Gotham 2:13: A Dead Man Feels No Cold
The latest episode puts Mr. Freeze up against the cops, and Freeze gets some help he didn’t expect!
The early plot machinations that set the events of the latest Gotham episode make so much sense that you almost don’t need the characters to actually say what it all might mean, but alas, they do. That doesn’t mean the episode is bad. In fact, it’s pretty solid, but early on the exposition seems a little wordier than we need them to be.
The plot in a nutshell: The GCPD want to catch Mr. Freeze, who is trying to save his dying wife. Her condition requires constant medical attention, so keeping her at headquarters is not an option, nor is keeping her at Gotham General, because if they do that, than Victor Fries will definitely try to get her from there, risking the lives of the patients and workers The plan: put her in the infirmary of Arkham, a facility they think they can secure. But there are skeletons there for Jim Gordon, out of the closet, the most prominent of which is the Penguin, who was committed there but seems willing to call it a favor that he took the blame for killing Galavan instead of Gordon. This was mentioned in the episode – and now Hugo Strange, the facility’s twisted director monitored the conversation between Gordon and Penguin. However, once mentioned, the plot point was tabled for a later episode. Also there at Arkham is Barbara Kean, still in a coma recovering from her fall. The episode brings this up but that it is dropped is even stranger than the whole Penguin thing: there are a few moments that it sees that Gordon might notice her there, but he never says if he does. It’s interesting that this new GCPD operation will bring up so many bad vibes for Gordon, but there was so much in this episode that so things have to wait till later.
Compounding the personal stakes for Gordon is his newly-pregnant girlfriend has decided to become involved,arguing that she is the most qualified to care for Victor Fries’ wife while she is at Arkham. The episode really picks up when Freeze breaks into the facility, using both his freeze ray and his newly concocted-freeze grenades (the only production mis-step here is that his grenades look just like the cartridges for his gun, and because there are different cartridges with different formulas that become important later, this is a slight problem).
Right from the first frames of the episode, the production design of this episode is top-notch, and the action sequences involving Freeze’s assault on the facility are top-notch. It’s pretty neat to see him in what is essentially the comic book version of his costume (save for one element, which will come into play later). He succeeds in taking his wife and Hopkins when Strange actually helps him navigate the facility, in exchange for his freezing formula.
There’s a little bit in this episode akin to Gordon and Bullock acting surprised when an expert tells them that balloons eventually give way back in Balloonman, and I wish it was played more for laughs here: they decide that the villain won’t return to his house due to the police presence there, and then they discuss other places he could go, before they say “he must have gone to his house after all.” It was a genuinely stupid moment I might not have minded if they made it a joke, even if it came at Bullock’s expense.
I’m not going to go into the little twist that happens at the end when his wife does something that Freeze doesn’t expect, save to say that it ends with Freeze, uh, freezing himself in anger and then being declared dead by Strange. Of course, like many other dead criminals that Strange has brought into Arkham/Indian Hill, Freeze isn’t dead but his normal body temperature is much lower than normal, so he’ll need to be in a colder environment at all times, hence the suit with his bluish, frozen face as we all know form the comics.
It is a real accomplishment how close to the comic books Mr. Freeze’s origin is, and it’s surprising how well they pulled it off on the show.
Bruce and Selena return for scene here, as Bruce pleads with her to help him get a gun so he can kill the man who killed his parents. Alfred turned up the files of possible perpetrator based on the name Bruce was given by Silver St. Cloud. The most notable thing about this aside from David Mazouz’s performance here (he shows the intensity Bruce Wayne should show, matching the grim intensity of Ben Affleck’s Wayne in the trailers for Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice) but also just how both of these kids seemed to have experienced growth spurts and voice changes since we last saw them – or maybe it’s just me.
A solid episode, to be sure, with great production design making up for the obvious talky scenes.
Does anyone miss the mob stories? I kind of do…
My rating: 4 out of 5.