Gotham (2013) season 2, episode 22
WRITER: BRUNO HELLER
DIRECTOR: EAGLE EGILSSON
AIR DATE: May 23 2016
"Transference" brings the second season of Gotham to a close in a big way, with that title having more than one meaning. It brings to an end, at least a sort of end, the threat that’s loomed throughout the second half of the season in the form of Professor Strange (B.D. Wong), while allowing for a return down the line. It shakes up the underworld scene in Gotham City, and ends in a way that leaves the audience scratching their head and wondering just what on earth that last scene is supposed to mean.
Basil Karlo, otherwise known as Clayface, has taken on the features of Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and left Arkham at the behest of Strange. His encounters with Bullock (Donal Logue) and Alfred (Sean Pertwee) leave them puzzled at first (it probably doesn’t quite help that the actor’s voice sounds off from what Gordon’s supposed to sound like, but it’s really more his behaviour that is off). It seems fitting that the one person who exposes him happens to be Barbara (Erin Richards).
Strange himself is busy covering his tracks at the Indian Hill sub-project at the behest of his sponsors, the Court of Owls, who haven’t been pleased by the impression that he’s losing control of affairs there. Covering his tracks in this case means the use of a bomb to blow the place up, all while removing the patients from Arkham for other destinations. It also means peril for the various characters trapped in and around Arkham, such as Gordon, Bruce (David Mazouz), Lucius (Chris Chalk), Selina (Camren Bicondova), Bridget (Michelle Ventimilla), Nygma (Cory Michael Smith), and an inevitable countdown to detonation sequence which is practically obligatory whenever a television show or movie feature explosives. Things move along swiftly throughout as the peril seems to deepen for numerous parties, but not without at least a few tidbits of vital information being given to various characters - such as the existence of Strange’s benefactors.
Transference can also be said to apply to Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith), whose return from the grave has left her changed. Her mere touch can bend someone to her will - the literal transference of will to her use - a useful power for a criminal, and particularly a criminal with plans. Those plans include some of the misfits and experimentations of Indian Hill to back her up, and a rather daring escape. In the wake of how the major elements of the episode play out, Fish has herself a confrontation with two familiar faces, one happy to see her, the other not so much at all. And we’re left with a sequence, deliberately shot with a muddled kind of way, as through the eyes of someone with poor vision. The someone in question is a witness to the final stage of the escape of those experimentations- and one such experimentation has a familiar face. One that will doom the audience to spend the time in between seasons asking, “yeah, but what?”
And so Gotham finds itself at an end for a second season, with some storylines wrapped up, others pointing to new threats in season three, and a mindbender of an ending that has the audience scratching their heads in perpetual confusion. Oh, and while Bruce is starting to come into his own, it’s still years before he’ll start donning the mantle of the Bat.