by guest writer Khalil Johnson
This week’s Gotham continues from last week’s episode with the tale of Victor Fries. Fries has finally figured out the right formula to be able to freeze and unfreeze as person without killing them, and that has given him the motivation to save his beloved wife Nora. But first he had to rescue her from the Gotham Police’s custody. First he goes to ACE Chemicals (good Joker nod) to get more ingredients for his freeze weapon, where he manages to freeze a few police officers to death, where he even warns the police to free his wife.
Knowing that Nora needs serious medical attention that she cannot get while in police custody, the two options are to take him to Gotham General Hospital or another medical facility that isn’t as populated. Captain Barnes has a plan to lure Fries by taking Nora to Arkham Asylum and set a trap for him there. Michael Chiklis even channels some of his inner Vick Mackey at a moment of frustration, which was amusing.
Speaking of Arkham Asylum, Oswald Cobblepot is still there and in the not-so-loving clutches of Dr. Hugo Strange, who is performing some bizarre experiments on him. Even though he entered Arkham Asylum pretending to be insane to avoid a lengthy jail sentence, he may end of leaving there crazier than when he entered. When Gordon and Harvey Bullock come to Arkham for Fries’ trap, they see firsthand the damage that has been done to him and it looks like they may actually feel sorry for him. Speaking of Gordon, it’s not a good idea to dismiss Cobblepot because he knows the truth about the murder of Theo Galavan. Crazy or not, someone will eventually believe him if he screams it loud and often enough.
We also catch up with Bruce Wayne and Alfred, who were missing from last week’s episode due to Bruce being out of the country. As actor David Mazouz continues to grow, the closer we will get to him becoming Batman. This episode seemed to have some of the seeds of the man we will know as the hero of Gotham City. He’s now training himself by hitting punching bags. Bruce is beginning his steadfast dedication to solving the murder of his parents and generally seeking justice. During a therapy session with Leslie Thompkins, he even mentions that there are two Bruce Wayne personalities: one that wants closure, the other that wants to kill his parents’ murderer, although he doesn’t tell the doctor about the murder part. Alfred let’s Bruce know that he has discovered his parent’s murderer, a man nicknamed “Matches.” Alfred then reveals that HE would be the one to kill Matches, because Bruce is too young to go down that road.
Hugo Strange continues to be a very interesting villain. BD Wong is chewing the scenery as him in such a magnificent way. From his torture in the guise of “helping” Cobblepot, to then helping Fries navigate throughout Arkham Asylum and slowing down the police, he has a very Machiavellian way about himself. By the end of the episode you realize that he truly is the villain of the episode, not Fries.
We also got the end of the Nora and Victor Fries storyline this episode. After escaping Arkham Asylum with her and Leslie, he heads back to his home so he can properly freeze her in the hope of being able to stop her illness. Nora send him upstairs where she switches out his chemicals so that when he freezes her she will die, and this will force him to stop hurting people in the name of helping her. It’s a tragic story that we all know too well. Realizing what she did and there was no hope of saving her, Fries freezes himself in a suicide act. However as the episode ends he wakes up at Indian Hills where Hugo Strange reveals to him that due to exposure to the freeze chemicals, he did not die and now needs his body to remain at a freezing temperature. Strange has retrofitted his suit so that he will be able to function in a freezing atmosphere, and so begins Mr. Freeze.
This was a satisfying conclusion to the initial Mr. Freeze arc. He’s sure to be seen again on Gotham. I’m sure he will have a much more villainous role in the future, now that he has nothing to live for. Hugo Strange continues to operate the man behind the curtain. However it’s still hard to figure out what his end game is. We see he has some sort of creature in Indian Hill, as well as the bodies of Theo Galavan and Jerome, so eventually his experiments will pay off on the show. It also looks like Gordon and Leslie are headed for some turbulence, due to his disagreeing with her going to Arkham to take care of Nora, and she knows he’s lying about Galavan’s murder. It will also be interesting as Bruce goes through with his attempted murder of Matches, or if Alfred and Selina are able to talk him out, or at least stop him. We’ll have to find out next week what happens with that.