Gotham Season 4 Episode 20: ‘The Old Corpse’ Review

[Featured Image: Fox]

Well, this episode was wild, wasn’t it? And based on the promo for episode 21 and the Jeremiah white band trailer it doesn’t seem like Gotham plans to slow down. Starting the episode with Jerome’s followers at his grave and then digging him up really was our first big clue of how insane this episode was going to be. That being said, I don’t think I was fully prepared, especially for how good it was!

The Old Corpse features what it is probably the best plot twist Gotham has ever done. It was especially good because you could go back through the episode and see all these little hints towards the big reveal without giving it away completely. It’s a surprising twist but they give you clues along the way so it’s not completely out of the blue.

A big factor that plays into this reveal is the chaos at the GCPD. After the last episode, Jim has Lee in custody to question her about the recent bank robberies. He can’t get his head around why she would do it, and there’s actually some insight into Lee’s motives. Back at the start of season 4, when we first caught back up with her, we found that she was staying in the Narrows to help people after the Alice Tetch virus was released. Now she’s refusing to be limited by the law when it comes to helping people so if she needs to break a few laws, she will do. It’s probably also down to Sofia breaking her hand because something seemed to snap in her after that. If her motives really are to help people then at least Lee is still one character that hasn’t been completely lost to the darkness of Gotham city.

During all of this questioning, I love that Harvey offered to turn a blind eye so Jim could let her slip out the back.

While all the chaos happens a little later on, Lee doesn’t leave on the prisoner transport and instead gets knocked out. When she does wake up she manages to get away and hide out. Over in the Narrows, it’s revealed that Ed has been working on a plan to get Lee out that seems very elaborate but when he gets there and sees the chaos he instead just dresses as a clown and buys a couple of gas masks.

Admittedly, season 4 has been a little all over the place. There’s a lot going on and it tends to jump between stories and characters too often. Due to this a lot of regular characters really drew the short straw and didn’t get much in the way of a story. Ed and Lee, unfortunately, fall into this category. Their early season 4 content in the Narrows was fantastic, and I’ve enjoyed seeing their relationship grow and the two become closer, but they really haven’t been up too much it feels. I do, however, appreciate that we’re keeping tabs on them.

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[Fox]

Lee being interrogated is interrupted by Lucius giving a gift to Jim that’s from Jerome. Inside is a tape of his last will and testament. While this is going on Jerome’s followers gather, with his coffin, outside of the GCPD and then use it to help break down the doors. Jerome reveals that he wants them to have his wake there.

Jim, Harvey, and Harper manage to form a plan before they break in and Jim draws three of the followers away from the rest of the crowd. Two are knocked out by Harvey and Harper and the third is then questioned… in the trunk of one of the cop cars. I loved that they put him in there and then became aware of all the reporters so they close the trunk over and proceed to shock him through the small gap that’s left. This type of interrogation reminded me of season 1 days where we would see Harvey throw a few punches or hang someone out of a moving car, almost pushing their face into the road. This type of interrogation still proves as an effective method. They don’t get detailed answers but they do find out that Bruce and Jeremiah should be dead by now, prompting Jim to go to the bunker to check on them.

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[Fox]

All of this sets up the Jeremiah content for this episode. While in the bunker, upon finding out about the followers crashing the GCPD, Jeremiah reveals to Bruce that he has Jerome’s diary and that he’s scared because he was sprayed with the insanity gas, sent to him by Jerome. In an attempt to prove that there’s no longer any threat, Bruce suggests that they go to the grave where they find the coffin is missing.

Jeremiah running away yelling that Jerome’s alive was even better in the actual episode than it was in the trailer, especially once you know the twist.

The possibly that Jerome has returned seemingly causes Jeremiah to snap. He starts to believe that Bruce is, in fact, his brother, and at gunpoint takes him back to the grave, where Jerome’s body is sitting by the dug up grave. Jeremiah seems to gradually lose it more and more.

While this is going on, Jim makes it to the bunker where another tape plays. Jerome says he knew that Jim would figure out there was something else going on while the followers caused chaos at the GCPD.

As we see Bruce begin to fight with Jeremiah, we also see Jim fight with Ecco. It moves back and forth between the two fights. The latter ends with Jim knocking her out, and the former ends with Jerome’s followers showing up. In the bunker, it’s revealed that Jerome in the video is actually Jeremiah in make-up. This happens alongside the Jeremiah revealing at the grave that he’s been playing everyone. As he reveals this, he wipes off makeup to reveal that his skin and eyes have changed because of the gas. He claims that this was the only effect, but we can assume that it probably did more than alter his appearance.

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[Fox]

At the grave, Jeremiah says that he is going to destroy Gotham in order to rebuild it. It is revealed that the generators he’s been working on are actually bombs and were funded by Wayne Enterprises. He sets off a bomb at the bunker. Jim, who was trapped inside, manages to get out before it can go off. At this point, he’s presumed dead, but we know he’s not. Earlier in the episode, Lee said that Jim should go to the Narrows so I wonder if he takes her up on that offer for a place to hide out while he regroups with Harvey and comes up with a plan.

We also know that Alfred was taken earlier in the episode. That’s two of the most important, and influential people, in Bruce’s life taken from him. I wonder if Selina will become a target too, it’s clear that she and Bruce are close. It does seem like Jeremiah will use anyone and everyone that means something to him.

This episode was another shining example of Cameron Monaghan’s supreme talent. Although it really seemed like Jerome was going to be the Joker, Jeremiah is a great alternative, and regardless, so long as it’s Cameron in the role, it’s going to be a good choice. He has proven time and time again that he has the capability of taking on the role and now we finally get to experience it in full swing.

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  1. […] I didn’t mention Butch and Oswald in my review for episode 20 just because there wasn’t much to say, but in this episode, we find out what answers they got from torturing Jerome’s follower. Of course, we the audience already know Jeremiah’s plan but this information puts Oswald and Butch a little ahead. They don’t, however, have the man (or woman) power to really do anything about it so they enlist the help of Barbara and Tabitha. The latter wants to help and convinces Barbara to do so because there’s a possibility that Butch could be completely cured by Hugo Strange. […]

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