Season 2, Episode 13: “A Dead Man Feels No Cold”
Directed by Eagle Eglisson
Written by Seth Boston
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Mr. Freeze” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “This Ball of Mud and Meanness” – click here
Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) lead the GCPD Strike Force to Ace Chemicals, one of the manufacturers of the helium Victor Fries (Nathan Darrow) requires. The villain’s already left a trail of frozen cop bodies. One is marked with FREE MY WIFE. The demands are crystal clear.
At Wayne Manor, Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) receives a visit from Dr. Lee Thompkins (Morena Baccarin). She’s there by request of Alfred (Sean Pertwee), concerned for the young billionaire after being “violently abducted.” They worry the kid feels trauma. Yet Bruce said it made him feel “intensely alive.” Weird, fun kid. He’s still hellbent on finding the killer of his parents, too.
Captain Barnes (Michael Chiklis) is unhappy with the Fries situation. He rightly figures if they don’t release Nora (Kristen Hager), Victor will come for them. The only solution they can decide on is taking Nora to Arkham, for security issues, and as bait. Not a great option, just an option.
This brings Hugo Strange (BD Wong) into the mix. He sees it all as an opportunity, hoping to extract a bit of Fries’s expertise. He’s a mix of professor and psychopath and doctor. On a radio the husband hears where his wife is being transported, already knowing it’s meant as a trap. Victor is preparing some truly nasty things.
At Arkham, Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) is having a hard time. He’s being strapped into a chair for a little bit of the ole rehabilitation. This involves a strange headset, one that helps calm the patient, y’know. Makes them docile, easy to manage, which includes a few shocks and zaps and horrible torture.
Nora arrives with Jim, Bullock, Lee, and the cops at the asylum. Director Strange is accommodating them every step of the way, he and Ms. Peabody (Tonya Pinkins). Turns out they’ve got Mrs. Fries shacking up with Barbara Kean (Erin Richards); no worries, she’s pretty much “Sleeping Beauty,” so they’re told. Outside, Jim and Harvey set the cops up at strategic points making sure every spot is covered for when Victor lays siege to the place. Gordon also sees Penguin a moment, an encounter Hugo witnesses from his cameras inside – the little man isn’t happy, having lied for the detective and now he’s being tortured.
At Wayne Manor, Alfred gives over information on a Patrick Malone to young Bruce. He wants to know what the boy wants to do if they find him. Bruce says kill him, and the butler tries telling him that is not the way to serve justice for Thomas and Martha. Alfred says he will be the one to the burden of any murder.
Soon begins the assault on Arkham. A man frozen to the wheel of a truck is sent flying into the cop barricade. Simultaneously, Victor freezes a wall and bursts through it. He’s armed with a massive suit, his freeze gun, and a bunch of neat little freeze gadgets. Upstairs, Hugo Strange is further manipulating things, using Arkham as is his little playground, trapping some of the cops in certain blocks. Except for Jim who manages to sneak through before Bullock and the others are cut off.
Strange speaks to Fries through the intercom. He offers an olive branch. So long as Victor leaves some of his “cryonic formula.” Hmm, a devious exchange. Very obvious, more and more, how Director Strange isn’t entirely devoted to rehabilitation so much as he has his own villainous plans.
Jim reaches Lee and Nora, just as Victor finds them, holding Dt. Gordon at freeze-gunpoint. Another exchange is made, setting Jim apart from Lee, who goes with the Fries’. They’re gone before anybody can catch them. But the cops know he has to go home, he needs the cryogenic chamber for Nora.
But at home, Nora switches over the cartridges in Victor’s gun, to one of the older ones. He goes ahead, freezing her whole. He doesn’t yet realise the damage he’ll do rather than the help he hopes to give his dying wife. After a few minutes, he sees her beginning to crack and fall apart, her body begins breaking down in front of him. This drives him mad.
Out on the street, the GCPD are waiting for Fries. Then Mr. Freeze decides to chill himself to deal with his ice grenades, before Jim finds the husband and wife dead, frozen to death. Later on, at Indian Hill, Hugo welcomes Victor to his facility; he is presumed dead, yet very much alive, so long as he’s kept at the right temperature. “Anything above freezing will kill you,” Strange tells him. That is until they’ve tooled his suit up correctly, to allow him mobility once again.
“Death is a new beginning”
Pretty intense and at times emotional episode. Also, really love the Christmasy-type piano tune they use for the Fries theme. Beautiful, haunting. This was a fantastic chapter in the second half of Season 2.
“This Ball of Mud and Meanness” comes next, very interesting title; looking forward to seeing how it plays out.