Reviews: Gotham – S.2 Ep.3 (“The Last Laugh”)

Posted: October 6, 2015 in Reviews
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WARNING: Massive spoilers ahead

No! How could you dash my hopes like this Gotham?

Still, even with the death of a major character, this episode was absolutely fantastic. It was funny, dark, and, of course, absolutely insane. The ending left a little to be desired, to be sure, but the rest of the episode was great.

The Plot

The episode starts with criminals being chucked out of windows, similar to how the Maniax dropped painted bystanders off of the roof in last week’s episode. This time, however, it’s Detectives Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock, both searching for Jerome Valeska after his murder of Commissioner Sarah Essen and taunting Gotham City.

Meanwhile, Theo Galavan continues hinting at his plan to take over Gotham through a conversation with Barbara Kean, as Jerome travels to the apartment of Paul Cicero, his father, to murder him. Planting evidence that Cicero had helped Jerome escape Arkham Asylum, the latter kills his father by the time Gordon and Bullock arrive. The two officers are quickly subdued by gas hidden among Cicero’s corpse (as well as a couple of blows from Jerome and Tabitha) before the two criminals escape.

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Later, at a benefit for the Gotham Children’s Hospital, Bruce Wayne and Alfred arrive to build up Bruce’s public image, running into both Lee Thompkins and Selina Kyle. Jerome and Barbara, taking the place of the actual magician scheduled to appear at the event, quickly begin wreaking havoc and take the attendees hostage.

Theo, attending as a newly arrived billionaire, confronts Jerome as part of his plan to give Gotham a “hero” and pretends to be knocked out by Barbara. Gordon eventually sneaks in and a firefight ensues, after which Theo stabs Jerome in the neck, killing him. During the events at the benefit, Bullock arrives at the home of Oswald Cobblepot. Calling him out on asking Gordon to collect on a debt, Bullock warns Cobblepot against asking Gordon for any favors in the future before leaving.

While Gotham collectively regroups and Theo introduces himself to the city, random people watching archive footage of Jerome on the news begin laughing hysterically before Cicero’s final words (on Jerome’s legacy of madness and death) narrate the last few scenes. The camera cuts back to the Jerome’s corpse, still smiling, before cutting to black.


Like the other episodes this season, I really liked “The Last Laugh”. Also like the other episodes though, there were a few things that didn’t necessarily make a whole lot of sense.

Take, for example, the benefit. With the threat of the Maniax looming everywhere, why wouldn’t anyone think that they’d want to target Gotham’s richest? Or how about the idea that nobody would be suspicious of a scheduled performer suddenly disappearing, only to be replaced by a last minute arrival nobody’s ever heard of before?

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The idea that Jerome isn’t the Joker is something that I’ll have to get used to, but that isn’t even my biggest concern with this episode. My complaint is that, after building this character up and allowing him to develop in the minds of fans everywhere, he is quickly disposed of to inspire Gotham’s less stable population. Kind of lessens the punchline of the future Batman’s ultimate nemesis when he’s nothing more than a knockoff of someone from years ago, but I suppose that’s a problem for another day.

Don’t get me wrong though. I really do like this episode. Gordon becoming more authoritative at the GCPD (complete with Batman-esque growls at Cicero’s apartment) was a nice change of pace, while the running joke about the magician was still sort of funny by the end of the episode. As far as Jerome goes, given that this seems like the character’s last living appearance, the writers really gave him a high note to go out on. His final meeting with his father was beyond creepy, and he and Barbara had a great Joker/Harley Quinn dynamic going on at the benefit, As usual, every moment of him on screen was great. I’m just concerned how they’ll fill that void now that the character is really gone.


  1. ~Felicia~ says:

    Loved that scene!!


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