Gotham Season 2, Episode 19 Recap And Review: “Wrath Of The Villains: Azrael”


This week’s Gotham has Dr. Strange creating the identity of Azrael and sending him after Jim Gordon.

“Azrael” has Jim Gordon investigating Dr. Strange for his involvement in Pinewood. As Jim gets too close, Strange gives the newly resurrected Theo Galavan a mission to kill him. Meanwhile, Barnes doesn’t believe Jim and hinders his investigation into Strange.

Spoilerific Recap: At Arkham Asylum, Theo Galavan has been resurrected, but there’s one caveat — he’s crazy as hell. Strange notes to Peabody that Theo’s psyche is broken because he keeps reciting verses from his family’s Order of St. Dumas heirloom book.

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Strange’s day is interrupted with a visit from Jim. Jim wants to know more about Pinewood and knows that Strange is hiding something. When Strange gets defensive, Jim give him a sealed court order to exhume Victor Fries’s body. Strange claims that Fries was cremated. At that moment, Jim has confirmation that Strange is most certainly lying. When Jim leaves, Strange discovers that the court order’s envelope is actually empty.

When Helzinger is about to beat another inmate, Ed steps in and intervenes. He pretends to see the imaginary friend of the other inmate, which calms Helzinger. Ed then sees Jim pass by the common room’s doors and the two have a not-so-friendly meeting.

Overhearing Strange and Peabody converse about Jim, Ed interrupts and offers his help to bring down Jim. Strange rejects him, but Ed claims that every person has a story. Strange suddenly gets an inspired thought and leaves.

Strange looks through the Dumas book and discovers that Theo needs a story in order to cure him mentally. Strange enters the reanimation chamber where he’s quickly attacked by Theo. Strange pretends to be Theo’s father and makes a claim that Theo is Azrael.

Bruce gets confirmation from Jim that Strange is most likely the one who murdered his parents. Bruce is angered about the red tape obstructing his goal. He thinks that justice may only be gained with the killing of Strange. Jim tells Bruce that killing Strange will only make him the same as his enemy. He promises Bruce that he’ll get Barnes to sign the necessary paperwork to arrest Strange.

Strange has Theo watch a series of videos about Azrael and the Order of St. Dumas — brainwashing him and making him believe that he is actually Azrael. Strange plans to send Theo out into the public when he’s ready.

Peabody and her orderlies retrieve Helzinger. Before the common room door closes, Ed slyly jams it with his newspaper. He follows them out and discovers that Strange must be using a secret passageway.

Helzinger is brought into the reanimation chamber with Theo waiting. Strange brings out a silver chest and tells Theo that Helzinger is a demon that needs to be vanquished. Theo takes the chest and brutally knocks out Helzinger. Strange actually wanted Theo to open the chest and use the sword, which is soon revealed. Strange claims that the sword is an ancient weapon, and gives him the mission to kill Jim.

Jim visits Barnes while he’s finishing up a press conference. Barnes is angered that Jim is still pursuing Strange, but Bruce’s presence and questioning force Barnes to listen to Jim’s reasons. As the two talk, Azrael leaps down. In the darkness, Azrael introduces himself and draws his sword. Jim and Barnes raise their guns. The two fire at Azrael when he advances. When Azrael is about to kill Jim, Harvey and a team of cops race in. Azrael retreats with speed and agility. Barnes now wants to know more about Azrael.

The Van Dahl home is now in ruins. The bodies of Penguin’s step-family are still strewn about. He watches television and images of Azrael catch his eye.

Azrael runs into old posters of himself when he was campaigning as Theo Galavan. This causes Azrael to have a series of flashbacks about his old life.

Barnes briefs his officers on going after Azrael. Jim is adamant in assisting, but Barnes has him put in a cell.

Strange, after seeing the results of Azrael, now wants to install “personas” into all his experiments via stories.

At GCPD, the lights are suddenly cut. Azrael storms in through the windows and calls for Jim. Azrael threatens to kill all of Barnes’s officers if Jim isn’t produced. Seeing that his orders are being refused, Azrael proceeds in carrying out his ultimatum. As Azrael gets closer, Barnes has Jim released. However, Azrael grabs a hold of Jim and is ready to execute him. Barnes leaps in and tackles Azrael. Both Jim and Barnes unload a clip into him, but Azrael gets right back up.

Barnes forces Azrael to chase after him while Jim gets a “bigger” gun. On the rooftop, Barnes, using a metal rod, faces off with Azrael. Azrael becomes distracted when his sword breaks after hitting Barnes’s metal rod. Barnes uses this advantage and gets an upper hand on him, eventually unmasking Azrael. When Barnes sees Theo revealed, Theo stabs Barnes with his broken sword. Jim arrives and fires his shotgun at Theo, causing him to fall off the roof and onto a news van below. Theo gets up from his fall and his image is broadcast during a live news report.

Jim runs to Barnes who gives him a few words and then falls unconscious. As the paramedics arrive and wheel him out, Jim tells Harvey that Azrael is Theo.

In separate scenes, we see Bruce, Barbara, and Tabitha watch television, and their reactions to Theo’s resurrection.

At Arkham, Ed finds Strange’s secret elevator. Riding it down, he discovers a long hallway housing Strange’s various human experiments.

Up high on a bridge, Azrael watches Gotham City.

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

Best Moment: Although I’m not keen on the way Azrael was created, I will have to say that the initial scenes of him swiftly fighting and escaping were pretty nicely choreographed.

Final Thoughts: I’m not sure I’m liking the fact that Hugo Strange is responsible for the creation of all of Gotham City’s villains. The show has also bastardized the history of many villains. With one of the final scenes showing Strange reading from Alice in Wonderland, I’m guessing his next move is to create the Mad Hatter. Does that mean every single future villain is rooted in a story inserted by Strange?