'Gotham' Recap: Season 2, Episode 16- "Wrath of the Villains: Azrael”

Theo Galavan is back!  Instead of being his usual calculated methodical self, he’s been resurrected as an insane assassin and ready to unleash terror on the citizen of Gotham.  Hugo Strange’s newest science experiment was unleashed this episode and wreaked havoc everywhere he went.  Although last week’s episode was more of a starter episode, this week’s episode of Gotham begins to ramp up a new arc that will most likely center on the newly christened Azrael as he goes head to head with Gordon.

The episode begins with Strange and Peabody observing the newly resurrected Galavan.  Not only is he attacking every orderly that goes into his room, but he’s writing verses of the Order of St. Dumas in their blood.  Needless to say, he’s not the same person he was when he died.  Strange as usual is fascinated, and Peabody as usual is cautious.  Strange observes that the words on the wall are the only things that Galavan remembers from his past and he begin to figure out a way to control him.

Last week Gordon and Bruce Wayne figured out that Hugo Strange is “The Philosopher” who is responsible for the murder of Bruce’s parents.  Now the hard part of bringing him to justice.  Gordon decided to head to Arkham Asylum to confront Strange.  Although he doesn’t have any concrete evidence, he pretty much lays all his cards on the table letting Strange know that he believes that Strange has jumpstarted Pinewood and is conducting genetic experimentations on inmates there, and he knows that Victor Fries is alive.  With no real evidence (and cause he’s not a cop) Gordon leaves empty handed.

Meanwhile at Arkham, Edward Nygma is slowly becoming the big dog on the cell block.  It doesn’t hurt that he’s the most intelligent person in the prison.  He proves it to Strange by breaking down each of the surrounding prisoners’ weaknesses and how to exploit them.  Nygma wants out and wants to take Gordon down.  As he is explaining to Strange and Peabody that everyone has a story, the bells go off in Strange’s head, and he’s figured out the perfect way to brainwash Galavan: give him a story, and turn him into Azrael.  The brainwashing is a success and Strange convinces Galavan that he is Dumas, and Galavan is his son Azrael.  Now that Strange has “Azrael” under his control, he can rid himself of that irritant Gordon.  

Elsewhere Gordon is updating Bruce Wayne that there’s pretty much nothing he can do to catch Strange because there’s really no evidence.  Once again we see glimpses of Batman in the young man.  Bruce wants justice and is pissed that the law cannot provide him with what he desperately needs.  Gordon gives Bruce a pep talk about not taking Strange’s life.  Bruce will probably take from it that he just can’t kill, which is one of Batman’s big rules anyway.  Bruce, Gordon, and Harvey go to Captain Barnes to try to convince him to stop Strange.  While the “by the book” Barnes is really not having any of it, enter Azrael.

Azrael attacks Gordon and Barnes in his new armor provided by Strange with a mission to kill Gordon.  As Bruce looks on, he notices Azrael flawlessly jumping from ledge to ledge.  This is another “Batman begins” moment, as Bruce looks at this “caped crusader” run around attacking and will probably get inspiration from Azrael.  Later on at the police station Azrael cuts off the power and leads an “Assault on Precinct 13” raid on the Gotham police department, killing many officers in search of Gordon.  The only two who are still alive are Barnes and Gordon.  As Barnes tries to distract Azrael, he is stabbed (possibly fatally), but not before his mask is taken off and reveals to be Galavan much to everyone’s shock.  Gordon uses a shotgun to knock him off the ledge of a roof, where he falls on a car in full view of nearby news crews.  Now everyone knows he’s back and is even crazier.  His sister, Tabitha who is with Butch and Barbara Kean notice on the news as well.  Even Oswald Cobblepot, who is hanging out with his stepfamily’s corpses reacts to the news that Galavan is still alive.  Bruce is the only one smart enough to realize that Strange is behind the resurrection.  There’s a new player in Gotham!

This episode was better than last week’s episode.  The only complaint is that there was not enough Oswald Cobblepot.  He’s one of the most dynamic villains on the show but lately has been reduced to being a background player or part of the B storyline.  He needs to come back to be the “main villain” so he can remain relevant.  

However, Nygma is becoming our new favorite bad guy.  He’s already mastering how to control the inmates of Arkham, and by the end of the episode has discovered Strange’s hidden Pinewood location.  He’s not long to stay at Arkham, he’s too intelligent to stay.  If Strange doesn’t find a way to control him like he did for Azrael, Kean, and Cobblepot, he may find himself a new adversary.  

With Barnes out of commission, Gordon will have to rejoin the Gotham police department.  It doesn’t make any sense that he hasn’t returned.  In fact, he was unable to scare Strange because he wasn’t a cop.  He needs the badge to get more power.

Next week looks like it will continue the arc of Azrael.  Will this be resolved the way that Victor Fries was (within two episodes), or will this carry out for the rest of the season?  We’ll find out soon enough.