TV Review: Gotham - Season 2 Episode 21 "A Legion of Horribles"

Episode 21: "A Legion of Horribles"

Synopsis: Hugo Strange welcomes a familiar face to Gotham after he resurrects Fish Mooney in Indian Hill. Later, Bruce discovers a friend is in danger and teams up with Gordon, Alfred and Lucius, while uncovering more of Strange's experiments.

Recap: Last season, many viewers of Gotham lamented the very existence of Jada Pinkett-Smith's character, Fish Mooney. The lone original creation on the show, she was killed off in the finale to make room for classic rogues like Penguin, The Riddler, and more. Here we are, two episodes away from the finale of season two and guess who makes a return? That's right, Fish Mooney! The big difference between last year and this one is that thanks to Hugo Strange's experiments, Fish is now actually part fish! Replete with powers, we know that Strange's master plan was simply to resurrect the dead. But, Strange's plan was also a directive from a much darker and more sinister source, one that will be instantly familiar to readers of DC Comics. In an unexplained debut, Gotham has introduced the concept of the Court of Owls.

In the comics, the Court of Owls is comprised of the oldest families in Gotham who rule behind the scenes and control the politics of their city. From the early hints here, the imagery seems to suggest they will serve a similar function, but we still do not now why they want Hugo Strange to resurrect the dead. Between Bridgit Pike and Theo Galavan, we know there is an issue with reviving these people with their minds intact. We also get a look at character named Basil whose DNA was spliced with an octopus, giving his skin an elasticity. Well-versed Batman readers will quickly identify this as Gotham's version of Clayface which comes into play by episode's end. For now, Strange has escalated his plans with Gordon and Bruce Wayne closing in which requires reviving Fish Mooney. If Fish's case, she retains her memories of her past life. But, thanks to the inclusion of cuttlefish with her DNA, Fish now can control people's minds with a simple touch as evidenced by her getting a guard to make her a grilled cheese sandwich.

Fish Mooney is much better in smaller doses. This episode uses her sparingly as it gives a good amount of time to other characters. At the GCPD, Harvey Bullock becomes acting captain which shows some much better balance for Donal Logue who now has to bridge his crooked cop tendancies with a more fitting leadership role. He looks the other way as Gordon, Lucius Fox, and Bruce Wayne make their way to Arkham to save Selina Kyle and find evidence that proves Hugo Strange is behind everything. The plan seems pretty weak as Gordon poses as a guard, Lucius gets a tour, and Bruce plays dumb as Strange chats with him. It baffles me that some of these half-cocked plans even make it to the final draft of the script as there was never a doubt these characters would get caught. If anything, it serves to setup the big finale and where we will find out cast leading into the already announced third season.

It also gives B.D. Wong a chance to make Strange more than just a caricature. In talking with Bruce, I got the send that Strange truly lamented his role in the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne and was acting on orders from the Court of Owls. He is most definitely a mad scientist, but not one without some sort of moral compass. Still, he has created so many monsters here and has so seamlessly switched between his personas that I cannot truly tell what his actual self is like. But, after getting Bruce to admit what he is there for, Strange captures all three of our crew before they manage to inflitrate the Indian Hill facility. That means that Selina is still trapped with Firefly whom she tries to save but is too far gone. Selina then pretends to be servant to her in order to stay alive. Fish is locked up but pondering her next move while Alfred rallies the GCPD to save young Master Wayne.

Now, I have been complaining about Edward Nygma's wasted role over the past few episodes while also theorizing that he may take over duties somehow at either Indian Hill or Arkham Asylum. We get our first tease of that as Ed convinces Strange to let him take down Gordon since he did it once before. Strange tasks Ed with getting information out of Lucius and Bruce because he will have no qualms about killing either of them. Ed begins to chuckle as he sets a timer before unleashing toxic gas on his two prisoners. At the same time, Strange confronts Jim Gordon and puts his head into some sort of mask harness which he fills with a white liquid. After it finishes what it needs to do and nothing happens, Strange brings in Basil and puts the device on his head. After a few minutes, Basil's clay-like face are molded to look just like Gordon. With his evil doppelganger now ready, what will Strange do with him?

Next week's finale has a lot of plot points to wrap up but I hope they leave many of these open for season three. Specifically, I would like to see Edward Nygma become The Riddler while I wouldn't mind having a powered version of Fish Mooney on the loose. Whichever other villains have been created at Indian Hill have yet to be revealed, but there is a lot more to work with here than at last season's end. The plan for Gotham has always been to lead up to the creation of Batman and we are getting closer and closer to that moment. Without a time jump, I doubt this series will last the decade needed to chronologically get to that point, but there is more potential here now than ever before. Gotham has fully embraced the pulpy and crazy instead of staying grounded in reality which is helping make this show more enjoyable than ever before.

Episode Final Verdict:

Next Episode: "Transference" airs May 23rd: While Gordon, Bruce and Lucius remain at Indian Hill, the city of Gotham will be met with a new threat as Hugo Strange’s inmates devise a plan to escape and start their new lives in Gotham.

Source: JoBlo.com



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