Gotham “Knock, Knock” Review (Season 2, Episode 2)

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On the latest episode of “Gotham,” the plot thickened as the “Rise of the Villains” continued- as did the body count- in “Knock, Knock.” Last week, I posited that perhaps we had a Suicide Squad in-the-making. If so, then they’re gonna need some new recruits, because participants are dwindling. No less than two more members of the Arkham escapees were taken out, one by Jerome “Joker” Valeska (Cameron Monaghan), who is the very definition of a loose cannon, and the other by Tabitha “Tigress” Galavan (Jessica Lucas).

At this point, the Arkham team is down to a mere three members: Jerome, Barbara (Erin Richards) and the hulking Aaron (the gloriously-named Stink Fisher). Whoever this Theo Galavan (James Frain) is, he may have bet on the wrong horses. Hell, even his sister is a bit of a nut job, what with her antics with Barbara whipping that guy. It might be time to outsource some people, to say the least.

That said, Jerome is obviously the Joker, what with all that Joker-isms going on left and right with him, so who’s to say that Barbara couldn’t still be Harley Quinn? She’s certainly a bit of a wackadoodle her own damn self, and it’s not like its set in stone that she has to be the Joker’s GF. She could always be the Tigress’ lady love, for instance. Why not? It’s not like the show is afraid to play around with the mythos.

Case in point: they went ahead and took out Commissioner Sarah Essen (Zabryna Guevara) way ahead of schedule, although there is indeed a storyline in which she is killed by the Joker, albeit under radically different circumstances. It was, however, also in a police station. Of course, in the comics, she and Jim Gordon (who, in at least one case is older than she is by a good ten years plus) are oft-romantically involved, and that didn’t happen, so it’s not as if “Gotham” is beholden to the comics anyway.

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So, does that mean Jim Gordon will become the new Commissioner already? That seems a bit unlikely this early on, but you never know. Hell, given what happened to Essen, many may not want to be her successor. To say nothing of all the cops massacred by the so-called “Maniax.” Looks like the latter aren’t the only ones in need of recruiting. Good luck with that, because I can’t imagine there are many clamoring for that job, either. Well, with one notable exception, of course: Bullock (Donal Logue) is back!

This was a pretty nutty episode, all around. It’s not every show that begins with seven people encased in straightjackets being tossed off of a roof with letters spray-painted on them to spell out the name of their killers! Even more impressive was how, in spite of some very dark stuff going on, the show still managed to retain a pitch black sense of humor that was genuinely funny and twisted. It’s entirely possible this entire show may go off the rails completely at any given time, but it’s certainly not boring. The question is, can they keep it up at this pace? We shall see soon enough, I suppose.

On other fronts, Theo is clearly up to something with the Mayor. From the looks of it, he’s trying to replace him with a figurehead of his choosing, or possibly take over himself. Not sure about that one yet, but he did have him lie to his people and leave town, so something’s brewing, obviously.

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Meanwhile, Alfred (Sean Pertwee) was sensing trouble brewing on his end as well, and promptly smashed the computers he and Bruce (David Mazouz) found in the enclave under the fireplace last week. Ostensibly, it was to keep Bruce out of trouble, but all it did was to get him canned. This being TV, though, it was a pretty short-lived firing, with Bruce making him a deal: Alfred would teach him to fend for himself, and he’d go back to school, and he could continue on at Wayne Manor, but on one condition- he had to accept that Bruce wasn’t going to let this go, and Alfred had to figure out how to repair that broken computer.

Enter Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk) again, this time to help Bruce out in the computer repair department, as per his demands to Alfred. That scene in the bar with Alfred and Lucius was something, what with all the wacky Brit slang- “Tucked up like a kipper,” indeed. I feel like half of that stuff is made up, but I suppose actual Brit Pertwee would have called them on it, so I suppose it was real. But boy, did it feel cartoonish! (Yeah, yeah, I know- the show IS based on a comic, but still.)

Other stuff: The “Maniax” abducted a bus full of cheerleaders (!) and poured gasoline on them and the bus, intending to burn them all alive, but they lucked out by the arrival of Gordon and company, though the whole lighter-not-lighting not once, but twice was a bit much.

I did like the whole split personality thing going on with Ed, and the fact that his split self is more suave than he is, leading him to argue with his “better” half. In the end, though, it was Ed himself that bravely saved Mrs. Kringle, getting himself winged by a bullet in the process, during the whole precinct shoot-out thing. Those guys really need to get better security in that place, am I right?

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We ended with the Joker broadcasting some footage of himself shot during the massacre, his face covered in blood of the cops he’d killed, proclaiming: “You ain’t seen nothing yet!” Lord only knows what the show has got planned next, but they sure are upping the ante this season, that’s for sure. If they manage to keep this pace up for the rest of the season, they might be onto something here.

So, another solid episode, if a bit illogical from time to time. But I can deal with a little illogic if I’m entertained, and I certainly was here. Keep up the good work, “Gotham,” I’m counting on you. We all are, really. Don’t screw it up!

What did you think of the latest episode of “Gotham”? Is it crazy enough for you? Or could they push things even further? What do you think will happen next? Who will be the next big villain? (Ben McKenzie, aka Jim Gordon, has hinted that Mr. Freeze might be in the mix soon, which could be, ahem, cool- so long as they watch all the frosty puns, I guess. Though it’s hard to keep yourself from going there, admittedly.)

Will Gordon be the new Commissioner sooner than later? How will the precinct come back from the recent massacre? What’s on Bruce’s dad’s computers? What’s Theo Galavan up to? Sound off on this and more down below, and see you next week!