Gotham: “Mr. Freeze” — Feb. 29, 2016

Penguin in Arkham prison in Gotham Mr. Freeze episode

Photo: FOX

It’s all sorts of strange in the world of Gotham. Special contributor Ralph S. takes you into this week’s episode in his latest recap. – David F.

Gotham is back after hiatus and things are darker than ever. Yeah, Theo Galavan appears to be history but it looks like there’s a whole slew of evil, twisted bad-asses that are just waiting in the wings to be revealed. There’s no time like the present to get started, so – shall we?

We find Jim Gordon testifying at a hearing about the events concerning Theo’s untimely demise. Jimbo manages to hold up under questioning from Asst. District Attorney Harvey Dent. Jim claims that Penguin abducted Theo and that he, Jim, had no part in Theo’s death. Of course, the flashbacks shown during Gordon’s testimony prove otherwise. In case you missed the last episode Gordon was the one who turned the lights out on Theo by putting a bullet in his head. Dent asks repeatedly if Jimbo had anything to do with Galavan’s murder and Gordon sticks to his story. Dent buys the story and Jimbo gets off scott free. It seems that Capt. Barnes ain’t entirely convinced of Gordon’s innocence though.

In the meantime, with Penguin on the lam Butch has taken over as the city’s latest crime lord. It seems that along with his new high-powered position he’s managed to get a new arsenal of attachments for the stump that was his hand. In this episode he’s sporting a shiny new drill that we find him using on some poor mope. After playtime ends and Butch is left alone with his thoughts he gets a visit from Tabitha. It seems that she has a proposition for the Butchster. She suggests that they partner up to run Gotham’s underworld. At first Butch resists but after Tabby reasons with him, by crawling onto his lap and wiggling around a bit, he starts to see the light. All this is witnessed by an unseen young, female cat burglar who shall remain nameless for now.

No time is wasted in introducing the first new bad guy, Victor Fries (Nathan Darrow), who we find loading one of his fresh-frozen victims into the back of a van. We’re not the only one’s to catch Vic with his hand in the cookie jar. One of Gotham’s Finest comes upon him and, having just been advised over the radio about an abduction in the area, asks to see what’s in the back of the van. Geez, will you look at this, a black cop questioning a white citizen ‘cause it appears the citizen is in the wrong neighborhood – what is the world coming to? Well Vic just can’t have this. Acting as if he’s cooperating with the officer, he opens the van door, grabs his weapon, aims and shoots, and flees leaving behind a ‘copsicle’.

Upon returning to work Gordon checks in with Bullock to find that they’ve been assigned to the copsicle case. A quick word with Ed Nigma sends them off in search of anywhere that vast quantities of liquid helium can be found. Nigma assures them that this is the only substance that can freeze a human body so quickly. Before leaving the precinct they witness Barnes hauling in Penguin and locking him up. Under questioning Oswald verifies Gordon’s story by saying that he alone killed Theo Galavan. Gordon’s now off the hook with Barnes for Theo’s murder. All is right with the world again. It seems that Wayne Enterprises is the only place in town where one can get large quantities of liquid helium. After finding this out from Nigma, Bullock and Gordon then meet up with Lucious Fox. Lucious confirms that Wayne Enterprises did conduct experiments in cryogenics several years before but Thomas Wayne shut them down.

After a night out looking for victims we find Victor returning home to check in on his lovely wife. Alas, it seems the Mrs. has a terminal illness and the poor souls Victor’s been abducting aren’t victims but subjects for his experiments. He’s trying to perfect the freezing process so he can freeze the love of his life, stop what’s killing her and then bring her back. He’s managed to get the freezing part down but there seems to be a few kinks in the thawing-out part of the program. Apparently the victims he tries to thaw out keep dying on him. Seems there’s always a pesky little problem in these types of situations.

After a short conversation with Nigma in which Oswald asks that his friend look after his mother’s grave, Oswald is shipped off the Arkham. In his confession to Barnes about Theo’s murder Oswald did blame it all on insanity. Once he’s comfortably ensconced in Arkham, Penguin goes about the business of trying to establish dominance but he’s woefully disappointed when he finds that none of the other ‘patients’ take him seriously and they mock him relentlessly. It seems there’s no sense of hierarchy among those who are out there where the buses don’t run. Oswald then meets Arkham’s chief of psychiatry Hugo Strange (B.D. Wong) and Strange wastes no time in letting Oswald know who’s really in charge at Arkham.

When Victor fails to get an obnoxious pharmacy clerk to refill his wife’s prescription he leaves and Mr. Freeze returns, taking out the clerk and getting the drugs he needs. Gordon and Bullock get word of this incident and arrive just in time to give chase but Vic manages to get away. They do manage to find the pill bottle with Nora Fries’ name and address on it. The boys in blue arrive just as Nora makes the grim discovery about her husband’s research. Coming home to find his place crawling with cops, Victor heads to the station house and turns himself in. The cop sits him down among the rest of the whack jobs claiming credit for his work. Meanwhile, in the medical examiner’s office, one of the victims that Victor froze during his last outing, the pharmacist, thaws out, gets up and walks into the precinct lobby. Upon seeing this Victor realizes that his experiments are a success and he leaves, vowing to return for his wife who the cops are still holding for questioning.

In a secret lab beneath Arkham, Hugo Strange learns about Fries’ cryogenics experiments through stories in the media. It seems that he has a very strong interest in Victor’s work. Obviously these two are destined to get together.

Ralph Spencer - Special Contributor
Ralph Spencer has spent the last 20 years as an online security investigation and Internet child safety professional. His adventures chasing down the scum of cyberspace has fueled his fondness for unique cops & robbers dramas such as Justified and The Wire. Currently seeking gainful employment, he’s taking a shot at blogging in his spare time.

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