Dustin Ybarra), the cannibal lady killer. Theo has them play Russian Roulette. Jerome goes nuts and takes three straight turns: no bullet. “Im the boss,” he cackles before turning the gun over. That young lad is pure maniac.
At the bar, Jim talks with Harvey (Donal Logue), only the bartender’s fiancee Scottie (Maria Thayer) doesn’t like it, she doesn’t want her man getting dragged back into the cop stuff. Jim doesn’t push, though he needs help. Not that Harvey wants to go back, he’s doing much better tending bar and not being a detective anymore. He stills offers up a mouthful of advice before his former partner leaves.
Gordon: “A new day
Commissioner Essen: “Youre damn right
IMG_0113The Maniax have themselves a fuel truck they hijacked, they’ve even got uniforms – very fitting they are fashionable straight jackets. Only the best for the villains of Gotham City! Jerome’s running their little operation. He has his eye on a school bus, filled with cheerleaders. That’s a bad sign.
Sad, sad Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith), he’s still trying to impress Kristen Kringle (Chelsea Spack) with his inane chatter. It’s tough to watch, particularly after when he talks back and forth between his two personalities: his normal, lamer self and the other cooler self.
Jerome and his boys get the cheerleaders cuffed to their seats. He makes them do a cheer, as his fellow Maniax hand him a hose, and he douses everyone full of gasoline, soaking the whole bus. He has trouble with the lighter. That’s when Jim and the cops arrive. Trouble is the cops can’t fire with all the cheerleaders behind Jerome. Doesn’t mean the Maniax can’t shoot. While Jerome and the boys get away, leaving Dobkins (Will Brill) to light the fire, Jim gets the bus away before the fire reaches it, just in the nick of time. That doesn’t make much better. When Jim tries getting some info out of Dobkins, the escaped inmate gets a bullet from a sniper on a near building. Yes, Tabitha’s cleaning up. Can’t have any pesky Maniax talking shit behind her and brother’s backs.
Elsewhere, Alfred is catching a train. Bruce goes to see him before he goes. The young man knows the butler only wants to protect him. But he wants Alfred to be with him, not against him. He wants to be trained, to grow up, he agrees to do whatever Alfred wants in order to achieve this goal, so they make a deal. Alfred also has to fix the computer. That might prove difficult. That is, if Mr. Pennyworth didn’t know many people connected to Wayne Enterprises, such as Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk). The butler purposefully bumps into the man at a bar, to get chatting.
IMG_0114At the station, Jim gets another call; from Barbara. He’s surprised, as one would be, and tries getting her to turn herself in. He tries talking sense. But she only laughs at him, from right there in the lobby. When he chases her outside she’s just barely out of his reach. When he’s gone, Jerome and the Maniax head inside with cop disguises, and start a real shit storm, gunning down a bunch of policemen, taking Commissioner Essen hostage. In an alleyway Jim stops Barb at gunpoint, and he’s attacked by Helzinger (Stink Fisher), who beats him mercilessly.
Barbara: “Im not sick, Im free.”
Inside the station, Jerome takes over. Commissioner Essen doesn’t take any of his nonsense, refusing to back down. He rants and raves and proves his insanity, as usual. Out in the alley, Jim eventually gets himself up, bloodied and bruised. He gets in to find Essen right as she dies from her wounds.
Over at Wayne Manor, Lucius starts in looking at Bruce’s smashed up computer. The boy asks about his father. Lucius says Thomas was quite private, even though he knew him fairly well. He says he’ll be able to fix the computer with a good deal of work.
Something good for Jim – Harvey shows up again, willing to put the badge on again after what’s happened. “No use fighting it,” Bullock tells him. Suddenly they see a recording of the attack on the news, the one Jerome made. Jerome tells the citizens of Gotham City they’re “tiny cogs” and announces there are some big plans ahead for him and the Maniax.
IMG_0115A killer follow-up to the premiere. Jerome is fantastic, and Monaghan does a great job playing him! Can’t wait for more. “The Last Laugh” is next, promising more chaos and carnage and criminal craziness.

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