A Dead Man Feels No Cold Plot Summary:
The GCPD sets a dangerous trap for Victor Fries (Nathan Darrow), using his wife (Kristen Hager) as bait, while Bruce (David Mazouz) contemplates his revenge against the man who killed his parents.
This episode of Gotham was another reminder of what this show does so well – brings us familiar elements of Batman, but sprinkles in new wrinkles we aren’t accustomed too. That was certainly the case with the Mr. Freeze storyline, which brought all sorts of awesome to this week’s episode. I have to give the MVP to Nathan Darrow, who in two short weeks is already a time honored Mr. Freeze. Honorable mention though to Morena Baccarin. She’s been a fantastic addition ever since her debut, but she finally got some real meat to chew on, playing a key role in both storylines.
We’ll get to Mr. Freeze shortly, so everybody chill. It’s Thompkins who shared the emotional beats with Victor in this roller coaster of an episode. Her fearless dedication as Nora’s doctor was unquestioned, even though it brought great risk to her own life. Yeah, this definitely stirred the pot between her and Gordon (Ben McKenzie), who aren’t exactly on super duper terms right now. Lee’s connection and dialogue with Nora were especially powerful, and beautifully played into the end of the episode. Gotham is superb at bonding together a major and minor character for one arc, creating ripple effects for future episodes. Lee also had a heartfelt conversation with Bruce that started out sweet, but got progressively darker. The good doctor sure was busy this week, holy icicles.
Let’s be honest though, this was all about Mr. Freeze, or Victor Fries rather. It was all Darrow, who was equal parts menacing and heartbreaking. Sounds like Mr. Freeze. Darrow carried the emotional weight flawlessly, packing it all into his freeze gun. We also got to see Victor decked out in full Freeze gear, and it looked stellar, not goofy at all. That’s impressive, as Freeze is a tough costume to pull off. The freeze visuals were also once again disturbing and very effective.
Freeze wasn’t the only villain to shine, as BD Wong made another strong appearance as Hugo Strange. They’ve hit the groove early with this guy, as he plays the ultimate master mind. As much as I enjoyed Theo Galavan, I’m already infinitely more intrigued with Strange two episodes in, and he’s a Batman villain I didn’t even like that much. We also see a huge seed planted for a future Gordon/Strange showdown, but I suspect we got a while to go on that one. My only gripe with Strange is the Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) element to all this. Didn’t we just see Penguin get controlled and abused by the major villain? We’re doing this again? Eh.
The Bruce storyline also lacked a tad. There’s a couple tense interactions with Alfred (Sean Pertwee) and Selina (Camren Bicondova), and I already mentioned his therapy session with Lee, but this was mostly set up for next week, which promises to be a gut-wrenching Bruce episode.
Despite very minor hiccups, Gotham delivered where it mattered most, the Freeze arc. While Gotham always has longer storylines playing out, they constantly manage to infuse shorter, well paced arcs in between, which is what a great serial is supposed to do. We also get a reminder that Barbara Kean is still alive, just taking a crazy hiatus with a nice long nap.
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Great)