Gotham (2013) season 2, episode 12
WRITER: KEN WOODRUFF
DIRECTOR: NICK COPUS
AIR DATE: February 29 2016
Season two of Gotham, having had taken a considerable break, returns with a new episode, "Mr. Freeze", picking up some time after the previous episode. There’s also a new subtitle for the second half of the season. Where the first half carried the subtitle "Rise of the Villains", this half bears the subtitle "Wrath of the Villains". The first half ended with the death of Theo Galavan, as well as a glimpse of the title villain of this episode.
Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) finds himself the object of suspicion- considering he was involved in Galavan’s death. The Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) takes the fall for Gordon - with a reason that has him bound for Arkham Asylum, but the tension between Gordon and Captain Barnes (Michael Chiklis) persists. Gordon and Bullock’s work has them hunting for mysterious deaths and kidnappings, and the audience sees the reason behind it - Victor Fries (Nathan Darrow) is using his freezing technology in an effort to cure his wife Nora (Kristen Hager) of a mysterious disease. As the episode unfolds, the essence of an early Mr. Freeze certainly comes across well- the way Victor is written and through Darrow’s performance conveys the sense of the character much as we would expect of him from comics lore - and unlike Schwarzenegger’s performance as Freeze in the abomination that was Batman and Robin, this is a live action Mr. Freeze that feels believable.
There’s another villain making his debut this time out, and it involves interesting casting. Hugo Strange is a major villain in the comics, and he was mentioned briefly in the previous episode. Here we meet him as a psychiatrist at Arkham, and he’s played by B.D. Wong, the character actor one might remember as from Law and Order Special Victims Unit, or as the amoral scientist in Jurassic Park. Strange also has a hand in Indian Hill, the secretive Wayne Enterprises facility where dark experiments are being carried out. Wong is a curious casting choice - it’s a bit of a race switch - but he gives the character a good mix of politeness and menace lurking beneath the surface. And he certainly has the look of the comics character - a fringe of beard, bald head, and shaded glasses. It appears that Strange is going to be a bigger player as the season goes on. We’ll see what he has in store.