Gotham (2013) season 2, episode 17
"Into the Woods"
WRITER: REBECCA PERRY CUTTER
DIRECTOR: OZ SCOTT
AIR DATE: April 11 2016
"Into the Woods" - an interesting title for this episode of Gotham. It brings to mind the Stephen Sondheim musical - even though fortunately there is no singing (can you imagine Bullock singing ‘One For My Baby’?). And in this case, into the woods is literal, as a trip into the woods and out of the city is a pivotal aspect of the episode.
Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) is front and center for this episode, the subject of a massive manhunt by his former colleagues in the Gotham Police. Having had escaped from prison with the help of Bullock (Donal Logue), he’s determined to clear his name and find the person who framed him. That person, of course, is closer than he might expect. I like the way the partnership has evolved over time - Gordon and Bullock have come to be entirely loyal to each other.
Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) has been descending deeper into his own proverbial darkness through season two. When the character was first introduced, he was a socially awkward forensics specialist, somewhat marginalized by his police colleagues because of his own behaviour, and given to speaking in riddles, a nod to the villain he would someday become. Through that time, Gordon has generally treated Nygma better than most cops have - and yet Edward ended up setting Gordon to take a fall. His madness has deepened, and he has for all intents and purposes become the Riddler. Nygma and Gordon spend the episode in a duel of sorts, one that leads to vindication and a point of no return.
We’ve seen repeatedly through the series that it is a very bad idea to cross the Penguin. Oswald (Robin Lord Taylor) has often come out on top when adversaries have tried to get the better of him. True, he has been largely neutralized thanks to the creative therapy of Professor Strange (B.D. Wong), but as has been the case before, his malevolent side wins the day. With the death of his father, Oswald initially finds himself the object of contempt and disdain by his father’s wife and her children, and even hints of an eventual plot to end his life. Yet his solution is pure Penguin - audacious, unhinged, and horrifying.
As for Professor Strange himself, he continues to pursue his hidden agenda in terms of liberally releasing patients from Arkham. He’s already done that with Oswald; another patient this time gets a reprieve, though we have yet to see the reason. Barbara (Erin Richards) has been largely out of action lately thanks to a coma, but has woken up. Where she ends up by episode’s end leaves us with a big question.
The last remaining storyline is centered on Bruce (David Mazouz) and Selina (Camren Bicondova), though it crosses over with Gordon’s story and also brings in Alfred (Sean Pertwee). Bruce has taken to living with Selina and learning the ways of the streets. That includes the ways of crime in a way that he couldn’t learn in a cave. There’s a brief scene early on, the two youths running from a crook, having had relieved him of a large stash of cash. Racing across rooftops, jumping a gap, I’m reminded of what Bruce and Selina get to as adults. And Bruce’s tactic in ruining the day of the crook is inspired - even if it annoys Selina.
Bruce and Selina