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GOTHAM Recap: ‘Mad City: Smile Like You Mean It’ Introduces an Even Scarier [SPOILER]

GOTHAM Recap: ‘Mad City: Smile Like You Mean It’ Introduces an Even Scarier [SPOILER]

Warning: this recap contains major spoilers from this week’s episode of Gotham, “Mad City: Smile Like You Mean It.” It is a recap, after all! Don’t say we didn’t warn you …

He’s baaaa-aaaack! After teasing Cameron Monaghan’s return for so long as the maybe-Joker Jerome on Gotham, he finally rose from the dead in this week’s action-packed episode, “Mad City: Smile Like You Mean It.” But this wasn’t the Jerome we met way back in season one. Oh no, this one was much, much worse. And by worse, I mean way better, because now his face has literally been sliced off and stapled back on. If his psychopathic attitude and general insanity didn’t scare you before, now his outsides match his insides, making Jerome 2.0 a true force to be reckoned with. This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for, y’all! Let’s get to recapping, shall we?

The hour began with the underground Joker-worshipping cult making their first move in reanimating Jerome’s body by stealing his cryo pod from the storage facility in which it was being kept. But according to a witness the GCPD captured, waking Jerome is only the first step. Gordon and Bullock tracked the cult’s leader Dwight as he was trying and failing to wake Jerome up, but a mole inside the GCPD warned him the detectives were coming. Desperate times called for desperate measures apparently, because Dwight, pressed for time and stressing about his failure after promising the cult that he could wake up Jerome, picked up a scalpel and sliced off Jerome’s face to wear as a mask to inspire the Joker cult, leaving behind Jerome’s body for the cops to find. At first it seemed like the cult wasn’t going to fall for such a clearly desperate plan …but then, surprisingly, it worked. It was horribly disgusting, but it worked. Dwight had the cult eating out of the palm of his hand.

Fox

Turns out, however, that Dwight never needed to go to such creepy measures because Jerome did wake up (just a bit delayed). Bloody face wrapped in gauze, he hopped right off of Lee’s table in the GCPD morgue, killed a cop, and held Lee at gunpoint. I honestly could have just watched a whole episode of Lee catching Jerome up on everything he missed during his year of being dead. With Lee’s new bad attitude and Jerome’s maniacally easy-going acceptance of everything that’s happened to him, it was the perfect combo. I never thought I’d say this, but I need more Jerome/Lee snarky banter scenes, please! Meanwhile, can we get less of Lee/Gordon angry scenes? I get that she’s still mad that Gordon killed her husband on their wedding night, but now she also knows that Gordon did it to protect her from Mario’s blood poisoning. We all know they’re going to end up back together, so all these scenes with them at each other’s throats is unnecessary and a waste of time

Dwight then shot up a news station hoping to announce his new identity as Jerome to Gotham, but Gordon and the GCPD infiltrated it and arrested everyone, including Dwight. But Jerome still caught a glimpse of Dwight on the news wearing his face, so he stole a cop car, drove to the scene of the crime and kidnapped Dwight. He stapled his face back on—ow ow ow!—and broadcast another announcement using a stolen news van letting all of Gotham know that he was alive again. He told everyone to do whatever they wanted that night—kill, maim, destroy—and then they would be reborn like him too. He dropped the mic by blowing up Dwight live on camera (he didn’t forgive Dwight for slicing off his face, and I mean, can you blame him?!). Since he was at the power plant, that plunged Gotham into a city-wide blackout. All Gordon could do was watch in horror as Gotham was plunged into total darkness, making Jerome’s advice to the citizens of Gotham seem pretty horribly appropriate.

Fox

Meanwhile, Selina’s recently returned mother Maria Kyle’s “debt collector”met with Bruce and Alfred to discuss the terms of what he wanted from them: $200 grand or else he would go to the police with enough evidence to get Maria arrested. Of course Bruce gave her the money to protect his girlfriend’s mother, and of course it was all a scam—Maria was only using Selina to get the money from Bruce, and Selina caught her red-handed. She heartbreakingly told her mother to leave and never come back—and the emotions didn’t stop there. Selina then went straight to Bruce and realized that Bruce knew her mother was using her all along, so she took out her anger on him for lying to her. (That scene where she was fighting Bruce and he wouldn’t get physical with her back was just so well-done, both with the writing and the acting.) The Bruce/Selina dynamic has been amazing to watch evolve over the past few seasons, and it’s clearly going somewhere more mature now.

As for Cobblepot, “Mayor Crumblepot” has officially lost the support of the people of Gotham as well as the criminal underworld’s respect after his disastrous on-air meltdown, which is exactly what Nygma was going for as the first phase of his revenge plan. It looks like the next step is to get Babs to be Penguin’s “ally” and “friend,” gaining his trust and whispering in his ear. She got one of the heads of the crime families to warn Penguin to step down as king of the underworld or else he’d kill Nygma, but it was really Tabitha holding him at gunpoint before killing him after Penguin believed the ruse.

Fox

When the rest of the crime families gathered at Sirens worried for their lives after that hit, Babs and Tabs cemented their plans to become the new heads of the criminal underworld by killing them all—and once Nygma’s revenge on Penguin was complete, they would kill him too. No honor among thieves, huh? And then Nygma himself called Penguin and claimed to have snuck away to use a phone, “tipping him off” as to where Nygma was “being held.” Is Nygma ready to kill Penguin already, or is this just another phase to his plan?

What did you think of this week’s Gotham? Tweet me your thoughts at @SydneyBucksbaum!

Images: Fox

Gotham airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on Fox.

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