After one of the longest, most torturous hiatuses ever known to man*, Gotham has finally returned to where it belongs: on our TV screens! That’s right, our terrible national nightmare of a Gotham drought is officially over, and now we look ahead to new beginnings … a.k.a. a new tagline, new villains and new personal dilemmas for Jim Gordon to torture himself over. Hey, the more things change in Gotham, the more things stay the same!
Editor’s note: This recap contains spoilers for the new episode of Gotham, so please stop reading if you have not watched this evening’s episode yet.
Now that the “Rise of the Villains” has ended and the “Wrath of the Villains” has begun (get the scoop on that major change here!), we started off this midseason premiere, “Mr. Freeze,” with a lie. A lie to the police, a lie to Lee: Gordon hasn’t told anyone that he’s the one who put a bullet in Theo Galavan’s head. And while he started to notice that there’s something off about Ed Nygma, his first order of business was making sure Nygma’s relationship with Penguin is over (seeing as how Gotham was in the midst of a manhunt for him, as everyone assumed he was the one who killed Theo). Nygma lied easily to Gordon and said he just helped heal the wounded gangster and nothing more. He claimed to have acted as any good samaritan who doesn’t murder people would, but we all know there was much more to their weird friendship than that.
But both Gordon’s and Nygma’s worlds came crashing down in an instant when Captain Barnes finally caught Penguin and victoriously marched him right through the GCPD in handcuffs. And though Penguin’s smirk freaked out Gordon and Nygma, he actually stayed quiet. He even backed up Gordon’s
lie story to Barnes and took the blame for Theo’s murder, stating that he’s just “crazy.” And while Barnes chose to believe the story, he could still tell there was something fishy about it all.
At least Nygma got to covertly speak with Penguin while he was in his cell! Ed promised Penguin that he’d visit his mother’s grave and bring flowers to her every so often. That gave Penguin some peace before he was carted off to Arkham because he copped the old “I’m insane!” defense to Barnes. He’s going to need all the peace and goodwill he can get, because in his first day at Arkham, Penguin both incited a cafeteria riot and met the head of psychiatry, Professor Hugo Strange. And Professor Strange has got some plans for Penguin … (Yes, that’s as ominous as it sounds.)
But while the GCPD concerned itself with catching Penguin, a new supervillain was hitting the streets of Gotham: Victor Fries. He was so obsessed with finding a way to freeze his wife, Nora, in order to cure the disease that is killing her, and bringing her back that he decided to experiment on innocent people until he perfected it. When one of his experiments included a GCPD cop, he finally landed himself on the police’s radar.
After hitting up a pharmacy to get more medication for his wife Nora, Victor was discovered by the GCPD, and they raided his home. In what might be the worst timing ever, Nora had just discovered that Victor wasn’t experimenting on mice, but rather he was experimenting on humans in their basement. While you’d think that learning her husband was a sadistic killer would make her more than happy to cooperate with the cops, she knew that Victor was doing all that to save her life. So she didn’t betray her husband, even under threat of arrest for obstruction of justice. Now that’s true love.
While Victor intended to turn himself in once again to save his wife, one of his last experiments ended up working. One of the men he froze thawed out right in the middle of the GCPD morgue, perfectly alive and well, instead of ending up a pile of goop. Upon seeing his success in the middle of the GCPD, Victor left, vowing to come for his wife next. His success also caught the eyes of Professor Strange down in Indian Hill, who has apparently been searching for the answer to reanimating the cryogenically frozen in regards to his experiments on Arkham inmates. Do we sense a future Professor Strange/Mr. Freeze team-up?! That’s going to be the stuff of legend!
But let’s check in with our remaining Gotham baddies: while new villains have started terrorizing the streets of Gotham, Tabitha Galavan had been searching for a new partner in crime now that she’s free from her brother for the first time. Her first pick? The new “king of Gotham”: Butch. Now that’s a team-up straight from our nightmares. Let’s never talk about their makeout session ever again, agreed?
What did you think of Gotham‘s midseason premiere? Tweet me your thoughts at @SydneyBucksbaum!
Gotham airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on Fox.
This is the cake that Gotham deserves…