Gotham has a new bad guy duo in town. But that’s not the team that made last night’s episode so great.
Usually “Gotham” focuses on the troubles from the hero's or the villain’s perspective. But in “A Dead Man Feels No Cold,” it took a break from the usual guts and gore to humanize the usually good guys and not-always bad guys.
To do so, the show turned to the supporting ladies and showed how the double lives the men lead can devastate and alienate their significant others. It was surprising and much-welcomed change.
Nora, close to dying, knows that her husband’s obsession to cure her has taken over his sense of reason and morality. “He’s not an evil man,” she assures Leigh. It was done out of love.
They were each other’s enablers, in a way. Mr. Freeze killed dozens of people and experimented on several victims to find a cure for his wife because he loves her and wanted to see her survive.
But he couldn’t have done it without her unwitting support. Not that she knew he was a murderer, but Nora saw him becoming obsessive and mad and didn’t stop him because she loves him. Sounds familiar, huh, Leigh?
“You close your eyes to the truth,” Nora admits to Leigh. Nora asks her if she knows what that’s like, and Leigh acknowledges that she does.
As much as Jim would like to think that he has Leigh and everyone else fooled about what really happened with Galavan, her bonding session with Nora helps her admit to herself that Jim’s dark side and obsession with his job has made him untrustworthy and unsavory.
Right now, no one close to Jim believes his story about how Galavan died. Captain Barnes suspects he was more involved in the murder than he claims, and even Leigh is convinced that her man pulled the trigger.
But Jim can’t admit to Leigh that he did, in fact, murder Galavan, even when she says she can tell he’s lying. So Jim does what Jim does best: He stares gloomily at her and walks away, brooding. Typical.
How much longer will he keep up this lie in front of Leigh? Will he break down and tell her the truth? Or will Dr. Strange tell her — or the rest of Gotham — after witnessing Penguin scream “He killed Galavan!” when Jim ignored his pleas for help at Arkham?
Either way, it’s going to catch up to him, which is going to be a tough recovery for Jim. How can you keep up your image as a good cop when you killed the mayor?
Meanwhile, Mr. Freeze’s loss and transformation begins with him running from the law. On the radio, he hears that Nora is being sent to Arkham. Figuring out it’s a trap, he devises a plan to infiltrate Arkham and save Nora. He rams a van into the building, driven by a hostage whose hands are frozen solid to the wheel.
With some unexpected help from Dr. Hugo, who locks the cops between between gates (which he claims is faulty from frozen wires), Mr. Freeze finds the keys to a getaway car. The only catch? He must leave one solution of the antidote for Dr. Strange. He accepts.
He finds Nora with Jim, Leigh and a comatose Barbara (eep!), and leaves with his wife and a very pregnant Leigh. They return to his chill box of a laboratory, where he plans to freeze Nora.
As he prepares to freeze her, she points out he’ll be in jail if she’s reanimated. “What kind of life would that be?” He promises her it’s worth it, but she’s not convinced. So she swaps the working antidote for one that, well, doesn’t.
After a tender goodbye, he freezes his wife. Shortly after, Nora begins cracking and crumbling. Mr. Freeze screams in horror, realizing that he can’t bring her back to life now. That’s when he sees she switched the antidote.
Now he sees no point in living with his wife gone. After asking Leigh to tell the cops he’ll surrender, he cranks up his suit to arctic blast, killing himself. It’s like “Romeo and Juliet” meets “Frozen.”
We later find out that he Mr. Freeze came back to life with snow-white hair and brilliant blue eyes. How’d he survive? Dr. Strange tells him his body had built an immunity by absorbing the reanimation antidote that he had been using and testing on other people. But to survive, he must live in sub-freezing conditions.
But how will he go on without his wife? “Pretend you did die,” Dr. Strange tells him. “Death is not an ending, Death is a new beginning.” And so begins another evil bromance.
I’m glad they didn’t kill off Mr. Freeze, and I’m even more intrigued by how he’ll be helping Dr. Strange at Indian Hill. What villains will they’ll reanimate and what nefarious plots will they scheme together?
More highlights from “A Dead Man Feels No Cold”
Best Harvey one-liner: “We could freeze to death waiting. Which would be ironic.” – Harvey to Jim as they wait in the cold for Mr. Freeze to arrive.
Most badass line: “I’ll free my boot up his ass!” – Captain Barnes responds to Mr. Freeze’s demands to free his wife.
Most badass visual: The fired bullets frozen in mid-air.
Doctor’s orders: Last time I checked, Leigh’s a psychiatrist. Why is Nora in her care? I realize GCPD must have abysmal recruiting rates, what with their staff always dying, but Nora has a terminal illness. Shouldn’t they have a standard physician on their payroll, too?
Weakest comeback: "Nice to see ya Selina. Sorry I didn’t tell you I was skipping town to go to my castle in France,” Selina mocks Bruce, who went MIA abruptly. “It’s a chalet,” he corrects her, “in Switzerland.” Ooh, you fancy, huh?
Dr. Strange’s love: Dr. Hugo Strange is determined to “cure” Penguin and other Arkham patients of their illnesses, but the mouth gags would make you think otherwise. The good doctor’s treatments are a brutal form of electro-shock therapy-meets-frontal lobotomy, lulling his patients into an obedient stupor. Thankfully it seems to be temporary, as Penguin appears to shake himself from the trauma of the “mental torture.” Nonetheless, I wonder what long-term affects it has on its patients, err, victims.
Rebel, rebel: “I felt alive,” Bruce tells Leigh when she asks him about the trauma of being held hostage. Bruce’s obsession (see a trend here?) with tracking down his parents’ murderer is getting out of hand. Alfred is convinced if he takes matters into his hands, it will prevent Bruce from making a huge mistake.
When he does some digging, he finds that M. Malone is indeed “Matches Malone,” who the Internet suspected murdered Bruce’s parents. Alfred says that he’ll kill him and get that off Bruce’s conscience, but Bruce is determined to kill Malone. So he asks Selina for a gun. She, however, is hesitant. “Doing this, you won’t ever, ever be the same,” Selina tells him. “That’s what I’m counting on,” Bruce replies. Be careful what you wish for. Will Alfred or Leigh get Jim to talk some sense into him? He knows a thing or two about bad decisions.