After taking a week off to let Zombie Ra’s al Ghul take the spotlight, the Valeska family is back. It’s the antepenultimate episode of Season Four and by the end of the episode, things are looking bad. It’s time for “That Old Corpse”!
We open with the disenfranchised mourning Jerome (again). They’re gathered at his grave to drink, and then a woman in a black and white harlequin costume pulls up on a motorcycle. Her face is covered and she doesn’t speak, but she blasts an airhorn and then plays a recording of Jerome demanding that they dig up his body so they can throw one last party. Is this officially the Gotham version of Harley Quinn? I’m comfortable agreeing to that.
Lee is in custody after last week and Gordon can’t decide what to do with her. Bullock offers to look the other way if he wants to let her go, but Gordon can’t do that. So he goes into the interrogation room to face her. She refuses to incriminate anybody else in the bank robbery and it gets heated. Then Bullock interrupts to bring Gordon a wrapped present from Jerome. It’s a videotape purporting to be his last will and testament. And yeah, it’s Jerome talking about the event of his death and his request that Gordon throw him a wake. He says he’s already sent the invitations. And yeah, the mourners (many of whom are circus-themed) are gathered outside the GCPD. The cops bar the doors, but a gang of big guys starts using Jerome’s coffin as a battering ram.
In the Narrows, Riddler makes a plan to get Lee back. In keeping with her wishes, he’s going to use non-lethal means. He and a crew of Narrows folks gather some household items for the rescue and he assigns some toughs to keep an eye on Gordon and protect him if need be.
Gordon calls Alfred to warn Bruce and finds out he’s meeting with Jeremiah about the energy project. They figure Jeremiah’s maze is one of the safer places to be and oh, oh no.
Jerome’s crew keeps slamming a coffin into the door while Gordon formulates a plan. He figures they’re not the real target, so when they break in, the cops will fall back and sneak out the service door and surround the place. Then they throw in the tear gas and lock up everybody. That’s the plan of a man who has seen his workplace attacked far too many times.
Over at Jeremiah’s, he shows off his energy device and proves it can power the whole facility. With all the prototypes at Wayne Industries, they could power Gotham for free. Jeremiah warns Bruce not to trust anybody just yet and he slips into crazy voice just a little. He shows Bruce Jerome’s diary, which looks like what you’d expect Jerome’s diary to look like. Alfred calls Bruce to warn him and Bruce passes the information along to Jeremiah. Well, first he lies so as not to freak him out, but Jeremiah figures it out. Also, he totally knows what’s going on. Jeremiah fake panics and insists that Jerome isn’t dead.
Alfred suits up to go get Bruce and he’s ambushed, presumably by Jerome people. Jeremiah, meanwhile tells him about Jerome’s last gift. He tells him about the Joker Venom and says he can’t stop seeing Jerome clawing his way out of the grave. Bruce is reacting more like this is fear toxin and not a thing that made Jeremiah turn evil. Look, he knows a lot of people who use gas and it can get confusing. Bruce thinks that if they go to Jerome’s grave, Jeremiah can see he’s really dead. Aw, he doesn’t know about the battering ram.
Back at GCPD, Gordon tries to get Lee clear before they bust in and that’s exactly when they bust in. In the scuffle, Lee is knocked out. A bunch of the circus types go after Gordon but Bullock and Harper just start tazing fools. Hee!
The phone rings at Stately Wayne Manor, but there’s no sign of Alfred aside from a blood stain on the floor. Bruce and Jeremiah arrive at Jerome’s grave only to find that, you know, he’s missing. Jeremiah runs away because he is selling this whole thing. Penguin and Butch try to enjoy a meal but Butch keeps taking his food away. Butch is a little frustrated at the broken promises, and Penguin admits things aren’t looking good. In fact, they’re broke. They’re squatting in Falcone’s mansion and robbing liquor stores for cash. Oh, Oswald. Then they catch a news report about Jerome’s wake and Penguin thinks confusion could pay off for them.
Bullock tries to beat information out of the knife thrower leading Jerome’s mourners and a little bit of electricity gets him talking. The guy finally cackles that Jeremiah and Bruce are dead by now, so Gordon heads off to the bunker. Riddler and his motley crew arrive at the GCPD and all the chaos is throwing off his plan. But he figures they had to move the prisoners, and when he spots a paddy wagon, he figures he can get some info.
He throws open the doors and one guy yells “The Riddler! We’re saved!” but Riddler just asks how they got out of the station. The guy points him to the service door and Riddler closes the door again. Hee! Riddler heads off to a costume shop just before Penguin and Butch open up the paddy wagon. The same guy yells “Penguin! We’re saved!” HA! They pull just one prisoner out (not the hopeful guy – the knife thrower) and close the door. I enjoyed that very much.
The mourners trash the station and a now-conscious Lee tries to get through the mess unnoticed. Bruce tries to get Jeremiah to trust him, explaining that people dug up Jerome but he’s still dead. I can’t figure out where they are in this scene, but I’m going to roll with it. Jeremiah fires a warning shot as he acts paranoid and accuses Bruce of betraying him. He even accuses Bruce of being Jerome. Man, he is really going all out.
Riddler, in a clown costume navigates the maze of acolytes. We see that Jerome’s coffin has been turned into a cooler, which made me laugh. Gordon arrives at Jeremiah’s maze and as soon as he finds the control room, the door locks and a TV turns on. Jeremiah walks Bruce back to Jerome’s grave where they find the actual body of Jerome leaning against the headstone. Jerome’s face appears on the TV to talk to Gordon. He says the plan was always to bring Gordon there. And then Goth Harley puts a gun to Gordon’s head.
Back at the grave, Jeremiah seemingly freaks out over seeing his brother’s body and then insists that Bruce and Jerome just switched faces. He pulls a switchblade and tries to slash Bruce. Back on the video, somebody begins strangling Jerome. Gordon tries to knock out Goth Harley, but she fights back. Bruce overpowers Jeremiah as Gordon knocks out Goth Harley. He pulls off her mask to see…. Ecco. And in a neat bit, the TV next to the one where Jerome is being strangled turns on so we see who’s doing the strangling, and it’s Jerome. But then Jerome peels off the face reattachment scare and we see it was Jeremiah. Which actually works as a reveal – even though we knew what happened to Jeremiah, it’s not like Jerome wouldn’t have left a bonkers video will.
Also? Maybe this episode would have worked better if we hadn’t seen Jeremiah get gassed. That would be a hell of a reveal. But then we wouldn’t have had the Gotham version of the Joker born on Bruce Wayne’s birthday.
A bunch of Jerome’s followers ambush Bruce and Jeremiah and pull them apart. Jeremiah shoots one of them in the face and makes a speech about how Jerome is dead. He wipes off his makeup to reveal his pale skin and then kicks Jerome’s body back into the open grave. Jeremiah appears on every screen in the control room to taunt Gordon.
Jeremiah pulls out Jerome’s diary again and says he’s going to outdo his brother. He wanted to turn Gotham into a madhouse but Jeremiah wants to tear it down, first. Back in the control room, Video Jeremiah explains what he was up to and then tells Gordon about his experimental generator, which could be a disaster if it, you know, overloads. At the graveyard, Jeremiah says he’s not going to kill Bruce because he wants him to see what he can do. In the control room, the generator begins to overload with Gordon locked in there with it. At the graveyard, real Jeremiah explains how well those generators work as bombs.
Outside GCPD, Bullock rallies the troops and then there’s a huge explosion in the distance. Jeremiah proclaims that Gordon is dead and then knocks Bruce out, tossing him into Jerome’s grave.
Penguin questions the knife thrower as to who he’s working for. The guy will only answer “long live Jerome”. Butch threatens him to try and make him pee his pants and then starts shoving chicken bones up his nose.
Riddler and Lee finally find one another. He’s got gas masks for both of them so they can escape once the cops start tossing in the tear gas. Outside, they kiss and then run. Bullock grabs a beer out of Jerome’s coffin. Lucius shows up and tells him the center of the explosion was Jeremiah’s bunker. Jeremiah and Ecco show up at Wayne Enterprises, kill the guards, and open up a whole room full of those generators. Oh, poop.
–Two episodes to go this season. No word on renewal as I write this, and we are on the path to No Man’s Land!