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"Nygma said he met Penguin for the first time in the woods. That's right around the same time his girlfriend went missing. I think he was burying her. Just like he was going to bury me."
Jim Gordon to Alfred Pennyworth

"Wrath of the Villains: Into the Woods" is the seventeenth episode of the second season of Gotham. It aired on April 11, 2016.

Synopsis

In an attempt to clear his name, Gordon steals his case file and approaches Nygma for help. Meanwhile, Penguin discovers his step-family’s role in his father’s death, and awakens from his conditioning.[3]

Plot

Bruce and Selina are running away on a rooftop after they have stolen a crook's money. Bruce and Selina manage to get away by jumping to another rooftop. Although victorious in their theft, Bruce throws out some of the money into the streets, angering both the crook and Selina that Bruce was stupid enough to throw the money away. Bruce reminds Selina he's on the streets to understand Gotham's criminal underworld, but Selina tells him that he just threw out his half of the money. Bruce doesn't mind this since he still has enough for burgers.

Meanwhile at the GCPD, many of the officers are hearing about how Jim Gordon escaped from Black Gate Prison after he was convicted of murder. Captain Barnes demands to know where Gordon is and accuses Bullock of knowing something. Bullock tries to convince Barnes that Gordon didn't kill Officer Pinkney and is trying to clear his name/ While Barnes is personally hoping for Jim to prove his innocence, legally he has to show the people of Gotham that the GCPD have no problem putting Gordon behind bars. Bullock still claims to have no idea where Jim Gordon is, but Barnes tells him if he finds out the former is helping Gordon in any way, he'll have no problem putting the both of them under arrest. Bullock returns to his apartment and reveals that he is still helping Gordon and is going through the evidence leading to his conviction. While going through the evidence, Gordon sees that the person who framed him for Pinkney's murder was the train station bomber and the same person who tipped off Internal Affairs. Bullock and Gordon believe that the person who made this elaborate setup was an active cop since he had access to the crowbar Gordon used at the train station and suspects that a cop who was still loyal to the former Commissioner Loeb was behind it all. Bullock tries to persuade Gordon to run while he still can, but Gordon says that he might as well still be in jail if his name isn't cleared. Gordon realizes that since every I.A called is always secretly recorded into evidence , he could use it to find out who set him up.

Meanwhile in Church, Oswald and the Van Dahls are attending Elijah's funeral. After the funeral Grace tells Oswald he is no longer welcome in her house because after Elijah's death, his fortune went to her and she doesn't want to live under the same roof of a murderer. Oswald begs for the Van Dahls to let him stay promising to do anything. Grace allows for Oswald if he becomes the new servant. Grace explains to Sasha and Charles because Oswald is Elijah's only biological son that if he gets a good lawyer he could rob her of everything she worked for, especially if he looks into how his father died and so would keep him close until his guilt pushes him to committing suicide. At Arkham Asylum Barbara attends a therapy group session after she has recently woken up from her coma. Barbara admits how she feels guilty about the things she's done and now feels sad instead of insane. Professor Hugo Strange congratulates Barbara for sharing and asks what caused her recovery, to which she answers that she must've "really needed some sleep". Ms. Peabody wants Strange to use the same "therapy" they used on Penguin, but Strange goes against this for some reason.

Bullock calls his lady pal from I.A and steals her keys for Gordon to go find his I.A file. Gordon manages to steal his I.A tape when he breaks into the I.A building. Once Gordon is victorious, he sees a woman being mugged. Gordon stops the muggers and saves the woman, but is stopped by a police officer. The police officer recognizes the fugitive, but is knocked down by Gordon, claiming that he's innocent. Gordon and Bullock listen to the tape and see that the perp has masked his voice to hide his identity. Jim thanks Bullock for helping him, but tells him to not be involved to keep him from being busted and goes Edward Nygma for help. Gordon asks Nygma to use his tool kit to clean the tape so he can find out who framed him. Nygma decides to help Jim in his time of need, although unaware that Nygma is the one who really framed him.

Oswald has prepared his mother's recipe for goulash to the Van Dahls. Grace despises the meal he had made and told him that for Sunday dinner she wanted a roast and not his "slut mother's" goulash. As Oswald cleans the dinner table, Sasha and Charles throw food at him for their enjoyment. Nygma and Gordon are cleaning up the tape for clues, Jim brings up how he thinks Loeb was behind it all and said that he might've sent some psychopath to kill Pinkney for him. Ed finds this offensive and tells him that not only has he killed people in cold blood before, he brings up the rumor of the latter killing Galavan and such would make him exactly like the kind of people he's hunting: sick. When the tape is finally cleaned Jim decides to also listen and realizes that Nygma is the one who set him up. Nygma prepared for Jim to find out and had wired his chair to electrocute him.

Nygma drags Jim's unconscious body to his car. As Nygma unlocks his car, Jim regains consciousness and runs through a window. Nygma shoots Jim in the leg before he manages to go into the building. Ed searches for Gordon who has been wounded. Thinking, Jim won't last for long he explains that the reason he did all this just to frame Jim involved the initials "K.K." . Jim solves this out loud realizes it stood for Kristen Kringle, giving away his position. Despite Nygma chasing after the wounded Gordon, he manages to escape into a crowd of people. Gordon ends up in Bruce and Selina's hideout and falls unconscious. Bruce calls Alfred to come an help Jim for all of the good things he's done for him. Back at the Van Dahl mansion, Oswald is preparing a drink for Grace and finds the same sherry decanter his father drunk before he died with some of the liquid still and smells something atrocious. Oswald gives the remaining liquid to the pet dog and dies the same way Elijah died from his supposed "heart condition" and realizes that the new family he wanted to keep was trying to get rid of him for the very start and plots his revenge.

Because Barbara is shown to regained her sanity Strange decides to release her back into Gotham as an experiment in order to see what would happen. Along with Bruce, Alfred and Selina, Jim is trying to find out how to show he never killed Pinkney since he knows no-one would believe him. Jim recalls that the time Ed met Penguin in the woods was about the same time Kristen Kringle went missing and realizes that Ed must've been burying Kristen after he killed her. Jim sends Selina to go to the GCPD to tell everyone she knows where he is. Selina tells Bullock and Barnes that Jim found out where Penguin was hiding and is going to see him in order to find out where the bodies are buried. Ed who knows that she's referring to Kristen's body tries to calm himself down saying that Gordon may not find Penguin, but his darker personality resurfaces making him more paranoid that chances of Gordon finding Kristen were very possible and decides to move her before Gordon can get to her. Ed finds the spot where he buried Kristen and begins to dig, but he hears Jim moving behind him. Ed pulls out Jim's gun and at first believes that Penguin betrayed their friendship and told on him until Jim reveals he just followed him there. Jim asks Nygma how'd he turn into the monster he is. Nygma tells Jim that this was who he was and how because there's a monster inside of everyone, Nygma used Jim's inner demons to frame him and says how their own friendship was based on pity. Nygma decides to give Jim one last riddle for old time sake, "A nightmare for some, for others a savior I come. My hands cold and bleak. It's the warm hearts they seek". Jim deduces that the answer is "Death" and as Nygma prepares to add one more body to the pile Barnes and Bullock burst out of the woods. Ed tries to make it look like he's trying to arrest the fugitive from the law, but Barnes tells him that he heard his entire confession. Nygma tries to escape justice once more by running away, but trips on the snow and officers take Nygma under custody. Nygma is tried for the murders of Carl Pinkney and Kristen Kringle and is sent to serve his sentence in Arkham Asylum due to him showing obvious signs of insanity.

Oswald who has reverted back to his "Penguin" persona prepares Grace the roast he had promised. Grace is quick to ridicule his meal, claiming it was overcooked. Penguin asks Grace to try the other joint saying it would be more tender, but Grace said it tasted the same. Grace wonders where Charles and Sasha were and tells Penguin to ring the bell, but Penguin doubts they would hear it. Grace calls out to her children, but no answer. Grace asks Penguin where were they. Penguin answers back saying that he knows that Grace was responsible for Elijah's death and remarks how careless she was in not throwing away the evidence. Grace tries to run away, but Penguin threatens her with a knife. Grace calls to her children once more, but Penguin tells her neither would be coming to her rescue. Grace asks what Penguin had done to them. Penguin reveals that not only did he kill them, but they were the meals he had just served to Grace and then stabs her to avenge his father's death and for the way they mistreated him.

Even though his name is now cleared, Jim decides not to return to work yet, saying he has one more thing to do. Barnes gives Jim Lee Thompkins new phone number revealing that she's now working down south, but Jim reveals that he still wants to find out who hired Matches Malone to kill the Wayne in order to be free. Barnes promises to give Jim the Wayne files if Jim calls Lee first. Alfred tells Bruce that Lucius finally fixed the computer, but makes Bruce choose between finding out what his father was doing or stay with Selina because whatever Thomas Wayne was doing, Alfred didn't want to put Bruce's friend's life in danger. Bruce decides to not get Selina involved, but she thinks that what he's really doing is trying to get away from who she is and bids him to have a great life, ending their friendship.

Jim tries to call Lee, but as soon as she answers, gets stage fright and hangs up. After hanging up, someone knocks on Jim's door. As soon as he opens it, he sees Barbara Kean standing at his door.

Trivia

  • Nygma's jump suit number (171) is a reference to 'Remarkable Ruse of the Riddler!' as that comic is 171 as well.
  • The scene in which Penguin kills his step-siblings and feeds them to his stepmother before killing her with a knife is very similar to a scene from the sixth season finale of Game of Thrones (which aired two months after this episode), in which Arya Stark kills Walder Frey's sons, bakes them into a pie, feeds them to him, and then cuts his throat. It is also reminiscent of:
    • The ancient Greek myth of Tantalus, an evil king who, as a practical joke on the gods of Olympus, invited them to a banquet and served them his own son as the main course, believing (wrongly) that they would not be able to recognize what was on their plates as human flesh. For his crime, Tantalus was banished to eternal torment in Hades.
    • A scene from the film Red Dragon, in which serial killer Hannibal Lecter serves pieces of his latest victim to guests at a dinner party (the scene is based on a passage from Thomas Harris's novel The Silence of the Lambs, but was not explicitly written out before the film was made).

References

  1. Monday final ratings: ‘The Voice’ adjusts up, ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ and ‘Jane the Virgin’ adjust down - TV by the Numbers
  2. Broadcast Live +7 ratings: ‘Empire’ and ‘Blacklist’ have biggest gains, 4 shows double - TV by the Numbers
  3. Gotham - Episode 2.17 - Into the Woods - Press Release - SpoilerTV

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