TV REVIEW: Gotham Season 2, Episode 12 – Mr. Freeze | FanboysInc

TV REVIEW: Gotham Season 2, Episode 12 – Mr. Freeze

By Megan Wilde

TV REVIEW: Gotham Season 2, Episode 12 - Mr. Freeze

The first episode back from the break amps up the villains with the introduction of two eagerly anticipated characters: Mr. Freeze and Dr. Hugo Strange. And thankfully, they are not just a tease — Fries features heavily in the episode, and Strange menaces his way through a lot of it as well. Fries looks like a more primitive/earlier phase of the villain, but Strange is pretty close to what you’re used to seeing: He’s got the round glasses, and the facial hair is pretty right-on too.

Mr. Freeze is, of course, actually Victor Fries. Harvey Bullock establishes, in a wink to the audience, that the name is pronounced “Frice.” Fries is going around Gotham freezing people (as you do). His wife, Nora, whom he loves very much and who is the center of Mr. Freeze’s story, is dying, and he is conducting experiments on those he freezes in an attempt to save her. He wants to freeze her to kill the cancer; his trouble is finding out how to warm her up again without killing her. And he wants to make absolutely certain he’ll be able to warm her back up safely, because the results if not are … let’s just say not pretty. Basically, she’ll melt into a big pile of goo, as we see one of the victims do.

TV REVIEW: Gotham Season 2, Episode 12 - Mr. Freeze

He’s not a very cool guy.

One question that arose for me was how is Fries choosing his victims? We are supposed to sympathize at least a little with him and his tragic love story, but if he’s just randomly grabbing people off the street, that’s not terribly sympathetic. At least if he had some sort of reasoning behind it, like he was grabbing criminals or abusers or something, we might be able to connect more. Even the pharmacist who is a jerk to him for no reason and denies him medicine for Nora, I understand; that’s emotionally driven. But if it’s just random, that’s troubling – then again, someone who has a creepy basement lair/laboratory with frozen people is troubling all around.

TV REVIEW: Gotham Season 2, Episode 12 - Mr. Freeze

Victor Fries is a fan of Rick James: Cold-blooded!

Early in the Fries’ story, there is a scene where Nora asks Victor about his experiments, and she comments on “all those poor mice” he’s been experimenting on. I imagined him thinking: “Mice? Why didn’t I think of that??” Victor might even pause and give a sideways look when she says that. It’s moments like this that make me love this show.

I wanted to love Mr. Freeze as a villain, but so far he is not living up to my expectations. The rays from his gun look rather cheesy, and he isn’t as scary or menacing as I thought he’d be. But we will see what the coming weeks bring, since in the preview it looks like he gets a new villain suit, and he may be less well-intentioned coming up. Let’s just hope the writers stay far away from anything resembling Arnold Schwarzenegger’s infamous Freeze.

TV REVIEW: Gotham Season 2, Episode 12 - Mr. Freeze

BD Wong was born to play Hugo Strange

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However, just as Freeze is a letdown, Strange is a delicious surprise. I admit I didn’t know much about that character before watching, so I didn’t have particularly high expectations going in, but I like how dark he seems. As I was discussing with an eagle-eyed friend of mine, Strange is played by BD Wong, who has been in everything. (I knew he looked familiar!) I think he’s great in the role, at least so far. I am excited to see more of this character, since he seems so creepy and evil. He’s the psychiatrist at Arkham, and he’s associated with the Indian Hill Laboratory, where they took Barbara and Bridgit Pike, aka Firefly. We don’t know exactly what goes on there, but it can’t be good.

Psychiatrists who abuse their position and power fascinate me, like Scarecrow in Batman Begins, although Dr. Strange seems more dangerous than Scarecrow did at the end of that movie. Later in the episode, Penguin is sent to see Dr. Strange — whom I would avoid on the name alone. Penguin has been admitted to Arkham because he claimed insanity as his reason for killing Theo Galavan (he covered for Jim, who actually killed Galavan). You know bad things are coming: One of Strange’s other patients gouges out his own eyes. I am not looking forward to what’s in store for poor Penguin. It is a testament to Robin Lord Taylor’s performance that I love that character so much. He just seems to have so much FUN playing him, in all his violent glory. He’s over-the-top, and I love it.

TV REVIEW: Gotham Season 2, Episode 12 - Mr. Freeze

©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jessica Miglio/ FOX

Which is all to say that Penguin’s situation this week makes me uneasy. He gets mocked in Arkham by the other inmates, and I so wanted him to just lash out and show them all that you DO NOT mock Penguin. But he can’t, really, and it is so sad.

There is one aspect of the episode that doesn’t flow well. Jim is reinstated after the whole Galavan affair, though the Commish – I mean Captain Barnes continues to doubt his story. (And Jim really should work on his poker face if he’s going to lie on the stand.) Jim and Harvey spend the episode trying to track down the person who is freezing people. But that part doesn’t feel well-integrated; it feels tacked on, as if they had to get established characters in there somehow. It’s not that it doesn’t make sense for them to be looking for Fries, but it’s just the way it’s done that makes it feel off. If there were more quick shots of the two of them trying to find him inserted here and there, instead of them just happening by and seeing the van they were looking for, it would feel less jarring.

But that’s a small fault. Overall, it was a fun episode, and there were lots of good moments, including more of the Penguin and Riddler friendship, which is awesome. I really do want to see a spinoff about those two crazy bachelors. This sets up some interesting things to come. I’m excited for next week. “Gotham” is back!

FBI SCORE: 8.5 out of 10. “Mr. Freeze” is a fun episode, with some funny bits and interesting new characters, though I do miss Bruce. Mr. Freeze is a little disappointing, but the menacing Dr. Strange is a creepy, fun surprise. There is a big payoff, after all the teaser ads, with lots of Mr. Freeze — and the promise of more to come.

Megan Wilde

I'm an editor, wife and mom of two. I love to read and watch good TV and good (OK, and bad) movies. I like pop culture, sci-fi, zombies, comics, Neil Gaiman, Miyazaki movies, Star Wars, '80s nostalgia and all things geeky.

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