Ever since ‘Gotham’ introduced the concept of resurrection from the dead, I worried that the plot contrivance would become an overused crutch. Sure enough, as the series returns from its mid-season break, it looks like everyone who ever died on the show will get another chance to come around again.
Episode ‘Ghosts’ opens at the funeral for Lee’s husband of just one day, Mario Falcone. Being that Jim Gordon killed the guy, he’s not exactly a welcome presence as he hovers in the background looking on. Lee grouses to her father-in-law, Don Falcone, about how she blames Jim for needlessly murdering Mario. She later storms into the police station demanding Jim’s arrest. When that doesn’t work, Falcone says that he can order a hit on Jim, but only if Lee fully understands the ramifications of that and consents. She agrees. She hates him so much that she wants him dead.
Jim and Harvey investigate the strange case of a corpse who apparently died twice. The woman was stabbed and pronounced dead, but then went missing from the morgue and was found a few days later having been electrocuted. The trail they follow leads to an old theater, where a cult leader figure gives a speech to a crowd of deranged loonies who worship Jerome, the nutjob from Seasons 1 and 2 that many viewers assumed was a young Joker until Theo Galavan murdered him. While looking into that, Victor Zsasz suddenly appears and opens fire on the two of them. Fortunately, he’s a lousy shot. Jim manages to overpower him and get away.
Expecting to validate her theory that a person infected with Alice Tetch blood still has some of their original humanity, Lee visits Capt. Barnes at Arkham Asylum. When she finds him to be a raving lunatic who doesn’t want to be cured, she realizes that perhaps Jim really didn’t have a choice in killing Mario. Lee begs Don Falcone to call off the hit. He surmises (correctly) that she still loves Jim after all.
Zsasz turns up again to shoot up Jim’s apartment. Just as it seems like he has Jim cornered, Falcone steps in and orders him to stand down. Because he’s a professional and not a psycho, Zsasz shrugs and walks away.
The episode ends with the revelation of Jerome’s corpse in cryogenic storage. The leaders of the cult devoted to him plan to use resurrection technology to bring him back.
Penguin receives a bit of good news. Since becoming mayor, jobs and the local economy are up and crime is down. Of course, he’s quick to take credit for that despite having basically nothing to do with it. Since Ed Nygma has abandoned his job, an ambitious Deputy Chief of Staff named Tarquin is eager to take his place as Penguin’s right-hand man. He lines up an interview with famed TV journalist Margaret Hearst (Jan Maxwell from ‘BrainDead’) that promises to bring Penguin some exposure on the national stage. The only problem with this is that Hearst is no fan of the mayor, and makes it clear that she intends to ask hard questions. She also insists that the interview be conducted live.
Under normal circumstances, Penguin would probably be able to bluff his way through the interview. However, he’s unsettled and thrown off his game when he repeatedly sees apparitions of his dead father, Elijah (Paul Reubens). One visits him in the middle of the night to warn, “He is not to be trusted.” After police inform Penguin that his father’s grave was robbed, someone leaves the corpse in his office. Another visit from the ghost suggests that Tarquin is the perpetrator. Penguin beats him to death with a trophy from his shelf.
From this, Penguin is rushed out to the interview. He’s so distracted and frazzled that he storms out after a couple of questions. When Hearst asks if the people deserve to hear the truth, he screams “To hell with the people!” live on camera. That’s not going to help his approval rating.
Penguin returns to his office to find both corpses missing. He thinks he’s going crazy. Of course, Ed Nygma is behind the whole thing. The ghost of Elijah was really the clayface guy from last season. This is just the first stage in Ed’s plan to utterly destroy Penguin, and it sure seems to be working so far.
Selina & Bruce
As we learned in the last episode, Selina’s mother, Maria Kyle (Ivana Milicevic), has returned after an absence of 11 years. Selina isn’t exactly glad to see her. She initially kicks her mother out of her pad. With Bruce’s intervention, however, they later reconcile. Maria is also an expert pickpocket and con artist. Alfred is almost as smitten with her as Bruce is with her daughter.
Just as it seems like their relationship is all patched up, Selina learns that Maria owes $100k to someone named Cole. He doesn’t seem like a nice man. Disappointed in her mother, Selina says that she can get the money from Bruce.
Bruce isn’t quite sure what to make of the glass owl statue he stole from the Court of Owls. After he leaves it on a table (you’d think he’d put it in a safe if it’s supposed to be so important) and leaves the room, sunlight streams through the statue and projects an image on the other side. We don’t get to see what it is, but I’m guessing probably a map of some sort.
If Jerome is to return from the dead (and the previews for the next episode make it clear that he is), does that mean he’ll grow up to become the Joker after all? I feel like the show’s writers probably had a different plan for the Joker when they killed off Jerome, but have now decided to ret-con him back into play. This seems like a bad idea to me. In fact, bringing any more characters back from the dead is a bad idea in general. Doing that for Theo Galavan last season was already too much of a stretch, and then Fish Mooney had to come back too. I really don’t want to see every villain who’s ever been on the show suddenly get resurrected.
In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Mario again shortly. Why bother killing characters off if you can’t let them go?