Gotham City welcomed back a few familiar faces during “A Dark Knight: One of My Three Soups.” We’ve missed these chaotic villains! You can never rule anyone out; Gotham always finds a way to bring them back. (I’ve lost count of the number of “dead” characters who have returned to the fold.) This time, it was Arkham Asylum that couldn’t hold the evilness within its depths. Scarecrow, Mad Hatter and Jerome escaped from its walls to wreak havoc on Gotham City true to their fashion: with insanity.
The Gotham City Police Department’s hunt for the three villains was more a game of cat and mouse. Every time James Gordon and Harvey Bullock were getting close to capturing one of the three, the trio were one step ahead. Based on the episode structure, having the main conflict focus on the Mad Hatter and the GCPD was beneficial, as it helped to rein in the story. Sure, there was also a B-storyline with Jerome, Selina and Bruce (and the C-storyline with Barbara, Tabitha and the League of Shadows), but focusing James and Harvey’s conflict with one villain provided a concise target for the main plot. We could follow their progression as they tried to stop big trouble in the city.
We need to give credit to The Mad Hatter – he is a smart villain. Similar to Poison Ivy when she planned ahead, Mad Hatter had all the preparation and chess pieces ready to go wherever James and Harvey went. The attack on the married couple was surprising, but sending a hypnotic message over the radio station was genius. Why didn’t he try that before? He could’ve had Gotham City under his control by now. The editors of Gotham made a visually beautiful choice with the pan-up shot over the buildings of the city when all the people were revealed. The CGI groupings of citizens raised the stakes and the dramatic music added tension to that moment.
How did you feel about The Mad Hatter’s twist/James saving the day? The hypnotic conundrum seemed like a simple solve, but it was made out to be this huge debate. Mad Hatter made the proclamation over the radio that the next voice they heard they would need to obey. At that point, James could’ve simply told them not to jump – the order would’ve overruled Hatter’s previous demand. Also, how would they have heard the new message? Was there a radio on all of the buildings sending the message? In hindsight, the citizens pulling each other back didn’t make much sense.
Bruce is going to constantly regret saving Jerome from death so many times. He keeps letting the maniacal man escape his clutches and wreak havoc. When he told Selina that he felt responsible for Jerome, his words were mind-boggling – he wasn’t Jerome’s keeper or responsible for the monster he became. Bruce needs to capture Jerome and put him away for good.
We learned more about Jerome’s past during the soup game with his uncle. Don’t get me wrong, his villainous actions can’t be excused because of the carnival. However, his descent into madness and criminal nature made more sense. Jerome never had a chance to break free from the torment he received. Also, the struggle to not completely call Jerome “The Joker” has become incredibly hard. When he wore the suit to greet Scarecrow and Mad Hatter, he all but announced his persona. Hopefully by the end of this season he can finally take on the moniker of The Joker; Gotham can’t keep playing with our emotions like this.
Barbara being chosen as the new head of the League of Shadows will push her storyline even further than it’s ever gone. The character has always wanted power, and now she will get to run the most powerful organization in existence. However, there’s no way Ra’s al Ghul is out of the picture completely. He will no doubt find a way to come back from the dead and reclaim the Demon’s Head. Barbara just needs to make sure she isn’t killed before she gets away or pushes Tabitha too far from helping her.