If the standard of the first three episodes of the series is maintained throughout the season, then I suspect we’re in for real treat this year. The producers were adamant that Jerome might not be the Joker but everything that he did up to now really did play into the theory that he was. Cameron Monaghan’s performance distinctly drew from both Jack Nicholson and Heath ledger’s versions of the Clown Prince of Crime, and the final shot him in this episode is truly chilling, bearing in mind what we have just seen happen on the streets of the city.
It does seem rather odd that during a “reign of terror” a big gala ball is still being held – but of course it conveniently does get all of our key players into one place. Jerome and Barbara Kean form a very effective double act – a live-action Joker and Harley Quinn in many ways – and it’s good to see Alfred and Jim Gordon working together. James Frain feels as if he’s trying a tiny bit too hard in this episode to make Theo “out there” – the mood switches during his chat with Barbara felt forced – and I’m not at all sure about the triangle that’s being set up between the Galavans and Barbara (particularly with its incestuous overtones).
Donal Logue makes his mark on the season with a very powerful scene at the end of the episode between Harvey and Penguin, although it does seem a little too quick for Jim’s actions on Oswald’s behalf to be wiped off the slate – hopefully that plotline will continue for a bit longer.
Also good to see back properly is Camren Bicondova as Selina; the relationship between her, Bruce and Alfred was one of the better elements of last season, and hopefully it will fulfil its potential this year.
Verdict: Some great character moments in another strong episode. 8/10