Gotham: “Transference” — May 23, 2016

fishmooney-gotham s2 finaleThings seemed to start going downhill for Hugo Strange last week on Gotham. In this week’s season finale, Strange continues on that path, as the situation at Arkham comes to a head says Special Contributor Ralph S. – David F. 

The season finale picks up right where last week’s episode left off. Jim Gordon, Bruce Wayne and Lucious Fox are being held captive in Strange’s Indian Hill facility. Meanwhile Harvey Bullock, with the insistence of young Bruce’s guardian Alfred, has sent the GCPD’s Strike Force to raid Arkham and Indian Hill in order to rescue the three captives.

Foreseeing this, Strange uses one of his new inventions to alter the appearance of his henchmen, Basil, so that he looks exactly like Gordon. The plan is to send him out to ward off the cops and give Strange time to evacuate all of the ‘inmates’ and then bomb the place out of existence. Strange reluctantly does this one on the orders of the mysterious masked woman who’s pulling his strings. He refers to her simply and ‘Madam’.

The plan starts out working exactly as Strange hopes. Basil, the fake Gordon, not only manages to turn the Strike Force away at the gates of Arkham, he also accompanies them back the the station where he attempts to fool Bullock into thinking that all is well. The real Gordon still sits strapped to a chair in the Indian Hill facility waiting while Strange primes the huge bomb that will destroy the place after he’s moved all its inhabitants to an upstate facility recommend by the mysterious ‘Madam’.  As he does this, Miss Peabody warns of the consequences if even one of Indian Hill’s ‘patients’ escapes during their transfer. Strange assures her that there’ll be no escapes. (Sure there won’t be.)

Strange has assigned his new ‘assistant’ Ed Nygma the task of questioning Bruce and Fox to find out exactly how much they know about the goings on at Indian Hill and who’s behind it. Nygma had the two locked in an airtight chamber and threatens them with poison gas if they don’t correctly answer his questions. Strange, meanwhile, returns to have a chat with Gordon in order to find out the same. He injects Jimbo with a truth serum in order to make the ex-cop a bit more cooperative. During their conversation Strange learns that Gordon’s knowledge of what’s really going on at Indian Hill is extremely limited. Nygma learns the same thing about the limits of Bruce and Fox’s knowledge. Apparently none of the trio think that there is anyone pulling Hugo’s strings. During his questioning of Gordon, Hugo Strange, believing he’ll soon be rid of the cop, mentions that there is a Secret Council controlling everything that goes on in Gotham. To add insult to injury, Strange also brings up the subject of Lee Thompkins — telling Jimbo that he should have pursued his lost love instead of meddling in the affairs at Indian Hill. In his drug induced state the suggestion has a powerful affect on Gordon. Strange then leaves Jimbo to his fate saying that Gordon only has a few hours left to live. Satisfied that they know very little about who’s behind the goings-on at Arkham, Ed turns the gas loose on Bruce and Fox. They collapse on the floor.

Meeting up with Nygma after the interrogations, Strange compliments Ed on his efforts with Bruce and Fox. He then locks Nygma back in his cell. “You would be a wonderful addition to my staff, a wonderful addition, if you were only sane,” Strange tells the visibly distraught Nygma. Hugo then reports to the ‘Madam’ that Gordon, Bruce and Fox have no idea about who’s really behind things at Indian Hill. She tells him to kill them all and continue with the plans to relocate the inmates and destroy the facility. The ‘Madam’ is highly displeased with the fiasco that Hugo created by letting Theo Galavan loose on the city. She tells Strange that not one of his Indian Hill creations will ever see the light of day again.

Bruce and Fox awaken from their ‘poison gas’ induced slumber to find that not only are they still alive but also that they’ve been moved to the room where Gordon is being held. While they are busy freeing Gordon, Selina strolls in followed by a couple of guards. She quietly explains that she’s now Firefly’s sidekick so she can roam about freely. Bruce takes the opportunity to apologize for getting her involved in this mess saying that he manipulated her. Selina blows off the apology saying that he’s the one who’s wrapped around her little finger she then tells him that Strange has the place rigged to blow. He implores her to try to escape as she leaves.

In charge of overseeing the ‘patient’ transfer, Miss Peabody tries to hurry things along when she is temporarily halted by Fish Mooney, who we saw Strange bring back to life in the last episode. Fish, who is still locked up, tries to entice Miss Peabody to come close enough so that she can touch her. It seems that Strange made some alterations to Fish’s DNA in order to help her survive the reanimation process. One of the side effects of these alterations, Fish has discovered, is that she can get people to do her bidding by simply touching their skin. Unfortunately Fish fails to make ‘contact’ with Miss Peabody in her first attempt.

When Miss Peabody finally returns, Fish succeeds in getting Strange’s assistant to submit to her will. With Miss Peabody in tow Fish starts to make her way out of the building. They encounter Strange along the way. Strange knows about Fish’s new ‘ability’ and takes a few ticks to marvel at his handy work, but he knows enough to stay well out of her reach. When Hugo realizes that he won’t be able to stop Fish from escaping he quickly heads off  to start the timer on the bomb. Fish sends Miss Peabody after him but she fails to stop him. After arming the bomb and exiting the facility he seals all the exits with Gordon, Bruce, Fox and Fish and the patients, who’ve all been loaded on to a bus, still inside.

Back upstairs in Arkham, Hugo orders Victor Fries to eliminate Selina when she starts to ask too many questions about Bruce and Gordon. It becomes a showdown when Firefly steps in to protect her new servant. Mr. Freeze and Firefly face off and somehow Strange gets caught in the firing line. The professor ends up singed on one side and frostbitten on the other. Gordon revives him and Strange tells him where the bomb is and Fox tells Gordon that there’s also radioactive material in the vicinity of the bomb. 

Back at police headquarters, Gordon’s imposter is busy confusing Bullock and frustrating Alfred by trying to evade their questions concerning Strange’s latest antics and Bruce and Fox’s whereabouts. While they try to figure out what’s going on with ‘Gordon’, an old friend shows up. Barbara Kean has been sent by Penguin to find out what’s going on at Arkham. Penguin heard about the cops’ raid on Arkham and their pursuit of Hugo Strange. Babs makes a beeline for the fake Jimbo and quickly figures out that he’s an imposter. When she busts him one in the chops, this fact is also made clear to Bullock and Alfred. After getting belted by the broad the fake Gordon’s face is unrealistically disfigured. Upon discovering the shenanigans going on at Arkham, Bullock orders an all-out assault on the facility. Babs takes the opportunity to phone Penguin and let him know of the developments. Penguin and Butch decide to take appropriate measures against Hugo Strange as well.

Gaining the assistance of Ed Nygma, Gordon and Fox find the bomb and then, with precious time running out, try to figure out how to disarm it. With just a second to go Gordon throws water on the bomb’s ignition switch and, glory hallelujah, it shuts off. Meanwhile, when Ed hotwired the security system in order to open the entrance to Indian Hill for Gordon and Fox this also unsealed all the exits and allowed Fish Mooney to escape. One other small item worth noting in this little scenario, she got out by driving the bus carrying all of Indian Hill’s inmates.

Bullock arrives at Arkham and sees to it that Strange is placed under arrest. Then Gordon tells him about the bus full of Indian Hill inmates that’s trying to make a getaway. Bullock’s already on it telling Gordon that the cops are in pursuit. As Fish attempt to elude the cops Butch appears on the scene and opens up with a gatling gun causing the bus to overturn. Penguin then heads toward the bus expecting to find Hugo Strange but, oh my is he in for a surprise. Fish steps out of the wreckage to greet her former protege’. This gives Penguin quite the shock since he thought he killed her last season. Fish caresses Penguin’s face and he passes out. Butch takes the opportunity to make a hasty exit. Afterwards the inhabitants of the bus slowly make their way out of the wreckage and head off into the Gotham night.

Back at Arkham, Gordon says goodbye to Bruce and Bullock telling them that he’s got to go find Lee, his true love. Bullock can’t do anything to stop him. Bruce informs Alfred that he’s found out about the Secret Council that runs Gotham. Alfred realizes that this bit of information will only complicate matters further.

All these events obviously set things up for next season and, of course, there is one more little thing. As the escapees of Indian Hill wander off into the night one of them turns toward the camera, although his hair is much longer there’s no mistaking his face. It seems that Strange has managed to make a carbon copy of young Bruce Wayne himself. Apparently there’ll be a whole lot of no good going on next season. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

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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