Season 3, Episode 14: “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies”
Directed by Louis Shaw Milito
Written by Seth Boston
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Smile Like You Mean It” – click here
* For a recap & review of Heroes Rise, “How the Riddler Got His Name” – click here
The GCPD is gone nuts, like the rest of the city. Chaos reigns in the wake of Jerome Valeska (Cameron Monaghan) making his return. Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and acting Captain Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) try containing all the madness, the rage, the fire, but it’s utter insanity. They can’t get any information, they just witness further carnage.
At Kane Chemicals, Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) goes looking for his man Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) whom he believes is kidnapped. But nobody’s there, except him. Ed kills the guys with Oswald, then takes him at gunpoint, too. “Half the fun,” he says, was the trickery. The truth has been exposed, and it’s only going to get worse from here.
From their high tower, Kathryn (Leslie Hendrix) watches the chaotic streets in Gotham with Frank Gordon (James Remar). Yes, you read it right. We’ll get back to that later.
Nobody knows what to do with a city crumbling.
About to meet a rotten death, Penguin lashes out at Ed. They both exchange hurtful jabs, neither of them willing to admit their truths: they are both murderers. Oswald again confesses: “I did it because I love you.” The sanctimonious Nygma goes on about the truth of love, when he’s totally full of shit. He’s setup his old friend, his new enemy, to be melted vicious by acid in an elaborate contraption. He leaves Oz to die. A cop stumbles onto him later, cutting him free just before the acid drops.
Dr. Lee Thompkins (Morena Baccarin) works on the wounded at the GCPD, giving Dt. Gordon what little she remembers of her conversation with Jerome. The villain did mention Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), so Lee calls for Alfred (Sean Pertwee) while Jim runs off for the mansion. At Wayne Manor, the two of them know there’s trouble coming their way. And so returns Jerome, clad in one of those Maniax straight jacket uniforms. He and his insane friends take over, whereas the young billionaire stands firm against him. In the midst of it all, the reanimated man smashes the crystal owl; uh oh.
Regardless, Jerome is in a homicidal haze, he wants to gut the kid. They take Bruce elsewhere, leaving Alfred to a possible death. They’re unable to get the job done, because Dt. Gordon gets there, then he and the butler kick ass until they’re the only two left. But they’re most concerned about the kid. Bruce is off to the carnival. The place is an insane world of human amusements, or human horrors, terrors; definitely not amusing. At least not to the sane person. The young billionaire watches on horrified while Jerome shows him some “fun before the main event.” Sounds awful.
“Gotta be honest, Bruce. You don‘t make the world‘s funniest clown.”
Getting home, Penguin finds Butch (Drew Powell) and Tabitha (Jessica Lucas), they’re looking for Nygma. Little man cannot catch a break. These two have no love for him anymore, not that they did have any real love for him in the first place. He’s forced to go with them, until he’s served his purpose. Barbara (Erin Richards) wants his help tracking down Ed, that way he’ll be treated with some mercy. Turns out Ed’s there, it was just more tricks.
At the carnival, Jerome explains human nature, as he sees it, to Bruce, who only humours him to stay alive. “There are good people in Gotham,” says the boy. The formerly dead man only laughs at him, believing there are “no heroes” in their city. The good are definitely few and far between.
Jerome is front and centre, ring leader of the giant carnival. Outside, Alfred, Harvey, and Jim arrive, as the main event gets underway – Bruce is brought out tied to a stake, about to be blasted with random sharp objects from a circus cannon. When Jim and the others infiltrate, Jerome runs after lighting the cannon. Just about to die, Bruce slips his cuffs getting free.
This takes Bruce into a funhouse of mirrors, where Jerome follows. Quite the fitting place for a man like Jerome, whose identity is quite fluid; fits in perfectly with the Joker’s general ever-changing backstory. They both go toe-to-toe, fist-to-fist. Bruce hammers the reanimated man’s face until the nasty skin loosens. The kid is about to kill him before catching a glimpse of himself in the mirror, not liking what he sees. He refuses to kill. Luckily, Aflred is right there to find him, too.
But Jerome is still alive. Takes Dt. Gordon punching his face off, literally, to stop him. Once more the villain’s gone back to Arkham Asylum. Life in Gotham, for a moment in time, returns to normal. As normal as it gets in that city.
What about Kathryn? She’s glad to see order restored. She and Frank are manipulating subject 514A for the aims of the Court of Owls. Who knows what they’ve got in store. Something’s definitely coming. And Frank, he’s uncle to Jim, what exactly is his part in all this?
At the docks, Ed has a gun to Penguin, ready to murder him: “I don‘t love you.” After Oswald finishes raging Nygma pulls the trigger into his midsection, tossing him into the water to be left for dead. Is this the last we’ve seen of Cobblepot?
Wow. Stellar first half (plus a couple episodes) to this season. The Mad City storyline ends. We now move into Heroes Rise.
The first episode is “How the Riddler Got His Name” – get ready for something wild!