Gotham Season 3, Episode 14 Recap: “Mad City: The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies”


This week on Gotham, the second mid-season hiatus give fans an award-winning maniacal performance from Cameron Monaghan as Jerome, and a Dark Knight in the making.

After three short episodes, Gotham goes on another hiatus. However, the show gives us one of its strongest episodes of the season—and the strongest performances from its overall cast. Bruce is well on his way to becoming Batman, and Jerome is … well on his way to becoming … you get the picture.

Spoilerific Recap

Jerome’s followers wreak havoc on Gotham City, attacking the GCPD. Safe in their building, Katherine and another Owl discuss Jim’s ability to bring order.

Penguin arrives at Kane Chemicals to save Ed. After taking out two of Penguin’s men, Ed reveals that everything has been done in revenge for Isabella’s murder. Ed ties Penguin to Isabella’s wrecked car and a drum of acid is suspended above, with the chain held together by a block of ice. Once the ice melts, Penguin will be executed.

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Jim and Harvey try desperately to find Jerome’s current location. Jim speaks to Lee since Jerome may have revealed his plans to her. Lee quickly realizes that Jerome mentioned seeking out and killing Bruce.

The blackout has affected Wayne Manor. In the study, Jerome’s followers attack Bruce and Alfred. Jerome shatters the crystal owl as his followers ransack the place. Bruce, using his wits, delays his own murder by goading Jerome into killing him in front of a crowd.

A dimwitted security guard stumbles upon Penguin. Just as the ice breaks, the guard cuts Penguin free, saving him from the downpour of acid.

Jerome’s remaining followers continue to destroy items in Wayne Manor. Jim sneaks in, giving Alfred the opportunity to fight one of them. Jim shoots two of them during the resulting firefight.

Jerome takes Bruce to a circus where hostages are used as living props for various games. With Bruce’s face painted to mimic a mime’s, Jerome gives the finished product one final touch—a frown drawn with blood from his latest stabbing victim. At the GCPD, Jim and Harvey narrow the list of potential locations to the circus—somewhere familiar to Jerome.

Penguin enters his mansion and quickly finds Tabitha and Butch. After a brief confrontation, Butch knocks him out. Barbara still has some business with the bird.

Jerome gives Bruce a tour of the circus. Bruce tries to intervene when Jerome is about kill his latest victim via a dunk tank housing numerous piranhas. Bruce’s initial attempts are successful, but Jerome ends up “cheating,” allowing the man to be devoured. Jerome pierces Bruce’s arm with multiple staples, but the future Dark Knight shows an impressive amount of pain resistance.

Jim, Harvey, and Alfred arrive at the circus. They make a plan to find Bruce first and then go after Jerome.

Back in the circus, Jerome wheels out Bruce, now handcuffed to a pole. Jerome’s method of executing his target will be via a cannon loaded with various sharp implements. As the GCPD raids the place, Jerome lights the cannon’s fuse. Bruce uses the staples in his arm as makeshift picks and frees himself just in time.

Barbara wants Penguin to help her find Ed. If he doesn’t, she’ll kill him. Penguin refuses and comes to a revelation. By sacrificing himself for Ed’s safety, he’s proven that he truly knows what love is. Ed soon enters, revealing that Barbara’s interrogation was all part of a ruse to force Penguin into realizing that he can never love. However, Ed’s notions were proven wrong.

Bruce leads Jerome into the Maze of Mirrors, using the various mirrors to obscure his true location. Bruce taunts Jerome enough to have the maniac give up his gun and opt for a knife. Seeing his opportunity, Bruce tackles Jerome and lays multiple punches to his face. Bruce almost kills Jerome, but stops himself.

Bruce exits the maze and sees Alfred, who he thought had been killed. Jerome soon exits also. But Jim intervenes just in time, knocking Jerome out and grotesquely separating his face in the process.

Back in Wayne Manor, Alfred attends to Bruce’s injuries. Bruce admits to Alfred that he almost killed Jerome in the name of justice. Alfred warns Bruce of the fine line between justice and vengeance, and tells his young master that rules will need to be set and never broken. Bruce vows that he will never kill.

Katherine and the unnamed Owl discuss what almost transpired in Gotham City. Bruce’s doppelganger is brought in with the mission to “save” Gotham.

Jim receives a surprise visit at his home. It’s his Uncle Frank—unknown to Jim, he’s the unnamed Owl.

On a large watercraft, Ed holds Penguin at gunpoint. Penguin pleads for his life, but Ed coldly shoots him and throws his body into the water.

Best Moment(s)

  • Every time Jerome appeared on-screen.
  • Bruce resisting the pain from Jerome’s stapling his arm.
  • Bruce brutally beating Jerome to a pulp.

Final Thoughts

Gotham‘s “Mad City: The Gentle Art of Making Enemies” episode is one of the best this season. As the show goes on its second hiatus, fans are left with a lot to contemplat: Jim’s Uncle Frank is part of the Court of Owls? After Jerome’s second face reattachment, will he look even more “Jokerish”? And even though Selina didn’t show up in this episode, will she and Bruce mend their relationship?

Gotham is slated to return in the spring, so that’ll give us plenty of time to develop some theories on the various questions we have. If you have theories and speculations of your own, let us know in the comments.

Next: Catch up with a recap of 'Mad City: Smile Like You Mean It'

Don’t forget to visit the Gotham After Show where our friends at will give fans a play-by-play of the latest episode. And the fun continues with Welcome to the Batcave, also on