(NOTE: This article is not so much an actual review, as it is simply a geeking out)
Like all DC-based series out there today, Gotham never fails to take its viewers on a daring journey to a world we know all too well. While the first season raised many an eyebrow, and probably left a lot of those eyebrows feeling quite vindicated, the series was back with a vengeance on September 21st, 2015, with the second season pilot Rise of the Villains: Damned If You Do. Suddenly, it seemed the voices of the nerds were finally being heard, as we were bombarded with Easter Eggs, irritated with teasers, and hooked by the continuations of never too many origin stories.
Fast-forward 6 months and 12 episodes into the future...
In A Dead Man Feels No Cold, we're handed even more peaces to fit into our puzzles. And though we all know where the journey takes us, though we all know how it ends, though we all know that "the Boy" becomes "the Bat", we're still kept on the edges of our seats -- or dorm beds, in my case -- helpless to keep from wondering what comes next.
The episode, which aired on March 7th and is the 35th episode of the entire series, picks up where the 34th episode, Mr. Freeze, left off, thrusting us right back into the world of Victor Fries. The episode explores Victor's final attempts to place his dying wife, Nora, in cryostasis, keeping her illness at bay until he can find a cure. It explores the desperation that drove the Man to become the Monster, one of the many monsters that the world of comics loves/loved/will love to hate: Mr. Freeze.
A Dead Man Feels No Cold also explores the slow but sure transformation of a character much closer to home, a character no given synopsis could ever stop the series from being about: Bruce Wayne.
As Bruce comes ever closer to discovering the truth about his parents' murder -- from the series' perspective, at least, not us enlightened nerds -- we see him succumb to the darkness with each passing day, cementing into the cold, calculated resolve that will inevitably turn him into the Caped Crusader.
Seth Boston does a great job with the episode's script, especially where Bruce is concerned. The piercing lines, buoyant on Mazouz's astounding prowess as an actor, despite his age, leave little room for doubt in heart or mind that the character will put on that cape and cowl someday.
Bruce Wayne isn't the only character succumbing to the darkness lately. Alas, the cracks are beginning to show in the solid ground upon which more than a few viewers have stood for quite some time. I speak, my friends, of none other than our favorite shrink/M.E., Leslie Thompkins.
Leslie accompanies Nora Fries, now fragile, to Arkham Asylum, against Jim Gordon's wishes, and isn't okay with Nora being used as emotional bait to lure her husband into police custody. She places Nora in a ward, only to find a comatose Barbara Kean -- one of Gotham's most experimental characters in the origin stories department -- lying on a bed close by. Spiteful, and filled with frustration at the damage she believes Barbara has done to her relationship with Gordon, she gloats at the fact that she got the man, grabbing Barbara by the face and dropping the B-bomb on her.
The episode ends with the death of both Nora, and -- it seems -- Victor, until we are are taken back to Arkham Asylum, or more accurately, a few feet below it, to Indian Hill, where Victor is revealed to be alive, and irrevocably transformed. And we find we are left with the same two unanswered questions we had 7 episodes ago:
What, besides the obvious, is Indian Hill?
And who, besides the obvious, is Dr. Hugo Strange?
Could someone PLEASE get our Penguin the hell out of Arkham?!!