Airtime: Mondays at 8PM on Fox
Episode: Season 2, Episode 12 (S02E12)
Tweetable Takeaway: #GothamFox returns with another incredible show in their extraordinary second season.
GOTHAM continues it’s fantastic run of villain stories with the introduction of “Mr. Freeze”. Jim Gordon gives his deposition to Harvey Dent about what went down the night Theo Galvan was brutally murdered. His story is about 98 percent truth. Gordon lies about finding the Penguin. He says rushed Lee out of town for her safety and denies any knowledge of Theo’s murder. Captain Barnes is suspicious. Barnes is a moral anchor, something Gotham and Gordon both need. Dent doesn’t charge Gordon with any crimes.
Penguin is all alone, on the run, or waddle, hiding among Gotham’s homeless. His mother is dead, her murder is avenged, and his crew is gone. He has nothing going on, unlike the actor who plays him. Cory Michael Smith has Aaron Paul’s career trajectory all over him. He’s a stand out among an incredibly versatile and talented cast.
Butch inherits the crown of the Gotham underworld by default. He doesn’t enjoy it or have any real criminal vision/brand. Tabitha wants to form an alliance. She has ambitions and says she likes him. She is responsible for freeing him from Penguin’s mind control. Selina watches them bond from a vent high on the wall. It’s actually creepier than it sounds, literal sparks fly.
Gordon returns to the job he loves.
Captain Barnes tracks a series of recent abductions, all adults, no ransoms asked or bodies recovered. Bullock and Gordon catch the case of an GCPD officer found frozen solid. Nygma says the most common type of deep freeze chemical, liquid nitrogen, would take too long to freeze an adult human. He suggests they are looking for something pretty rare, liquid helium. There couldn’t be too many places that produce it.
Barnes arrests Penguin and throws him in a cell. He drills down on Penguin about the night Theo Galvan was killed. Penguin confesses to murdering Galavan and claims the rest went down the way Gordon told it. Nygma visits Penguin in his cell and wants to know if there is anything he can do for him. Penguin asks him to visit his mother’s grave and leave lilies for her. You really feel for this lost little bird.
Barnes sends Penguin off to Arkham. The other inmates bully him as soon as he arrives. Penguin monologues about being the king of Gotham. That gets the other inmate-patients all riled up. Arkham’s Chief Psychiatrist, Dr. Hugo Strange (the fantastic BD Wong), meets with Penguin for an introductory interview. He asks how he’s adjusting to Arkham. He pokes at his feelings about the murder of his mother; anger, grief, and regret. Dr. Strange promises Penguin to find the right rehab program to cure his sickness. Like that doesn’t sound ominous. Nigel, an inmate on Strange’s rehab program gouges his own eyes out. Crazy dentist is bad enough. Crazy psychiatrist with no oversight and practically endless resources is great television.
Victor Fries just wants to cure the love of his life.
Nora, Victor’s lovely wife, hears him return home. She’s in bed, very sick, and terminal. He’s desperate to find a cure and is sad to report his research stalled. Still, he holds on to the hope he can save this wonderful woman. Victor plans to freeze her to arrest the savage disease. He knows he can accomplish the first step. He also knows he can’t re-animate her after being frozen. She thinks he’s experimenting on Rats, but he’s been freezing people for test subjects. When he thaws them, they can’t maintain a steady core temperature and dissolve into goo.
Nora starts choking and coughing up blood. She forgot to tell Victor she was out of medicine. He runs to the pharmacy to refill her meds, but the pharmacist won’t do it. Victor returns with his magic rifle, freezes the pharmacist, and takes the pills. Gordon and Bullock respond to the call and arrive just as Fries leaves. They find Nora’s prescription bottle and address inside and have back up units meet them at the Fries house. No more strike force?
Nora wakes up looking for Victor and finds his lab and the frozen people he’s been testing on. Gordon and Bullock arrive a few minutes later; find the bodies and a freeze gun. Victor watches them take her away from across the street. He’s out of time. They question her back at GCPD, but she won’t betray him. Victor turns himself in, but no one believes he’s the real guy. He’s number five to confess that evening. The pharmacist thaws out on Nygma’s table and wanders out to the bullpen. When Victor sees the pharmacist alive after thawing, he has renewed hope he can save Nora and walks out the door.
Good news for Dr. Strange.
The good doctor is positively giddy to read the headlines about Dr. Freeze’s invention and his breakthroughs in cryo regeneration. It’s great to have Gotham back. The show is rich in material and excellent in execution. It’s costly big screen cousin has a lot to stand up to.
Eric lives in a world where the television is great, the smiles are warm, the pizza is hot, the puppies are playful, and the zombies are slow and meander while he reloads.
Eric Rodriguez | Contributor