Gotham: Mr. Freeze brings Bruno Heller’s prequel-verse back with BD Wong and and order of fries…or two. Of course that means little if one has not seen the episode and watched Harvey Bullock lording it over Jim Gordon for mispronouncing Mr. Freeze’s real name.
Bullock: “Oh, uh, one more thing. What’s the correct pronunciation of your last name?”
Nora: “It’s Fries.”
Bullock: “Fries. Thank you.”
To Gordon (both smug and accusatory): “Told you.”
The storyline of Nora and Victor Fries is sad, tragic and horrific. It is easy to feel a mixture of emotions when Victor heads to the pharmacy to get pills for his wife only to be met by the kind of pharmacist that deserves to be frozen into a giant douche-cicle. One can feel empathy for a man who cares desperately for his wife plus a certain satisfaction that the nasty bloke at counter has no idea who he is dealing with really deserved his fate.
In the pharmacy scene Freeze, after throwing the medicine bottle at the pharmacist, quotes the Terminator:
“I’ll be back.”
Of course, just as James Cameron’s villain in the 1984 film does, Fries returns to dispense death. While not on the same scale as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character does in the film, Mr. Freeze goes on to deliver his lethalness with extreme prejudice. He also mentions that his two victims can help to save his wife.
After Fries leaves the pharmacy with the frozen stiffs in the back of his blue van, James Gordon and Harvey Bullock give chase. Leaving the frozen “sidekick” in the middle of the road causes an accident. The two detectives smash into the corpse-cicle and while the main body smashes into lots of little pieces, part of the deceased smashes into the windshield, giving new meaning to the phrase “heads up.”
Penguin is caught by Barnes and after being questioned by the chief, Cobblepot backs up Gordon’s version of events in relation to Galavan’s death. Nygma promises to look after Oswald’s mother’s grave and the “King of Gotham” is escorted to Arkham Asylum.
In terms of “yuck” factor Victor’s experiment with the one victim who horrifically melts into a running conglomeration of brownish-red fluid and bone wins as most visceral and disturbing death yet. Even more upsetting than a drunken Butch getting his arm chopped off by Cobblepot. Although, the poor inmate that claws his eyes out may be more horrific the sight is more gory than yucky.
Drew Powell’s drill-handed Butch, aka the new King of Gotham, and his pairing up with the beautiful but deadly Tabitha Galavan (Jessica Lucas) is deliciously perfect, as was that imagery of his spinning drill with her knife forcing it slowly down.
Just as perfect was BD Wong‘s pairing with Miss Peabody (played by Tonya Pinkins who is currently a much nicer character on another fantasy show) as was his pronouncement that Penguin suffers from megalomania and an “unhealthy” relationship with his mother.
The big reveal was that Mr. Freeze’s experiment worked, at the end, and that Hugo Strange is rather surprised and a little displeased that someone else got his failed cryogenics program to work.
Observation of the Episode:
In the scene where Jim Gordon waits anxiously for Chief Barnes to speak after questioning Oswald Cobblepot, McKenzie’s character looks incredibly like an older Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz). Whether it is the expression on Gordon’s face or the framing of the shot, the grown man looks amazingly like Wayne. It makes one wonder if this were entirely coincidental…
A splendid start to the “back-end” of season two. Deliciously ironic, wry, tragic and, in the case of the Fries’ story, sweet. After all, who wouldn’t go around freezing total strangers if their wife was Kristen Hager and she could look like that while dying a horrid death. Major kudos to BD Wong who is killing it as Dr. Hugo Strange and he’s not even wearing a dress.
Gotham airs Mondays on FOX. Tune in.