'Gotham' Recap: Season 3, Episode 3- "Mad City: Look Into My Eyes”

Last week on Gotham, we got our first look at Ivy 2.0.  The recently aged Ivy has was promoted from innocent pre-teen to sexy seductress over the past two episodes thanks to the efforts of Fish Mooney’s “X-men” who escaped from Hugo Strange’s funhouse.  Within 1 episode we got a brand new Ivy as she murdered a man simply for throwing out a plant that he deemed worthless.  She still likes her plants, but now she’s in a position to assert herself much more than she was able to before.

Oswald Cobblepot in his hatred for Fish Mooney riled a crowd against her and was effective in leading a crowd against a few of her super-powered friends and delivered a little bit of mob justice against them.  Jim Gordon continued to toe the line between cop and vigilante as a bounty hunter and even got himself a booty call with fellow reporter Valerie Vale.  Meanwhile Bruce, after surviving his encounter with the Court of Owls was ready to call his investigation into his parent’s murder quits when he was visited by Alt Bruce (his doppelganger from Indian Hill) at Wayne Manor.

So what happened this week on Gotham?  Well, we get to meet a new (and formidable foe), Jervis Tetch AKA “The Mad Hatter.  At first, he seems like a normal run of the mill magician, but we quickly learn that his talents tend to be on the quite murderous side.  It’s good to see Walking Dead alum Benedict Samuel able to spin off his role as deranged member of “The Wolves” into a meaty role as the twisted magician of comic’s lore and with such finesse.  He is first introduced as a harmless magician who performs hypnosis tricks at Barbara and Tabithani’s nightclub.  After showing off one trick to convince a volunteer to stand on a chair in a dangerous position displaying a “mind over matter” scenario, he whispers into the volunteer’s ear, and now we know he’s not completely on the side of the angels.

Laster on, we see Jarvis at the man’s house where he convinces the man to straight up murder his own wife and then commit suicide.  It’s not 100% clear if the Mad Hatter did this for kicks, or if this is a possible way to effectively rob people, but it’s a dangerous superpower to have.

The Mad Hatter then hires Gordon to help him track down his sister who has seemingly run away from her deranged brother.  Turns out, she has superpowers as well.  A simple flesh contact with her is enough to drive a person mad, as we find out when her landlord tries to get frisky with her.  Turns out that his sister knows he’s a little crazy and is actually hiding from him, so we have a superhero sibling spat and fallout driving this story.  Gordon makes the discovery that his sister is on the run from him and after confronting him with that knowledge, he uses his hypnosis abilities on Gordon to the point where he almost convinces him to jump off of the roof of a building.  Gordon’s only saved at the last but he has a new foe

Speaking of Gordon, it looks like he will also be having girlfriend issues.  Although he had a fun one-nighter with Valerie Vale, it’s not clear that it’s anything beyond that one fun night.  To spin his world around, guess who’s back?  A newly engaged Leslie has returned from suburbia to Gotham City.  She comes back with a new doctor fiancé and is looking to return to her job at Gotham Police.  As Gordon is a bounty hunter for them, this is bound to create conflict.  

After getting injured while searching for the Mad Hatter’s sister by a few local gangsters, he goes to the emergency room where it just happens that her new fiancé is a doctor there.  The two share a few words and it seems that there’s a mutual understanding of how everything is going forward, but then Gordon tells him that he better not hurt Leslie.  Turns out Jim’s still got feelings!  At a cozy dinner afterwards, Leslie and her fiancé chat about Gordon to clear the air and make sure she still doesn’t have any feeling and then her fiancé’s father shows up… crime boss Falcone.  While he said that his son has nothing to do with any of his criminal activities, it’s clear the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Gotham has been leaderless since Theo Galavan was mayor/crime boss and the city’s government is in disarray.  The local council has decided to re-elect the former mayor James.  However, Gotham’s newest favorite person, Oswald Cobblepot is having none of that.  Penguin decides to get into politics and declares that he will be running for mayor against James.  After stirring up the masses to take on Fish Mooney’s gang, he’s got local support.  He gives s stump speech saying “Gotham's overrun with crazies and only I can stop them.”  After springing the “sane” Edward Nygma from Arkham to be his new advisor, it looks like we also have a mayoral race on our hands.  This is interesting because, during a one on one meeting between him and James, each candidate brings their goons and guns to the meeting.  It’s equally interesting because this is somewhat the plotline that was in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns where Danny" DeVito’s Penguin also ran for major.  Robin Lord Taylor has been chewing up the scenery for the past three seasons of Gotham already, now he gets to do it as a mayoral candidate.  Let’s pay attention to see how close he tries to resemble Trump.

Meanwhile Bruce is somewhat befriending Alt-Bruce who came to Wayne manor last week.  Alfred is already wary of this doppelganger.  It’s clear that the Court of Owls commissioned Hugo Strange to create a clone of Bruce for the purposes of replacing him.  Alt-Bruce is named “Five” for some strange reason and already is copying Bruce’s mannerisms.  Within the episode he already has copied his speech pattern and cut off his shag to look more the part.  Alt-Bruce keeps the bangs in an evil Peter Parker from Spider-Man 3 style so we know he’s the bad version.  After stealing a car, Alt-Bruce goes to meet with Selina and is slowly but surely taking over Bruce’s life.

Next week looks to take us further down the “rabbit hole” (sorry for the pun) with the Mad Hatter as his hold over Gordon seems to continue.