Dec 23, 2019
Gotham: Maniax on the Loose
Big Bad Theo Galavan (James Frain) opens this week’s episode convincing Gotham’s mayor (Richard Kind) to step down. And by “convincing,” I mean he kidnapped the mayor, encased his head in a black box, and threatened to add a tarantula to the box. Is there any other way to convince a politician to do one’s bidding? (As a matter of fact, yes. Last week, we saw Penguin decapitate a security guard to convince Commissioner Loeb to retire. It makes you wonder whether one of these tactics might have been used to get Congressman Boehner to resign so abruptly.)
Gotham’s Mayor-in-the-Box agrees to comply with Galavan’s demands, but not before asking him, “Why are you doing this?” It’s not clear what answer the Mayor expected, but probably not this one:
“Monsters are coming to cleanse the city in blood and fire.”
Suddenly that lemonade with cayenne pepper cleanse is sounding mighty good in comparison, but it’s still not clear what’s motivating Galavan.
Introducing Barbara and the Maniax!
Galavan’s crew of Arkham escapees announce their arrival with a splash. Actually, it was more of a splat – 7 of them to be precise. They kidnapped workers from a local shipyard, put them in white shirts adorned with a single spray, and then dropped them one by one from a high-rise building occupied by The Gotham Gazette. Through precise body dropping (and the magic of television), the splattered shipyard workers spelled out – MANIAX!, the most dangerous boy/girl band.
Newly installed Police Commissioner Essen (Zabryna Guevara) puts Jim (Ben McKenzie) in charge of the investigation. Jim introduces each member of the Maniax to the GCPD and the audience:
- Ginger Jerome (Cameron Monaghan), mother-killing former carnival worker with a diabolical laugh. He’s the Justin Timberlake or Beyonce of the group, not because he’s the best looking, nor even the most prolific murderer, but because he craves attention the most.
- Arnold “Shy Guy” Dobkins (Will Brill), a schizophrenic rapist who poisons his victims. There’s a Bill Cosby joke there somewhere, but I’ll pass on it.
- Aaron “Big Handy” Helzinger (Stink Fisher), killed his entire family with his bare hands, is the huge hulking “muscle of the group.”
- Robert “Hungry Man” Greenwood (Dustin Ybarra), killed and ate 12 women; in a group of psychopaths, the crazed look in his eye and blood on his lips qualifies him as “the crazy one.”
- Barbara Kean (Erin Richards), Jim’s ex, a.k.a. bad-a$$ Barbie with issues.
In scenes that could have been inspired by Behind the Music or True Hollywood Story (except for the blood and gunplay), Galavan begins grooming his band of evil psychopaths in preparation for their upcoming television appearances.
The two most strong-willed, ego-driven Maniax — Ginger Jerome and Hungry Man — are having a hard time working together as a group. Each sees himself as a solo act. Galavan has them play Russian Roulette to determine which of them deserves to be the Maniax’s Beyonce. Ginger Jerome takes three turns with the gun to prove his Beyonce bona fides. That’s good enough for Galavan; he announces Ginger Jerome is the lead Maniax. #NotCrazyinLoveJustCrazy.
The Maniax’s Second Gig…
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