If Jerome isn’t The Joker, he ought to be. He’s crazy enough with his discolored stapled-on face. And Jerome’s also young, so he could theoretically be more formidable in about ten years when Bruce Wayne is Batman. This episode is the big finale before the show’s winter hiatus, so it’s a doozy. And I know what you’re thinking. Didn’t the show just come back from a Winter/Christmas break? Yes it did! So I guess the jokes on us viewers. Because we won’t get another new episode until April… Anyway, Jerome blew up a power plant last episode, creating chaos and a citywide blackout. And now, in the shadows, Jerome’s disciples are running amuck and all sorts of badness is going on. And Ed Nygma’s been kidnapped. Or at least that’s what The Penguin believes. That’s why he’s walking into a trap, orchestrated by Barbara, Tabitha, and Butch.

Mayor Cobblepot, aka The Penguin, rushes to Ed Nygma’s rescue, unaware that he’s being set-up. But when he finds Ed, Penguin’s thuggish bodyguards are killed, and the Mayor finds himself tied to Isabella’s mangled car, about to be doused by acid. Love hurts! At least Ed finally tells Penguin the truth. He’s been behind all the bad things that have happened to Penguin lately. Ed knows that The Penguin had Isabella, the new love of his life, killed. And now Ed wants revenge. Penguin killed Isabella out of jealousy, because he is also in love with Ed Nygma, though he’s never confessed it. But now that The Penguin’s feelings are known, and he’s wearing his heart is on his sleeve, he hopes that Nygma’s rage will abate. But it doesn’t. The Penguin’s profession of love doesn’t move Ed. And long story short, after some additional shenanigans, Ed Nygma kills The Penguin.

You heard me. This episode’s big twist is Oswald Cobblepot’s death. On the Gotham pier, Ed shoots The Penguin in the gut, lets him bleed out for a few moments, and then pushes him into the bay. Where he sinks, bleeding, into his watery grave… Wait! Or does he? This certainly looks like the Penguin’s end, but he lived through the same scenario once before, in season one. And don’t forget Fish Mooney, she was shot and plopped into the bay, and now she’s back and has super powers. And little Ivy took a dive in the bay and came back as big sexy Ivy. So we’ll have to wait and see if Mayor Cobblepot’s death is really his swan song, or just a painful transition. And Riddle me this Bat-fans, what if The Penguins death-dive is a total fake out? Could Nygma, The Riddler, be pulling a double-cross? A gun that fires blanks and a bag of fake blood, under Penguins jacket, could do the trick. Maybe Oswald’s words of love did soften Nygma’s heart, and now the duo is going after Barbara, Butch, and Tabitha. But that’s just a guess, because it’s all hypotheticals until April.

But meanwhile, Jerome’s back and ready to finish some unfinished business. The last thing he seems to remember is that he wants to kill Bruce Wayne. So Jerome and his thugs stop by Wayne Manor and kidnap Bruce. Honestly, that place needs a new security system. Everybody seems to be able to waltz in whenever they want. And before Jerome leaves with Bruce, he smashes the crystal owl that Bruce and company stole from the Court Of Owls. And that’s a bummer because they almost died getting that thing. Anyway, Jerome takes Bruce to a carnival full of his mad followers, for a more public execution. And as you may have guessed, Bruce manages to escape. Jerome and Bruce duke it out in a hall of mirrors. Bruce wins the tussle, thanks to Alfred’s training. And Jim Gordon arrives just in time to strike the final blow; hitting Jerome so hard his face falls off again. How embarrassing! Good thing the prison medics are finally gonna stitch that thing back on good and proper.

Now the problem with prequels is that you always know who lives and who dies, so any drama becomes less dramatic. Bruce Wayne grows up and becomes Batman, so any time Bruce faces a life-or-death situation, you know he’s not going to die. So note to the Gotham producers: Please stop having raving maniacs kidnap Bruce, because we know the outcome. Or if you do keep putting him in peril, at least have him suffer some physical trauma or emotional angst that will spur him on to become the dark knight he’s destined to be. Make it count for something! STAY TUNED!!!!

LAST WORDS: When the show returns in April we’ll see the rise of The Riddler. And Bizarro Bruce Wayne returns. He’s been with the Court Of Owls. And now his scars are gone, his hair is cut, and he looks exactly like Bruce Wayne. (It’s the same actor after all) Let’s just hope they do something interesting with this whole ‘Prince and Pauper’ situation. (Identity Switching) And make it mean something.

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