Gotham Episode 212 Recap: Things Get Chilly with Mr. Freeze

Jim is testifying about the events of the last episode, which also acts as a good refresher. The difference is that Jim says he chased after Penguin, but couldn’t find him. So he and his pregnant fiancée fled the city. Jim was not present when Theo Galavan was murdered. He has no other info, and swears he had nothing to do with Galavan’s murder. The charges against Jim are lifted, and he is reinstated. Barnes doesn’t necessarily believe Jim’s story, but when Harvey Dent asks him if he believes Jim’s story, he gives a non-answer: “The investigation found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing.”

It has been just about a month since Galavan was murdered, and Penguin has been living on the streets. Butch is the current king of the criminal underworld, and Tabitha shows up unannounced. She believes that if it wasn’t for her, he wouldn’t be king, and she wants to team up with him. Butch is not interested in a relationship of any sorts, but Tabitha isn’t used to taking no as an answer. She seems to be promising sex if they teamed up. Selina sees all of this from a high window.

Jim returns to work and is a little annoyed that instead of being greeted with a cheer and a “welcome back, partner,” Bullock greets him with a weird case: someone froze a cop to death. They pay Ed a visit, who believes that liquid nitrogen couldn’t have frozen a human body as quickly as this one did. It would have to be a super-cooled liquid helium, and there can’t be many places in Gotham that manufacture it. Jim stays behind a few moments to ask about Penguin. Ed says he trusted Penguin when he said he changed his ways. Shouts from the bullpen draw them out.

Barnes comes in with Penguin in handcuffs. The squad applauds, which pisses off Barnes. He sends Penguin to lockup and pointedly tells Jim, “Now we’ll learn the truth of what really happened to Galavan.” He interrogates Penguin, who admits to taking Galavan down to the river and killing him slowly. He is proud of it, saying he is not a criminal; he’s just insane. When asked about what Jim did, Penguin plays coy. “Did what?”

Jim is waiting nervously for Barnes in his office. Barnes pulls the old parent trick, “Do you have something you wanna tell me?” Jim is nervous, but he has nothing to tell him, and Barnes admits that Penguin backed Jim’s story. They shake and Jim breathes a sign of relief, but Barnes warns him not to make a fool out of him.

The freezing murder was at the hands of Victor Fries. His beloved wife, Nora, is terminally ill. With no cure in the immediate future, he has turned his attention to cryogenics. If he can figure out how to safely freeze Nora, he can just thaw her out when a cure is found. He seems to have the freezing part under control; it is just the thawing that poses a problem. He has tested over a dozen different serums, and each time, when the test subject begins to thaw, they melt into a gooey sludge. Nora thinks that he is experimenting on mice in his basement laboratory; he is not about to tell her otherwise.

Ed tells Jim and Bullock that Wayne Enterprises is the only place in the city that makes liquid helium. So the detectives meet with Lucius Fox, who admits that they used to have a cryogenics program. Thomas Wayne shut that, and a couple other “odd” programs down.

Nora has a bad coughing fit, and Victor discovers she is out of a life-saving pill. He is upset and rushes to the pharmacy to get a refill. The bottle doesn’t have a refill order on it, so he won’t give Victor more pills without a new prescription. The exchange gets heated, and the pharmacist kicks him out. Victor vows that he’ll be back. And he returns later that evening in his super villain costume, with his freeze ray. He freezes the security guard, then demands the medication from the terrified pharmacist, who is only too eager to comply. Victor puts in a new tube of freezing compound, marked A-16, and freezes the pharmacist. Then he asks the terrified customers for some help out of the store.

Gotham PD has been tracking a blue van that has been linked to three local abductions. They get a hit on the van at the pharmacy and roll out. When they arrive on the scene, Victor is loading the corpses into the van. He takes off and Jim and Bullock give chase. The security guard has been left in the road as a decoy; Bullock slams into the corpse, who shatters like glass – except for the head, which lodges in the windshield. Victor escapes with his important prize – the pharmacist, test subject A-16. Victor drags A-16 down into the basement, then leaves. Nora calls for Victor, and when he doesn’t respond, she goes looking for him. She is horrified by what she sees in the basement.

Jim and Bullock find the discarded prescription bottle and head to the address on it. In the lab, the detectives find Nora, in shock. Bullock takes her outside. “He told me they were mice,” she whimpers as they leave. Jim finds the freeze gun. The cops investigate the home and the lab, but they don’t find Victor. Victor is watching from afar.

At the police station, Nora agrees with the detectives that her husband did terrible things, but he did them for her sake. She is sorry for it, but she can’t betray him. Meanwhile, Victor comes into the station to turn himself in. The cops laugh and tell him to take a seat with the other lunatics who have all admitted to the freezing murders. Test subject A-16 is on Ed’s autopsy table. He leaves it there, but when he comes back, the body has vanished.

That’s because the pharmacist has wandered out into the bullpen, shivering, asking if he is dead. The police cuff him and Victor is amazed. A-16 worked! He leaves the station, determined to save his wife.

Meanwhile, Penguin has been taken to Arkham; after all, he did say he was insane. Arkham turns out to be a little more than he can bear. When Penguin first arrives, he climbs on a table and gives a speech about how he is the “powerful, vicious King of Gotham.” Of course, you can’t reason with the insane, so they all laugh maniacally, scream, chant, dance. Penguin cries, trapped in his own Freaks.

Orderlies bring Penguin to meet the chief of psychiatry, Hugo Strange, who likes to meet with all new inmates. When asked how he is adjusting, Penguin puts on a brave face. “This is a pillow fight compared to what I have been through.” Strange assures Penguin that they have a number of intensive treatment programs they can put him through. When Penguin is returned to his room, he hears his neighbor, Nigel, cackling. Through the window in his door, Penguin sees that Nigel has clawed out his own eyes. “See no evil, do no evil.”

Strange unlocks a secret door and takes a secret elevator to a secret basement laboratory. Indian Hill. He is greeted by Mrs. Peabody, who hands him the newspaper. “Someone has solved the problem of reanimating the cryogenically frozen,” she announces, quite pleased. Looks like Victor Fries will have a job offer shortly!

You can view a preview and photos for the next episode, titled “A Dead Man Feels No Cold,” below.