Gotham Recap And Review – S02E12 – “Wrath Of The Villains: Mr. Freeze” – Mid-Season Premiere


Fox’s Gotham returned to Monday nights with its mid-season premiere episode “Mr. Freeze.”  Unlike most other Gotham episodes, this new installment feels a bit more character-driven with less ridiculous scenes.  Their version of Mr. Freeze doesn’t break new ground — it’s basically a light version of the award-winning incarnation who was first given a backstory in Batman: The Animated Series — but it’s sufficient enough to keep some viewer interest.  The real breakout character tonight was B.D. Wong’s Hugo Strange, who’s very impressive and steals the show.

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Spoilerific Recap:  Jim is deposed by Harvey Dent about the night Galavan was murdered by the Penguin.  Of course, he lies through is teeth and changes his story at every turn.  Eventually, Jim is cleared of all charges and reinstated.  Barnes still has his suspicions and is not completely convinced of Jim’s innocence.

Since the murder of Galavan, Penguin has been on the streets, hiding among the homeless. Tabitha pays Butch a surprise visit.  As she flirts with him, she proposed the idea of becoming his partner.

A GCPD officer approaches a man at his van and asks him about a string of murders.  He starts to act strangely, which prompts her to command him to open the trunk of his van.  She discovers that he is the murderer they’ve been looking for.  He quickly arms himself with a weapon and freezes the officer just as she draws her gun.

At GCPD, Harvey hands Jim the case files to the “freezing” murders.  They pay a visit to Nygma’s office where he informs them that the perpetrator must be using liquid helium.  In a side conversation, Jim questions Nygma about his involvement with the Penguin, to which Nygma feigns total innocence as just a good samaritan helping someone.

Penguin is suddenly brought into the station by Barnes.  After scolding his officers for applauding the arrest, Barnes throws Penguin in a cell and vows to get the truth about Galavan’s murder.

In an interrogation room, Penguin tells Barnes how he killed Galavan.  However, Barnes knows that Penguin is being evasive.  Meeting Gordon, Barnes informs him that Penguin corroborated every account of his story.

At a small apartment, the man who froze the GCPD officer, tends to his deathly ill wife.  He tells her about the “mice” he’s been experimenting on, and that the stumbling block has been trying to reanimate them after the initial freeze.  He promises her that he’ll find a way.

Harvey discovers that the liquid helium is tied to Wayne Enterprises and that three abductions had some form of relationship to the same man.

Nygma approaches Penguin’s cell and secretly asks if he could help.  Penguin requests that he take care of his mother’s grave for him.  Officers inform Penguin that he’s being transferred to Arkham Asylum.

Lucius meets with Jim and Harvey.  He acknowledges usage of the liquid helium at Wayne Enterprises and tells them that the chemicals were for research into cryonics.  However, the project was later shutdown despite the promising results.

At Arkham Asylum, Penguin has a piece of food thrown at him, prompting him to stand on a table and declare his power.  The inmates only mock and taunt him even more.

The man experiments with thawing his victims.  One of them is initially successful.  As he celebrates, the victim starts to melt and liquefy at an accelerated rate.  The man’s wife suddenly awakens and starts to cough up blood.  He tries to assist her, but she’s down to her last pill.  Desperate, the man runs to the nearest pharmacy to refill her prescription.  He’s, eventually, rudely denied by the pharmacist.

At Arkham, Penguin meets the Chief of Psychiatry — Dr. Hugo Strange.

The man enters the pharmacy.  He’s now armed in a full suit with a gun-like contraption.  He promptly freezes the security guard at the door and demands his wife’s medication from the pharmacist.  The pharmacist gives it to him, but is also frozen when the man sees him as another guinea pig for experimentation.

Jim and Harvey get wind of the robbery at the pharmacy.  Arriving at the scene, Harvey and Jim briefly pursue the van.  The man throws one of the frozen bodies out where Harvey hits it, obliterating the body to pieces.

Hugo meets with Penguin, who thinks he has the upper-hand in this conversation.  Hugo soon informs a surprised Penguin that he’ll be undergoing rehabilitation.

The man drags the body down a flight of stairs at his home.  His wife calls out to him, but he ignores her.  She eventually makes her way to the cellar where she discovers his victims.

Discovering the identity of “Nora Fries” on a prescription at the pharmacy, Harvey and Jim arrive at the man’s residence.  They find his experiments and his distraught wife, but there’s no sign of the man.  As Jim and Harvey lead his wife out, the man watches from a distance.

Back in Arkham, Penguin is led in front of a cell where, to his horror, one of the inmates has gouged his own eyes out.

Nora is questioned by Jim and Harvey, but she is uncooperative.  She vows to never “betray” her husband.

The man arrives at the station and makes an attempt to confess.  A detective thinks he’s joking and tells him to sit with the other “suspects” also confessing.  In Nygma’s lab, the pharmacist’s frozen body suddenly disappears.  In the main area of GCPD, the pharmacist stumbles out and is quickly tackled by officers.  The man sees that the pharmacist survived his ordeal.  He quickly leaves to complete his research.

At Arkham, Victor goes to a hidden elevator where he’s transported underground.  It’s shown that he runs Indian Hill.  One of his staff informs him that someone solved post-cryonic reanimation and that the newspapers have dubbed this man “Mr. Freeze.”

Next: Catch up on Gotham with a Recap of 'Worse Than a Crime'

Best Moment: Harvey driving his car right into a frozen victim that was thrown in front of him.  Oh, Gotham, I knew you couldn’t resist some over-the-top ridiculousness.

Final Thoughts: This is not a bad start.  I enjoyed this episode a bit more than the previous ones.  The characters are acting less ridiculous and newcomer B.D. Wong is excellent as Hugo Strange.  I think he’s my new favorite character.