Gotham Season 3 Episode 13, “Smile Like You Mean It” is the perfect balance of character development with an action plot.
We finally see a worthy adversary once again, and the female characters are starting to take center stage.
With the return of Jerome and a crumbling Oswald we get to see Gotham on the brink once again. When “Smile Like You Mean It” ends, there is a moment when you can feel how precarious the situation is.
You have an adversary, back from the dead, who’s just knocked out power to all of Gotham. The buildup to the very end where the lights slowly go out is the perfect introduction for things to come.
And I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Alongside Jerome’s resurrection, I am very happy to see the writers fleshing out the aftermath of Mario’s death, and the consequences it is having on Jim and Lee’s relationship.
I knew that Lee would be angry at Jim. I knew that they would have some strife, but I really like how the writers are letting the tension steep.
Despite having evidence that Mario couldn’t be cured from Alice Tetch’s virus, Lee is still grieving. That’s natural and she should be allowed to feel that pain.
Of course, another part of me also says, “Give Lee a break! She lost her baby and her new husband in these past two seasons. Can something good happen to her just once?”
The other relationship that I am very happy we’re getting back to is Selina and Bruce. I am not usually a fan of teenage couples on shows, but these two are more mature than their years let on.
Selina’s reaction to her mother’s betrayal is so human and so gut wrenching.
I suspected she may have ulterior motives, but this cut deep.
But I don’t think Maria’s betrayal hurts nearly as much as Bruce’s does. There is an element of trust between Selina and Bruce that is lost on this episode. Bruce keeps his suspicion from her, and although his motives are different, it still betrays the trust they have between them.
Last, but not least, are Tabitha and Barbara. Their partnership with Nygma is taking a turn, and their impending betrayal is the perfect icing on the cake.
I will be honest, I was starting to worry that Gotham was marginalizing the awesome female characters we have come to love, but this episode gives me hope. We’re seeing the women start to take back Gotham’s sandbox and fight for their own agency.
They are standing up for themselves and taking control of their relationships and emotions.
What did you think of this episode of Gotham? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Gotham airs Mondays at 8/7c on Fox.
Want more from Tell-Tale TV? Subscribe to our newsletter here!