Season 4, Episode 18: “That’s Entertainment”
Directed by Nick Copus
Written by Danny Cannon
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Mandatory Brunch Meeting” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “To Our Deaths and Beyond” – click here
The band of villains under control of Jerome Valeska (Cameron Monaghan) are up to more nastiness. The Mad Hatter (Benedict Samuel) and Mr. Freeze (Nathan Darrow) are gathering up the Mayor and other important Gothamites for the next portion of the big plan. Even Oswald (Robin Lord Taylor) is along for the ride now. They’re starting to deploy the laughing gas Scarecrow (David W. Thompson) cooked up, and it is frightening, indeed.
At the manor, Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) gets a present from Alfred (Sean Pertwee) – it’s the lad’s birthday. He’s got a pretty impressive new car. It’s “matte black,” bulletproof, and obviously the earliest prototype of the Batmobile we’re seeing in Gotham. Perfect vehicle to start crime fighting.
Behind his new buddy’s back, Penguin goes to Captain Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) to let him know Jerome is out of control. He doesn’t like the “anarchist” style of Valeska, believing the guy is only out for destruction. He wants to help stop his plans, though there’s no telling just what those are exactly other than the gas is going to get released, one way or another.
The Gotham Music Festival’s started. This is where Jerome takes stage and lines up his hostages, who are all strapped with dynamite necklaces. Yikes! Plus, the whole crowd is kept hostage, too. Now Jerome wants Gordon to come down and negotiate.
At the Sirens Club, Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) and Barbara (Erin Richards) don’t have to put up with much shit anymore. They’ve got their “own personal army” in the women of the League of Shadows. Yet the women assassins don’t dig just getting by at some club in Gotham City. They want Barb to carry on Ra’s al Ghul’s legacy as the Demon Head. That’ll definitely = TROUBLE.
Jim and the GCPD get down to the stage at the festival, where Jerome does his little bit. The empty chairs onstage belong to brother Jeremiah, and one for Mr. Wayne. This is where Gordon refuses, he wants to take the kid’s place. But Valeska is deadly serious. He proves it by exploding the police commissioner’s head for the audience. This sends Jim and Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk) to Wayne Manor, where they hope to get Bruce’s help. On TV there, they see Jerome get impatient and explode another head. They’re hoping to render the “dead man‘s switch” in Jerome’s explosive trigger useless by getting Bruce in close. Oh, shit.
The League of Shadows takes Barb to the house Ra’s owned. There’s a door downstairs, locked, and nobody else has been inside. Barb – the Demon’s Head – has the key within her. She presses her glowing palm to the door, then its vault opens. Inside are numerous items, from a vast array of time periods: paintings, busts, papers. One Renaissance-style painting depicts Ra’s with a woman who looks exactly like Barbara “400 years ago.” This puts the League of Shadows on their knees, paying respects to their new, true leader. Although Tabitha has worries, seeing Ra’s more as a “cult leader” than anything positive. This turns the old friends against one another. Except later, Tabitha meets men who tell her they serve Ra’s al Ghul, and death is “only an illusion” before drugging her and hauling her off someplace.
Bruce goes to see Jeremiah Valeska personally; the latter isn’t enthused about the plan for Jerome, and he refuses to go. Bruce does his best to convince him. Soon, it works. At the same time, Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) and some of the GCPD find that Freeze has broken in at Wayne Enterprises labs, and now there’s tons more of the laughing gas+fear toxin mix out on the streets of Gotham. And how are they planning on deploying it? The villains are going to drop it by air via blimp.
At the festival, Bruce and Gordon show up. Bruce and Jeremiah head for the stage to take their place, despite their reluctant fears. Unfortunately, the GCPD snipers are taken out, and even with the trigger getting neutralised it remains one hell of a sketchy situation. So, Bruce and Jeremiah have their necklaces put on. Jerome wants to get down to family business in front of everybody, he wants to prove his brother is a killer like him by nature. He offers his brother a knife, to try and kill him. Jeremiah goes for it and gets knocked out.
With the gas on its way, Gordon tries clearing out the festival. All out chaos commences, but at least Jerome’s trigger won’t work and the Mayor’s head isn’t exploding. Right about then, the villains’ blimp appears overhead. Inside it, up in the air, Penguin’s stuck with a pilot hypnotised by the Hatter. He’s able to call out to Jim, trying to figure out his options. Cpt. Gordon advises him to steer the blimp over the river.
On the rooftops, Gordon faces Jerome, and puts a few bullets into him. Is this the end for Mr. Valeska? He even takes a dive from a building. But he hangs on. Jim faces a Batman-esque dilemma where he can either pull the villain up and arrest him, or go against his morality and let him die. Jerome says he’ll “live on in the shadows within Gotham‘s discontent” right before letting go and falling to his death below. This isn’t the end, though. We still have not seen the full-fledged Joker, remember. Nice homage to the 1989 Tim Burton Batman in this scene.
Penguin gains control of the blimp and gets it out over the river. He’s not down yet, they’ve got to figure out how to do it. For the time being, Oz has to hang out above the city.
Jeremiah goes back to his safe little bunker, a bit safer seeing as how his brother is gone. He finds a gift there from Wayne Enterprises. And when he opens it, a jack-in-the-box pops free. It’s got a scary clown face, and it sprays Jeremiah full of toxins to serve as Jerome’s “ultimate revenge.” This is a new gas, something that’s going to set Gotham on fire. Will this be the true Joker? Oh, my. I’m excited. There are so many ways this can go, and most of them seem pretty damn wild/fun to me.
“To Our Deaths and Beyond” is next time.