Gotham: Pinewood review S2, Ep.18

Pinewood delivers another strong episode in Gotham’s final arc

Coming off of arguably its strongest episode yet, Gotham could have let up off the gas a little. Fortunately, Pinewood kept the momentum rolling to keep Gotham’s second season heading on a strong course as it nears the finale.

Gordon had a surprise at his door as Barbara popped up seeking to make amends. Gordon wanted little to do with it even if she was released from Arkham. Seeing Gordon is still obsessed with the Wayne murders, Barbara offered her assistance. Not completely surprising, Gordon wanted no parts of her proposed partnership. That led to a funny payoff as Bullock ran into Barbara on his way over to Gordon’s place and predictably lost his composure.

Gordon finally gets a lead and tracks down The Lady (Michelle Gomez), who ordered the hit on Gordon. Only problem — she’s in a ladies only club comprised of hit women. An all female assassins guild in a John Wick format is a  pretty cool concept I hope gets revisited later. Good thing Barbara tagged along.

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Faking The Lady out by ‘bringing’ her Gordon, Barbara gets the alias of the man who ordered the Wayne’s murder — The Philosopher — before tazing The Lady and her bodyguard. Barbara tells Gordon by helping him making they can have a fresh start or at least not see her as a monster. Gordon rightfully brings up that Barbara tried to kill Lee and he can’t ever forget it.

It’s a credit to the writing that a Gordon/Barbara pairing — even if strictly as unlikely partners — was really intriguing. For most of last season their interaction covered the bulk of the show’s most eye rolling moments. Tonight it was a clear strong point.

Gotham Pinewood - Alfred, Bullock and Gordon

That said, Barbara running back to Tabitha felt like a step backwards for the character. Barbara has always been portrayed as codependent, but with her new outlook on life it seemed the right time to have her step out on her own.

While Gordon tracked for leads, Bruce Wayne, Alfred and Lucius Fox were getting the same information in a different fashion.  Their research takes them to the Pinewood bio research facility and one name — Karen Jennings (Julia Taylor Ross).

Through the course of this season David Mazouz has really matured into the role of Bruce Wayne. There’s not that lingering feeling that this is some kid that maybe could possibly turn into Batman. Now it feels like Mazouz has a better understanding of the character’s end game and is displaying more Batman like traits in his portrayal of Bruce Wayne. From being obsessed with a case and refusing to eat to an overwhelming sense of obligation to protect others, this is a pre-Batman now and Bruce’s scenes have consistently been improving.

Karen was experimented on by Pinewood’s main researcher The Philosopher. The result was a bird like talon for her left hand. Moved by Bruce’s earnestness, Karen reveals Thomas Wayne created Pinewood, but didn’t realize how quickly it went wrong.  and can identify him if she saw a picture clearly signaling she was going to get killed quickly.

Gotham Pinewood - Alfred and Bruce WayneRather than delay this inevitable reveal, we’re shown Dr. Hugo Strange moderately concerned about what Karen will spill about Pinewood and their experiments. That was a smart move as delaying the obvious would have been more trouble than it’s worth at this stage in the season. Strange dispatches Mr. Freeze and he freezes and shatters Karen despite Gordon and Alfred’s best efforts to save her.

It was a little too easy for Lucius to uncover a picture with Thomas Wayne and Hugo Strange with his nickname The Philosopher right in the caption, but this gets everyone fully aimed at the architect of Bruce’s tragedy.

With one loose end tied up, Strange could finally revel in his big project’s success. After 43 tries, Patient 44 was brought back to life. Killing the staff trying to assist him Patient 44 is revealed as Theo Galavan and he’s repeatedly uttering one simple word — Azreal. I’m intrigued if Galavan will credit his resurrection to The Order of Saint Dumas or to Strange. That decision could ultimately influence who he targets first. Either way things have just gotten real interesting in Gotham yet again.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Photo Credit: Jeff Neumann/FOX

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