Previously on Gotham, “Into the Woods”
After leaving Arkham Asylum, Barbara attempts to recompense Jim for all the wrong she caused him. Bruce and Alfred track down one of Thomas Wayne’s contacts from Project Chimera, but Professor Strange attempts to stop that from happening for his own reasons.
We find ourselves dealing with the aftermath of Nygma revealing himself and Barbara knocking at Gordon’s door. And it looks like Gordon has not learned from his mistakes of shooting people as he threatens to shoot his former love. Barbara says she is better and wants to help him with his investigation of the Wayne murders, to which Gordon, of course, says no. He does come across a name, “The Lady” (Michelle Gomez). Gordon proceeds to question her known associates and after busting a few heads, one of those associates gives a possible location: a club called Artemis.
Gordon can’t get into the club, but Barbara can being it is a criminal all women’s club. So begrudgingly Gordon allows her to go in and talk to The Lady. After a few drinks, Barbara cons The Lady into giving them the name of who contracted her to kill the Wayne’s – The Philosopher. Everyone has a “the” in front of their common noun names I guess.
Bruce continues to be an infant and does what he wants to do. I don’t understand why either Alfred or even Lucius doesn’t put this kid in his place. He is still a juvenile, isn’t he? Anyway, Bruce finds a name of a place called “Pinewood Farms,” which Lucius feels is some sort of black ops site the company had and the name of a person, Karen Jennings (Julia Taylor Ross). Bruce wants to see what she knows.
Unbeknownst to Bruce, Professor Hugo Strange is also in the know about Ms. Jennings and he did some tinkering with her in the past, “one small stroke on the canvas of possibilities…” Alfred and Bruce break into a cabin in the woods and find Karen and her vulture claw as a hand – love those types of possibilities! Looks like Pinewood Farms was a site for bio-engineering programing “the kind that was kept off of the books.” She was at Black Gate prison and volunteered to have her deformed arm fixed. Sounds like the Weapon X program to me. Bruce wants a tour of Pinewood and he promises nothing will happen to her. Yeah right. We know how this story goes, Master Bruce. With an abandoned building and the three of them being arrested after they kill some people. I have a feeling someone else is going to be wearing a “red shirt” soon.
Bruce calls Gordon to get him out of jail. And then it is time to compare notes. He tells them about The Philosopher, and they want to put together a line up to identify him. They are about to break Karen out of police custody, but Professor Strange sends out his big “cold” gun to help derail that strategy. During the break out, Karen tells Bruce the truth about his father: He was the one who started Pinewood. And as the knowledge of his father’s legacy sinks in, Victor Fries cools things off. He even has a new suit which was pretty cool. In the end, Karen sacrifices herself (see “red shirt”) so that Bruce can live. And it was discovered that Hugo Strange is The Philosopher and he and Ms. Peabody now know that Bruce and Gordon are doing some investigating. Oh, and Galavan is back from the dead and is crazy as hell!
Best Scene: As Gordon is about to get caught breaking into Artemis, Barbara comes to the rescue. “Jim you were right…” she says as she jumps on Gordon’s back and licks his ear. Barbara then interrogates him in front of The Lady, and within that questioning, she skillfully finagles all the information Gordon needs. She does it all for love, but Gordon wants nothing to do with that love. The look on Barbara’s face was gold. Sad gold, but gold. She did a really good job displaying her grief and hurt as Jim tells her to go pound sand.
Honorable Mention: Bullock seeing Barbara in the hallway! He has no idea what to say. “Jim…Jim!”
Best Line(s): Professor Strange is talking to Ms. Peabody as they reminisce about their first time. “Creation is always so violent.”
Most Ridiculous Scene: Galavan’s resurrection. “AZRAEL…!”
Best Special Effects Scene: Victor Fries and his freeze weapons were pretty cool (no pun intended). The way he smashed through Karen after he froze her and the freeze grenade effects were both on point – on par with what The Flash folks are doing over on The CW.
Surprisingly, I really enjoyed this episode. I think the show has just beat me into submission to where now I don’t know what good television is anymore. That being said, there were some really interesting things pushing the story forward and bringing some characters together that will make for some intriguing storytelling going forward. There was also some notable dramatic acting done by Erin Richards (Barbara), and I’ll even give Ben McKenzie (Gordon “some” credit for the work he did with her. Erin Richards’ work was so believable. You could see how she really wanted Gordon’s approval and forgiveness, which we all knew he ultimately would not give her. And in the end she went back to what she knows after being literally being left on the street. Tabitha was more than happy to have her back. I now have a character I am interested in. So over the course of the episode it went from pedestrian to very good (by Gotham standards) and I am in it for the next episode.