Gotham “A Legion of Horribles” Review (Season 2 Episode 21)

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On the penultimate episode of “Gotham,” it was down to the wire as Bruce finally reached his breaking point and demanded action, no matter what the consequences, in both the pursuit of the truth of what happened to his parents, as well as to rescue Selina from the clutches of Hugo Strange, in “A Legion of Horribles.”

We picked up where we left off, with Selina in big trouble with her former friend Bridgit Pike, now known as the Firefly. Managing to evade her flamethrower, Selina has no choice but to knock the girl out, least of all when it becomes painfully obvious she doesn’t know who she is.

Fortunately for her, Strange has already left the observation booth with Peabody, having better things to do than monitor this action, apparently. This allows Selina the time she needs to try and plot a way out, which she attempts by taking the flamethrower to the wall in hopes of burning through it.

Meanwhile, Bruce shows up to meet Selina at their customary spot, on the roofs with the pigeon coops. When only Ivy turns up, Bruce knows something is wrong, so he goes to tell Alfred what has happened and to arrange a rescue party.

Alfred isn’t happy Bruce went against his wishes and involved her in things, but respects Bruce’s desire to want to help Selina and allows it, but only if he puts together a team and doesn’t go off half-cocked. Bruce contacts Gordon and Lucius Fox to that end, with Alfred hanging back, just in case anything goes awry, so that he can contact the police.

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As for the cops themselves, Bullock is still in charge in the interim of Barnes’ absence, albeit unwillingly- when a reporter asks him for how long, he says: “Until literally the second that anyone else wants the job.” When Gordon asks for help, Bullock says he can’t until Gordon brings him something more tangible to work with.

We finally get a glimpse of who Strange works for, a shadowy cabal of villains whose main goal seems to be to not only to bring someone back from the dead, but with their full memory intact. As Strange has managed to do the former but has yet to succeed with the latter and he’s attracting entirely too much attention, the general consensus is that he’s losing control of the situation.

The woman in question that seems to be calling the shots at the moment, says that they need to gather the “court” to decide what to do next. My initial thought had been, what with the “Wonderland” references over the last few weeks, The Wonderland Gang- which could still happen- but I think this is something else entirely…the Court of Owls, perhaps?

If so, Strange better watch his back, as they have another sort of league at their disposal- one made up of assassins called the Talons. Going by the comics, the Court is basically a group of organized criminals that run the city from the sidelines, but who are comprised of some of the most powerful people in town, hence the masks.

At first, it seems that they have reason to be concerned, as Strange’s latest experiment seems to involve combining human and octopus DNA! Not exactly sure what purpose that could possible serve, but it does result in some cool results, as the poor test subject ends up with sticky, stretchy skin, making him like human taffy.

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Alas, the man in question has no idea who he is, thus rendering the results moot, at least as far as Strange’s superiors are concerned, which Peabody reminds him is a problem. If they don’t get results soon, the “Court” is going to shut them down, for sure- possibly permanently, which may not bode well for them personally, either.

But Strange feels that success is just around the corner and turns his sights to his next potential breakthrough- number thirteen, who just so happens to be better known to us as Fish Mooney (a returning Jada Pinkett Smith). But will she remember that when she returns?

Bruce and company concoct a plan to get inside Arkham, so that they can take a closer look at what’s going on, in hopes of finding out what they’re hiding. Gordon suggests it might actually be underneath the asylum, as Strange has to be on site most, if not all the time, and that would make sense.

Lucius has a device he thinks can identify where exactly the location of this might be, but he needs to get inside Arkham to pinpoint the entry point. Bruce suggests that they go there under the auspices of a “guided tour”- after all, Wayne Enterprises provides a lot of their funding. That will allow them to move around the facility freely, more or less.

However, Gordon will never be allowed in, so he will have to sneak in instead. He gets ahold of a security guard’s outfit and hides in Fox’s trunk and then uses a fake badge to obtain entry- just barely- while Strange meets with Bruce personally behind closed doors and Fox takes a tour of the place with Peabody.

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Before that, though, Strange instructs his co-workers to get started on Fish, injecting her with his patented serum and upping the voltage they use to bring their subjects back considerably. After all, as he points out, she’s already dead- what harm can they possibly do?

He also tells Peabody to give Ed Nygma a shot at proving his worth, after having kept him in a locked room with Mr. Stirk (professional wrestler Kameron Omidian), a easily angered cannibal. Ed claims he can help them with their GCPD and especially their Gordon problem, having firsthand experience dealing with both.

Much to Strange’s excitement, Fish not only returns in good shape- she actually remembers who she is: “Fish Mooney, bitch.” She also has some unexpected new powers- the result of having combined her DNA with that of a cuttlefish, apparently- which allow her to “influence” people into doing what she asks, as she does with a guard at one point.

From the looks of things, she’ll be using that power to get out of Arkham soon enough, though that’s the last we see of her in this episode. Fortunately for Strange, this success is enough to buy him some time and additional funding from the “Court,” though they tell him he’ll need to switch locations sooner than later and trash his current facility via an explosive they left him as a fail safe.

Meanwhile, there’s still Bruce and company to deal with. Bruce tells Strange he only hired Gordon to look into his parents’ murder, and he’s genuinely sorry if it caused any imposition or trouble and that, if he crossed any lines, it was on his own, not at Bruce’s behest.

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Strange says that perhaps it was this very inquisitiveness Bruce has that led to his own father’s demise in the first place, pointing out that oftentimes science and morals and principles can be at odds with one another, which was where the two of them had their problems. As a result, Bruce’s father made moves he shouldn’t have, which was what led to his untimely death.

Strange urges Bruce not to follow his father’s lead in this matter and to back off. Otherwise, Thomas might not be the last Wayne to die. Bruce, needless to say, doesn’t take this very well, all but outright accusing Strange of commissioning his father’s murder.

In short order, Strange has him apprehended, along with Fox and Gordon, who had almost found the secret entrance to Indian Hill after Fox picked up some signals with his little device and marked it for him to see.

Fox and Bruce are put in one cell, where they are overseen by Ed, who threatens them with poison gas if they don’t tell what they know within five minutes; while Strange takes charge of Gordon elsewhere.

Selina ties up Bridgit while she tries to burn through the wall, but Bridgit gets loose and comes after Selina again. Selina tries to remind her of her past, but all she can come up with is killing her brothers, which wasn’t what Selina was going for.

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Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Selina has no choice but to use the flamethrower on Bridgit, but much like the Queen of Dragons, the Firefly proves fireproof and it does nothing whatsoever. Left with no choice, she offers to be Bridgit’s humble servant- maybe Bridgit is the Khaleesi! Fortunately for her, Bridgit accepts and they set about trying to escape again.

Meanwhile, Alfred begins to get worried, having not heard anything from anyone concerned on Bruce’s little mission, so he calls in the calvary, aka Bullock, who puts together a huge team of people to descend upon Arkham, come what may.

Strange locks Gordon into a huge chair and puts one of those crazy helmets on his head and then pours in some sort of solution into it. He then removes the mask and presents to him another man, inmate Basil (Brian McManamon), who gets the same sort of treatment.

Strange informs him that Basil was injected earlier with chameleon DNA, thus giving us an heads-up as to what’s about to happen: in no time Strange has two Gordons on his hands- the real one and a plant, ready to do his bidding while looking just like the real deal. Strange plants a wig on his head and sets about adjusting Basil’s voice accordingly.

That is where we basically leave everybody, in various stages of danger, albeit with help on the way. But once they get there, will it be too late for some of them? And what exactly is Strange planning with Basil, the faux Gordon? Whatever it is, it can’t be good, obviously.

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I also suspect Gotham, the city, is about to get an influx of new citizens, none of which are going to be a plus to the general population, while Arkham and Indian Hill probably won’t survive the season if that reveal of a bomb is any indication. Penguin might want to watch his back as well, what with Fish likely to be on the loose again.

All in all, a perfect set-up to a suitably bonkers finale, and I can’t wait, personally. It will be fun seeing what other creatures Strange has on dock, as well as potential returns from old foes. Hopefully, the Joker will finally make an appearance, but we’ll see. As it stands, there’s more than enough stuff going on to keep us occupied, so I can live with it even if he doesn’t.

Lots of great cliffhangers as well, which can’t help but remind one of the old “Batman” series, albeit with a much grittier tone, to say the least. I’m guessing the villains didn’t call people “bitch” at any given moment on that series, for one. But such is the nature of this new version of the beloved series, and I’m good with that. I’m not sure the old-school version would fly these days, even with the likes of “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Ant-Man” around.

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What did you think of the latest episode of “Gotham”? Are you excited for the big finale? What do you think will happen? Will there be any casualties? How about any new villains? Or the return of old ones? Will Strange live to create another day? Sound off down below and see you next week for the season finale!