Episode Title: Transference
Director: Eagle Egilsson
Writers: Bruno Heller (developed by – written by)
Stars: Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, David Mazouz, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor, Clare Foley, Camren Bicondova, Cory Michael Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Drew Powell. Jessica Lucas, Nathan Darrow, Erin Richards, Kristen Hager, BD Wong, Tonya Pinkins, Chris Chalk, Nathan Darrow, Michelle Veintimilla
Duration: 42 minutes
The season finale was not only amazing but a lot of fun and filled with surprises.
Transference begins right where last week’s episode left off, with the GCPD about to bust open the gates of Arkham in search of Gordon, Bruce, and Fox, before they reach an untimely demise at the hands of Hugo Strange and friends. I was a fan of this show last season, and I am even more of a fan now with eh conclusion of the second. This show has really hit its stride in season 2, and the finale was a blast, and a lot of fun, with some surprising developments that worked well to whet my appetite for next season
(*warning – possible spoilers follow*)
Just as the GCPD is about to blow up the entrance to Arkham, the surrogate Jim Gordon arrives and gives the all clear. He tells the officers that everything is okay, but as we know its not really Gordon, but the future Clayface, the man with the malleable features from the last episode, who has taken Gordon’s place. This masquerade succeeds for awhile and Bullock and the other cops seem convinced they are dealing with the real Gordon, despite some odd ticks they notice.
McKenzie is fairly amusing playing someone else playing him who doesn’t have the part quite right, this version of Gordon has an eye for the ladies and a very cavalier attitude towards everything else, In fact this whole episode is somewhat tongue in cheek in nature, and although out of character for this series, it works.
The humor integrated into this series is very well done, sometimes subtle sometimes outright hilarious. It never forgets its comic book roots. In keeping with the absurdity of the material it presents, it sometimes pokes fun at itself, and it’s not above an occasional wink at its viewers, reminding us this all in good fun. This is something the show does well, and something that only adds to its appeal
Meanwhile, the real Gordon is strapped to a chair in the basement of the asylum, where Strange is playing mind games with his head like a spider toying with an unfortunate insect it has caught in its web. He drugs Gordon and talks to him in a style meant to mesmerize his captive while trying to establish if he knows anything about Strange’s mysterious employers, represented by the lady in the owl mask.
When Strange reports in, the woman in the mask orders him to kill everyone, destroy Indian Hill, and transfer his experiments to a new location. This sort of merciless thinking, I suppose, is what we will have in store for next season’s villains which look like it will be the infamous Court Of Owls from the classic Batman mythology. Bring it. (smile)
Bruce and Lucius, are still at the mercy of Nygma, who is also playing mind games with the pair in the form of an impromptu question and answer session, with the threat that the wrong answer by the captive pair, will result in them being gassed to death in their makeshift prison. Nygma is delighted by his little game, Bruce, and Lucius, not so much.
Assigned by Strange to find out just how much they know, Nygma is playing the situation for all its worth. They fail his test, and as promised, he gasses them, but not to death. Nygma is later shown with Strange, who seems happy with his work on his behalf, but he betrays Nygma and has him returned to a cell.
Bruce and Lucius wake up in the same chamber where Strange left Gordon, and the three of them are still trying to snap out of their disorientation when Selena arrives and tells them there is a bomb that is going to destroy the place set to explode. Selena, it turns out, has gained trustee status due to her relationship with Firefly.
Bicondova has established Selena as one of my favorite characters on this show, she is great in the role, She’s growing up fast, and I suspect they won’t be able to pull off making her look like a street kid for much longer, and expect to see a shift into a more lady-like portrayal of how her character is depicted to take place soon.
When Bruce attempts to apologize for manipulating her into going to Arkham, she scoffs at him and informs him their relationship is not what he thinks, but that she has been the one playing him all along.
On another front, we are reminded of the recently resurrected Fish Mooney, or as she is referred to by Ms. Peabody reanimated experiment #13. Fish is in a foul mood and is just waiting for the chance to try out her new found ability again. She tries to draw Ms. Peabody near enough to use it on her, by being a little verbally abusive, but fails to touch her target.
Watching events unfold from afar is Penguin along with Butch, and Barbara, who are apparently in league again with Penguin in charge they have set up shop at the Van Dahl residence, where Penguin has the head of his former step mom on display. Tabitha is nowhere to be seen, apparently having left as she intended.
Afterward, back at GCPD headquarters, Barbara makes a surprise visit to faux Gordon who responds with enthusiasm when he realizes she has come to see him. He begins hating on her immediately, and when he says Lee no longer matters to him, Barbara knows she is talking to an imposter. She slaps him and his face becomes distorted by the force of her blow, revealing him for the fake that he is.
Eventually Ms. Peabody arrives again, and this time enters the cell of Fish who uses the opportunity to use her new powers and take control of the formidable Peabody and the orderlies with her, they go to confront Strange who seems to know about Fish’s new abilities, and he flees, running away with his former assistant hot on his heels doing the bidding of Fish to capture him.
Ms. Peabody has also become a favorite of mine in this series, The yeti-sized woman, with her purple lipstick, has been memorably impressive and a lot of fun. I would like to see more of her going forward in the series.
Strange manages to knock Peabody out and sets the timer on the massive bomb. The bomb was very amusing, a high-tech version of the standard cartoon/comic book bomb, except much larger, with wiring and a digital clock where a burning fuse might normally be. To make matters worse there is radioactive material in the basement where the bomb is set to explode also.
Strange makes his way to Mr. Freeze who happens to be just sitting around during all this, and as Strange arrives so does Firefly and Selena, Selena starts telling Strange off and asks him why he is so mean, so Strange orders Freeze to kill her. Firefly does not like the idea of him killing her friend so she objects.
Freeze and Firefly have a fight, and she manages to dodge his freeze ray long enough to mount an offense of her own, and the two of them end up neutralizing each other with their weapons. Strange spots a momentary lull in their activity, and desperate to escape the bomb, tries to make a break for it but ends up getting caught in a crossfire of the two weapons. he ends up half frozen and half fried but doesn’t die. The two continue their fight, and Selena takes the opportunity to free Gordon and the others.
Seeing Strange lying prone on the floor Gordon shakes and slaps him back to consciousness, He and Lucius leave him to go deal with the bomb. Neither has a clue how to stop it, but as they ponder their options, Ms. Peabody wakes and asks for water, Mistaking her request as a solution to their problem they pour water on the bomb’s electronics and short it out, stopping the countdown with only a second left on the clock.
Elsewhere Fish has made good her escape with a busload of the freaks that resulted from Strange’s experiments. I strongly suspect that one of these creatures I caught glimpse of several times during the last few episodes is Killer Croc, but suppose I will just have to wait and see.
Anyway, Fish is confronted by a lone police car that attempts to block her escape, and she wagers she can escape, as they play a deadly game of chicken to see if she can get lucky enough to get away. Butch arrives with a modern version of a Gatling gun and opens fire on first the police car, and then the bus, both of which crash.
Penguin is there too and approaches the crashed bus calling out for Strange to show himself, He is very surprised when Fish emerges from the bus and sneaks up behind him, he faints dead away at the sight. Butch and the other gangsters run away from her like frighted children that have just seen a ghost.
One has to wonder what effect the return of Fish will have on her old stomping grounds, and specifically on the lives of Butch, and Penguin. I suspect her return will be short-lived but dramatic in its portrayal.
Shortly after that, a homeless woman passes by and hearing muffled calls for help from the crashed bus, goes to help and opens the rear entrance of the vehicle, releasing a parade of monsters and freaks that get out of the damaged vehicle and walk away, free to roam the streets of the city. One of the escaped people is a person that looks exactly like Bruce Wayne except with longer hair. There is an explanation for this doppelgänger, that’s for season 3 I suppose. He thanks the woman for freeing him. Life in Gotham just got a lot more interesting.
Strange is arrested. Gordon decides to go find Lee. and tells Bruce that he might not see him for awhile, before the goes. The season ends on that note, with Bullock in charge of the police department…for now.
A great finale for a great season of tv, this series has impressed me more than any other series on tv right now, great writing, great cast, a top quality production from stem to stern. This series has a delightful and unique quality and texture that really adds to making it more enjoyable. Saying I am looking forward to next season is an understatement. Summer won’t be as much fun without this show.