Warning: This article contains spoilers from Gotham Season 3 Episode 3.
Gotham Season 3 has already started to set the stage for further exploration of the Batman mythology and this week's episode took it to a whole new level. The residents of Gotham city faced their most fearsome adversary yet and that was none other than the master of hypnosis Jervis Tetch AKA the Mad Hatter.
Making his first appearance on the show, Tetch used his unique skills to hypnotise the people of Gotham, bending their will to benefit him. Season 3 has already had multiple villains, including Fish Mooney who vanished last week, but now it's becoming more and more obvious that Tetch will likely be the big focus of Season 3. Let's take a look at all of the important things from "Look Into My Eyes".
The Mad Hatter's Characterization
What I loved about Gotham's characterization of the Mad Hatter character is that he is actually scary. Previous versions of the character, while a little creepy, tended to focus on more comical aspects of the character making him feel like something out of a fairytale — like Alice in Wonderland. The beloved Batman: The Animated Series gave the character big teeth and the '60s TV series version of Tetch was rather hilarious, only interested in hunting Batman for his cowl. Gotham has went back to basic by making the character a genuine threat.
Benedict Samuel is excellent in the role and for the first time in a long time, I'm genuinely frightened of the character. Between the creepy rhymes and his chilling voice, Samuel's version of the character is arguably the best yet. I also find it interesting that the character is currently unstoppable — he even got into the great Jim Gordon's head and almost killed him.
Alice's Condition More Important Than We Think
Jervis Tetch's sister Alice is burdened with a condition — her blood is poisonous. Her landlord found this out the hard way. What's interesting is that she was one of the many that suffered at the hands of Hugo Strange and his experiments and her abilities are rather unique.
The poisonous blood reminded me of Poison Ivy and I couldn't help but think if Gotham's Ivy has been affected in a similar way. So far, we don't know what the newly grown, genetically altered Ivy is capable of — or if she obtained any abilities following her transformation — but we do know that she's closer to becoming more like her comic book counterpart.
More To Lee's Reintroduction Than Meets The Eye?
Lee showed up in Gotham with her fiancé and requested her old job back. Something doesn't seem right though. Throughout Season 2, Lee made it clear that she wanted out of Gotham — she never liked the place and she herself had been a victim of the brutality of the city's criminals. After Jim was incarcerated, Lee left Gotham to start her new life. This is what bothers me — why would Lee move back to Gotham to start her new life with her fiancé?
Moreover, if Lee had been so sick of criminality, why would she get involved with Falcone's son? It's can't be a coincidence that she leaves the city and then happens to get involved with the son of a former criminal kingpin — there is definitely more to this than meets the eye. Falcone also seemed threatening towards Lee as he knew of her history with Jim. Maybe Lee will need Jim's help to get out of this predicament.
Are you a fan of Gotham? Check out these:
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- We're All Mad Here: Will Harley Quinn Be Officially Introduced In Gotham Season 3?
- Is This How You Elevate Gotham To The Next Level?
Burton-esque qualities of Gotham
Gotham exists in its own universe but the show has drawn comparisons to previous Batman adaptations in the past — most notably, Schumacher's extravagant city certainly influenced the city seen in Gotham. However, Season 3 has gone much more gothic and the show now seems to use Tim Burton's creepy Batman and Batman Returns universe as inspiration. For example, the city backdrops appear more gothic than in previous seasons. Also, some of the new background music resembles Danny Elfman's brilliantly creepy Returns score.
The thing that stuck out in this week's episode is the fact that Penguin has decided to run for mayor. I had a feeling Gotham was going to tackle this storyline after we saw how much support he has from the people of the city. What's awesome is that Danny DeVito's iteration of the character from Burton's 1992 masterpiece Batman Returns ran for office and, just like we see in Gotham, the people of the city were also behind him. As far as influences go, Tim Burton's Batman changed the Dark Knight landscape forever — it's great to see his influence is still present in some Batman adaptations today.
Gotham Is Getting Much Darker
Coinciding with the Burton-esque qualities, the tone of Gotham is getting much darker with each passing episode. The latest episode which saw the Mad Hatter possibly begin a region of terror on the city which set him up to be the biggest bad thus far. The Mad Hatter is extremely threatening and is essentially unstoppable with his unstoppable. Jim almost met his match against this guy.
Elsewhere, the other storylines are equally as dark — the Bruce doppelgänger poses a real threat to Bruce specifically seen when fake Bruce hovered over the young Wayne boy with a pair of scissors. Moreover, will he fool Selina into thinking he is actually Bruce? With Cobblepot's campaign for Mayor with Nygma by his side, Penguin could reign supreme as the king of Gotham once again.
I love that Gotham dropped the formulaic 'villain of the week' approach once the first season concluded and the third season appears to be going even further into linear storytelling.
Check out a preview for next week's episode:
After a mezmerising episode, Gotham is set to continue the Mad Hatter's reign of terror into next week and beyond. Tetch has the potential to become the biggest threat that Gotham has ever seen and it's great to see the Mad Hatter finally being used to his full potential. Who know's what's in store for us next week? Until then, Gothamites.
Gotham airs Mondays on FOX. What do you think of Gotham's version of The Mad Hatter? Tell me in the comment section below.