Gotham Season 2, Episode 17 Recap And Review: “Into The Woods”


“Into the Woods” has Jim attempting to clear his name and get his life back, and Penguin doing his best impression of Cinderella (you’ll know what I mean when you watch the episode). The episode, like the previous one, was actually quite muted … for Gotham that is. And that meant the story was quite engaging. However, I have a feeling that this show will be back on the ridiculous train really soon.

Spoilerific Recap: Selina and Bruce run from a thief they just robbed. They soon get away from him by making a jump between two buildings. To the annoyance of Selina, Bruce starts to dump the money because he’s only doing it for research and not personal gain.

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Barnes warns Harvey about helping Jim. Harvey reiterates that he knows nothing. The whole statement is later found to be false when Harvey gets home and we see Jim living there temporarily.

Jim suspects that everything — the murders and the subway station bombing — is connected. Jim recollects that Dent once told him that Internal Affairs records everything, which means the real murderer’s voice may have been captured. Harvey suggests using his connections at IA to get the tape.

We later find out that this “connection” entails seducing a gruff female guard and getting her key to the evidence locker. With the key, Jim is able to break into IA and find the tape. As Jim walks down the alleyway, he witnesses a mugging — something he can’t ignore. He intervenes and saves the woman, but gets himself identified by a passing cop. Jim knocks him to the ground and makes a run for it.

At Elijah’s funeral, Penguin says some final heartfelt words. After, Grace tells Penguin that she can’t have him living with them due to him being a convicted murderer. Penguin pleads for her to change her mind. She finally makes a deal with him: he will be their servant and she’ll allow him to stay. Grace is worried that Penguin, being of Elijah’s blood, will find a way to attain everything with the help of a lawyer.

Barbara is in a therapy session with other Arkham inmates and Doctor Strange. She tells them that she doesn’t feel insane — her only emotions are of sadness. Strange encourages her and asks what triggered this change. When the session ends, Strange’s assistant is wary of Barbara’s statements. The assistant thinks it’s all an act. Strange, though, finds Barbara to be intriguing.

The next morning, Jim hides out in Harvey’s car and we learn that Barnes has put out a $10,000 reward on his head. The two listen to the tape and find it completely distorted along with what sounds like a bird in the background. Jim thanks Harvey for helping him and leaves to find someone who can improve the tape’s audio.

Jim show’s up at the home of Ed, who’s startled at first. After convincing Ed of his innocence, Ed agrees to help him with the tape.

At the Van Dahl home, Penguin has become a badly treated servant, waiting on his step-family.

Ed attempts to clean up the tape as best he could. As Jim reveals the details of his investigation, Ed becomes concerned of Jim’s knowledge. Ed finally becomes agitated when Jim calls the suspect a “psychopath.” As the clean-up process for the tape finishes, Jim forces Ed to play it in front of him. The background “bird” noise is revealed to be the sound of a cuckoo clock’s alarm. Jim immediately catches on and knows that the suspect is Ed because he has that same exact clock in his home. However, Ed was already ahead of him. When Jim pulls out his gun, Ed stuns Jim with an electrical shock that’s been wired to his seat.

Jim wakes up and makes a run for it when Ed is in the process of disposing him. As Jim jumps through the window of another building, Ed shoots him in the leg. Chasing Jim through the building, Ed reveals to him that he became a murderer because of Kristin Kringle. Jim then narrowly escapes onto the street.

Selina arrives home looking for her jacket. Bruce hands it to her and she’s pleasantly surprised that he’s mended a large tear. Jim then stumbles in, surprised to see both Selina and Bruce. Falling on a couch, Jim soon passes out.

While preparing a drink for Grace, Penguin finds the decanter of poison. He gives some of it to the dog to test it out. Upon seeing the children, Penguin’s overall demeanor changes — signifying a break in his conditioning. Proving Penguin correct, the dog finally dies from the poison.

Bruce has brought Jim back to Wayne Manor. When Jim finally wakes up, he finds Alfred preparing breakfast. Jim is curious as to why Bruce has been living with Selina. Alfred reveals that Bruce’s encounter with Matches has fueled him with even more determination. However, Alfred is actually more interested in Jim’s situation and how he plans to resolve it.

At Arkham, Barbara is given a clean bill of health and allowed to go free. Barbara is apprehensive at first, but Strange assures her that it’ll be okay. Strange then tells his assistant that he’s releasing her into the “wild” as an experiment.

Back at Wayne Manor, Jim theorizes that Ed must’ve met Penguin in the woods at the time of Kristin’s disappearance. Jim will attempt to force Ed to confess. Bruce volunteers to help, but Jim needs someone who can convincingly fake betraying him. The group turns to Selina.

At GCPD, Selina storms in asking for the reward and tells Barnes that Jim was at her place. Barnes isn’t convinced and wants to know where Jim is located currently. She tells him that Jim planned to see Penguin to get the location of the buried bodies. Ed, overhearing everything, leaves to talk to his other personality. In front of a bathroom mirror, Ed reasons to himself that Jim’s chances of finding Penguin and the bodies are mathematically high.

Ed ventures into the forest and starts to dig for Kristin’s body. Jim surprises him and catches him in the act. After exchanging a few words and a riddle, Ed prepares to execute Jim. Suddenly, Barnes and Harvey appear, along with an army of cops. Ed attempts to make a run for it, but trips and is captured.

At the Van Dahl home, Penguin serves Grace her dinner of pot roast. As she gets comfortable, Penguin reveals his knowledge of the poison. He completes his revenge by telling her the pot roast she’s eating is actually her children. Penguin then proceeds to stab to death a horrified Grace.

Barnes apologizes to Jim for not believing him and now wants him to return to the force. Jim tells him that he has some unfinished business which prompts Barnes to give him Leslie’s current contact information. Jim is actually talking about finally solving the motivations behind the Wayne murders. Barnes agrees to give Jim the Wayne files only if he agrees to also call Leslie.

At Wayne Manor, Alfred tells Bruce that Lucius has finally repaired Thomas’s computer. An excited Bruce reaches for the key to the cave, but Alfred quickly snatches it away. He berates Bruce and tells him that the journey he’s on will endanger Selina’s life. When Selina finally enters, Bruce tells her that he won’t be going back to Gotham City. Selina, angered and hurt, storms out.

In a series of closing scenes, Ed enters Blackgate Penitentiary, Penguin happily toasts the dead body of Grace, Selina discards the jacket that was mended by Bruce, and Bruce fires up his father’s computer.

Jim finally decides to call Leslie. However, when she answers, he quickly hangs up. A knock is soon heard at the door. When Jim answers it, he discovers that it’s Barbara.

Next: Catch up on Gotham with a Recap of 'Prisoners'

Best Moment: Harvey is a man who’s never short on laughs. His version of “connections” is something that only Harvey could pull off. I’m not sure if he was doing Jim a favor or himself.

Final Thoughts: I was actually enjoying seeing a sympathetic Penguin, but I guess it’s now back to being business as usual. I’m wondering how Penguin plans to regain his position as the top mob boss in Gotham City? What about Barbara? Is she really faking her sanity? Speaking of which, what exactly is Doctor Strange’s endgame in releasing all these crazies back into Gotham City?