A Look at Gotham- Season 2 Finale: “Wrath of the Villains: Transference”

Okay, so Gotham’s finest are headed for Arkham Asylum.  Jim Gordon, Bruce Wayne, Selina Kyle, and Lucius Fox are already in and have been captured in their attempt to take down Hugo Strange.  Meanwhile, Strange receives orders from his superiors to move things along and shut down Indian Hill.  And with a limited window of time, this should make for a pretty hectic and exciting finale.

Not really, but hey, what do I know?

Transference- Clayface tells GCPD to stand down

The episode begins with GCPD arriving at Arkham.  Just as the officers are prepared to blow open the gates, Jim-Clayface walks out and tells the officers to stand down.  Of course, the real Jim is still captured.  Strange sets his detonation device and tells Peabody to prepare the patients for transfer to the upstate facility.

Transference- Nygma still playing games with Bruce and Lucius

Nygma is still playing Life or Death with Bruce and Lucius.  He gives them five minutes to answer one question: who runs Indian Hill?

Transference- Strange gives Gordon an honesty serum

Strange injects Gordon with an honesty serum to find out what Gordon knows.  Gordon now feels vulnerable and naked, as he’s in a helpless situation.  Jim doesn’t understand, but what can he do?  Jim starts talking about his plan to check in with the GCPD, but Strange knows.  Plus, he did check in with the officers.

Transference- Bullock asks fake Jim about Hugo Strange

Back at GCPD, Jim tells Bullock that Arkham was a dead end due to Strange’s connections with strong people that GCPD can’t cross.  Clayface, by the way, has a weird tick in his face that ought to be clue people in that this might not be the real Jim Gordon, but it isn’t.

Transference- Nygma asks Bruce and Lucius about who runs Wayne Enterprises

One minute left and Bruce guesses that Wayne Enterprises runs Indian Hill.  Correct.  Just one more question and five more minutes: if Wayne Enterprises runs Indian Hill, then who runs Wayne Enterprises?

Transference- Fish taunts Peabody

As the patient transfer continues, Fish tries to get her hand on Peabody, but fails.  She tries taunting Peabody and even brings up her mama, but you better not talk about Peabody’s mama.

Transference- Barbara helps Penguin pick a spot for Grace's head

Barbara helps Penguin sets Grace’s head in an appropriate spot at the mansion, but Butch isn’t of any help.  Interior design isn’t his thing.  The news then conveniently reports the raid at Arkham Asylum.

Transference- Strange absolves Gordon of his sins

Strange continues getting secrets out of Jim, such as the guilt for his father’s death and loss of Leslie’s child.  Jim still loves and wants to be with Leslie, but he’s put her through enough pain.  Strange advises Jim to relax and imagine that he is God.  Strange-God absolves Jim of his guilt and takes away his burdens with a tap on the shoulder.  With that, Jim now feels better.

Now that the two are relaxed, Strange asks what Jim knows about Indian Hill.  All Jim knows is that Strange is building monsters, but then Strange asks who owns Wayne Enterprises and runs Gotham behind the scenes?  Jim assumes the rich, but Strange asks if Jim knows about a secret council.

He hasn’t, and that’s good enough for Strange.  And now, time is up.  Strange doesn’t see a future for Jim Gordon.  Instead, he has a few hours.

Transference- Lucius and Bruce guess wrong

Bruce and Lucius, meanwhile, have 30 seconds.  Lucius incorrectly guesses that the Board of Directors run Wayne Enterprises.  The reward is death by poison gas.  That’s worse than losing Plinko.  Lucius and Bruce soon collapse.  Bruce finds himself reliving an abridged version of his storyline leading up to this point.

Transference- Bruce and Lucius awaken next to Jim

The two soon awaken next to Jim, who tells the two that Strange drugged him.  Jim apologizes for making that naïve oath to Bruce.  He was a fool.

Transference- Strange is told to continue the evacuation of subjects

Strange congratulates Nygma on his work.  There’s much to learn from a madman like Nygma, but not right now.  Ed is still insane, so he’s hauled back into his cell.  Strange tells his superior that Bruce and Jim don’t know anything about the secret council.  The superior orders Strange to kill them and continue the evacuation of test subjects.  No more experiments will see the light of day.

Transference- Alfred asks fake Jim about Bruce

Not-Jim Gordon doesn’t give Bullock any information.  Just when it seems like Bullock has uncovered something, Alfred arrives and wants to know Bruce’s whereabouts.  As for Strange, it’s complicated.

Transference- Selina will leave when she's ready

Selina somehow survived long enough to be brought to the holding room to check on Bruce.  She knows that the asylum will be blown up soon.  Bruce wants her to leave and he apologizes for using her.  Selina, though, thinks she has Bruce wrapped around her finger and will leave on her own accord.  It helps that she’ll have Bridgit at her side.  Selina, just go.

Transference- Peabody about to inject Fish

As Peabody is ready to inject Fish, Mooney gets her magic touch and has Peabody under her control.  If Peabody frees Fish, she’ll be her friend.

Transference- Peabody tries to stop Strange from starting the detonation sequence

Strange finds Miss Peabody under Fish’s control.  He finds her power marvelous.  If the subjects appeared in public, it would cause an apocalypse.  Strange pleads for her to stay, but Fish instead sends Mooney after Strange.  Strange starts the detonation sequence and knocks out Peabody in the process.  The security systems activate and Fish isn’t fast enough to slip out.

Transference- Barbara asks fake Jim about Hugo Strange

Jim maintains that Strange is clean, though Alfred finds his behavior weird.  Bullock considers sending Strike Force back to Arkham.  Then Barbara, for whatever reason, strolls into the GCPD to have a word with Gordon about what’s going on at Arkham because her friend is concerned.

Barbara is surprised that Jim likes her again and is apparently over Leslie, which gives away that this Jim is a fake.  With one slap, Clayface is exposed.

Transference- Mr. Freeze versus Firefly

Strange orders Victor to kill the others, starting with Selina, but Bridgit stands in Victor’s way.  So, looks like Bridgit has her memory back.  There’s an interesting face-off: Firefly versus Mr. Freeze.  So Selina slips out to help Bruce, Jim, and Lucius escape.  15 minutes left until detonation.  Strange, for whatever reason, runs right in the crosshairs of Victor and Bridgit’s streams.

Transference- Barbara calls Penguin

As Bullock assembles Strike Force yet again, Barbara fills in Penguin on Hugo Strange.  He and Butch head for Arkham.

Transference- Strange tells Jim about the bomb

Apparently, being frozen and burned did nothing to Hugo Strange, as he’s not dead.  Within 10 minutes, the building will explode and Strange didn’t use this window of time to remove the radioactive material.  He doesn’t want to release what’s down there or risk the possibility of a radioactive cloud.  Strange would rather die.  Luckily, Nygma knows a way down there.

Transference- Jim orders Nygma to show him the entrance to Indian Hill

As Jim orders Bruce and Selina to leave, he then instructs Nygma to unlock the secret entrance to Indian Hill.  He triggers the security system, which also gives Fish an opportunity to escape that she doesn’t take just yet.  Instead, she swipes the bus because she always wanted to drive one.

Transference- Jim defuses a bomb with some water

Jim and Lucius arrive in Indian Hill and locate the bomb.  Despite having never diffused one, the two try to stop it when Peabody awakens and mentions water.  Jim pours some water into the core and short circuits the bomb with one second to go.  Oh, and Peabody needs some water.

I can’t believe it was actually that easy.

Transference- Jim tells Bullock about Indian Hill's monsters

While the bomb is diffused, Nygma is still stuck and Strange is carted away.  Gordon tells Bullock that Strange’s monsters in Indian Hill have escaped.  Luckily, GCPD is in pursuit of Fish and her getaway bus.  Bullock instructs all officers to converge on the bus.

Transference- Fish surprises Penguin

Fish soon finds herself surrounded, but she hits the gas and drives towards a police cruiser.  That’s when Butch, Penguin, and their posse unloads with machine guns, causing the bus to jump two cruisers and crash.  Penguin thinks that he’ll be facing Strange, but Fish touches and knocks him out instead.  Butch retreats.  He’s seen enough crazy shit.

Transference- Bruce tells Alfred that he wants to find out more about this secret council

Jim tells Bruce that he has to leave Gotham so he can find Leslie.  He then tells Bruce to say goodbye to Bullock, who is in the middle of giving orders to the police.  With that, Jim leaves.  Alfred tells Bruce that this is the end of his adventures with the police, but Bruce wants to know about this secret council that wants him dead.

Transference- Bullock stops Jim

Bullock catches up to Jim, who isn’t about to stay in Gotham.  Instead, Jim reminds Bullock that he is in charge of the GCPD right now.  Good friend that he is, Jim takes off in Bullock’s car.

Transference- Woman about to free subjects from bus

A woman walks up to the bus and unlocks the hatch on the bus, letting loose the crazies from Indian Hill.  Why have no police secured or searched the bus?  Anyway, one of the subjects thanks the woman as the experimentations head into the city as the second season of Gotham comes to a close.

Oh, if you listen carefully, you can hear Jerome’s laugh.  Not a new one- just one the show spliced in from “The Blind Fortune Teller.”

So, this was a season.  This was an episode where everything and everyone converged on Indian Hill.  Hugo Strange had already released some of his creations on Gotham City and others are now free to roam the city at their leisure.  The once dead Fish Mooney now lives to potentially reclaim her spot in Gotham’s crime elite.  And both Jim and Bruce are aware of a secret society running things behind the scenes.

Transference- Court of Owls woman tells Strange to kill the others

So where’s the sense of urgency or real care for any of this?  This finale felt like it was in such a rush to wrap up plotlines and set up things that will have a payoff in Season Three.  That’s hard to do when Gotham juggles so many storylines and events that it’s hard to grow attached to any of them.

Transference- Strange asks Jim if he knows who runs Gotham

It didn’t help that we’ve got villains doing stupid things.  Why would both Strange and Nygma bring up an organization that runs Wayne Enterprises and tip off Gordon and Bruce that there’s an even bigger threat?  Sure, the Court of Owls was coming anyway, but Strange and Nygma showed their hand when they revealed this.

Transference- Bruce has a mystery to solve

But then, I guess Bruce has to have something to occupy his time since it seems like he’ll be uncovering new information about the death of his parents long after he finally becomes Batman.

Transference- Jim has to find Leslie

And Jim isn’t even interested because his sights are set on Leslie.  Admirable for him to care for her still, but this storyline dropped off once Jim went to prison.  All we’ve heard about Leslie since then has come from other people and there’s still the fact that she apparently lost her baby off-screen.  Jim’s just been focused on clearing his name and helping Bullock and Bruce.

Why now does he decide to find Leslie?  The timing just feels odd.  He tells Strange that he’s put Leslie through enough pain, so then why not just let her go?  She’s questioned Jim’s morality several times and figured out that he lied to her.  Does Jim even deserve to have Leslie’s trust right now?  Because this relationship took a back seat to other storylines, it’s hard to feel invested after being thrown back into it.

Transference- Clayface

As long as I’m talking about Jim, I may as well get Clayface out of the way.  Not the most subtle performance, this Clayface.  The mannerisms, verbal cues, and how he didn’t know certain things about Jim Gordon should have tipped off Bullock, given how long he’s known Jim.

Transference- Barbara realizes that she's not talking to the real Jim

And yet, it’s only because Barbara brought up Leslie that she figures out that this is not the Jim she knew.  Okay, that’s some good foresight, and shows that Clayface needs work on his impersonations, but I have one question: how can Barbara just waltz into the GCPD with no problem?  Even if she claims that Strange rehabilitated her, no one gives it a second thought that she enters the precinct specifically to find Jim.

Transference- Strange wants to leave

You’d think that Strange would be more willing to listen to his superiors and move faster when GCPD was right outside Arkham’s gates.  But he took his sweet-ass time with that bomb and curled into a ball.  Forget removing the radioactive material when he had the chance or starting the detonation earlier.

Transference- Strange would rather die

All of a sudden, he didn’t want to release what was in Indian Hill?  He’d already unleashed Azrael and Mr. Freeze, not to mention letting Firefly have a test run now that she’s been brought back.  Now he’s worried about the monsters?  Seems like a stretch that he’d be fearful of some creations, but not be worried at all that someone like Azrael would draw suspicion to him, which he did.

He’s less calm and collected than he’s been since his introduction.  And that irks me because his situation didn’t seem as dire as he made it out to be.  Maybe if he hadn’t spent so much time stalling, he wouldn’t have fallen apart.  But he’s alive by episode’s end, so Hugo Strange is still a player in Gotham right now.

Transference- Fish tells Penguin that nothing is impossible

As is Fish Mooney, and make of that what you will.  Okay, so she has this ability.  What’s she going to do now?  Is she going back to being a crime lord?  Who knows?  Frankly, I don’t care.  I expected her to take Penguin with her, but she left him on the ground.  Is he under her control or just knocked out?

Transference- Penguin, Butch, and the wrecking crew

Hell, Penguin was only here to get back at Hugo Strange.  That rocket launcher Butch used on Galavan would have been handy, but I suppose a gatling gun will do.

Transference- Jim gets lucky

Oh, and how Lucius and Jim defused the bomb with water.  Okay, that’s just plain cartoony.  At least when Gordon threw water at The Electrocutioner, that was at least somewhat plausible.  Here, the two are in a dire situation and only through miscommunication do they attempt to use water, only to learn that they got lucky.  What the hell, Gotham?  What hell?

Transference- Peabody clashes with Fish Mooney, bitch

Side-note, Miss Peabody is an original character I would love to see return, if just for her dry, sarcastic tone.

Again, there was no urgency with this finale, despite Gotham wanting me to feel that there was.  With Fish Mooney back on the scene, the Court of Owls now on Bruce Wayne’s radar, and some of Strange’s creations let loose, it’s clear that the villains are still rising in Gotham City.  This season started on a high note and I do consider it an improvement from Season One, if just for the serialized approach.

While I think this season of Gotham had a better time finding its voice and identity, problems still linger with tone, writing, and making me care about some of these characters.  Both this season and this finale are improvements from the first season, so hopefully Gotham continues this approach and works out its kinks as we look ahead to Season Three.

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