In this episode of Gotham, “Wrath of the Villains: A Dead Man Feels No Cold,” Gordon tries to lure Victor Fries in by using Nora as bait, Hugo Strange takes advantage of an unexpected turn of events at Arkham, Oswald undergoes serious rehabilitation and Lee’s doubts about Jim grow.
Things get off to a frantic pace as Bullock, Gordon, the Alpha Unit (I assume it’s still in existence even though the members have been dropping like flies) and the better part of the GCPD descend on Ace Chemicals, the manufacturer of liquid helium. Fries was spotted entering the building just two minutes before. Gordon warns everyone that Fries is desperate, armed and very dangerous.
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Mr. Freeze Strikes Again
They enter the facility and immediately discover that Fries had come and gone, securing a canister of the helium. He left in his wake several frozen bodies, and carved on one of the blocks of ice are the words “Free my wife.”
Bruce is in a Dark Place
At Alfred’s request, Lee comes to Wayne Manor to check in on young Master Bruce, who has just returned from Switzerland. Alfred is concerned that Bruce is concealing the trauma he should be feeling after being abducted and nearly sacrificed by a group of homicidal monks.
Bruce says he feels fine, invigorated even. He’s got a second chance at life, and his plan is to continue to try and find the man who killed his parents. Lee tells Bruce he needs closure, not a dangerous and possibly endless obsession. Bruce swears he will find Malone. Lee points out that Bruce is a schoolboy, not a homicide detective, but he believes people can be two things at once.
Lee questions what Bruce will do when he finds the culprit, and he responds that he will let the law take its course. Lee doesn’t believe Bruce is being truthful, but he says it’s the answer he’s giving her.
Gordon Sets a Trap
Captain Barnes has no intention of negotiating with a lunatic who has killed seven cops. There’s another problem: Fries has taken a janitor from the chemical company hostage. Barnes says they are dealing with a madman, and once Fries realizes that the police won’t hand over his wife, Fries will come to them and try to get her, and when he does they’ll be ready for him.
Nora has to be hospitalized soon or she could die. Barnes knows they can’t possibly secure a hospital and decides to send Nora to Arkham instead. She can get the care she needs, and they can capture Fries without endangering civilians. Obviously, this is how Victor Fries and Professor Strange will cross paths. Strange is desperate for cryogenic expertise, and Fries is going to make a house call.
Lee isn’t happy with the plan to use a dying woman as bait. Gordon explains that their options are limited. Lee insists on going with Nora. Gordon tries to dissuade her, but Lee refuses to abandon her patient.
Don’t Vex Him
Penguin is starting his rehabilitation, and it involves being strapped into a chair and receiving shock treatment. Penguin is not a willing participant, but he has no choice. He warns Peabody that nobody has failed to regret vexing the Penguin, and she is vexing him. Strange’s number two is not the least bit rattled by Penguin’s threats and moves forward with the procedure.
Penguin awakens with a start and finds himself in the common room. A game of Duck Duck Goose is underway. Penguin is relieved to find out that his gruesome treatment was just a dream. Or was it?
Penguin doesn’t want to play nicely with the others, but when Peabody encourages Oswald that it’s fun to participate in the group, he immediately agrees, still haunted by the horrors of his dream.
Friends and Enemies Alike
The GCPD descends on Arkham. Bullock and Gordon spot Penguin, and Gordon observes that he appears drugged. Professor Strange admits that Oswald is on a mild sedative to keep him from hurting himself. More likely, his brain is as crispy as an overcooked piece of toast.
Miss Peabody takes Lee to the medical wing where she learns that Nora will have a roommate: Barbara Kean.
Arkham is on serious lockdown, and all of the patients are being escorted back to their cells. Penguin spots Gordon and asks for his help. Oswald says he’s being tortured. Gordon doesn’t see any physical signs, but Penguin says it’s all mental. Gordon calls this therapy, much needed since Penguin pleaded insanity.
As the orderlies drag Oswald away, he begins to scream that Gordon killed Galavan, not him. Hugo watches this scene on a monitor in his office.
Bruce and Alfred Make a Pact
Bruce and Alfred have been a bit at odds of late. Alfred is upset that Bruce didn’t fill him in on his plan with Selina to extract the name of Thomas and Martha Wayne’s killer from Silver, and Bruce is pissed that Alfred made them leave town, wasting a month he could have been using to track down Malone.
Alfred brings Bruce a peace offering. Alfred had a friend at the GCPD do some digging looking for any M. Malones who fit their particulars: size, height, race and whether they were free at the time his parents were murdered. One guy seems to fit the bill: Patrick “Matches” Malone. The guy committed his first murder at the age of 15 and is suspected of half a dozen since.
Alfred asks what Bruce plans to do if they find this man, and Bruce responds, “Kill him.” Alfred thinks Bruce is too young to have a murder on his conscience, but he on the other hand won’t lose much sleep over doing the deed himself. Bruce has to agree to these terms if he wants to proceed, otherwise all bets are off. I’m confident Bruce won’t be sated unless he deals with Malone himself, but he agrees.
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Nora wakes up and wonders what’s going on. Lee explains that she’s in a secure place. Nora knows Lee is afraid of her husband, and she tries to convince Lee that Victor is not an evil man. He’s only done these horrible things for her. Fries believes the good of saving her outweighs the bad of his actions. Nora feels she could have saved her husband. She saw him going down this path, becoming more and more obsessed, and questions why she didn’t do something.
Lee can relate. She tells Nora that when you love someone, you see the person they were, the person they could still become, and close your eyes to the truth. Nora knows her husband is coming for her and warns Lee she shouldn’t be there.
Mr. Freeze Storms Arkham
An armored van comes crashing through the gates. The driver’s arms are frozen to the steering wheel. Alarms begin to sound inside. Mr. Freeze has entered the building.
Gordon and Bullock head to the infirmary, but Professor Strange attempts to cut them off, and only Gordon is able to get through as the gate closes, shutting them off. Victor also finds himself trapped by Strange. Speaking to Fries over the intercom, the Professor tells Fries he’s a great admirer of his work and wants to help him. Strange has left a set of keys to an escape vehicle. He will also keep the police at bay while Fries flees with Nora. All he wants in exchange is one cartridge of Fries’ cryonic formula. Fries takes the bait.
Gordon makes it to the infirmary. Gordon and Lee prepare to abscond with Nora but are interrupted by Fries. Fries promises that once he saves Nora’s life, he’ll give himself up, but for now they have to leave. Lee tells Fries she’s a doctor and warns him that if they move Nora, she could die. Victor makes the executive decision to take Lee along.
Victor traps Gordon in a closet, but Gordon manages to break free, just not in time to save his girlfriend.
Back to the Scene of the Crime
Gordon questions the man who drove the truck through the gate, who turns out to be the missing janitor. Gordon is looking for any information about his plans, but the janitor has nothing. All Fries said to him was “Sorry.”
Gordon and Bullock figure out that in order to execute his plan, Fries will have to go home. His lab contains items he can’t get anywhere else on the fly.
In his lab, Fries hurries to take care of Nora, but she wants him to let her go. She doesn’t want to wake up one day with him in prison or dead. Fries promises he’ll find a way to be there when she wakes up. There’s always hope, as long as she’s alive.
Bruce Asks Selina for a Favor
Selina pays her pal a visit. Bruce shows her the file on Matches Malone and asks Selina for a favor. He wants her to go get him a gun. Selina doesn’t believe Bruce has the stomach to kill someone, and even if he does, he will never, ever be the same. Bruce responds, “That’s what I’m counting on.”
The End of a Tragic Love Story
Fries and his wife say a heartfelt goodbye and he freezes her, but something goes wrong. Nora managed to switch the cartridges, causing the process to be an epic fail.
Gordon and the GCPD descend on the Fries’ residence. Fries asks Lee to go out and tell the police he’ll do what they say. Before she goes, Lee tells him she’s envious of the bond Victor and Nora had.
Fries decides to kill himself. Death by frostbite. A very macabre scene greets Gordon as he enters the laboratory. A tragic love story, for sure.
Mr. Freeze wasn’t really such a bad guy after all. He could have gone on a rampage, turning Gotham into one giant ice cube, his actions fueled by grief. Instead, he chose to close up shop.
The Beginning of the End
Sadly, he “died” at Arkham infirmary, unable to be revived, so we will be seeing more of Mr. Freeze in the future, and it’s doubtful that his motivations will be altruistic after the Professor gets done with him.
Sure enough, Victor Fries has been reborn. He’s got silver hair and ice-blue eyes, a much more sinister look than his previous soccer-dad chic. Victor is being kept at Indian Hills, a former toxic waste dump — a fitting location. Strange has zero to do with Fries’ reincarnation. Strange hypothesizes that Fries absorbed some of his own formula over the last few months, igniting a profound cellular change. The downside: Victor can’t survive in a climate above freezing.
Victor wanted to die with his wife, but Strange tells him to pretend he did die. “Death is not an ending, it’s a new beginning.”
All that quality time with Nora just reinforced all of Lee’s doubts about Gordon. She confronts him about lying to her about Galavan. Either this couple is on the verge of splitting or Lee is going to meet an untimely end. Gordon’s exes don’t fare too well.
Gotham airs Mondays at 8pm on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)