Season 2, Episode 12: “Mr. Freeze”
Directed by Nick Copus
Written by Ken Woodruff
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Worse Than a Crime” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “A Dead Man Feels No Cold” – click here
Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) is dealing with the aftermath of everything concerning Theo Galavan, Father Creel, the Order of St. Dumas, Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz). He explains his own arrest, how everything happened. He even tells his superiors about Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) showing up, taking Theo. But he lies about what actually happened next. Then Jim left the city, using Dr. Lee Thompkins (Morena Baccarin) and her pregnancy as an excuse. He straight up denies having anything to do with Galavan’s murder.
Once more, Jim lands on his feet. Captain Barnes (Michael Chiklis) isn’t entirely sure about his main detective, even if all went well with the investigation. Both he and Harvey Dent (Nicholas D’Agosto) aren’t so positive that Dt. Gordon was telling the truth.
In the meantime, the “crime lord” Cobblepot is hobbling around in the shadowy parts of Gotham, a wanted man. Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) is keeping his crazy at a manageable level. Butch (Drew Powell) is doing new, exciting things with his stump in lieu of his boss being around, and he’s received a visit from Tabitha (Jessica Lucas). She said she’s made him a “free man.” She wants to find a new team to work with, so she’s ingratiating herself to him in some strange, twisted, sexual ways.
GCPD officers are looking for suspects in the recent abduction. One of them comes across a suspicious man at his vehicle. When she tries looking inside, she finds a frozen body, strange equipment. This is Victor Fries (Nathan Darrow), and he freezes her, too, escaping before more officers show up. Here he is, in all his frozen glory!
Next day, Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) fills Jim in on the strange case of the dead, frozen cop. Weird. So, they’ve got Nygma doing his thing in the lab. He uses liquid nitrogen to freeze a rose, extrapolating data that tells him the suspect had to be using “super–cooled liquid helium.” That’s the only way a body could’ve frozen so quick. In between it all we get a bit more of psycho Ed, though he reins it in. When Dt. Bullock leaves, Dt. Gordon has a quick talk with Nygma about Penguin, how they came together recently, so Ed tells him the basics. I wonder if Jim’s going to start sniffing around about Dougherty eventually.
Right around that time Penguin is brought in by Cpt. Barnes and the Strike Force. The cap tells everybody to stop gawking and clapping. He’s not one for fanfare, he only wants justice done. Interesting, we’ll see things heat up around the precinct with Cobblepot in cuffs.
Barnes sits Penguin down and questions him. Oswald confesses to the murder of Theo Galavan, saying he’s insane. While the cap sees this as proof, he still doesn’t seem satisfied, nothing is sitting well about the whole story with him. Regardless, Dt. Gordon’s got himself a pass, again.
What of Victor, anyway? We see him go home to his ailing wife Nora (Kristen Hager) in bed. They’re very much in love. Victor is leading double lives, caring for Nora and trying to cure her, as well as out on the streets experimenting on people; she believes it’s mice, not humans. That’s some twisted shit. At the same time, Detectives Bullock and Gordon are trying to figure out the abductions, curious as to what this man is doing with these people he takes. At home in his lab, Victor has a curious collection, to say the least.
Quietly, Ed talks to Oswald through the bars of his cell, the latter knowing he’s “beyond help.” Penguin asks only that Ed take care of his mom’s grave, give her a visit from time to time. We see a genuine friendship has developed between these two. However, the little man has to go: he’s headed for Arkham Asylum. When he arrives he’s insulted in the cafeteria. He takes the time to announce himself as “King of Gotham,” though it gets only laughs. Just more insults he must bear.
Gordon and Bullock go to see Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk), who tells them about cryogenics, so on. Lots of programs such as that were shut down by Thomas Wayne. Nothing too public, of course, mostly hush hush. Gives them a lead, anyway.
Victor has mastered the freeze. What he needs to figure out is how to bring a person back from the freeze, so that he can do the same for his wife after curing her illness. His latest experiment seems to have worked; for a moment. After that it all turns to shit, almost literally. And with each failed experiment is one more murder, one more thing driving him crazier. Simultaneously, Nora’s getting worse, coughing up blood and unable to breathe. It’s all a desperate race against time.
When Victor goes to get Nora’s prescription refilled, the pharmacist gives him a hard time, and he gets a bit upset. More than upset, really. Because you just know he’s going to do something harsh, likely very rash. He comes back, freezing both the security guard and the pharmacist, after getting the pills required. All part of the experiment, or so he rationalises it to himself.
While Victor is loading the frozen men into his vehicle, Bullock and Gordon and more police aren’t far behind. They wind up smashing the frozen guard to bits after he’s left in the road as a distraction. Grisly, I love it. Afterwards, they get the Fries’s address from a pill bottle in the pharmacy.
At Arkham, Penguin meets with Hugo Strange (BD Wong), Chief of Psychiatry at the asylum. The two of them sit down for a little talk about Oswald adjusting to life inside those walls. We mostly get a good look at the sinister aura surrounding Hugo, every moment he’s onscreen there is an eerie atmosphere. Especially when he speaks of “rehabilitation” to Penguin. Further than that, Penguin starts seeing that Arkham is no joke. He’s playing the insane card, but there are actual insane, psychotic men behind held in that place.
Nora soon goes down into her husband’s lab, discovering it isn’t mice he’s been experimenting on this whole time. It near puts her into a fit. Not long later, Jim and Harvey come to the door, finding the terrified wife downstairs with the corpses. Victor watches down the street while his home is turned into a crime scene, his wife taken away by the police. This might turn into something wild.
The detectives question Nora at the PD. Soon, Victor shows up to talk with Gordon. He wants to confess to his crimes. Appears he has to join the random crazies from the street who are there admitting the same thing. Such is life in Gotham City! Problem being he also has his wife’s pills. Hope things don’t get troubling on that end. It’s then that one of the frozen victims gets up, walking around. Victor gets to witness his experiment up close, working wonders. He decides on a different plan than turning himself over to the cops.
We also get a glimpse of Indian Hill again. And Hugo’s intrigued to hear about the supposed Mr. Freeze, a name coined by the Gotham Gazette.
Intense, fun episode. Creepy, too. Glad to see Hugo Strange around, as well as Victor and Nora Fries. Great characters to see introduced into the world of Gotham!
“A Dead Man Feels No Cold” is up next at Bat (get it?).