Gotham season 2 was billed as “The Rise of the Villains”, and while much of the focus was on evil mastermind Theo Galavan (James Frain), the show continued to follow Penguin’s (Robin Lord Taylor) roller coaster journey of ambition, shifting allegiances, violence, and loss. The vengeful villain’s story has always been interconnected with hero Jim Gordon’s (Ben McKenzie), from an aborted assassination in the pilot to a jointly executed one in the season 2 fall finale.
The second half of the season, which premieres tonight, has been titled “Wrath of the Villains”. The new adversaries for Gotham’s police force will include Dr. Hugo Strange (B.D. Wong) and Mr. Freeze (Nathan Darrow), but we’ll also be seeing the repercussions of Galavan’s murder.
In the latest clip from FOX above, we learn a little bit more about what will happen to Penguin and it doesn’t look good. A previous video from Gotham showed us Dr. Strange’s eerily sinister psychoanalysis of an imprisoned Oswald Cobblepot. Now we get a horrifying glimpse at what Strange’s “intensive treatment programs” actually look like, and Penguin looks understandably terrified at the prospect of the twisted torture that awaits.
The video also gives us a glimpse at some tanks containing bodies suspended in liquid, and one of those looks suspiciously like Penguin’s long-considered-dead former boss Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith). We did learn last month that Fish would be returning to Gotham, but it’s not clear yet what sort of resurrected version of her we’re going to get.
A new featurette for Gotham also gives us some added insight into the emotionally tortured Victor Fries. A recent promo showed the “desperate” actions of Fries and his cryogenic gun, but this new video reveals the character’s motivations to save his terminally ill wife. We also learn that his seemingly nobly-intentioned experiments in freezing humans have gruesome results.
Actor McKenzie notes that Gotham’s exploration of the “bad guys” often reveals their origins as “decent people trying to make their way in a brutal world.” The two featured villains could be billed as brilliant people trying to heal the sick, but while Strange’s evil cackle largely squelches the idea of altruistic actions, Fries’ love-driven plans go equally awry.
With the ongoing parallels between heroes and villains, it’s clear that McKenzie’s description of “decent” people gone bad could easily apply to him as well. Now that Gordon’s crossed a line, side-by-side with Penguin, we’ll find out what the fallout is in his personal life as well as in the war against this rising tide of villains.
Gotham episode “Mr. Freeze” airs tonight, February 29 at 8pm on FOX.