Gotham 3×13 Smile Like You Mean It review aka hmmmmmmm

Every week I wait for Gotham, battling against the cruel taunts of the official Gotham twitter, and my own weak sense of self-preservation. Because I love Gotham, dammit!

This second episode of a trio tantalised us with the promise of Jerome’s return and they did not lie!  Jerome is back! Faceless for a while, which pleased me in a very The Death of the Family way. See this blog for a great write up on that run of the comic and some gristly images that will…give you a picture of what we’re talking about here. Haha. But yes. This is very….Joker Lite (TM).

On the down side, it displeased me in a very shallow, I wanna look at Cameron Monagham as Jerome way, sooo. Yeah, I gotta own that.

I know what I am.

Speaking of downsides, let’s do some real talk.

Perhaps 3×13 Smile Like You Mean It is suffering from being the second part in a trilogy, but there were a couple of let downs that I don’t expect from the usually ultra-creative & surprising Gotham.


  • Show me, show me, show me! The scene where Barbara and Tabitha chat about how they’re planning on betraying not just Oswald but also Ed is just one swamp of exposition. What are you doing, writers? You can show this without this lazy conversation. I get it. You were tired. I get tired at work when I need to schedule 100 posts before Friday too.
  • You had a perfectly good character, son.  I’m talking to you, Cameron Monaghan. You had a great Joker personality going on. It was yours. You were owning it! No need to slip into Heath Ledger’s characteristics. Use the laugh you were using before. Use the moments you were using before. Put the joyous chaos back into your role. It made the Gotham Joker younger, more invigorating and compelling. Your character being reanimated is not an excuse to overhaul your idiosyncrasies to better appeal to Ledger fans.  Director…if this was you, it’s a shame. A real shame.
  • So….are we just…not going to talk about how Oswald now believes in ghosts….and saw ghosts? Alright.
  • Stop hurting Oswald OH MY GOD.

    Why am I doing this to myself.

There was great stuff too! Obviously. This is Gotham.


  • This bluff about Ed being kidnapped by a gang, complete with stilted call for help. YOU ARE KILLING ME, ED. Me and Oswald both. But I can’t deny it’s compelling to see Oswald set about tearing the city apart “brick by brick”. Here for it.
  • Oswald figuring Barbara out and threatening her with a knife he pulls out of his cane??? Iconic.
  • Bruce was so grown up. What a great kid??? Kinda intrigued about how literally everyone knew that Selina’s mum was human garbage but they still let things play out. Pretty realistic…who hasn’t had to let this kind of ridiculousness play out IRL just to keep the peace. Ah, family.
  • Bandage-faced (not so much  of the face, sorry) Jerome blazing through the streets, running down everyone in his path. Typical Jerome, am I right. ✔️️✔️️✔️️
  • Lee doing her best to sidle onto the dark side? I’m not sure if she can go full bore in this direction, but look what happened to upstanding Detective Gordon! If it happened to him, it could happen to anyone.

I look forward to 3×14 The Gentle Art of Making Enemies and 3×15 How the Riddler Got His Name. Looks like we’re about to get some serious Ed development, and hopefully the writers will be back from lunch…

Scratch that, I’m terrified. I can feel my soul leaving my body.

This is fine. Speaking of…where the hell is Ivy?

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