Friday, April 06, 2018

My Review of Gotham's 4x17: "Mandatory Brunch Meeting"

Written by Steven Lilien & Bryan Wynbrandt
Directed by Maja Vrvilo

Jerome (to Jeremiah): "I guess it's like what they say, we could all just go insane with just one bad day."

Had it not been a few weeks ago, I think the reveal of Jerome having a twin brother would've been a genuine shocker but in these days of the internet, it of course had to leak and somewhat dilute the surprise a bit for those who stumbled upon it. Saying that though, I can see where this one is going.

Also played by Cameron Monaghan, Jeremiah Valeska seems to be the more stable of the twins, having been sent to St Ignatius when he was a kid in order to get away from his homicidal twin and adopting the name Xander Wilde while also living as a reclusive architect in a place that looks as wild as anything a reclusive in Gotham would live in.

I liked that Jeremiah had anticipated that Jerome was coming for him and quickly positioned his right hand woman, Ecco into getting Jerome before the latter could get him. Of course, it was also obvious that Jerome would make sure to have both the Scarecrow and Tetch on hand while Gordon and Bullock also stumbled upon Jeremiah's hiding place.

Performance wise, I think Cameron did a good job in separating the two brothers reasonably well but the interactions between Jerome and Jeremiah made it pretty clear how this show will be handling the Joker storyline in it's last slew of episodes as well. After all, Jerome did talk about everyone having one bad day and I think that day is going to be pretty imminent for Jeremiah rather soon.

Of course when we weren't getting a brother reunion in this episode, we were seeing Jerome setting up his Legion of Horribles by recruiting the likes of Mr Freeze, Firefly, Oswald and Grundy to his cause as a rather unfortunate businessman then came to a grim end with the effects of a new laughing gas that leaves one hell of a smile on your face. Actually, the Grundy bit was Oswald's effort and that took some persuading but those two had some brilliant scenes in this one.

Outside of the Jerome storyline though, we had an interesting plotline with Leslie and the Riddler. First of all, I am not in the slightest bit surprised that Lee and Ed are hooking up and while I don't ship, I actually don't hate either. I do imagine however the Nygmobblepot are probably seething with this development though.

I'm not entirely sure what Leslie's angle here is though. I don't believe she has real feelings for Ed but at the same time, why is she encouraging him to up his bank robbing quota? I did like the Riddle off between the pair of them and despite her motives, I think Leslie might have at least spared poor Lars an awful fate but I do think if she's trying to micromanage the Riddler, it's going to inevitably backfire on her.

- With this show recasting both the Scarecrow and Ivy this season, the original actress to play Firefly reprised her role for this one.
- I know she's not meant to be Harley Quinn but Ecco certainly looked the part. It also seems that Hugo Strange will be resurfacing fairly soon as well.
- No Selina, Barbara, Tabitha, Lucius, Sofia or Ras this week.
- Chronology: Not long from where One Of My Three Soups left off.

Mandatory Brunch Meeting certainly gave a little game change to the Jerome/Joker plotline with the addition of Jeremiah into the mix. The storyline though is pretty compelling and the subplot with Leslie/Riddler also worked well with the episode, though I assume those two will also be tangled into the main storyline pretty soon now.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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