'Gotham' Recap: Season 2, Episode 14- "Wrath Of The Villains: This Ball Of Mud And Meanness”

With the conclusion of the Mr. Freeze arc last episode, it’s time we get back to a familiar character on Gotham, and who better than Batman himself young Bruce? This episode centered on him finally getting some closure (and some justice) for his parents murder as he tracks down the criminal “Matches.” The big theme this episode is growth for most of the main characters. Bruce has some growth, Oswald Cobblepot has some growth. Gordon and his former girlfriend Leslie come to somewhat of an awkward stage in their relationship. Edward Nygma continues to grow insane and definitely growing more and more into The Riddler. The main story centered on Bruce as he carries out his plan for revenge against Matches (guest starring actor Michael Bowen of the later episodes of Breaking Bad). Alfred promised Bruce that it would be he who kills Matches so that Bruce can maintain his innocence, but Bruce secretly wants to be the one to end his life. As the two try to track down the killer, they have to encounter a gang that has some information. A great Easter Egg name-drops The Mutants: the gang famous for terrorizing Gotham City during Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns comic book, although they don’t seem to be the same as they were in the comic book. In order to get the information, Alfred has to face their leader in a fistfight, where he once again shows off his military fighting skills and finally beat this opponent. This leaves Alfred once again hospitalized (Alfred the most injured person on Gotham), leaving Bruce to be able to once again sneak away where he can try to find and kill matches. Bruce finds his way into an underground club ran by Jeri: a great cameo by actress Lori Petti. Jerome’s influence is still very prevalent and many in the club are in full on Joker makeup. Speaking of Lori Petty, she does a great Harley Quinn for the episode. She had just the right amount of seriousness and crazy to selling her character well. She even gets the entire club to stop Gordon from catching Bruce by forcing the club to make his “crowd surf” away from Bruce, pretty creative. When Bruce finally confronts Matches, there is a brief back and forth between the two before Bruce finally reveals who he is. Of course, we realize that Bruce is too afraid to go through with the killing, but the shocker is that Matches wants Bruce to kill him. He’s been a killer for far too long and actually wants to be stopped. Bruce realizes that killing Matches wouldn’t serve any purpose, and leaves his gun with Matches (bad mistake). As Gordon catches up with Bruce, Matches ends his own life. Of course, the big question is, who did Matches kill the Thomas and Martha Wayne for? It couldn’t be just a random robbery. This mystery is not over. Bruce then decides to leave his life of luxury and go with Selina to live on the streets, so he can understand the streets. This truly is the beginning of Batman. It’s good that the producers are going through with this arc. We really need for Bruce to start on his path to eventually becoming Batman. After all, Batman is the main star of Gotham City, even though the show doesn’t center on him (yet). We can just hope that he isn’t left out of the storyline in upcoming episodes because he’s simply “away in the streets” and we’ll continue to see what happens for Bruce and Selina. For some of the side stories: Cobblepot’s “redemption” seemed very “strange.” At times, he seemed like he was faking it, but he managed to pass Hugo Strange’s lie detection. So is he really “cured,” or did Strange simply let him go free to serve his own interests? It’s probably both. Edward Nygma’s path to insanity continues as he is trying to cover his tracks as he thinks Gordon is onto him murdering former girlfriend Kringle. He’s talking to himself, and rather loudly (how did no one else hear his monologue?), so it looks like he’s going to go on to full-blown Riddler soon enough. The only storyline that didn’t feel necessary was the awkward confrontation between Gordon and Leslie. It seemed shoehorned only to remind the audience that they might be broken up. Perhaps she will once again be in peril from Nygma’s riddles, and she and Gordon will resolve their issues from him saving her. We’ll keep an eye how this progresses.