Monday, April 18, 2016

Gotham Season 2 Episode 18 "Pinewood" Review and *SPOILERS*

Clever Girl...?

Directed by: John Stephens
Written by: Robert Hull & Megan Mostyn-Brown
Original Airdate: April 18, 2016


Well, last week’s episode certainly was interesting on all story fronts! On the “good” side of the law, we had Jim Gordon hunt down the man who framed him, Edward Nygma(who has finally entered the Riddler persona). On the darker side, Oswald lost his newfound father, and by extension, the only bridge to his new family. However when he learns that his stepfamily is the actual cause of his father’s death, he acts accordingly… He kills his stepsiblings, cooks them into a roast, and feeds them to their mother ala Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus… That’s some good referencing right there. With the final three episodes coming up, we see Gordon going after the Waynes Killer’s employer(and so that rabbit hole continues...) and Hugo Strange possibly going Dr. Frankenstein on a former Mayor of Gotham… It all kicks off though when Barbara comes a knockin! Let’s dive in and see what's up…

We open with Jim Gordon demanding to know why Barbara is out of Arkham. She claims that she’s cured, but Jim is obviously skeptical. She wants to help him locate The Lady, who sent assassins to kill Gordon for Galavan, but he tells her basically to %$^& off. When she’s gone, Gordon explains Bullock his plan, but obviously, he can’t carry a gun since he’s not technically police anymore. Bullock offers him “the whammy drawer” containing weapons such as a police baton and knuckles. Cue the vigilante montage, and he get’s the direction he needs.

Meanwhile at Wayne Manor, Bruce finally gets into his Father’s computer. He learns of a meeting he was supposed to have with a woman named Karen Jennings the day after his parents murder to talk about something called Pinewood Farms. Bruce and Alfred then head out of the city to the address of Ms. Jennings, and when they find her, we see that she has a very peculiar trait… A raptor claw for a left hand… I’m not even joking. It’s a young woman with a raptor claw for a hand… I get that Pinewood is supposed to be a genetics lab… But not want to go with something that balances? Maybe have her covered in scales and claws… Make her a reference to Killer Croc. Karen agrees to take Alfred and Bruce to the farms after much disagreement. When they arrive the place is abandoned, but Bruce quickly deduces that Karen was just leading them to this place in an attempt to break his spirit; make him give up. But we know Bruce. He has a knack for not giving in…  and getting in the crossfire of assassins. The group is able to escape, but unfortunately, the cops pick them up for trespassing charges.

Back with Gordon, he arrives at the Lady’s club, but unfortunately, it’s not only a villain’s club… but a WOMAN villain’s club. That's when captain plot convenience aka Barbara shows up and says she has a plan to get Jim his information. She goes in, but Jim playing a “totally-not-batman” style of vigilante, he goes through a back entrance, but HEY BIG SHOCK: Barbara betrays him and holds him at knife point. The Lady and Barbara tape him up and decide to gloat. The Lady reveals that she was the one who contracted Matches to kill the Waynes, but the person who hired her was nicknamed ‘The Philosopher’. That’s when ACTUAL SHOCK: Barbara tases The Lady and her guard to free Jim… That’s right, Barbara really is on the good side. However, Jim doesn’t care and leaves her alone in an alley as he goes off to free Bruce and Alfred.

Now with both groups exchanging information, they realize that not only is Karen the best chance they have at finding Pinewoods’ leader AND the one who wanted the Wayne's’ dead. They dress up and roll out to break out their Raptor handed friend before she gets put away in Blackgate, open for attack from Pinewood. They are successful in saving her, and while on route she reveals why she wanted Bruce to give up. Thomas Wayne FOUNDED Pinewood, not what it became, but still he was the one who planted the seed. Bruce, while a bit sad, knows that his father would never mean for it to go as far as it did. Before they could get her out of the city to safety, Pinewoods’ assassin shows up to kill her: Victor Fries! Jim and Alfred begin opening fire on Fries, telling the pair to run. Despite the men holding their own, Karen says “He wants me! He can have me!” and runs up to be frozen to death… What?! If this was Mr. Freeze just wrecking shiz I would understand, but he didn’t get off a single shot! IN FACT, THE SHOTGUN BLASTS FROM GORDON MADE VICTOR FALL TO HIS KNEES! HE WAS WINNING! SO WHY DID KAREN DECIDE LET HIM KILL ME! She doesn’t even do anything! She just runs up to let Freeze do what he does. KAREN! YOU HAVE A RAPTOR CLAW! YOU KILLED A MAN EARLIER IN THE EPISODE! FIGHT BACK! MAKE IT EXCITING!

In the end, Bruce wallows over the first death in his crusade, with Alfred warning him there’s more to come… but he shouldn’t give up hope on finding the man who ordered the hit. At that moment, I’m not even joking, the moment Bruce asks, “How are we going to find the philosopher?” Lucius Fox walks in with a picture of the Pinewood Team with their nicknames… and big shock: Hugo Strange’s was the philosopher… At this point, I was holding my head because of how hard the show hit me with its obviousness. Speaking of obviousness, we close out the episode with the reveal of Hugo’s most recent successful experiment, who was hidden throughout the episode… A bible verse reciting Theo Galavan, with his final words calling out to the angel AZRAEL!

Bits and Pieces:

This episode was a mess… A big silly mess. While I did like what we got about Pinewood, Barbara’s interaction with Jim, and set up for the final episodes, the plot was just so out of the blue ridiculous with the inclusion of Karen “Raptor Claw” Jenning, her actions, and the flat return of The Lady and Victor Fries really brought down the whole thing for me… I don’t want to say it’s the worst episode of the season… But it actually might, for me at least….


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