‘Gotham’ Recap: Azrael

Last week’s episode of Gotham ended with Professor Strange, thrilled that he’d finally managed to reanimate Theo Galavan. “Azrael” opens with the man in question and his new name Azrael. He’s killed all his orderlies and is scratching verses on the wall in his blood. Ms. Peabody thinks he’s insane and wants to medicate him, but Professor Strange insists Azrael just is having trouble coping. His psyche is fractured and struggling to build a recoherent self but it’s relying on the wrong parts. After all, the verses Azrael is scratching on the walls are from “The Will and Order of St. Dumas,” the sacred texts of Galavan’s ancestors.

The pair are interrupted when Jim shows up with questions about Pinewood Farms. Professor Strange explains that Thomas Wayne wanted to cure humanity’s greatest ailments, like old age and disease. Jim doesn’t buy it; he thinks Professor Strange ran the experiments that turned patients into monsters. Professor Strange insists he was a lowly researcher and indeed the one who forced Wayne to give up the program. That’s when Professor Strange turns the interrogation back on Jim, psychoanalyzing him and deciding he’s trying to help Bruce for his own personal redemption. Professor Strange is right of course, and he knows it’s true because he can read Jim’s tells. But it turns out, Jim can read tells too. Jim confirms Professor Strange is responsible for Pinewood Farms by pretending he has an order to exhume Victor Fries’ body. There obviously isn’t one, so Professor Strange lies and says he’s cremated.

It’s clearly a battle of wits…but is it one Jim can win? Let’s be honest: Professor Strange is really smart.

Meanwhile, Nygma is doing surprisingly well in prison. Rudy (Tommy Buck) suffers from multiple personality disorders, one of whom calls Helzinger (Stink Fisher) fat. Helzinger is furious so Nygma pretends that personality is a ghost and has a fake conversation with her. That’s when he overhears Ms. Peabody and Professor Strange worrying about how Jim might be a nuisance. Nygma offers to help, explaining how he’s made friends with every crazy prisoner by listening to everyone’s story and understanding what makes them click.

This statement gives Professor Strange the cure for Azrael’s lack of identity: your identity is just a story you tell yourself, so all they need to do is give Azrael a new one. Ms. Peabody is less than pleased, but lets Professor Strange walk into Azrael’s room because he’s her bosss, not even calling security when Azrael attacks him per the professor’s request. Professor Strange basically lets Galavan think he is Azrael – a fabled 12th century knight who died protecting and was brought back to life by his feudal lord Adam Dumas. Professor Strange, of course, is meant to be Dumas.

At Wayne Manor, Bullock and Jim explain to Bruce they can’t go after Galavan because they don’t have enough evidence to get an arrest warrant. Bruce doesn’t trust the law and clearly just wants to kill Professor Strange, telling Jim he did what he had to when he killed Galavan. Jim tells Bruce he chose to kill and it’s something he’s still paying for, and that Bruce needs to be better. Jim does agree to work on Barnes with Bullock, though.

After showing Azrael videos to fit his new persona, Professor Strange decides to test whether the persona is working. He tells Azrael to destroy Helzinger, who he claims is a demon, with what’s in his case. Azrael does what Professor Strange asks – but he uses the case to bash Helzinger’s head instead of opening. Professor Strange still decides Azrael is ready to kill the sinner James Gordon. He also gives him the Sword of Sin, Azrael’s instrument for justice for generations…although in fact it was made yesterday.

But Professor Strange doesn’t count on Nygma, still angry at the professor’s arrogance, using a newspaper to walk out of the cafeteria and following Ms Peabody when she takes Helzinger away. Nygma hears a door whoosh but when he can’t see it, he decides Professor Strange is hiding a way out of Arkham. So he gets his prisoner friends to steal various tools so he can find it too.

Later, Barnes is at a construction site giving a statement to the press about the four black bodies hanging off the ceiling. Jim shows up wanting to talk to Barnes; Barnes refuses to since he’s sure Jim broke Karen (the girl with the monster hand from last week) out, but finally caves when Bruce insists.

Barnes doesn’t believe a word Jim says about Pinewood Farms or Professor Strange. During their argument, Azrael shows up in black armor and a black gas. He wants to kill Jim. Barnes doesn’t let him, and the trio fight with both swords and bullets before Azrael literally runs up the walls and disappears. Later, we watch Penguin see this news report on TV – and clearly the crazy is back. Grace’s corpse and their final dinner is still sitting in the same room, except now flies are buzzing all around. Ewww. Penguin even speaks to Grace’s corpse. We also see Azrael see a Galavan for Mayor poster and have flashbacks to his former life.

Barnes sends Bruce home and the entire GCPD out to find Azrael. Jim refuses to stay in the headquarters for his own protection, so Barnes locks Jim up on suspicion of breaking Karen out for his own protection. This turns out to be a good thing when Azrael shows up. Azrael gives Barnes the option to spare all his officers if he releases Jim. Barnes refuses, and Azrael easily kills several of the officers, darting in and out of the shadow. He’s fascinated by guns but becomes frustrated when the one he picks up to kill Jim doesn’t fire. It’s out of bullets, but Azrael calls it “vile sorcery.”

Barnes saves Jim by shooting several bullets into Azrael’s armored chest. When it doesn’t work, Barnes decides to lead Azrael upstairs while Jim finds a bigger gun. Barnes and Azrael get into a sword/metal pipe fight on the roof. Barnes is winning, especially when Azrael’s swords breaks and Azrael is shocked because it shouldn’t, until he tears Azrael’s mask off and sees Galavan’s faced. His surprise gives Azrael an opening to stab him. Jim shows up and shoots Azrael, making the knight fall, and Jim works to save Barnes.

Azrael happens to fall on a car right in front of a news reporter who’s filming the GCPD situation. Penguin sees this report and is gleeful. Tabitha, on the other hand, is totally shocked. It probably doesn’t help that Barbara is annoying and scaring Butch by constantly flipping through channels and bringing out a literal cleaver to cut limes for gimlets. Bruce, who’s convinced Strange is behind Galavan returning to life, and Alfred just seemed resigned to their insane city.

Back at Arkham, Nygma successfully breaks into Professor Strange’s secret floor and hears the screams all around him. (Professor Strange has already eagerly started the process of reinserting personas into his other subjects.) And finally, the episode ends with Jim seemingly getting some idea and Azrael standing at the top of a bridge overlooking Gotham.

All in all, I really enjoyed “Azrael.” I was annoyed they brought Theo Galavan back, but at least he has a new identity! I LOVED Ms. Peabody, who really came into her own this week with all her sardonic comments. I kind of hope she turns on Professor Strange when he gets taken down. Speaking of, I enjoyed the fact that he’s continuously creating more enemies, like Nygma. I’m picturing Jim and the bad guys getting together to destroy the professor because everybody seems to hate him.

I wish I felt more worried about Barnes, but I don’t since he’s a character that’s generally decent but easy to hate. Still, Barnes has his moments. I was thrilled Barnes sent Bruce home and away from the police investigation. Finally, someone who gets that Bruce is killed! I also enjoyed the legal arguments Jim and Barnes had throughout this episode. Jim insists that sometimes you need to work outside the law; Barnes asks why Jim gets to decide when that’s right. It’s a vigilante theme and I’m glad they’re bringing it out into the open.

A final thought: is Azrael where Bruce gets the inspiration for Batman? He’s literally a “dark knight” and his costume looks very similar to Bruce’s, plus he flits in and out of shadows and makes dramatic entrances like Batman does. Plus, Bruce looked totally fascinated when Azrael scaled the wall – another Batman trademark. I guess we’ll find out.

Liked this? Check out last episode’s recap!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Image Courtesy of FOX

Last week’s episode of Gotham ended with Professor Strange, thrilled that he’d finally managed to reanimate Theo Galavan. “Azrael” opens with the man in question and his new name Azrael. He’s killed all his orderlies and is scratching verses on the wall in his blood. Ms. Peabody thinks he’s insane and wants to medicate him, but Professor Strange insists Azrael just is having trouble coping. His psyche is fractured and struggling to build a recoherent self but it’s relying on the wrong parts. After all, the verses Azrael is scratching on the walls are from “The Will and Order of St. Dumas,” the sacred texts of Galavan’s ancestors.

The pair are interrupted when Jim shows up with questions about Pinewood Farms. Professor Strange explains that Thomas Wayne wanted to cure humanity’s greatest ailments, like old age and disease. Jim doesn’t buy it; he thinks Professor Strange ran the experiments that turned patients into monsters. Professor Strange insists he was a lowly researcher and indeed the one who forced Wayne to give up the program. That’s when Professor Strange turns the interrogation back on Jim, psychoanalyzing him and deciding he’s trying to help Bruce for his own personal redemption. Professor Strange is right of course, and he knows it’s true because he can read Jim’s tells. But it turns out, Jim can read tells too. Jim confirms Professor Strange is responsible for Pinewood Farms by pretending he has an order to exhume Victor Fries’ body. There obviously isn’t one, so Professor Strange lies and says he’s cremated.

It’s clearly a battle of wits…but is it one Jim can win? Let’s be honest: Professor Strange is really smart.

Meanwhile, Nygma is doing surprisingly well in prison. Rudy (Tommy Buck) suffers from multiple personality disorders, one of whom calls Helzinger (Stink Fisher) fat. Helzinger is furious so Nygma pretends that personality is a ghost and has a fake conversation with her. That’s when he overhears Ms. Peabody and Professor Strange worrying about how Jim might be a nuisance. Nygma offers to help, explaining how he’s made friends with every crazy prisoner by listening to everyone’s story and understanding what makes them click.

This statement gives Professor Strange the cure for Azrael’s lack of identity: your identity is just a story you tell yourself, so all they need to do is give Azrael a new one. Ms. Peabody is less than pleased, but lets Professor Strange walk into Azrael’s room because he’s her bosss, not even calling security when Azrael attacks him per the professor’s request. Professor Strange basically lets Galavan think he is Azrael – a fabled 12th century knight who died protecting and was brought back to life by his feudal lord Adam Dumas. Professor Strange, of course, is meant to be Dumas.

At Wayne Manor, Bullock and Jim explain to Bruce they can’t go after Galavan because they don’t have enough evidence to get an arrest warrant. Bruce doesn’t trust the law and clearly just wants to kill Professor Strange, telling Jim he did what he had to when he killed Galavan. Jim tells Bruce he chose to kill and it’s something he’s still paying for, and that Bruce needs to be better. Jim does agree to work on Barnes with Bullock, though.

After showing Azrael videos to fit his new persona, Professor Strange decides to test whether the persona is working. He tells Azrael to destroy Helzinger, who he claims is a demon, with what’s in his case. Azrael does what Professor Strange asks – but he uses the case to bash Helzinger’s head instead of opening. Professor Strange still decides Azrael is ready to kill the sinner James Gordon. He also gives him the Sword of Sin, Azrael’s instrument for justice for generations…although in fact it was made yesterday.

But Professor Strange doesn’t count on Nygma, still angry at the professor’s arrogance, using a newspaper to walk out of the cafeteria and following Ms Peabody when she takes Helzinger away. Nygma hears a door whoosh but when he can’t see it, he decides Professor Strange is hiding a way out of Arkham. So he gets his prisoner friends to steal various tools so he can find it too.

Later, Barnes is at a construction site giving a statement to the press about the four black bodies hanging off the ceiling. Jim shows up wanting to talk to Barnes; Barnes refuses to since he’s sure Jim broke Karen (the girl with the monster hand from last week) out, but finally caves when Bruce insists.

Barnes doesn’t believe a word Jim says about Pinewood Farms or Professor Strange. During their argument, Azrael shows up in black armor and a black gas. He wants to kill Jim. Barnes doesn’t let him, and the trio fight with both swords and bullets before Azrael literally runs up the walls and disappears. Later, we watch Penguin see this news report on TV – and clearly the crazy is back. Grace’s corpse and their final dinner is still sitting in the same room, except now flies are buzzing all around. Ewww. Penguin even speaks to Grace’s corpse. We also see Azrael see a Galavan for Mayor poster and have flashbacks to his former life.

Barnes sends Bruce home and the entire GCPD out to find Azrael. Jim refuses to stay in the headquarters for his own protection, so Barnes locks Jim up on suspicion of breaking Karen out for his own protection. This turns out to be a good thing when Azrael shows up. Azrael gives Barnes the option to spare all his officers if he releases Jim. Barnes refuses, and Azrael easily kills several of the officers, darting in and out of the shadow. He’s fascinated by guns but becomes frustrated when the one he picks up to kill Jim doesn’t fire. It’s out of bullets, but Azrael calls it “vile sorcery.”

Barnes saves Jim by shooting several bullets into Azrael’s armored chest. When it doesn’t work, Barnes decides to lead Azrael upstairs while Jim finds a bigger gun. Barnes and Azrael get into a sword/metal pipe fight on the roof. Barnes is winning, especially when Azrael’s swords breaks and Azrael is shocked because it shouldn’t, until he tears Azrael’s mask off and sees Galavan’s faced. His surprise gives Azrael an opening to stab him. Jim shows up and shoots Azrael, making the knight fall, and Jim works to save Barnes.

Azrael happens to fall on a car right in front of a news reporter who’s filming the GCPD situation. Penguin sees this report and is gleeful. Tabitha, on the other hand, is totally shocked. It probably doesn’t help that Barbara is annoying and scaring Butch by constantly flipping through channels and bringing out a literal cleaver to cut limes for gimlets. Bruce, who’s convinced Strange is behind Galavan returning to life, and Alfred just seemed resigned to their insane city.

Back at Arkham, Nygma successfully breaks into Professor Strange’s secret floor and hears the screams all around him. (Professor Strange has already eagerly started the process of reinserting personas into his other subjects.) And finally, the episode ends with Jim seemingly getting some idea and Azrael standing at the top of a bridge overlooking Gotham.

All in all, I really enjoyed “Azrael.” I was annoyed they brought Theo Galavan back, but at least he has a new identity! I LOVED Ms. Peabody, who really came into her own this week with all her sardonic comments. I kind of hope she turns on Professor Strange when he gets taken down. Speaking of, I enjoyed the fact that he’s continuously creating more enemies, like Nygma. I’m picturing Jim and the bad guys getting together to destroy the professor because everybody seems to hate him.

I wish I felt more worried about Barnes, but I don’t since he’s a character that’s generally decent but easy to hate. Still, Barnes has his moments. I was thrilled Barnes sent Bruce home and away from the police investigation. Finally, someone who gets that Bruce is killed! I also enjoyed the legal arguments Jim and Barnes had throughout this episode. Jim insists that sometimes you need to work outside the law; Barnes asks why Jim gets to decide when that’s right. It’s a vigilante theme and I’m glad they’re bringing it out into the open.

A final thought: is Azrael where Bruce gets the inspiration for Batman? He’s literally a “dark knight” and his costume looks very similar to Bruce’s, plus he flits in and out of shadows and makes dramatic entrances like Batman does. Plus, Bruce looked totally fascinated when Azrael scaled the wall – another Batman trademark. I guess we’ll find out.

Liked this? Check out last episode’s recap!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Image Courtesy of FOX

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