After a near perfect episode last week, it would’ve been easy for Gotham to tone things down, instead, they fully delivered on the teaser we got at the end of that episode and delivered another fantastic episode with “Follow The White Rabbit”.
First, let’s get the bad out of the way. I’m not a fan of the now confirmed “love” Penguin has for Riddler. Yes, on one hand, it was at least “natural”. However, it’s still not true to the characters, and as the end of the episode revealed, Nygma either doesn’t share those feelings precisely, or he’s easily swayed. It may sound mean, but I was so happy that the doppleganger showed up and made this something else. How this will end? Not sure. But I hope it does end soon, I would like more “meaningful” mayor storylines for Penguin than the one he’s doing now.
However, everything else was fantastic in this episode. Mad Hatter has gone from simple villain to one of the best villains in the series. Gotham has gotten a rap, and other hero shows have too to be fair, for bringing in villains for show and name recognition, then botching their stories, or making them unrecognizable. With Mad Hatter though, he’s exactly what you might expect him to be. Using his mastery of hypnotism and manipulation to get people to do what he wants.
From start to finish, Hatter’s “game” for Gordon was very well done. From the haunting opening, to the shocking conclusion, it was clear that Hatter was the only one in control of what was happening. It was a rush to see Gordon both try to “win” the day, and yet be forced into submission time and time again. What was really enjoyable though was that Gordon was at times able to turn the tables and get into Hatter’s head, which made you think that…just for a second or two…something might go Gordon’s way, but he had no such luck.
Another thing I appreciate was that they had Gordon guess the climax of the episode in that he had to choose between Leslie and Valerie. It allowed him to focus on how to save them, if he could. It was fun seeing the twists and turns of that scene play out. From him asking Mario for help, to Hatter noting he already messed with the gun, to shooting Valerie after Gordon said to “Kill Li”, it was very tense. I didn’t expect one of them to actually get shot, and for Hatter to not go for a killshot was interesting, it not a bit of a letdown.
Finally, I’m glad they ended it with Gordon not getting to reveal why he did what he did with the choice, and us not knowing if Valerie is going to make it.
Regardless, “F0llow The White Rabbit” was another fantastic episode in Season 03 of Gotham, Mad Hatter’s tale seems to be coming to an end next episode, let’s hope it ends as epically as its been going so far.