Gotham Season 2, Episode 18 Recap And Review: “Pinewood”


“Pinewood” reintroduces a newly reformed Barbara Kean back into Gotham. With a forced emotional scene between her and Jim, the writers try to elicit some sympathy for the much derided character. Could this really be a new Barbara? Or is she faking it even better than before? On the Bruce Wayne front, he and Alfred seek out someone connected to Thomas, which gets the attention of Hugo Strange.

Spoilerific Recap: Continuing right where we left off last time in “Into the Woods,” Jim quickly draws his gun on Barbara. She tells him that she was legally released from Arkham. Spotting a picture of the Lady from the Wayne murder case, Barbara offers to help. Jim says goodbye to her and quickly rushes her out. She briefly runs into Harvey, who’s humorously just getting home with a pizza and beers for himself and Jim.

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In the cave, Bruce has been able to crack a file’s password and learns that his father was supposed to meet someone name Karen Jennings at Pinewood. Bruce thinks that this is what Thomas was investigating before he was killed. He quickly writes down the address and pursues the lead. Lucius agrees to run a check on the name.

Still working on the Wayne case, Harvey tells Jim that it’s best to find the Lady through her known associates. He urges Jim to use the GCPD for resources, but Jim refuses.

Jim finds hitmen who have worked with the Lady and roughs them up. One of them finally breaks and tells him to find her at a club called Artemis.

At Arkham, Strange and Peabody monitor an unconscious inmate known as Patient 44. Peabody quickly alerts Strange that someone at Wayne Enterprises has run a check for Karen Jennings. Peabody is concerned that they may be exposed.

Bruce and Alfred arrive at a secluded cabin. Bruce picks a lock and gains entrance. The two are quickly attacked, with Alfred getting his armed slashed. When the attacker comes out of the shadows, they discover that it’s Karen Jennings and that her left hand is a reptilian claw. She isn’t hostile, but asks the two to leave. Bruce begs her to tell them about Pinewood Farms.

Jim arrives at Artemis, but is quickly stopped by a female bodyguard. Barbara also shows up and again offers to help Jim. Because the club is ladies-only and frequented by criminals, she’ll have an easier way of finding the Lady. He agrees, but wants to know why she’s doing this. Barbara understands that Jim will never move on until the Wayne murders are solved.

Entering the club, Barbara seeks out the Lady, who’s sitting at a booth. Because of Barbara’s reputation, the Lady invites her to sit and have a drink.

Bruce and Alfred learn from Karen that Pinewood Farms was a bio-engineering program developed at Wayne Enterprises. Karen was born disabled and was sentenced to Blackgate after she killed her abusive father in self-defense. A couple of men showed up one day and brought her to Pinewood and experimented on her, giving her the mutated arm. Thomas had no knowledge of what went on at Pinewood. When he found out, he shut it down. However, it started back up again, and that was when Thomas went to warn Karen. She actually remembers the men’s faces. Bruce finally requests that Karen take them to Pinewood Farms.

The Lady and Barbara quickly get acquainted. Barbara reveals that she faked her way out of Arkham. She now wants to get into the assassination business, but needs a partner.

Outside, Jim finds a way to sneak into the club through a backdoor. He’s quickly apprehended by Barbara, who holds a knife to his throat. Tying Jim up, Barbara reveals to the Lady that Jim knows the Lady was the one who contracted out Matches. The Lady tells Barbara that she doesn’t know who’s really behind the Wayne murders, but knows that the one who hired the hitman was a person named “The Philosopher.” Gaining this piece of information, Barbara quickly turns on the Lady and her bodyguard, shocking and stunning the both of them with her baton.

Alfred, Bruce, and Karen arrive at a building. The second they enter, two men exit their car with their guns drawn. Inside, the three see that the building has been abandoned for some time. The pursuing men suddenly appear. Karen kills one of them by slashing his neck, and Alfred shoots one of them dead. Outside, the three are arrested by GCPD.

Jim and Barbara escape the club through an alleyway. Jim wants to know why Barbara wants to help him. She tells him that she doesn’t want him to see her as a monster. Jim is unable to forgive her for threatening Leslie’s life. They’re quickly interrupted by a call from Bruce.

At GCPD, Jim sees Barnes releasing Alfred and Bruce. Barnes has plans to transport Karen back to Blackgate. Jim tells Bruce and Alfred that he thinks the Philosopher is the one behind Pinewood. Jim wants Lucius to put together a file of all the scientists who have worked at Wayne Enterprises. The three then plan to break Karen out of Blackgate.

At Arkham, Peabody notifies Strange that Karen is on her way to Blackgate. Strange and Peabody visit Victor in his environmentally controlled cell, and propose a plan to free him.

Karen’s Blackgate transport suddenly stops when one of the guards sees a bag of money in the middle of the road. As she exits to retrieve it, Jim, in a mask, overpowers the guard looking after Karen. The three then warn the other guard that she can keep the money if she allows them to leave. She agrees and the three drive off with Karen.

Jim asks Karen if she knew the Philosopher. She tells him that she’s only heard about him. Bruce tells Karen that he’s prepared to help her start a new life. This act reminds Karen of Thomas, and she tells Bruce that his father cared about her and tried to rescue her. She doesn’t believe that Pinewood should be Bruce’s burden. Suddenly, Alfred hits a roadblock. The three exit to an awaiting Victor, who’s armed with a new suit and freeze gun.

Jim and Alfred fire their guns at Fries, but he’s unaffected. Seeing no other option, Karen tells Bruce to run and sacrifices herself. A horrified Bruce watches Victor freeze Karen and shatter her. Victor then throws a freeze grenade, allowing him to get away as Jim, Bruce, and Alfred take cover.

At Butch’s, Tabitha is seen comforting a sleeping Barbara. Butch himself arrives home and Tabitha tells him that Barbara only showed up a couple of hours ago with nowhere else to stay.

Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce blames himself for Karen’s death. Jim tells Bruce that he needs to have faith. Fox then enters with his findings — a company newsletter that shows Thomas and his friends at Wayne Enterprises with their team nicknames. The picture in the newsletter shows Strange standing next to Thomas. Under Strange’s image is the caption “The Philosopher.”

At Arkham, Strange stores away Karen’s file. An alarm suddenly goes off and Peabody notes that it’s for Patient 44. The two arrive at Patient 44’s chamber and see him attacking a number of hospital staff. After brutally killing the last orderly, Patient 44 is revealed to be a revived Theo Galavan.

Next: Catch up on Gotham with a Recap of 'Into the Woods'

Best Moment: Scenes with Bullock are always humorous. There’s nothing like Bullock jovially walking around with two six-packs and a pizza and then running into an exiting Barbara. His reaction was priceless.

Final Thoughts: In the comics, there was always a subtlety to the theory that the existence of Batman was the reason for so many super-villains. Here, it seems that the Waynes are a direct cause of all of Bruce’s future rogues gallery. I’m not sure how I feel about Hugo Strange having a connection to Wayne Enterprises, and having future villains be rooted in experiments that have gone wrong. It sort of muddies Bruce’s motivation in becoming Batman.