Gotham returns with ‘Pinewood’, an episode that served to tie different on-going storylines into one big set-up that threatens to shake the city.
WARNING: This review contains spoilers
“What is going on with Barbara?” is a question that has been asked many times over the course of the series. Given that many fans seem to prefer the more psychotic version of the character, it was a bit strange to have her come back as seemingly “cured” and wanting to make amends. However, we had to remember one thing: Barbara just woke up from a coma, she didn’t undergo the same treatment as Penguin. Seeing her in this episode was captivating, but also confusing. At times, she seemed pretty convincing and her speech to Jim when she went on about being grateful to him for not seeing her as a monster was quite touching, but then she appeared to go back to Butch and Tabitha. One thing is for sure, Barbara is a good actress (credit goes to Erin Richards!) and she knows how to manipulate people. By the way, I was most scared of Jim than of Barbara in this episode. If you compare this Jim to the one in the first episodes in Season 1, they don’t even seem the same character. I wonder if Harvey is able to see that. Maybe he does, but he just assumes that’s what happens to everyone in this city and just lets him be.
Jim has claimed so many things so many times it’s hard to take him seriously anymore. He keeps saying that his days at the GCPD are over, but we know that’s far from the truth. He also said that he would only focus on the Wayne’s murder countless times, but that seemed pretty difficult and unlikely. This is why it was hard hard to believe that ‘Pinewood’ would actually took us there. Bruce was, as usual, going his own way studying his father’s investigation (why didn’t he tell Jim about it if he knew he was working on the case?), which led him to Karen Jennings (Julia Taylor Ross). Jenning’s role was simply to drop some information bombs, like the fact that Thomas Wayne himself was the one who founded Pinewood and that he was trying to protect her from the people who corrupted it. After nearly two seasons, Bruce finally finds out the name of the person who ordered the Wayne’s murder: The Philosopher, and the episode doesn’t waste any time in letting us know that that is none other than Hugo Strange himself. Afraid of Jennings spilling the beans, Hugo quickly releases Mr. Freeze to deal with her. And he did, even if Karen had already spilled everything. Just like that, Bruce, Jim, Alfred and Lucius have a clearer goal in mind and Bruce is angrier than ever (anyone else got ‘HE WAS THEIR FRIEND!!!‘ vibes from that scene?).
Just as the Wayne’s storyline is tied to Hugo Strange, we get a final scene at Arkham in which we see the first reanimation: Patient 44 akka Theo Galavan akka Azrael (in case anyone didn’t know yet despite the show’s tendency to spoil itself in the promos). ‘Pinewood’ was a bit all over the place and you could tell that some scenes were just stumbling their way towards those not-so-shocking revelations, but it still does its job. There was no Penguin, nor Riddler either, but the episode was still a very important step towards the final set-up for what will surely be a jaw-dropping finale.