Free My Wife
The episode starts with a high-speed police chase through Gotham City. The cops have cornered Mr. Freeze at the ACE Chemicals Plant where super-cooled helium he uses for his ice gun is made. When the cops search the inside of the factory they find a number of security guards frozen like statues. It looks like they were are attempting to stop Mr. Freeze but were frozen in mid-step. Gordon and Bullock notice that one of the super-cooled helium canisters were missing. It seems like Mr. Freeze got what he was looking for in the factory. The words “Free My Wife” were scratched into the frozen body of one of the officers as a message to the Gotham City police
Doctor Leslie Thompkins sits at Wayne Manor having a conversation with Bruce Wayne. This is the first we see of Bruce since the events on the night he was rescued from Theo Galavan. About a month has passed since the incident and Bruce and Alfred have returned back from their vacation to France. Dr. Thompkins has come to the house to speak with Bruce as a favor to Alfred. Alfred is worried that Bruce may be traumatized from nearly being killed. Bruce says that the whole experience was invigorating but Dr. Thompkins doesn’t know if Bruce is just pretending to be okay or not. Bruce tells Leslie that his plan moving forward is still to find the man who murdered his parents. He ensures her that once he finds the criminal behind their murder, he will let the proper authorities take over. Leslie tries to warn Bruce about the effects his obsession can have on him but adolescent Bruce is not listening. He has already made up his mind about what he’s going to do.
Captain Barnes is outraged that Mr. Freeze has had the audacity to ask for his wife’s freedom as freezing innocent people to death is the way he plans on making that happen. Barnes anger starts to get the better of him so instead, he asks about a missing janitor from the ACE Chemical Plant who the police suspect has been taken hostage by Mr. Freeze. The think Freeze plans on using the hostage as a bargaining tool for the police to release his wife. Unfortunately, Freeze’s wife Nora doesn’t have much time left. If they don’t move her into a medical facility she could die from her illness. Barnes comes up with the idea to send Nora to the medical facility at Arkham Asylum so that they can secure the premises while she’s there without the risk of endangering the other patients and employees at the hospital. Gordon and Barnes agree that taking Nora to the insane asylum will not only lure Freeze out of hiding but keep civilians safe from harm. Gordon just has to tell his girlfriend, Doctor Thompkins, what they plan on doing with her patient.
Leslie doesn’t take the news that Gordon wants to move Nora to the asylum very well just to use her as bait. They don’t have many other options but firmly believes it’s a bad idea. She agrees to let Nora go to the Arkham medical facility on the condition that she is allowed to accompany her patient to the facility. Jim is not okay with this part of the plan. He’s concerned that something could happen to Leslie or even his unborn child. Gordon’s argument is logical but Leslie doesn’t budge. She has her mind made up and she’s going to the Asylum whether Gordon likes it or not.
At Indian Hill, Hugo Strange is met by his assistant Ms. Peabody who tells him that the GCPD will be moving Nora to the Arkham Medical Wing. This is great news for Strange who is in need of Freeze’s bionic expertise for his own personal experiments. They expect too that with Nora being admitted into the facility, there is a good possibility that Mr. Freeze will show up to try to rescue her.
Freeze who has been recouping down at the docks with his hostage hears on the radio that his wife will be moved to Arkham and instantly recognizes that it’s a trap. Although Freeze knows the cops are trying to use his wife to get to him, he isn’t afraid. He has been working on some freezing technology that is sure to make him a formidable opponent for the police. He won’t stop until he rescues his wife.
Penguin is dealing with his own battle at Indian Hill. He has started his “rehabilitation” and is being put through the ringer. They strap him to a chair and force him to endure a torturous a mental torture even he can’t withstand. Ms. Peabody puts a headset on Penguin and even though it’s not apparent what it is that the headset shows him, it looks quite painful. The next thing you know, Penguin has gone from being rambunctious and feisty to docile and confused. Barnes and Gordon enter the Arkham Asylum where they see the after effects of Penguin’s torture. They can hardly believe they are watching the former crime boss playing “Duck, Duck, Goose” with the other sedated inmates. Leslie pushes Nora down the hall in a wheelchair toward the medical wing while the cops go to secure the premises and wait for the arrival of Mr. Freeze. Much to Leslie’s dismay, she finds a familiar face in the medical wing. Psychopathic serial killer, Barbara Keane lays in one of the beds in a peaceful coma nearby. She can barely stand to be in the same room as Barbara but she manages to hold it together to do her job. Outside of the facility while Gordon is helping the security detail prepare for Mr. Freeze, he is spotted by Penguin who is being escorted to another part of the facility by a couple of orderlies. When Gordon notices Penguin shouting for his attention he asks the orderlies for a quick second to talk to him. Penguin pleads for Gordon to help him. He tells him about the torture they have been putting him through but Gordon is not the least bit remorseful. Penguin, who has been taking the wrap for Gordon, screams in outrage that Gordon was the one who killed Galavan. No one seems to care about Penguin’s wild accusations toward Gordon, except for maybe Hugo Strange who has been watching the entire altercation on the camera monitor in his office. Strange looks on as Penguin is carried away from Gordon kicking and screaming.
Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce and Alfred are in (the room that I am still referring to as) the Batcave discussing Bruce’s meeting with Leslie Thompkins. Bruce is more concerned with his boxing session and continues to pummel the punching bag during their entire conversation. Alfred expresses more concern about Bruce’s emotional state and urges him to see that chasing after his parents’ killers alone is not a good idea. Alfred says that while he was in the city he did some digging of his own to find out more information about the suspected killer. Alfred reveals that the killer goes by the name “Matches” and has been a murderer since the age of 15. Bruce says that the next course of action would be to find Matches and kill him. Alfred can’t believe that Bruce would be so clouded by anger that he would want to take another person’s life so he makes Bruce promise that if and when they locate Matches, it will be Alfred who will do the killing.
Nora Fries wakes up and frightened in the medical wing at the Asylum where she meets Leslie for the first time. She insists that Freeze is really a good guy who has lost his way trying to save his life. Leslie can relate to how Nora is feeling because she has been seeing the same attributes in Gordon lately. As the two women chat, a huge truck slams through the gate of the correctional facility. Once the truck comes to a halt the cops notice that the driver of the vehicle has frozen to the wheel of the car with no choice but to drive. The truck is just the distraction Freeze needs to burst through the wall of the asylum using his new freezing technique. Equipped with a new suit new gadgets Freeze makes his way toward the infirmary to save his wife. Some of the cops are in hot pursuit (no pun intended) until Freeze ambushes them with his ice bomb. While Gordon and Bullock lead another team toward after Freeze, Hugo Strange interferes unseen, triggering some automatic gates to block the paths of the officers. This gives Strange the opportunity to speak with Freeze over the PA system without being detected. Although Freeze can’t see Strange, he can steal hear him giving him advice on how to escape from the facility with his wife safely. In exchange for his assistance, Freeze agrees to leave Strange a bottle of his bionic ice formula. Freeze really has no choice but to trust Strange so he does as he’s told. Gordon arrives at the infirmary to try to evacuate Leslie and Nora but Freeze is not far behind him. Gordon knows he’s outmatched by Freeze’s ice gun so fighting is out of the question when Freeze appears behind him with the machine aimed to kill.
Freeze tells Gordon that he fully intends on turning himself in after he’s successfully cured his wife’s illness. He orders Gordon into a closet and freezes the door closed, giving him enough time to escape down the hall with Nora pushing Leslie in the wheelchair in front of him. Freeze and the two women are able to leave the facility with relative ease thanks to the assistance from Strange who held up his end of the bargain that allowed him to get a sample of Freeze’s bionic formula. Once Gordon escapes from the frozen closet, he and Bullock put their heads together and realize that if Freeze intends on saving his wife, he must be moving her to his basement laboratory.
When Freeze, Nora and Leslie arrive at the Fries’s residence, Freeze prepares to start the freezing process on his wife. Nora begs him to just let her die. She can’t bear to see him put himself through all of this turmoil to save her life. Freeze refuses, telling her that as long as they are together they can always hope that things will work out okay. Nora, however, has other plans, when Freeze and Leslie are both distracted, Nora switches the working formula out with one a different formula. Leslie and Nora speak one last time before Freeze returns to start the process. Nora tells Leslie that she can’t stand the man she is watching her husband become and Leslie can definitely relate. Freeze comes back into the basement and says some final words to Nora. The two have a very heartfelt moment before Freeze grabs the gun and encases the love of his life in ice.
Meanwhile, Selina Kyle makes her way through the window of Wayne Manor. She attempts to surprise Bruce but he notices her relatively quickly. Although she probably wants to catch up with her friend who she hasn’t seen in a month, Bruce has more important things to talk about. He wants Selina to help him obtain a gun so that he can kill Matches himself. Selina who is a criminal in her own right, warns Bruce that he’s making a mistake but once again Bruce isn’t fazed. He knows what he wants to do.
Back in Freeze’s basement, he is devastated to see that Nora is starting to melt rapidly. He can only watch his wife as her body starts to deteriorate right in front of him. He correctly assesses that Nora must’ve switched the formulas when he was looking, as a way to put an end to all of the pain and suffering once and for all. Defeated and saddened, Freeze sends Leslie out of the house to tell the cops that he is ready to surrender. Leslie leaves the room and with one final look at his beautiful wife’s dead body, Freeze sits in the chair near her bedside and turns the formula on himself. By the time Gordon arrives in the basement he finds the frozen corpses of both Mr. Freeze and his wife Nora.
Leslie and Detective Gordon decide to start off their morning with a heated argument. The conversation starts off cordial enough with Gordon revealing to her that Hugo Strange had called the police department to announce that Mr. Freeze was not able to be revived and that his body is being transferred to the morgue. Seconds later, Leslie’s head almost spins around on her shoulders when Gordon accuses her of putting their unborn child in danger. She tells Gordon that it was, in fact, HIS fault that their baby was at risk. She then confronts Gordon about lying to her about Theo Galavan’s death. Not willing to admit to his hand in Galavan’s murder, Gordon turns and leaves Leslie standing in the dining room fuming.
Ice In His Veins
Hugo Strange takes a break from watching Penguin get tortured at Indian Hill to go check on his latest patient. Mr. Freeze wakes up in an icy room within the facility, his hair white as snow. Strange reveals that he lied to the cops about Freeze’s death. Freeze was able to survive the freezing process because during his time working with the chemicals, his body had absorbed many of them and changed his DNA. Basically, this new mutated Mr. Freeze can only survive in sub-freezing temperatures like that of the frozen room he’s inside currently. Strange tells Freeze that he’s modified his suit to accommodate his new temperature requirements so that Freeze can walk freely within the facility to help him with more experiments.
The episode ends with Strange peering into a nearby room. Inside, the bodies of Jerome Valeska and Theo Galavan float serenely as they are being monitored by Indian Hill staff. Does this mean we will see the return of The Joker? We might even get the resurrection of another one of my favorite villains, Fish Mooney. This could all be wishful thinking but in my mind, the season is subtitled Rise of the Villains for a reason.