Friday, May 04, 2018

My Review of Gotham's 4x20: "That Old Corpse"

Written by Charlie Huston
Directed by Louis Shaw Milito

Jeremiah (to Gordon): "Jerome is dead. Long live me."

Well, that didn't take long, did it? With two episodes left in the season and maybe the series until we find out whether or not it's coming back for a fifth season, this episode refocused on Cameron Monaghan once again as Jeremiah's new facade came out to play.

Having Jeremiah most of the episode fearful that Jerome was alive and out to kill him while bonding with Bruce was an interesting move. You could tell that if things were very different that Jeremiah and Bruce could've been the best of friends and given that the show never explored similar dynamic Bruce could've had with both Harvey Dent or Tommy Elliot, it's kind of frustrating that Jeremiah and Bruce didn't meet each other earlier in the season.

It certainly would've helped to sell the moment where Jeremiah revealed himself to both Gordon and Bruce as the mastermind of Jerome's acolytes disrupting the GCPD and would've added more punch to Jeremiah's scheming to create his Wayne Enterprise funded projects into a bomb for good measure.

Saying that though, this reveal did work well enough as Monaghan did manage to differentiate between Jerome and Jeremiah more succinctly as the latter was a far calmer shade of menace. The Joker motifs here felt very Batman 89 with Jeremiah's final look and for good measure, it seems that Ecco herself got into the spirit of things.

It's easy to assume with her Jester like outfit (which looks suitably Burton-esque) that she's a precursor for Harley Quinn, though she never speaks a word during her scenes with the Jongleur (one of Jerome's knife throwing fanatics), Gordon or even Jeremiah in the few scenes she's afforded in the episode. Whether or not she makes it out of the last two episodes, I'm unsure but I am hoping we learn a bit more about the character before she's inevitably taken out of the playing field.

Keeping with the distractions though, I did like how both Oswald and Edward used the GCPD being raided by Jerome's idiotic followers to their own ends. Oswald and Butch nabbed the Jongleur guy and the latter put some chicken bones to gruesome use while Nygma went in there with a few minions in disguise to rescue Leslie, though she did a decent enough job of getting herself out of her current jam.

Again, I'm not sure about Edward and Leslie as a pairing but I cannot bring myself to detest it either. In a weird way, it actually works because the show isn't trying to sell it as some epic love story, which does help. It also helps that while Nygma clearly loves Leslie, he's still aware of the fact that she doesn't and even warned her not to play him here. Plus their scenes were a highlight along with Leslie berating Jim for his own hypocrisy at times.

- The title credit at the end generated a brighter blue, signalling Jeremiah's own little plot for the next two episodes.
- I assume it was some of Jeremiah's minions who attacked and took Alfred during the episode. I also got a laugh out of seeing Oswald and Butch squatting in Falcone's home, eating chicken and watching cartoons.
- No Selina, Barbara, Tabitha or Ras in this episode.
- Chronology: Not long from where To Our Deaths And Beyond left off.

That Old Corpse regardless of the show's downplaying or not certainly has set up a different take for the Joker/Mr J with Jeremiah than we've seen in recent times. It's an interesting one for now with Jeremiah's quiet menace being a needed contrast to Jerome's own manic intensity. I do hope these last two episodes, in spite of the show's fate do end things on a strong note though.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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