Gotham Episode 219 Recap: The Truth Behind Pinewood
Jim pulls his gun when he sees Barbara at his door. Reasonable response. She puts her hands up, and tells him she was released. “I’m telling the truth – it’s what I do now,” she promises. She assures him she is completely sane. Jim puts his gun away, but is still understandably cautious and wants her to leave. She sees a photo of The Lady amongst Jim’s files and realizes he is still working on the Wayne case. She offers to help; he tells her to leave. Out in the hall, Bullock, loaded down with pizza and beer, freezes when he sees Barbara. “Jim will catch you up,” she says casually and leaves.
Once Bullock has been brought up to speed, he and Jim turn their attention towards The Lady. Her known associates are hitmen, and Bullock suggests Jim rejoin the force, so he has access to police files. Jim chooses a different method: beating up lowlifes and gangsters in a montage set to the Ramones, until one finally gives up the location of The Lady: The Artemis Club.
Jim goes to the Artemis Club, and is greeted by a woman at the door who pulls a gun on him. Barbara shows up and pulls him aside, explaining that this is a women’s-only club whose members are all criminals. She warns him that if he goes in, guns blazing, The Lady will probably disappear, maybe forever. Barbara wants to help. She saunters in and starts flirting with The Lady, playing on her “fame” to get a seat at the table. Barbara claims she faked her way out of Arkham and wants to get into the assassination business, but needs a partner. “I’m rich, fabulous, and I may have just the thing to restore your reputation.”
Not content to wait outside, Jim sneaks into the club through the loading dock. Before he can enter the club proper, the bouncer catches him, and assures him The Lady is expecting him. Suddenly Barbara grabs him and holds a knife to his throat. “You were right,” she hisses. The Lady and Barbara take Jim into a back room, where they tie him to a chair. Jim realizes that this was Barbara’s plan all along. The Lady admits she has no idea who is behind the Wayne murders. They did their dealings over the phone, and he used a nickname. Barbara plays full crazy and suggests she reveal the nickname to give Jim a few moments peace before they kill him. “He called himself The Philosopher.” Barbara then tazes The Lady and her backup, returns to sanity, and tells Jim, “I told you I had a plan.”
Outside, Jim is mad about Barbara’s plan, even when she insists that she did it all for him and had to keep him out of the loop so it seemed more real. Barbara admits that what pulled her out of the coma was seeing him trying to save her from the church window, that he didn’t see her as a monster. She wants him to look at her like that again. Jim won’t forgive her for trying to kill Lee. He gets a call from Bruce, a good reason to leave this uncomfortable conversation. Barbara goes back to Tabitha, who is happy to have her “home.”
Bruce had been up all night, going over his father’s computer. While much of it was still being decrypted, he was able to access his father’s calendar, and saw that, the week of his murder, he had a meeting with a woman named Karen Jennings about Pinewood Farms. He finds her address, way out in the middle of nowhere, and goes with Alfred to pay her a visit. No answer when they knock, so Bruce picks the lock, but lets Alfred enter first, his gun drawn. Karen runs from one side of the cabin to the other, badly gouging Alfred in the process. Bruce grabs Alfred’s gun, but lowers it when he sees Karen is cowering in the shadows. She can’t drop her weapon, and reveals why when she finally steps out: her hand is a huge bird-like claw.
Karen is afraid Bruce and Alfred were followed, and doesn’t want to talk about Pinewood – those people are dangerous. Bruce isn’t afraid to die if it means doing the right thing. She relents. Pinewood was a bioengineering program funded through Wayne Corp, and Karen was one of the first experiments, ten years ago. They took her from Blackgate prison, where she was serving a sentence for killing her abusive father in self-defense. She had a crippled arm, so she was a perfect subject. They were supposed to fix her arm; instead they turned her into a monster. Most of the other subjects were not as lucky – they died. Thomas Wayne did not know what was going on at Pinewood, and when he found out, he shut it down and put Karen into hiding. The reason Thomas came to see her that week was because he thought they were starting up Pinewood again. She doesn’t know the name of the man in charge, but would recognize his face. Bruce insists she take them to Pinewood, and promises to protect her.
Karen, Alfred, and Bruce go to Pinewood, a stately mansion that has fallen into disrepair. A couple of men with guns follow them, most certainly sent by Strange and Peabody, who were notified when someone ran a search for Karen Jennings. Strange is worried that Karen could lead them back to him. Inside Pinewood, it seems clear that the place hasn’t been active in a decade. “Looks like your dad was wrong; maybe you can move on now,” Karen says. Bruce knows better and demands to know what Karen is hiding. The armed goons find them, and Karen slits one’s throat; Alfred shoots the other. They run outside, right into a police barricade.
Bruce uses his one phone call to call Jim. When he arrives at the police station, Harvey is releasing Alfred from a holding cell, and Barnes releases Bruce from an interrogation room. Karen is not so lucky: she has been taken back to Blackgate. The three go to a diner to share information. Bruce shares what he found about Pinewood; Jim shares what he can on the Philosopher. Alfred will have Fox put together files on all the scientists that worked at Wayne Corp, hoping that Karen will be able to identify the Philosopher. But first, they must break Karen out of prison.
Peabody gets notification that Karen is going to Blackgate. Hugo thinks this would be the perfect opportunity for Victor to try his new suit. Victor is grouchy, forced to live in a freezer. So he is intrigued at the idea of a “field trip.”
The driver of the prison transport stops when a bunch of $100 bills flutter onto the windshield. She finds a huge sack of money, and doesn’t notice when Jim, dressed in a ski mask, knocks on the back of the van and knocks out the guard. He, Alfred, and Bruce approach the driver, and give her an option: tell her supervisor she was disarmed, and keep the money, or try to be a hero. She chooses the cash and Team Bruce drives off with Karen. Jim asks her about the Philosopher and the nickname rings a bell; it was something about a game he played. She assures them she can ID him, but has to admit something to Bruce. It isn’t earth-shattering, just that Thomas did more than rescue her from Pinewood: he visited her, gave her books, reminded her she wasn’t alone. No romance here; he was like a father to her. More important is that Thomas actually started Pinewood. But his intentions were good. The man who ran it perverted the program, which is why Thomas tried to shut it down.
The vehicle spins out of control and crashes. The quartet get out and are surprised to see Victor, in his full Mr. Freeze suit, behind the crash. Karen knows he is here for her, and tells Bruce to run. He refuses, saying he promised to keep her safe. “Your dad would be proud,” she tells him, then puts herself into Victor’s firing line. He freezes her and shatters her. Victor throws a freeze bomb at the guys, who hide.
Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce is really upset over Karen’s death. Alfred promises she didn’t die because of him, but because of what he is pursuing. Fox comes in with some good news. In compiling the personnel files, he came across a photo from a company newsletter. The photo, some kind of team photo, features Thomas standing beside Hugo “The Philosopher” Strange. A friend killed Thomas Wayne. “That’s not fair. That’s not right,” murmurs Bruce.
Strange and Peabody are discussing the report they got back from Victor, who recognizes Jim Gordon, and a “boy” who is clearly Bruce Wayne. A red light buzzes, and they are alerted that Patient 44 is ready. His reanimation is supposed to take another twelve hours, but they rush down and observe Patient 44 beating the hell out of the orderlies who are trying to calm him down. “We did it. We brought someone back,” says Strange in amazement. Patient 44 turns around and reveals that he is Theo Galavan. He snaps the neck of an orderly, then screams, “Azrael!”
You can watch a preview for next week’s episode, titles “Azrael,” using the player below.