Ok, I’m saying it right now, Gotham is getting a 5/5. Yes, GOTHAM IS GETTING A 5 OUT OF 5 RATING!!!! WHY?!?!?!? Because “Knock, Knock” was not only the greatest episode in this series by far, but it set a tone that proves this season will not hold back. If the first episode of season 22 was the setup, this was the payoff. And oh, what a payoff.
The funny part was, and no, not like morbid funny, was that this episode paid dividends on numerous levels. Not just in the titular “Rise of the Villains” though of course they played a HUGE role in this episode. But no, other characters and roles were explored as well.
For example, Bullock was NOT roped into coming back to GCPD right off the bat. In fact, both he and his finance (who you might remember from the Scarecrow arc last season…) were adamant in him not returning, and he held to that. It would’ve been easy for Bullock to return because Essen was now Commissioner, but he didn’t. Not until later…
Then there’s Bruce and Alfred, who had a very interesting story involving the work of Thomas Wayne. While Bruce is still gung-ho (and for good reason) Alfred is still very concerned about where it will all lead (again, for good reason). Him destroying the computer might seem a bit…extreme at first, but he wasn’t wrong in his points. There are some powerful people in control of Wayne Enterprises, and for a teenager to think he can take them on, when his own parents couldn’t before their deaths, is honestly ludicrous.
Thankfully, this evolved very quickly, from Alfred being fired, to rehired under the promise of teaching Bruce how to “handle it all”, and then the big shocker…the return of Lucius Fox! He was never confirmed to return after his season 1 appearance. But bringing back into the fold is not only genius, but it helps establish a bond between him and Bruce that’ll pay off in the future (should it happen) that’ll led to Fox running Wayne Enterprises later on. By the way, this wouldn’t have been possible if Lucius wasn’t introduced in season one. Again, it may have been uneven, but it set the stage beautifully.
And then, there were the villains. Wow. I mean seriously, WOW! How dark they went, how far they went, how dramatic it all was, it was a spectacle you think you’d only see in the films, but it was on TV, and boy was it dark.
First off, Theo Galavan proves just how much of a villain he is but not only kidnapping and manipulating the mayor, but using the…talents…of his “Maniax” and the psychology of the people of Gotham to his advantage. Even going so far as to note how Jerome should use his laugh as a weapon of sorts to strike fear into people. And oh did he.
Ok, so even if Jerome isn’t the Joker…he’s doing one heck of a Joker impersonation, and its fantastic. He steals every scene he’s in. The Russian Roulette game, the cheerleaders on the bus (better than old people right?), and the final few scenes, wow, what a kid. You were afraid of what he would do, and you were right to.
The ending attack on the GCPD might have been a bit tipped off in the trailer for season 2, but it didn’t show what a massacre it was. It was brutal, well executed, and a grim reminder that this season is titled “Rise of the Villains”. And poor Essen, she just got her time in the sun, even said “New Day”, but she only lasted a week. I honestly was 50-50 as to whether she would survive. They could’ve made her live with the massacre, but Jerome wasn’t that kind. She did get her shots in though, way to go Essen.
What made the attack even better was that Barbara was used to lure Gordon away. This shows that Galavan has special plans for him, what I don’t know, but hopefully it’ll come to fruition soon.
So, where does this leave us? The GCPD is in shambles, Bullock is now back in the fray, Gordon may be Commissioner now, and the Maniax have promised more. I’m incredibly excited for next weeks episode. If it even does half as good as this episode? It’ll be worth the watch a million times over.