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Gotham, ‘A Beautiful Darkness’ – Any Time Jerome is Around, You’re in For Something Special

A Beautiful Darkness
Photo Credit: FOX

A Beautiful Darkness Plot Summary:

In Ivy’s (Peyton List) quest to avenge plants in Gotham, she uncovers a secret project spearheaded by Wayne Enterprises.  Bruce (David Mazouz) is met head on by a life changing event, while Jerome (Cameron Monaghan) tries to trigger Oswald (Robin Lord Taylor) in Arkham.

Like many Gotham episodes, this week was uneven, but the highs certainly reached the ceiling.  That tends to happen whenever Jerome is involved, who finally made his long awaited Gotham return.  We’ll get to Jerome and all the Arkham hijinks later.  Let’s ease into the episode with my least favorite part from last week – Ivy.

The whole Poison Ivy debacle has weighed on the entire season.  She keeps getting reborn.  The plant powers were forced beyond belief, as she seemed to buy them at a convenience store.  It just hasn’t worked.  This was definitely an improvement.  She’s still one of the weaker Gotham villains, but at least Peyton List is starting to come into her own as the character.  Ivy was more focused, and more threatening.  Unfortunately for Batman fans, we’ve seen this Poison Ivy plot 900 times.

While I give the visuals for this episode a ton of credit, it was excruciatingly repetitive.  How many times do we have to see Ivy blow green dust into someone, followed by a bunch of plants growing out of their face?  It seemed like Ivy did this more times in this one episode of Gotham than in all of Batman & Robin.  It’s still lacking in ice puns though.

While Gotham pretty much just pressed play on the Poison Ivy tropes, they still delivered when it came to Jerome.  It would have been so easy to have Jerome and Oswald bond over their shared insanity and run amok in Arkham, but credit to Gotham for thinking outside the box.  Boy, do they really have Jerome screw with Oswald.  It’s glorious.

There isn’t much you can add to Cameron Monaghan’s performance.  While maybe not technically the Joker, he’s sure as hell is honoring the character well.  The dynamic between him and Oswald was pitch perfect Joker.  Oswald is completely depressed and has given up on life.  There’s nothing that pisses the Joker off more than this, and he uses that depression to shock Oswald back to the man he was.  This was as funny and twisted as it should be.  It also alludes to something major, but just as the Joker usually does, he keeps it close to the chest.

Speaking of villains, we had only one Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) scene, but it was a good one.  One of my biggest complaints from last week was the slow, painful buildup to Nygma doing something Riddler again.  While there’s only one very subtle Riddler act in this episode, it was perfect.

The other major storyline was Bruce Wayne going through some weird hallucination.  At first, this was really silly.  Again, credit to the cool visuals, but this whole set up felt off.  At one-point Bullock (Donal Logue) was holding a chicken or something, I don’t know.  Once the big BANG happens in this vision though, it gets better.  This was certainly a big moment for Gotham, and without spoiling too much, they did a great job with it.  In an episode that had great visuals all throughout, they saved the very best for last.

For whatever it’s worth, this dream sequence led to a vintage Gotham Gordon/Bruce scene.  I’ve said from the beginning that their relationship is one of the best elements to this entire show.  Now that the whole drunken mess Bruce has run its course, we got to see some great acting from David Mazouz again.  He has one line towards the end that was killer delivery, and epitomizes beautifully the burden of being Batman, which we know is obviously in his future.  Great stuff.

While there were a lot of clichés and goofy moments to trudge through, this week offered some true standout Gotham moments, including a lot of real funny bits with Selina.  Camren Bicondova needs to be utilized on this show more.  Sofia Falcone (Crystal Reed) also comes back and was pretty whatever, although they leave her in an interesting spot at the end, so at least it was a good tease.

Any time Jerome makes an appearance, Gotham, at the very least, is a good episode.

Rating: 7 out of 10 (Good)

Daniel Cohen
Daniel Cohen
Daniel Cohen likes movies and bagels, and that’s pretty much it. Aside from writing Box Office predictions, Daniel hosts the monthly Batman by the Numbers Podcast on the Breakcast feed. Speaking of Batman, If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.

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