Yet again, Gotham continues to show that the best shows aren’t the ones that deliver shock and awe in every episode. Rather, it’s ones that balance out their stories in such a way to make them all significant. “Look Into My Eyes” did just that, as it introduced a classic Batman villain, all the while maintaining its other storylines too.
Right out of the gate, we’re introduced to Jervis Tetch, the infamous Mad Hatter from Batman lore. Not surprisingly, he uses his hypnotism skills on people to get them to do very dark things. There were two ways this character could’ve been shown, dark and sinister, or loud and flamboyant. The former was chosen, and really works well with the darkness that Gotham has. He’s not right in the head, yet he knows how to play a crowd well. Including manipulating Barbara and Gordon to ensure their cooperation of sorts.
In fact, how their characters interacted with him was very telling. Barbara asking him whether he could make anyone do ANYTHING clear showed she has ideas for him. Maybe…getting Jim to love her again? As for Gordon, it was his reputation as a bounty hunter that brought the Hatter to his door. And he didn’t mind finding his “Alice”, as long as it was for the right price.
The real fun though, was that Alice was anything but a typical blonde girl, like the Hatter chases in the comics. It’s his sister, or so we’re told, and she was a victim of Indian Hill. It’s unclear what her powers are, but the way she kept saying “infected them” in regards to her blood, and her desire to burn any trace of her blood, gives me pause.
I’m glad the Hatter’s story is going another episode, it gives time for everything to breathe, and allow for more darkness to come.
Speaking of which, Penguin was busy this week, as his campaign for mayor began (as I predicted last week!) and it was very entertaining. To be clear, yes, a criminal (of any kind) running for mayor is technically illegal. But it’s Gotham, so who cares? Ironically, he actually made some good points. Especially when former mayor James brought back without an election. Whether he wants to admit it or not, he was a big part of the problem in regards to the events of the first two seasons. So Penguin challenging him was not out of the realm of possibility. Then, when he decided to get Nygma out to help him? Oh what fun. It’s the perfect way to bring Riddler back into the fold, and is somewhat reminiscent of what Nygma did in the classic Zero Year story by Scott Snyder.
Then…there’s the Bruce’s. While admittedly, this was the weakest of the storylines, it did raise some questions, ones that even the characters wanted to know. What was the purpose of this Bruce? Was it just a scheme of Strange? Or one of the Court? What did they do to him? How did he get created? All great stuff, and though brief, we did get some insight into him. For example, he doesn’t feel pain at all, an interesting skill to have. Also, he really likes Selina, and was willing to alter his voice and look to get closer to her. I do hope Selina realizes the switch soon, and I also hope for some more insight into his long term goals. But for now, it was a good start.
Finally, the return of Leslie was well handled. I was afraid after the end of last episode what the role of Leslie would be. Thankfully, it was very subtle, and very believable. She came back to Gotham because her new fiance (who I’ll get to) got a job in the city. Thus, she moved back with him, and even got her former job at the GCPD, with Barnes’ blessing no doubt. Even the meetup by her and Gordon was well handled. They said their words, then left, and were believably affected by it.
Now, the reveal, for those who didn’t know, that her finance is Mario Falcone, son of Carmine Falcone, was also well handled. For those who don’t know, Mario in the comics is not the most stable guy. Yet here, he’s a doctor, and one not raised to be a gangster, at the request of his mother. Which Carmine happily agreed to. It’s clear he’s not convinced about Gordon and Leslie still not having feelings for each other, but that doesn’t mean he’ll go psycho right off the bat. I predict a slow burn, or eruption, here, and that’s for the best.
“Look Into My Eyes” was a very solid episode, and is doing well in showing just enough, while still holding stuff back. Season 03 is off to a great start. Let’s hope it continues.