Gotham: Wrath of the Villains & 2.18- “Pinewood”

Hi guys — I’m back. Don’t worry I wasn’t held in captivity by Edward Nygma for the past 4 months, just been super busy! I’ve missed reviewing 6 episodes but to recap them quickly I can just use the Gotham Season 2 back-half tagline: “Wrath of the Villains.” Mostly I can say that these last 6 episodes were a blessing because we had no ridiculous Theo Galavan (James Frain).

**** SPOILERS BELOW ****

We met Victor Fries aka Mr. Freeze (Nathan Darrow), who wanted to save his wife, but sadly failed. We saw a new Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor), who was reformed from his time in Arkham and is now “good,” finding his real father (Paul Reubens, BTW) and his new step-family, but his true nature comes back out after his father dies and he discovers his new step-family was responsible. So, he kills them all, feeding his stepmother (Melinda Clarke) her own children, while at it. The Penguin is back and completely mad!

Young Bruce (David Mazouz) foregoes his manor to take to the streets to get “tough” like Selina (Camren Bicondova), but eventually gives up that life when his father’s mysterious computer gets fixed. Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) is in a bit of a pickle as his role in Theo Galavan’s death was revealed thanks to a scorned Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith), who quickly descends down the path to “Riddler-hood,” framing Jim, then trying to kill Jim, and ultimately failing before getting sent to Arkham.

Pregnant Lee (Morena Baccarin) left Gotham and Jim, but now that Jim is out of prison and vindicated, he wants to go find her, but not until (finally) solving the Waynes murders. Also, Barbara (Erin Richards) finally wakes up from her coma and new Arkham doctor, Hugo Strange (BD Wong), who is gathering up quite an arsenal of crazies and powerful villains, releases her back into Gotham, where she promptly visits Jim. Got all that? Good!

bruceFoxTonight’s episode is called “Pinewood” and it refers to “Pinewood Farms,” a place with a connection to Bruce’s father, Thomas Wayne. Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk — where have you been?) helps Bruce break the code, leading them to find Karen Jennings (Julia Taylor Ross), a former patient of Dr. Strange. She has odd claw hands and attacks them after Bruce picks the lock to her cabin. She leads them to Pinewood, where they get caught, as Dr. Strange and Miss Peabody (Tonya Pinkins) are on to them.

karrenMeanwhile, Jim doesn’t trust Barbara, and rightfully so, but she wants to help him find “The Lady” (Michelle Gomez), who hired the man who killed the Waynes. Unfortunately for Jim, the Lady is in a women’s only club and Barb arrives in time to help him. She quickly reverts back to her old insane self as Jim himself gets captured for sneaking in the club. The Lady gives up the name of the man who wanted her to have the Waynes murdered: The Philosopher. Once Jim has the name, Barb reveals she was playing all of them and tasers the Lady. She really is “sane” and trying to help Jim, but he still rebuffs her. He can’t forgive her for trying to kill Lee, which is also understandable! She retreats to sulk with Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) and Butch (Drew Powell). I’ve been wondering where those two were.

whitmenJim springs Bruce and Alfred out of jail and helps them rescue Karen from being sent away. Unfortunately for them, Dr. Strange sent his own minion to get Karen: Victor Fries! He ends up freezing and killing Karen, but not before Karen tells Bruce that his father started Pinewood, but that he was also a good man at heart. Bruce gets even more upset when they discover that Hugo Strange is the Philosopher AND he was a good friend of Thomas Wayne. Betrayal of a friend is a touchy subject for Bruce and he can’t seem to fathom his anger at it all. What will he do now?

brucegunAnd in a last, upsetting shot, Strange and Peabody bring “Subject 44” back to life: it’s freaking Theo Galavan (UGH), but now he is even more insane and calls himself “Azrael.” Folks, we’re in for a bumpy end to the season! Hopefully Theo won’t be as obnoxious as he used to be.

Other thoughts:

  • This episode had no Oswald or Ed! Our favorite quirky villains must’ve been off doing not so important things today, like cleaning up multiple murders, or hanging around with pals in Arkham.
  • I’m so glad that Jim finally is admitting that Captain Barnes is the worst and annoying. Why can’t Barnes just ever trust Jim? Literally — when has Jim ever been proven wrong?
  • The Mr. Freeze bit was super cool (pun intended), but where was his helmet!

Have you been enjoying the back half of season two? I certainly am feeling the “Wrath of the Villains.” Everything seems to be breezing on by with a quicker pace and more succinct purpose. I can’t wait to see what happens next! What did you guys think of the episode? Let me know in the comments below.

Gotham airs Mondays at 8/7c on Fox. Watch full episodes on Fox.com, Hulu Plus and On Demand (check with your local cable provider).

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Post Author: Ben Fleck