Season 2, Episode 22: “Transference”
Directed by Eagle Eglisson
Written by Bruno Heller
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “A Legion of Horribles” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 3 Mad City premiere, “Better to Reign in Hell” – click here
Bullock (Donal Logue) has the GCPD ready to burst into Arkham Asylum, where so many weird, wild things are happening currently. Then suddenly Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) appears, though walking a little funny, his voice somewhat different. Because the real Jim is stuck below in Indian Hill, Clayface is up top acting the part, and Hugo Strange (BD Wong) is preparing to blow the facility entirely with a massive bomb.
In the meantime, Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) is playing “life or death” with Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) and Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk). They’ve got to play his guessing game. Else get gassed to death. They get the 1st answer correct, thankfully. The 2nd is tougher.
Before doing anything else, Strange pumps Jim full of drugs to get the truth from him. The Director gets what info he can, taunting his prey. Back at the GCPD, Clayface Jim is adjusting to his new surroundings, trying to bullshit Harvey that he’s got the “flu.”
At Indian Hill, Ethel Peabody (Tonya Pinkins) readies the patients for the move upstate. Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) is trying to get herself out of that cage, after all she has those new, impressive powers. All she needs to do is reach out and touch somebody, if she can get herself close enough.
Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) is getting back to his old psychotic self. He’s made sure that Grace’s head has a place around the house as part of the “interior design,” plus he still has Butch (Drew Powell) and now Barbara (Erin Richards) around to help him with any of the necessary deviousness.
Hugo continues prodding at the mind of Gordon. He finds out more about what Jim and in turn the GCPD know about Indian Hill, Wayne Enterprises, and who controls Gotham “behind the scenes.” Of course, the detective, Bruce, none of them know of any “secret council” running the city; this pleases the madman Director of Arkham.
In the other chamber, Bruce and Lucius have little time left to answer the 2nd question Nygma poses. However, they give the wrong answer. Thus it means they’re getting the poison gas. Bruce and Lucius shake hands, assuming the worst, soon falling near breathless to the floor. How will they escape? Well, it’s not poison gas, that’s one good thing. They’re just knocked out and brought to where Jim is being held, too. All together for the big blast is what it looks like to me. And Ed, he’s thrown back in his little cell.
When Strange reports to the Court of Owls, they request everyone be killed. After that he can get back to his experiments, so long as they don’t wander outside the walls of the new facility upstate. Poor Hugo won’t get to play with his toys much anymore.
At the GCPD, Alfred (Sean Pertwee) shows up, livid, looking for the young billionaire. Both he and Harvey aren’t sold fully on Jim’s act; Clayface isn’t exactly nailing the role, just surviving. Meanwhile, back at Indian Hill, we see Selina (Camren Bicondova) is doing her best as Firefly’s (Michelle Veintimilla) sidekick, warning Bruce and the others of the bomb set to detonate the facility soon. The guards are mostly busy moving the various experiments and other patients for transportation. Downstairs Ethel goes to sedate Fish for her trip, giving Ms. Mooney the chance to use her powers, manipulating through touch. The newly reanimated former crime boss has found a way out of that cell, it seems.
Strange goes down to discover Fish leading her way out of the holding cells. He’s amazed at the “special talents” she’s displaying. Until she has her minions chase him, forcing the Director to arm the bomb: a half hour and it blows the place off the map.
The whole Clayface act gets blown when Barbara shows up at the PD snooping. She’s the one to figure out he isn’t Jim Gordon. After she slaps him in the face, everybody sees clearly it’s one of Strange’s experiment patients. Speaking of the Director, he puts some of his own creations at odds, when Firefly refuses to let Selina be killed by Mr. Freeze (Nathan Darrow). Then we get a bit of fire v. ice. This allows the Cat time to get Bruce and friends out of their jam. In the whole chaotic mess, Strange gets simultaneously burned and frozen, though he isn’t killed.
GCPD are moving out towards Arkham. Strange is telling Jim and the rest about the massive blast about to blow Arkham, Indian Hill, and a quarter mile of Gotham sky high. Lucius and Gordon stay behind, sending Selina and Bruce running to escape. They get Nygma to lend a helping hand in getting downstairs.
With only a few minutes left to detonation, Lucius and Jim face down diffusing the bomb. They do one of the only things they can think of doing: flooding the detonator’s electrical components. One second remaining, they shut it off.
Things aren’t perfect. All those human experiments are on the loose, being transported to the new facility. Moreover, Fish is free, as well. She goes head to head with cops, plus Butch and the crew with machine guns and other weaponry. Penguin thinks it’s Strange in the bus, not realising his old pal Mooney has returned.
But what will come next for everyone in Gotham? The streets are going to be riddled with monsters from Indian Hill, including one that looks just like young Bruce Wayne himself. Not just that, the Court of Owls still lurks behind the curtain, pulling the strings of the city.
Stellar end to Season 2. Lots of intensity, good action, a few laughs. Gotham‘s a surprising series, continually upping the game. For me, anyway. Season 3 should be super interesting to watch unfold.
Mad City begins with “Better to Reign in Hell” next.