Gotham Episode 213 Recap: Mr. Freeze is Born

GCPD roars into Ace Chemical Plant (a division of Wayne Enterprises). Victor Fries was spotted there not too long ago. All is quiet when the cops show up. As the team (led by Jim and Bullock, naturally) move inside, they see security guards, frozen solid. A few were frozen while firing their guns. Following the path of frozen guards, they discover that the janitor has been kidnapped, and a can of liquid helium is missing. Scratched into the ice is the message “Free my wife.”

Barnes is apoplectic over the state of affairs Fries has left. They decide to use Nora as bait, but the only place that has a medical facility that is also secure is Arkham Asylum. Lee doesn’t like the idea of using a dying woman as bait, but Jim assures her it is the least-bad of several bad ideas. She decides that, since Nora is her patient, she is going with her. Jim is none too happy about that.

Penguin is dragged in for his first treatment. It involves him being chained to a medical chair in a small room, and he flatly refuses. Peabody tells him he has no choice, and puts a wooden dowel in his mouth with a sinister laugh. He gets a huge headset, and he instantly relaxes when it is turned on. She turns it up, and Penguin goes berserker, screaming as flashing lights emanate. He is returned to gen pop and seems calm, but the other inmates are playing Duck Duck Goose. But Penguin is a penguin. He is just as loony as the rest of them.

News reports of Nora Fries being moved to Arkham spread across the city. Hugo Strange is pleased, because he hasn’t had much luck backwards-engineering Fries’ cryogenic technique. Fries hears it, throws a cryo-bomb into the river, freezing it solid.

Bullock and Jim bring in Nora, and are surprised to see Penguin there. I’m not sure why. Nora will be held in the women’s wing, which only has one other patient: Barbara Gordon. Lee is super-duper excited about that. Even though Barbara is comatose, she goes to her and calls her a b*tch. Nora wakes, and Lee returns to her sunny, compassionate self. Nora is worried: Lee shouldn’t be there in her condition.

Outside, Jim and Bullock are setting up a perimeter. Orderlies drag Penguin out of Arkham, and he calls to Jim, begging for help, insisting that they are torturing him mentally. Jim coldly informs him it is therapy, which Penguin takes as a betrayal. “You owe me! I lied for you!” Strange watches this on CCTV and is amused.

Tires squeal, and a big truck whips into view, aimed directly at the Arkham gates. It doesn’t stop until it slams into a prison bus. Inside, the driver’s arms are frozen to the wheel. He begs the cops not to shoot, and alarms go off elsewhere in Arkahm. This was all a distraction. Fries uses his cryo-gun to break into a wall of the asylum. Jim and Bullock head to the infirmary.

Strange watches on his CCTV. This is all porn to him. He spots Jim, Bullock, and a couple of uniforms moving through the halls. A flick of a button, and they are locked in a tiny stretch of hallway. Only Jim slips by, and Bullock urges him to continue.

Fries arrives in the chamber where they had “tortured” Penguin. Strange comes on over the loudspeaker with a deal. He has a car ready for Fries and his wife. All he wants in exchange is one cartridge of his cryogenic material. Fries agrees.

Jim finds Lee and urges her to leave. She won’t leave Nora, so they will take her with them. Fries ambushes them and assures Jim he will turn himself in as soon as he has done what he needs to do with Nora. He also wants Lee to go with them, and promises not to hurt her. He freezes the door shut and escapes with the women. Jim gets out rather easily, and chases them down. He is too late – he watches them drive away. Meanwhile, Strange releases Bullock and the other cops from their impromptu jail cell, claiming that the cold messed with the electrical system. Bullock rejoins Jim and they decide Fries has to be going home – that is the only place that has his cryogenic tubes.

At his home lab, Fries promises that the state will take care of Nora. She will technically be alive, so they have to. Nora doesn’t want to wake up without him, and Fries promises to find a way to be with her. She finally agrees to be frozen, but sends him to get a necklace from upstairs. With Fries gone, Nora urges Lee to leave, but she won’t. Instead, she gets Nora some water. While she is gone, Nora switches the cryo-canister. Fries returns with the necklace. They exchange “I love yous” and she begs him not to blame himself. Victor freezes her.

Fries wants one more minute with his (now-frozen) wife, then he will turn himself over to Lee. Nora starts to crack, and he becomes frantic. Then he sees that Nora switched the canister; Victor flips out and Nora starts to melt. GCPD is outside, and Victor sends Lee to tell them he will do as they say. Fries sits, opens his containment suit and freezes to death.

Or at least that is what they want you to think. The doctors at Arkham “tried” to revive Fries, but he died. In reality, Fries is alive and well. His hair is white and his eyes are icy cold. Strange visits him, informing him that, legally, his corpse is in the morgue. He thinks that Fries absorbed some of his own formula, altering his core body temperature. Any temperature above freezing will kill Fries. The room he is in now is currently at -20 degrees. Strange promises he made some changes to Victor’s suit that will allow him to move about freely. “Death is not an ending.” And so Mr. Freeze is born.

Things are not hunky-dory between Jim and Lee. Lee knows that the official story behind Galavan’s death wasn’t true, and knows that Jim was lying. In response, Jim leaves. That’s not going to go well for him.

Over on the rich side of town, Bruce is back from Switzerland. At Alfred’s behest, Lee comes over to talk to him, worried that Bruce might have PTSD. He assures her he feels intensely alive, invigorated even. His plan remains unchanged: he will find the man who killed his parents. But he tells Lee he will “let the law take its course.” Everyone knows that is a lie.

Alfred finds Bruce boxing in his boy-cave, and he is at the end of his rope. “Are we in this together or not?” Bruce says yes, and Alfred presents him with a file for Patrick Malone, a thug who goes by the nickname Matches. He is the likely culprit. Bruce admits to Alfred that he plans on killing this man when they find him, but Alfred says he is too young to have a death weigh on his conscious. They come to an agreement: the two of them will make Matches talk, but it will be Alfred who does the killing.

When Alfred goes into the city, Selina comes over. Bruce shows her the file on Matches and explains he needs her to get him a gun. Even Selina thinks this is a bonkers idea, and doesn’t think Bruce could go through with it. “You won’t ever be the same again if you do this,” she insists. “That’s what I’m counting on.”

You can watch a preview for next week’s episode, titled “This Ball of Mud and Meanness,” using the player below.