Gotham Season 2 Episode 12 Recap “Mr. Freeze”
Jim Gordon stands in front of District Attorney Harvey Dent and is forced to recall the events of the night that Theo Galavan was killed. He touches on all the events without hesitation. He talks about how he, Selena Kyle and Alfred Pennyworth were able to rescue young Bruce Wayne from the clutches of Father Creel and his henchmen. He also tells the D.A. about how he pursued and cornered Galavan before he was arrested by his boss, Captain Barnes. We all know what happened next. Penguin shows up, knocks Barnes unconscious and convinces Gordon to agree to allow the Penguin to get revenge on Galavan for killing Penguin’s mother. Jim conveniently leaves this part out of the story. With Barnes looking on, he lies and says that Penguin was able to escape after capturing Galavan and despite his best efforts to pursue the criminals, they still managed to get away. Dent informs Gordon that hours after the events he described took place, Galavan was found beaten and shot to death. Gordon has a vivid flashback of the moment of Galavan’s death. After watching the Penguin beat Galavan within an inch of his life with a bat, it was Jim Gordon himself that shot and killed Theo Galavan. But when asked repeatedly by the district Attorney if he had anything to do with Galavan’s murder, Gordon continuously denied being involved. After the hearing, Gordon embraces his pregnant fiancé Leslie Thompkins and tells her that the charges were lifted and he’s clear of all the wrong doing. Leslie says that she knew they wouldn’t convict Gordon of any crime because he was telling the truth. This stood out as odd to me because in the past Gordon was honest with Leslie about most of his dark moments but it seems like even he couldn’t admit to her that he killed Galavan. As the two stand in the courthouse atrium, Gordon tells Leslie that despite all that the GCPD has put him through, he still plans on continuing to work for the Police Department. Harvey Dent and Detective Barnes look on from a distance. It’s very clear that neither of them believes Gordon’s story, but they are now focused on finding Penguin who has been missing ever since the night of the murder.
The New King and Queen of Gotham
It appears that Butch now sits at the head of the table formerly occupied by Penguin as the leader of the Gotham crime world. Butch is up to his old ways of using his hand/tool thing to punish his enemies. As he sits at the table, seemingly tired from a long day of crime, Tabitha, sister of Theo Galavan enters the room unannounced. Butch is startled to see Tabitha has made it past his guards. Butch has a ton of reasons to be startled. After all, Tabitha did brainwash him and lead to him getting his hand chopped off. Although Butch is very visually irritated with Tabitha she does not seem to care. She’s too busy giving him the bedroom eyes and trying to seduce Butch into making her his partner in crime. Although Butch initially tries to refuse Tabitha’s advances, he can’t resist for long and the two share a passionate kiss. In the window of the building, unseen by the two criminals is Selina Kyle, watching catlike from above.
Elsewhere in Gotham, the Police are investigation an abduction. A GCPD officer approaches a man she spots loading something into his trunk. After questioning him for a moment, the officer grows suspicious and asks the man to reveal the contents of the trunk of his car. When the strange man opens the trunk of the van, the officer is stunned to see that there is not only a human body in the trunk but a huge gun of some kind as well. But before the officer can react the strange man grabs the gun and shoots it at her, freezing her in the very position she is standing. The man leaves the officer standing there frozen like a Popsicle and speeds off before more cops appear.
When Gordon shows up at the GCPD, his partner, Detective Harvey Bullock tells him about a weird case they have to solve dealing with the cop who was found frozen to death. The two detectives go pay a visit to the Edward Nygma, the medical examiner for the Gotham City Police Department. Nygma surmises that the person who froze the cop used super-cooled liquid helium. Bullock and Nygma exchange words when Bullock calls Nygma a “dummy”. Bullock isn’t always great with his words but he realizes that he may have gone too far with Nygma this time. Nygma is clearly infuriated but Gordon is able to calm him down. Bullock apologizes for using such colorful language and Nygma agrees to go research some manufacturers of the liquid helium in order to help them track down the person who has been using the substance. Bullock heads out but Gordon stays back in the medical examiner’s lab to talk to Nygma alone about his relationship with Penguin. Gordon knows very well that Nygma and Penguin had grown close in recent days but he never had the chance to ask why until now. Nygma recalls the events telling Gordon that he made an innocent mistake when he welcomed Penguin into his apartment and nursed him back to health…. And speak of the devil, Detective Barnes has captured Penguin and marched right through the doors of the police department in handcuffs. Nygma looks shocked but not more than Gordon who looks as though he’s seen a ghost. Penguin is the only person who can dispute Gordon’s story that he had absolutely nothing to do with the murder of Theo Galavan, and now that Barnes has captured him, the truth might actually come out.
Barnes takes Penguin into an interrogation room to question him about the events on the night that Galavan was killed. Penguin confesses to taking Galavan to the river and killing him. Gordon waits nervously in Captain Barnes’s office for the results of the interrogation. When Barnes enters the room, Gordon is relieved to find out that Penguin’s story lined up with his own. Barnes says that he is choosing to believe the story both men are telling but it’s clear he still has his doubts.
The strange man with the ice gun arrives at his home and walks over to his sick wife’s bedside. He tells his wife that he has been experimenting with the freezing technology to stop her disease from killing her. The only hiccup in his plan to save his wife is that he still has not mastered the reanimation part of the process. Basically, he can freeze things but he can’t unfreeze them effectively without killing them. The man’s wife is under the impression that he has been testing his freezing techniques on rats but we know he has moved onto bigger test subjects. Back at the GCPD, the detectives have determined that Wayne Enterprises is the manufacturer of the super-cooled helium and the blue van that belongs to the suspect that froze the cop, is also connected to three other abductions around Gotham. The cops have no clue that the missing people can be found in the basement of the strange man with the ice gun, Victor Fries.
Nygma is able to make his way over to Penguin’s holding cell and have one last conversation with the captured criminal before he is moved to The Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane. Penguin asks Nygma to do him the favor of maintaining his late mother’s grave from occasionally while he’s locked up. Nygma agrees and Penguin is shipped away to the insane asylum. When Penguin arrives at Arkham it’s clear that he might be out of his league amongst the crazy people. He might be a criminal but criminally insane might be a stretch. The real insane people in there with him don’t have enough sense to take him seriously for the murderous villain that he is. He sulks as he realizes that his time in Arkham will be long and miserable.
Bullock and Gordon meet Lucius Fox at a diner to discuss Wayne Enterprises’ dealings with the super-cooled helium. Fox tells them that until about 2 or 3 years ago the helium was used for experimentation of some kind. Thomas Wayne shut down the experiments but Lucius doesn’t have many details about them.
In Victor Fries laboratory/basement we get to see the reanimation experiment in action. It seems like the goal is to slowly reheat the frozen test subject until they are no longer frozen but remain alive. It almost looks like Fries is making a significant stride in his research when to his dismay the test subject he is working on basically melts into a puddle right before his eyes. Upstairs Nora, his wife isn’t doing so well. She has fallen off the couch and started coughing up blood. Fries frantically searches for her medication but he notices that she has run out of the pills that are keeping her alive. Fries heads to the pharmacy to get a refill. When he attempts to get the prescription refilled the pharmacist at the counter decides to be a jerk when Fries cannot produce the original prescription for the pills. He pleads with the pharmacist until he loses his temper and storms out of the building, promising that he’ll be returning. Fries returns relatively quickly in a full disguise and wielding his freeze gun. After freezing the security guard he also freezes the pharmacist and makes off with the remainder of the medication his wife needs. Bullock and Gordon show up in time to catch a glimpse of Fries’s blue speeding off into the night. They attempt to pursue the van until Bullock is forced to slam on his breaks to avoid crashing into a frozen body in the middle of the street. He isn’t able to avoid the body and Fries is able to get away.
Penguin ends up in the office of Hugo Strange, the Chief of Psychiatry at Arkham Asylum. Strange is just finishing up a meeting with Nigel, another inmate at the Asylum. After Nigel departs, Strange interviews Penguin about how he is adjusting to his new life in captivity. Penguin tells Strange that he has been through much worse outside of the walls of the facility. Strange prods Penguin about his feelings about his mother and the murder of Theo Galavan. Picking up on the fact that Penguin isn’t too keen on the line of questioning, Strange dismisses him and informs him that he’s in the Asylum to be cured of his illness. Penguin didn’t know that he would be going through rehabilitation and Strange doesn’t go into detail before he ushers Penguin out of his office.
Nora hears a noise at her home and assumes Victor Fries has returned from his trip to the pharmacy, but when she calls his name he does not answer. Concerned, she wanders down the stairs to the basement where her husband has been doing his experiments. She is horrified when she finds a frozen corpse on her husband’s table. Bullock and Gordon are able to figure out the address of the person who robbed the pharmacy using a pill bottle left at the scene of the crime. When they arrive at the Fries residence, they find Nora still sitting in the basement in shock. Victor arrives at home just in time to see the police taking the woman into custody.
On his way back to his holding cell, Penguin walks past the cell of Nigel, the inmate he saw leaving Strange’s office. Nigel is cackling hysterically when he turns around and reveals that his eyes have been gouged out just minutes after leaving the interview. Terrified, it seems like Penguin finally realizes that the magnitude of his situation. He’s thrust into his cell to await whatever “rehabilitation” techniques Hugo Strange has in store for him.
The detectives interrogate Nora Fries about the whereabouts of her husband. Nora tells them that all the horrific things Victor has done have been to save her life and she will not betray him.
Nygma examines the popsicle-corpse of the pharmacist Fries was experimenting on in the medical examiners lab at the GCPD. He leaves for a moment to get some coffee but when he returns he notices that the body he was just examining is no longer present. Fries’ experiment has worked and this particular test subject has thawed out completely and walked into the main area of the police station. Victor Fries is also in the police station, waiting for the chance to speak with Detective Gordon to confess to freezing all those people. When Fries notices that his experiment has worked, he leaves the police station to devise a plan to save Nora.
At the Asylum, Hugo Strange takes the elevator deep into the bowels of the building. When he reaches the Indian Hill laboratory level, he is updated by his assistant Ms. Peabody. She tells him in passing about the experiments they are conducting on a lady arsonist that we know is Firefly. She also mentions something about the some failed attempts at scheduling an appointment with a city councilman. Finally, she is able to give Strange some interesting news. She hands him a newspaper article about a man the media has nicknamed Mr. Freeze who has mastered the technique of freezing and unfreezing human beings. Intrigued by this scientific breakthrough, Strange reads the article about the fugitive, Victor Fries
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