Gotham season 2, episode 3, “The Last Laugh,” revealed what Theo’s true plan is for Barbara and Jerome.
Last week on Gotham we got to see the Maniax make a name for themselves as they terrorized the city. We knew Theo wanted the Maniax to leave a mark on the city, but it wasn’t clear what his motive was. On Gotham season 2, episode 3, “The Last Laugh,” Theo revealed to Barbara that his family built the city and that it was taken away from them. Now he wants to bring the legacy back to his family, but in order to do so he needs to give the city what they want, a hero. He wants the Maniax to tear the city down so he can build it back up again.
First, they need to make sure that Jerome and Barbara’s escape isn’t traced back to Theo, so Jerome and Tabitha pay his father his a visit. They plant letters and a blueprint to Arkham to make it look like Jerome’s father was the one who got them out. Jerome kills his father and leaves before Gordon can get there. But Gordon wasn’t convinced by the letters anyway.
Next, Theo needs to set it up so he can look like a hero where others will be able to see it. Jerome and Barbara take the place of a magician at a gala to fund the children’s hospital. It just so happens that Bruce, Leslie, Selina, and Alfred are all there as well. Jerome started off by acting like a magician and doing some tricks, but then called the deputy mayor on stage and stabbed him in front of everyone. Leslie realized Barbara was the assistant and called Gordon before anyone stopped her.
Gordon and the GCPD arrived but were locked out. Jerome turned on a live feed to broadcast what was happening and made some demands. Everyone also got to see Theo standing up to Jerome before Barbara knocked him out. Luckily, Gordon spotted Selina slipping out of the building and had her show the way in.
But Gordon couldn’t stop Bruce from sacrificing himself to save Alfred. Before Jerome could kill Bruce, Theo jumped into action and stabbed Jerome in the neck. As he was bleeding out, Jerome whispered to Theo that it wasn’t the plan they came up with and was stunned that Theo had betrayed him. However, it seems that the spirit of Jerome will live on as his laugh inspires others to create mayhem and murder.
As far as the city knows, Barbara is still on the loose, so we will have to wait to see how Theo plans to use her. No doubt if Gordon is made the commissioner Theo will use Barbara against him. She could wedge a bigger strain in Leslie and Gordon’s relationship. And maybe Gordon could take an ever darker turn than he already seems to have done this season. We’re sad to see Jerome go so quickly, but we’re interested to see how the legacy of the laughing villain will live on.