Gotham – Rise of the Villains, Episode 20: “Unleashed”

Fox’s Gotham
Season 2, Episode 20: “Unleashed”
Directed by Paul A. Edwards
Written by Danny Cannon

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Azrael” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “A Legion of Horribles” – click here
IMG_0215Dt. Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) and Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) show up at Arkham Asylum, looking for Director Hugo Strange (BD Wong) and wanting answers about Theo Galavan (James Frain) being alive, Victor Fries (Nathan Darrow) being alive. All they find is some shredded paper. Nothing else too interesting, certainly. But Jim is not going to let up, neither will Bullock, especially after they’ve come up with plenty of dirt about Pinewood Farms. But Hugo’s playing his games, toying with them. Doesn’t help that Jim is not an official member of the force anymore.
In the meantime, Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) is sneaking his way around the asylum, discovering things he ought not know. He’s trying to find a way out, as well. It takes only a moment for him to consider the grate in the vent above his bed.
And where is Azrael? He’s busy looking for a weapon to fulfill his “holy quest.” Even if that means snapping a priest’s neck, or anybody else’s, to get what he needs. He’s already left Captain Barnes (Michael Chiklis) in critical condition at the hospital.
There are other plots afoot, too. Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) is ready to get revenge, having already taken it out on his brief stepmother Grace and her children; and nasty revenge at that. No telling what sort of madness is going to come from all this, converging on Gotham’s streets.
IMG_0216The GCPD need a cap to rally behind. With no Gordon, it comes down to Bullock who takes the reins giving his co-workers support. He rallies them against all the strange villains at the city’s doorstep. However, he and Jim know there’s going to be trouble trying to take down Azrael.
Bruce (David Mazouz) is looking for Selina (Camren Bicondova), he’s tired of waiting for others to solve problems while he can try helping. Even though Alfred (Sean Pertwee) is protective, scared to let him go, he has to give the young billionaire a bit of space to do his thing, despite him being a kid.
And though Selina’s not so pleased with her rich buddy, she does perk up when she discovers Bridgit (Michelle Veintimilla) could still be alive, kept somewhere in Arkham. They won’t know unless they can get in and have a look for themselves. She even knows a way inside.
Ole Butch (Drew Powell) finds that Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) is leaving, scared that reanimated Theo will wind up finding her. This is when Jim and Harvey show up, trying to offer her a hand if she can help them. She tells them about all the Order of St. Dumas business, the Azrael “mythical figure” stuff, the monks, y’know the gig. She also gives them a good idea of where her brother may go, seeing as how he’s taken on this myth’s persona as his own.
IMG_0217At the Dumas crypt, Tabitha brings Jim and Harvey to where her grandfather is buried. Little bit of “grave robbing.” They open up grandpa’s stone casket to find Azrael’s supposed sword. Jim takes it, right as Azrael himself show up to reclaim it. A vicious fight begins, though Tabitha steps in front of the zombie knight. She offers him the sword, locking Gordon outside. She pleads for her brother to remember his true self. He does, then stabs her in the guts. Talk about sibling rivalry.
Worse? Azrael’s remembered his old calling: “Death to the Son of Gotham!”
The young Cat is trying to sneak her way into Arkham, heading through in a  laundry delivery truck. This gets her through the gates, from there she does more stealthy sneaking up and into a vent on the roof. Along the way he runs into Nygma; she’s breaking in, he’s breaking out. He tells the girl about Indian Hill, the nightmarish basement, and how to get down there.
At the hospital, Butch runs into Penguin while visiting Tabitha. The two former friends are a little at odds. Although Oswald tries making clear that Galavan should pay, that he’s hurt them all in various ways. As is the way in Gotham City, enemies of enemies are friends; at least long enough for murder.
Over at Wayne Manor, Aflred’s preparing for Azrael possibly making a visit, as is Gordon, rushing to get there. Young Bruce helps the butler get ready. They make sure to get the place setup. But Azrael’s already there.
IMG_0218IMG_0219At the mansion, Alfred fights Azrael best he can, sword to sword. Bruce watches on in horror. ONE OF THE BEST MODERN SWORD FIGHTS IN TV OR FILM; GOD DAMN. Wish it were longer. The Cockney hardman butler takes a hard beating, as is the par for his character. He’s tossed from a window, then Azrael hunts down the boy. Bruce goes for the garage. Soon, the metal knight appears, the kid hides.
Just when Azrael believes he’s gotten the upper hand, Bruce pulls a fast one and runs him over with a car. That won’t kill the undead Dumas myth. He pulls Bruce out into the driveway, about to execute him, when Gordon finally makes it there. He guns Azrael down through the back, then a few more through the front.
Surely that won’t kill the villain, right? He gets up for one last attack. Jim has no bullets left. Perfect time for Penguin to turn up on the scene with Butch, rocket launcher included. This obliterates Azrael. Done and done. “Youre welcome,” Oswald tells Gordon, Alfred, and Bruce, all left mystified.
Selina makes her way further down through Arkham. At the same time, guards are finding Nygma has begun an escape through the vents. Just perfect. Maybe it’ll be a bit of a distraction for the Cat to get down to Indian Hill, where the hallways are full of the moans and screams of dead, dying, reanimating things, who knows?! Selina gets a quick glimpse of some of the human experiments, and it ain’t pretty.
When she discovers burned mannequins, a table full of trinkets, Selina finds she’s stumbled into the den of Firefly. This girl no longer remembers anything before her time in Indian Hill. She thinks the Cat is there for human testing. Oh, shit.
IMG_0220A saucy cliffhanger. Good lord!
“A Legion of Horribles” is the next chapter, the penultimate episode of Season 2.

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