Episode Title: Into The Woods
Director: Oz Scott
Writers: Bruno Heller (developed by) Megan Mostyn-Brown (story)
Stars: Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, David Mazouz, Morena Baccarin, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor, Nicholas D’Agosto, Camren Bicondova, Cory Michael Smith, Michael Chiklis, Drew Powell. Jessica Lucas, Nathan Darrow, Erin Richards, Kristen Hager, BD Wong, Tonya Pinkins, John Doman, and more.
Duration: 42 minutes
Things come to a head on several fronts in an eventful episode that offers some of the show’s best features, that can only mean the season finale will be a doozy.
In a rollicking good time of a fun episode, several episodes long threads are taken to a for-the-time-being conclusion in an episode that got me psyched for what is to come as we head into the home stretch for the end of season 2. If this is an example of what the show has to offer for the rest of the season, it should be amazing. That is assuming the season’s closing episodes can only be expected to get better and give the season a strong finish to whet our appetites for season 3. Really good stuff, one of the best episodes of the season so far.
(*warning – spoilers follow*)
‘Into The Woods’ begins with Selena and Bruce running across the rooftops of the grim city pursued by an unknown gangster they have just robbed of a considerable amount of money in a cloth bag she is carrying, Bruce is smiling, obviously enjoying the adrenaline rush resulting from their latest adventure together. When Selena accidentally drops the bag, she tells Bruce to leave it, but he picks it up anyway and then follows her in a daring jump across the streets below onto the roof of another building.
The gangster does not follow and is left to yell after them threatening to kill them when he sees them next. Bruce is defiant and mocks their victim. he responds to the threats by tossing the money into the streets below. Selena is not happy with his impulsive gesture because unlike him she is in it for the money.
This week’s episode shot out of the starting gate like a champion thoroughbred eager to get down to the business of winning the race. The pace never slackens in an episode with lots going on. Unlike the last few episodes, this is no filler or bridge for what is to come, this is the payoff.
Following Bruce’s and Selena’s rooftop activity, we find ourselves in the headquarters of the GCPD, with Barnes pressing Bullock as to Gordon’s whereabouts. Bullock bluffs his way out of the pressure cooker, and escapes his commander’s grilling, only to immediately return home where Gordon is waiting, so they can go about the business of finding the culprit responsible for framing Gordon for murder.
After methodically mulling things over, the two detectives decide that maybe there’s a clue about the identity of the anonymous caller that set Gordon up for the frame job on a recording of the call, so they devise a plan to get the recording so they can examine it. Bullock takes one for the team when he takes on the role of the sacrificial lamb when he surrenders to the lustful appetites of a fellow police officer who has fantasies of marrying him (after some preemptive consummation before the fact in the sack)
After acquiring the tape, Gordon passes the scene of a mugging taking place, and being who he is, he can’t let it go, but has to intervene, and it nearly gets him busted when he is mistaken for the mugger himself by a cop that happens upon the scene catching Gordon holding a knife while the intended victim runs away screaming. He overpowers the cop, flees, and escapes.
Examining the tape in Bullock’s car the next morning they decide it needs to be examined and handled by a technician who can apply the needed expertise needed to analyze it more fully, and they separate.
Gordon is next shown showing up at Nygma’s, which is exactly what I expected him to do, ironically turning to Nygma for help, but quite surprisingly Gordon is not as dumb as we think he is, and he confronts Nygma with the accusation that he knows it was him that framed him during his visit.
Gordon makes this leap of logic and intuition suddenly out of the blue. Nygma is cool as a cucumber though and gets the drop on Gordon, who is sitting in a chair rigged to give him an electrical shock that renders him unconscious. Nygma drags him into an alley to throw him in the trunk of a car, but while his back is turned, Gordon wakes up and is close to getting away by ducking through a nearby open window when Nygma shoots and wounds him. Gordon makes good on his escape but he is in bad shape.
Gordon turns up at Selena’s, where she and Bruce are having a tender moment after he repairs the sleeve of her jacket, that got torn earlier during their escape. Selena maintains her tough exterior, but it’s obvious she has gotten to like Bruce and is actually beginning to enjoy his company and their current arrangement. Despite herself, she is developing affection for him. In a nice touch, the sewing done by Bruce is intentionally made to resemble the sewing on the outfit of Catwoman worn by Michelle Pfeiffer in the Tim Burton movie, Batman Returns (1992).
Gordon’s condition turns out to not be too serious, they patch him up, and after a call to Alfred, he ends up back at Wayne Manor to rest and recuperate. Alfred informs Bruce his father’s computer has been repaired by Fox, and he is free to pursue the mystery of his father’s work. The problem is he must choose between Selena and the work of his father because Alfred explains, he can’t do both.
Selena, of course, does not understand when Bruce tells her he will not be going back to their life on the streets together, she takes it badly and lashes out at him in defense of her hurt feelings. Their budding friendship is on the rocks once again.
Meanwhile, we join Penguin attending the funeral of his father with the in-laws, who announce as they are leaving the chapel that Penguin will have to make other arrangements for a place to live. they mean to throw him out immediately, but he begs and says he will do anything if they will allow him to stay.
Mother Van Dahl decides to relent her decision when she sees an opportunity to take the cheap route and keep Penguin around as a servant without pay. He is shown being subservient to this collection of unsavory examples of humanity, while the siblings torment and abuse him.
Things change when Penguin discovers the decanter of poisoned sherry with some remnants of the fatal stuff still in it. He tests it on their dog who promptly drops dead. He now knows they are responsible for the death of his father. he wastes no time in getting his revenge. He kills the siblings and serves parts of them up to a mom who complains the meat is not tender enough and overcooked. Penguin reveals the true nature of her meal just before slashing her to death with the carving knife. Penguin is back to his old stabby self-baby.
Meanwhile, Gordon has gone to Barnes with a plan to expose Nygma as the mastermind behind his being framed for murder, and they set a trap for Nygma that gets him to visit the grave of Miss Kringle. Gordon solicits a confession in the presence of Barnes, and others. Nygma is last seen being put in Arkham, now known as being devious, and the deceitful psychotic killer he is.
Finally, we visit Arkham where we find Barbara Kean in a group session being supervised by Hugo Strange. Barbara is expressing remorse over the homicidal impulses that led to the death of her parents. Strange soon after decides she is ready to be released. He has loosed yet another homicidal maniac loose of the city as one of his ‘experiments’. She turns up at Gordon’s place as the episode ends.
Like I said an eventful episode, full of activity and abrupt changes in fortune for some of the major characters involved in the story of this grim city we love.This episode served to show off some of the best this series has to offer in a really well-written story. This is one of the best episodes of this series since before the Mr. Freeze story arc. Things are looking good for a strong finish to season two, and I feel certain there are some startling surprises in store before the season ends.