“You stink, Strange. This whole place stinks,” says Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) to Dr. Hugo Strange (BD Wong) as he serves him a warrant to search his office only to discover that all his files and documents have been shredded in season two episode 20 of FOX’s gritty comic book-inspired crime thriller series, Gotham.
Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) is with Harvey during the raid of Hugo’s office and tells the doctor they won’t be backing down even though he knows the warrant is only good for the office and getting another warrant to search the asylum won’t be easy now that he and Harvey came up empty. After they leave, Peabody (Tonya Pinkins) tells Dr. Strange that Azrael (James Frain) is still not back which doesn’t bother Hugo who believes that Azrael must still be trying to complete his mission to kill Gordon. The scene changes to a church and a priest who finds the lock on a door is broken. Blaming kids, he mumbles as he looks around only to find Azrael kneeling. He asks the cloaked and masked figure if it was he who broke in and Azrael stand up and tells the priest he’s on a holy quest and needs a weapon. The frightened priest tells him he is in a church and there are no weapons here. “What good are you then?” asks Azrael as he twists the poor priest’s head backwards, killing him.
Back at the GCPD, all the detectives are looking to Bullock who uncharacteristically gives a very rousing speech about taking Gotham back from the weirdos and gets the detectives off their butts and into action trying to find Azrael. Since Barnes – who it turns out did not die in the last episode – is in a hospital in critical condition, Bullock is now the acting Captain. Gordon tells Harvey they will never find Azrael by going through normal routine police procedure. Bullock remembers that Azrael, who used to be Galavan, has a sister (Tabitha) so off he and Gordon go to see if she knows where her brother might be.
Meanwhile, Bruce (David Mazouz) is headed to find Selina (Camren Bicondova) to see if she knows a way to sneak into Arkham Asylum. He knows that Hugo is behind these horrible experiments and needs to find the proof to stop him, even if it means doing it by sneaking into Arkham illegally. Alfred (Sean Pertwee) of course tries to talk him out of it but to no avail. Bruce finds Selina on top of a roof feeding a friend of her’s pigeons (nice homage to On the Waterfront). At first Selina is annoyed and concerned for Bruce, telling him he’s going to get himself killed if he keeps looking into the corruption of Gotham City and the death of his parents. She’s not willing to help him this time; it also doesn’t help that she’s still hurting from their last fight a few episodes back. Bruce tells Selina about the re-animation experiments Hugo is performing and that he knows he was behind his parents’ murder. Selina still won’t listen until Bruce tells her that her friend Bridgit was taken to Arkham and might still be there now most likely being used in the experiments. Selina is both surprised and upset by this and she tells Bruce that she’ll break in instead of him – and she’s going to do it alone. Bruce asks her why and she tells him that if she gets caught they’ll probably just let her go because she’s not important but that if he gets caught they’ll kill him. Plus, she already knows a way in. (Once again Selina risks her own well-being to help and protect Bruce. When will young Mr. Wayne realize that this girl is the BEST?!)
At Butch’s place, Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) is packing getting ready to leave while a very upset Butch (Drew Powell) tries to talk her into staying. That’s when Gordon and Harvey walk in and Gordon appeals to Tabitha that Galavan is her brother and if they find him it will be better than other cops finding him because they’ll shoot to kill. Tabitha tells Gordon and Bullock the legend of Azrael being a knight of old who served the monks and God back in the medieval times. She tells them her brother believes he IS Azrael and will be looking for his sword. The sword he used to wound Barnes was a fake and the real Azrael sword lies with her dead grandfather inside his tomb. So off Gordon, Tabitha, and a wary Harvey go to find the sword before Azrael does.
Once at the crypt, Gordon and a creeped-out Harvey open the coffin and remove the sword from the skeletal remains of Tabitha’s grandfather – cue creepy horror movie music. Just then Azrael announces his presence and demands the sword. A fight ensues with Harvey getting knocked out and Gordon losing the sword to Azrael and getting thrown out of the crypt and down the steps outside. As Azrael begins to head toward the door, Tabitha closes it and stands in front of him. He tells her to stand aside and that he is on a mission from God but she stands her ground. Tabitha tries to reach her brother by reminding him of their childhood together and talking to him about the happiest time of their life when they were young. The only memory that clicks and comes alive in Theo’s mind is the mission to kill Bruce Wayne. He thanks Tabitha for getting him to remember his original target and stabs her with the sword while calling her a traitor. Gordon finally finds a way back into the crypt to find Harvey coming to and tells him to call an ambulance for Tabitha who apologizes to Gordon for making Theo remember his other target: Bruce Wayne. So off goes Jim to try to get to Bruce before Azrael.
Back at Arkham, Ed (Cory Michael Smith) has gotten back up from his little unauthorized adventure down the secret elevator to Indian Hill looking shocked and terrified. When a guard asks him what he’s doing out of his cell, Ed apologizes saying it’s his fault he got lost and asks the guard to please take him back to his cell. Once inside, Ed sits on his bed and begins to think of a way to escape saying to himself, “Gotta get out.” He feels a breeze across his face and looks up at the vent on his ceiling.
Outside, Selina has used a delivery truck as a way to get past the main gates and quickly climbs up onto the roof of Arkham, using the air ducts to slip into the building. As the young cat (oh yeah!) burglar works her way through the rat and dirt infested ducts, she comes across Ed who is lost and trying to find a way out. Ed tells Selina to go back and that she shouldn’t be trying to get in this madhouse. She tells Ed she’s looking for a friend of hers who Hugo might be experimenting on. Ed starts to go on and on about the secret elevator and dead people not being dead anymore and Selina tells him if he gives her directions how to find the secret elevator down to the level he’s talking about she’ll show him the way out. He agrees but asks her if she knows how to pick a lock to which Selina just rolls her eyes.
Back at Wayne Manor, the phone has been ringing and Alfred, who was down in the cave, finally answers. It’s Gordon who wants to know if Bruce is there and Alfred says no that he met up with Selina. Gordon quickly brings Alfred up to speed about Azrael coming after Bruce and he tells him to stay there in case Bruce returns. Gordon will head to where Bruce met up with Selina. Just as Alfred is about to hang up he realizes someone is behind him and turns to strike, only to see young Bruce. After telling Bruce not to sneak up on him like that, he informs Gordon that Bruce is back and Gordon says to stay there and he’s on his way. Alfred tells Bruce about Azrael and the two decide to make sure the mansion is locked up tight. They split up to cover more ground. (Seriously, these two need to watch a few horror movies and take notes on what not to do!)
At the hospital Butch is standing at Tabitha’s bedside while she lies unconscious and he begins to tell her how much she means to him. This is when Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) shows up with flowers to pay his respects. Butch points his pistol at Penguin warning him he’ll shoot him if he tries anything, but Oswald assures Butch that he means him and Tabitha no ill will even though she did stab Penguin’s mother. He tells Butch they are all victims of Galavan and he doesn’t believe the whole avenging knight thing at all. He tells Butch Galavan must die and for good this time. Butch and Penguin leave to work together to kill Galavan aka Azrael.
At Wayne Manor, Alfred and Bruce are locking doors and bolting windows shut when Bruce comes across a shattered window. He begins calling to Alfred who is back in the study and is facing Azrael. Alfred first tries shooting Azrael but his armor protects him. Alfred then grabs a sword of his own and he and Azrael begin sword fighting like two knights of old. Bruce finally reaches the study and Alfred tells him to run as he continues to fight Azrael but Bruce is mesmerized by the fight and is too worried for Alfred to leave. After a few more minutes of the extremely well-choreographed sword fight, Azrael knocks Alfred out a window – man this guy is brutal on windows – and goes after Bruce. Young Mr. Wayne runs to his father’s large car garage and hides with Azrael not far behind. Azrael starts to taunt Bruce trying to get the boy to make a mistake and give away his hiding place but Bruce one ups Azrael and tricks him into positioning himself in front of the car Bruce is in and Bruce hits the gas and runs Azrael over as he crashes through the garage. Bruce then stops the car and gets out to look to see where Azrael’s body is, (SERIOUSLY! WATCH SOME HORROR MOVIES, BRUCE!!!)
Azrael comes out from the shadows and overpowers Bruce, getting him down on the ground. Just as he’s about to bring his sword down upon Bruce, Azrael is shot by Gordon who empties his gun into him. As Gordon and Alfred both go over to Bruce to make sure he’s okay, Azrael opens his eyes and stands up much like Michael Myers from the Halloween films or Jason Voorhees in the Friday the 13th movies. As Bruce’s eyes widen at the horror of Azrael standing and starting to walk toward them, Gordon goes to fire only to discover his gun is empty. It’s then that Penguin arrives telling Gordon that he really needs to bring the right tools for the job with him. Behind Oswald comes Butch carrying a bazooka. Alfred, Bruce, and Gordon quickly get out of the line of fire as Butch fires the bazooka right after Penguin tells Azrael that he’ll see him in hell. Azrael is blown to bits and is finally dead.
At Arkham Ed has finally reached the entrance/exit of the air duct up on the roof top of Arkham, but unlike Selina Ed is not quiet while getting out of it and soon guards and dogs are upon him telling him to freeze. Back in the Asylum, Selina has reached the other level known as Indian Hill and hides to overhear Dr. Strange and Peabody talking about Azrael and that in his current condition he won’t be arrested but killed meaning all evidence of him being at Arkham will be erased for good. Selina keeps looking for her friend Bridgit and finally finds her but Bridgit, who now only responds to the name Firefly, is convinced that Selina is there to test her skills. Selina tries to get Bridgit to remember her but Firefly only becomes more convinced Selina is there for her to try out her new and improved flamethrower. Selina can’t get to the door she came in and realizes she’s trapped. She tries again to reach Bridgit who only yells at her to stop calling her that and her name is Firefly as she raises her flamethrower and points it at Selina as Selina yells, “No, Bridgit, no, NO NO!”
Review of Gotham Season 2 episode 20
Dark, creepy, and feeling much more like a horror film than a crime thriller, episode 20 titled “Unleashed” brought to an end the killing spree of Azrael and placed Selina in an extremely deadly situation. It also continues the horrible experiments that Dr. Strange is conducting in his Asylum.
The stand-out performance in this episode goes to Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock who for the first half of the episode really takes charge of the investigation and the GCPD, rallying his brothers in blue to work together to find Azrael. It’s a new side of Harvey who never wanted to be the cop in charge but rises to the occasion since Barnes is out of commission. Still, he brings some much needed humor to the dark series when he and Jim are in the crypt looking to unearth the sword and a very unnerved Harvey tells Jim he feels like they’re grave robbers.
The action scenes are top notch but best of all was the sword fight between Alfred and Azrael. Reminiscent of films like The Adventures of Robin Hood and The Prisoner of Zelda, it’s an extremely well-coordinated sword fight that’s both stirring and exciting.
With poor Selina trapped in Arkham, it’s time for Bruce, Gordon, Alfred, and Harvey to come up with a rescue plan ASAP to save her and get the proof they need to put Dr. Strange away and shut down those horrific experiments at Arkham.