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Rise of the Villains: The Last Laugh Recap

A man is thrown out of a warehouse and lands on the garbage bags below. He staggers up and walks away, and Jim looks down for the window. He then turns to their other suspect and figures that somebody knows something. Harvey shows the man photos of Jerome and Barbara, and neither cop believes the suspect when he claims he knows nothing. Jim slaps him and warns that if anyone protects Jerome then they'll pay... and throws the suspect out the window.

At the Galavan penthouse, Barbara notices Tabitha preparing to leave. She offers her host her bullwhip, and Tabitha kisses her. Theo comes in with breakfast and tells Tabitha to keep an eye on Jerome. Tabitha defiantly kisses Barbara one more time and leaves, and Theo talks about how his sister needs a friend because she's not as strong as she appears. He congratulates her with dealing with Jim during the massacre, and talks about his the Galavans built the city. Theo says that his family was betrayed and he's there to punish the ones responsible and reclaim their legacy. Barbara wonders what the next part of his plan is, and Theo says that she will play a starring role, and he will help her destroy Jim, not just kill him.

At the station, Harvey warns Jim that they have to see Oswald. Jim says that he'll think about it, and Alvarez reports that the circus Jerome's father is with is up-state. Lt. Zeke is tracking Helzinger, and Jim notices an officer asking down the secure tape on Sarah's office. He stops her and then tells the police that Sarah and nine of their brothers were killed and they should never forget it. Leslie pulls Jim off to check his wounds, and tries to give him some advice. Jim says that he can't hear it right now, and she invites him to the Gotham Children's Hospital Gala that night. He says that he can't, and Leslie tells him that there's going to be a magician. Jim breaks down and chuckles, and then blames himself for not being there. Leslie tells him to stop and orders him to kiss her. He finally does and Leslie kisses him again as Harvey comes in. He tells Jim that Jerome's dad Paul Cicero stayed in town and they have an address.

Paul enters his apartment and realizes that someone is there. It's Tabitha and Jerome, and Tabitha wraps her whip around Paul's neck as Jerome greets his father. Once they tie and gag the blind fortuneteller up, Jerome tells his father about how his mother met a man and the two of them beat Jerome. One night they took a break and Jerome went outside. Paul found him and said that the world doesn't care about Jerome or anyone else, and it was better for Jerome to realize it. Jerome takes a knife and says that there's a man who believe he can be a star, and tonight Jerome will have his chance. He removes the gag and Paul says that he doesn't have to do it. Jerome says that he does, and Paul insists that he loved him. Laughing, Jerome says that he's going to kill him and frame him for his escape. His employer doesn't want anyone to know he broke Jerome out, so Paul will take the blame.

Paul says that Jerome will be a curse on Gotham, and Jerome prepares to kill him just as Jim knocks at the door. He and Harvey hear Paul screaming and break down the door, and find Paul dead with a knife in his eye. The window is open and Jim goes to it, and Harvey triggers a booby trap releasing gas. Jim runs over and drags him out, and collapses in the hallway. Jerome comes over and Jim manages to grab him, promising to kill him. Jerome prepares to shoot him, but Tabitha comes over and tells Jerome not to kill Jim. She then kicks Jim unconscious.

At the gala, Bruce and Alfred arrive. Bruce complains that it's a waste of time, and Alfred reminds him that part of their deal was Bruce going back to a normal lifestyle. The Waynes were patrons so Bruce has to fill in. Leslie greets them and Bruce offers to call Jim and see how he's doing. He spots Selina and excuses himself. Selina is pickpocketing guests when Bruce interrupts her. The boy points out that it's a benefit, and Selina says that her eating is a good cause. She asks if he got into the safe, and Bruce says that a lot has happened since then. Selina says that she's working and will see him around, and walks away.

Barbara asks Theo what his plan is. He says that what Gotham wants is a hero, and he's going to give them one. He says that Jerome and Tabitha went on ahead, and leaves with Barbara.

The gala organizer greets the new magician, Jerome in disguise, after their magician drops out. Tabitha slams a trunk lid shut on the original magician.

Theo arrives at the gala and speaks with Deputy Mayor Harrison Kane. He introduces him to Tabitha, and Kane says that everyone is curious about Theo. Tabitha says that her brother is a monster in a sack and asks if anyone has seen Mayor James. Kane admits that he hasn't, and once he leaves Tabitha says that everything is ready and she'll see Theo at home.

Leslie and Alfred discuss Alfred's background and he shares some stories. He invites her to dinner at a fancy restaurant, just as Bruce comes over and says that he wants to leave. Leslie is called to the stage to work as emcee and Alfred says that he wouldn't miss the performance. After a moment, Bruce turns to the stage.

On stage, Leslie thanks everyone for their support and introduces the magician. Jerome makes his entrance as the Great Rodolfo. He introduces his masked assistant as Leslie joins Alfred and Bruce. Meanwhile, one of the Maniax locks the door. On stage, Jerome chooses Bruce as his volunteer. The assistant comes to collect him and Bruce reluctantly goes up. Jerome puts Bruce in a box and prepares to cut him in half, and Alfred suspects something is wrong. He calls to Jerome to stop, just as Jerome drives the blades through the box.

Jim finds Harvey resting in the station locker room and advises him to go home. Harvey refuses and figures that now they know how Jerome escaped. Jim wonders why Jerome killed Paul if Paul got him out of Arkham, and figures someone else broke him out. As he leaves, Jim says that they'll go see Oswald.

The illusion goes as planned and Bruce waves to the audience. Jerome reassembles Bruce and the assistant takes him back to Alfred. Before she goes, she blows Leslie a kiss. Meanwhile, Jerome calls Kane to the stage while Leslie asks Alfred if the magician and his assistant seem familiar. As Barbara takes a bow, she removes her mask and winks at Leslie.

At the station, Jim is getting dressed when Leslie calls him and says that Barbara is there... just as the Maniax chloroforms her unconscious.

At the gala, Jerome picks up a knife from a table full of them and says that no one is getting out alive. He then throws the knife into Kane's chest, killing him. The crowd panics, and the Maniax disguised as waiters fire into the ceiling. Alfred attacks one of them and tells Bruce that it's time to leave. Bruce spots Selina running and goes after her, while the Maniax punches Alfred. Selina grabs Bruce and drags him into hiding.

Jim arrives at the gala and a cop informs him that they have a hostage situation. Jerome calls Jim on Barbara's phone and assures him that Leslie is okay. He has a live feed set up and Jim watches Jerome on the monitor. Jerome demands $7 million and a helicopter, and gives Jim ten minutes to deliver. Inside, Theo tells Jerome to pack up and leave. He says that the people of Gotham are sick of him, and offers himself as a hostage. Barbara knocks him unconscious, and Jim tells his men that they're going in.

Selina leads Bruce to a tunnel beneath the building that she used to get in. Bruce insists on going back to rescue Alfred, and says that he doesn't expect her to come with him. Before he goes, Bruce says that he misses her. Outside, the local officer refuses to let his men go in with Jim. Jim spots Selina and walks over to her.

Jerome plays target practice with one of the guests, and ends up shooting him with a water pistol. Meanwhile, Barbara fastens Leslie to a knife-throwing wheel and asks her how Jim is doing. When Leslie calls her a bitch, Barbara turns on the wheel and says that in a year she and Jim will be back together because they both have a dark side. Leslie manages to kick her, and Jerome stops Barbara from stabbing her so Barbara punches Leslie instead.

Bruce peers out of the curtain as Jerome demands that Bruce come up front. When Bruce doesn't respond, Jerome talks about how he's an orphan, too. Barbara suggests that they kill Alfred, and the Maniax brings the butler up. As Bruce starts to go up, Jim arrives and stops him. The boy says that he won't let Jerome hurt Alfred, and then walks over to Alfred. He whispers that he has a gun in his jacket and Jim is behind the curtain, and Alfred secretly grabs the gun while the Maniax drag Bruce to Jerome.

Jerome sends one of his men to check the curtain, and Jim shoots him. Alfred shoots another man and they order Jerome to surrender, but Jerome uses Bruce as a shield. Theo stabs him in the neck and as Bruce runs to Alfred, Theo whispers an apology to Jerome, saying that now he'll be the hero. Jerome dies, his mouth in a rictus, and Barbara runs off and enters an illusion box, disappearing before Jim can catch her.

Later, Oswald is watching a repeat of Jerome's broadcast and complains that he's chaos for chaos sake. Harvey comes in and sarcastically congratulates Oswald on his new position. When Oswald wonders why he's there, Harvey says that he heard about how Jim killed a man collecting a debt for Oswald. The cop says that Jim was reluctant to talk to Oswald, and Oswald assures him that Jim has nothing to worry about as long as they remain friends. Harvey threatens to beat Oswald senseless, but says it'll be some other time as Oswald's men draw their guns. As he goes, Harvey says that if Oswald wants Jim then he'll have to go through him… and he still owes him for Fish. Once he leaves, Oswald smashes his glass and demands another drink.

At the gala, the police take Jerome's body away. Jim says that Bruce's parents were proud of him, and Bruce says that he, Jim, and Alfred were a team. Leslie says that Theo is okay and Jim promises that they'll find Barbara. As Theo goes to the hospital, Alfred and Bruce both thank him and Jim shakes Theo's hand. Theo tells them to call if they need anything, and Alfred takes Bruce home. Alfred briefly flirts with Leslie and Bruce quickly orders him out. Jim asks Leslie to kiss him, and she does. Meanwhile, Selina watches Bruce go.

Jim and Leslie go to the station and Jim takes the tape down from Sarah's office.

Barbara is at the penthouse watching the news reports about Gotham's new hero. Theo arrives and tells Barbara that the fun will really begin. Barbara kisses the bump on his head, as Tabitha watches from the door.

At a bar, a man watches Jerome's broadcast and giggles. Across Gotham, others watch the broadcast and laugh. Two teenagers on the street attack a homeless man and stab him to death…laughing.

In the morgue, Jerome's body lies on a table... still smiling.

Written by Gadfly on Oct 6, 2015

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