Director: Rob Bailey
Writers: Jordan Harper
Air Date: May 16, 2016
*This review contains spoilers! Score and Non-Spoilers at the bottom!*
Well, it’s time for the penultimate episode of the season, which while a big improvement from last season could get REALLY silly sometimes. Two weeks ago, we had the dramatic reveal of Azrael who brutally took down many officers and looking badass while doing it. Then last week that badass knight turned into a stereotypical slasher movie villain when he went after Bruce Wayne… Then was blown up by Butch with a rocket launcher. Its patterns like this that make the season really hit or miss with me. Bruce Wayne now is leading a group into Arkham to save Selina(which is Bruce’s fault for getting her trapped), but with Hugo Strange in control, anything can happen. So what happens? Let’s find out...
We open the episode with Selina dodging the attack from Firefly… and remember how excited I was last week? No more. She acts like a devout to a god of fire… Not a pyromaniac… Someone who, and I quote, “Wants to sacrifice her to the fire god”... WHAT?! Anyway, she’s able to get away while Hugo begins planning to awake Fish Mooney. Meanwhile, Harvey has been made temporary Captain of the GCPD, which makes for some humorous lines, but still can’t pull the strings to arrest Strange. As Jim goes off to go alone, Bruce shows up and tells him that Strange has Selina trapped in Arkham and he needs help.
Gordon and Bruce meet back up with Alfred and Lucius and begin planning on how to actually get in, find the monster lab, and save Selina. Lucius points out that if people are being revived there has to be a radioactive isotope involved. With that in mind, he’s going to get a miniature Geiger counter to find a path to the lab while Bruce distracts Strange while Gordon finds the lab. Smart plan… EXCEPT THEY DON’T TAKE ALFRED! Look I understand that they were trying to make a discreet in and out, but Alfred would be more helpful than Jim Gordon in said scenario since Jim has been around every other week!
Back with Hugo, he puts Fish into the machine and turns up the voltage… a few hours later she’s kicking, but to the shock of EVERYONE, it’s revealed that something that is different in her genetic makeup. What’s that mean? She retains her memories AND her powers, which is mind control through touch. She’s put in a cell… And that’s it. Yup. The trailer was promoting the return of Fish and we got about 2 scenes of her. She’ll probably play a bigger part in the finale, but that sort of thing should have been a surprise.
When the Wayne Crew get to the Asylum, Bruce and Lucius play their parts and make their way into the asylum as Jim just gets by every guard… even though he is using his old ID… and he’s a frequent guest… I’m pretty sure that it’s made clear that this is a friggin trap for our team! While Gordon snoops, Bruce and Strange talk over the deaths of the Waynes. During the talk, it becomes more and more clear that Strange is confessing, as well as a warning: Go down this path of finding out the truth, you’re going to die. Bruce accepts this and, big shock, Hugo orders them all captured!
As the group is moved to their respective cells,we see Selina trying to break out of Firefly’s cell, until the “God of Fire” comes to after getting knocked out. Selina tries to fry her but we see that Firefly’s new power thanks to the experiment: Fire-proof skin. Selina realizes how screwed she is, she comes up with a new plan by begging to be her acolyte. There’s no way that could possibly work since Firefly had been trying to burn her alive the entire time, right? RIGHT!? Well, it does and the pair plans to escape.
While Hugo plans on how to get rid of Jim Gordon, it’s revealed who has been the one ordering Strange to do these experiments… THE COURT OF OWLS! And it’s at this point I nearly spat out my coke in shock and awe… and also disappointment. Don’t get me wrong, not only does them being here make perfect sense to the story, it also sets up a much bigger and sinister threat to Season 3. My only problem is… well… the masks. I understand that it’s hard to talk in the face covering court masks, but to replace them with this masquerade ball like mask looks more silly than petrifying. It’s a nitpick, but it’s gonna bother me for a while. Anyway, the court is prepared to pull the plug until Hugo reveals that Fish came back with memory intact. They are pleased and orders him to get the research moving to another lab upstate, and destroy the current lab to cover their tracks.
The episode ends with Bullock and Alfred prepping the Strike Force to take the Asylum, Lucius and Bruce being threatened by Nygma to spill what they know, and Jim’s head being shoved into a machine for a few minutes. Why? Well one of the newest experiments, Basil, can “be like a chameleon”. Hugo puts the machine on Basil’s head, and in a quick minute, Basil has a copy of Jim’s face… Not the most accurate representation of Clayface, but it will do.
Bits and Pieces
This episode was a balance on the line of dark and silly. While we do have outrageous character moments with Firefly, Clayface, and the short rebirth of Fish Mooney, we see our heroes go through a tense incursion into the Asylum, as well as the reveal of the true big bads behind Indian Hill. All we can do now is head into the finale and hope that it comes together rather than the other arcs of the season(See the death of Azrael see what I mean!)