Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) might finally know who is behind his parents’ murder in Season 2 episode 18 of “Gotham.” Matches Malone (Michael Bowen) may have pulled the trigger on Thomas and Martha Wayne but our young hero is determined to find out who had his parents assassinated and why.
The episode is entitled “Pinewood” and it brings two separate parts into one. One path starts with Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) reuniting with Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie). It appears that Barbara has been rehabilitated and released from Arkham Asylum, or is she? Jim still finds it difficult to trust her, let alone forgive her, after all that they have been through.
With being bent on solving the Wayne murder before intending to go back to the GCPD, he traces Malone’s contractor as “The Lady” (Michelle Gomez) and interrogates criminals connected to her until one spills the beans that she frequents “Artemis,” a private club.
There, he conveniently bumps into Barbara and the two arranged on a plan in order to reach The Lady since Jim is forbidden to enter the club because it is exclusive only for women. Barbara offers to help Jim in order to gain his friendship again by striking a conversation with The Lady. Just when Jim thought that he was safe, he was eventually captured by the club’s security personnel after being betrayed by Barbara. Or did she?
While being held captive, Barbara taunts Jim in order to coax The Lady to reveal who her contractor is. The Lady divulged her contractor to bear the nickname “The Philosopher” and in that moment, Barbara turned the tables in favor of Jim by neutralizing The Lady and her bodyguard. Despite this precious information and having been released, Jim still finds it hard to forgive Barbara.
The other path is that of Bruce as he looks for more clues in his father’s computer. Eventually, his efforts lands him to a certain Karen Jennings (Julia Taylor Ross) and a place called Pinewood Farms, the title of the episode. Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk) confirms this to be names of something Thomas would have been involved, with the possibility that it might be unconventional.
Bruce and Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee) located Karen in a cabin where they found out that she has a claw for a hand. She revealed that such was a result of experimentations being done in Pinewood and she was one of the many inmates of Blackgate that were experimented upon. Such activity was said to be unknowingly funded by Bruce’s father and he had it stopped but not before it was too late.
Karen guided Alfred and Bruce to where Pinewood was but it appears to be abandoned for over a decade. Dead end aside, the three got themselves captured by the men who are hunting Karen. Alfred and Bruce were effortlessly released but Karen had a different fate and was sent to Blackgate.
This is where the two separate paths converge. The person responsible for the experiments in Pinewood and “The Philosopher” who contracted to have the Wayne couple killed was none other than Hugo Stange (BD Wong), the current head of Arkham Aslyum. He caught wind that Karen was being transported to Blackgate but Strange decided it best to eliminate her for good in order to keep his secrets safe. To this end, he sends a very angry Victor Fries (Nathan Darrow).
Jim, Alfred and Bruce were able to reunite with Karen by luring the Blackgate driver with a huge bag of money. Karen was that Bruce was very much like his father which prompted her to reveal the truth – Thomas was actually behind Pinewood but he created it with good intentions. The project took a turn for the worst because the man in charge took advantage of the opportunity. This might make it look like a burden to Bruce but the Wayne kid actually embraces it as his being. “It’s not a burden, it’s who I am.”
Just when they thought they were successful, Victor intercepts their escape. The group was powerless before Victor because they were unable to penetrate his frost suit and was being overwhelmed by his freeze gun. Karen, knowing that she is Fries’ target, heroically sacrificed herself so that the others could escape. This scars Bruce in a way that leads him closer to become the vigilante that strikes fear to his enemies that we all know him to be.
Meanwhile in Indian Hill facility, Strange and Ethel Peabody (Tonya Pinkins) has conquered human mortality and is finally successful at reanimating a human. The revived corpse referred to as Patient 44 is revealed to be Theodore “Theo” Galavan (James Frain), the main protagonist in season one. Seeing that Galavan is intent in bringing down the Wayne family and was shot dead by Gordon, this will not bode well for both Bruce and Jim.