Gotham "Pinewood" Review: Daddy's Little Defect

Gotham S02E18: "Pinewood"

Ah, “Pinewood.” It works on two levels: on one hand, Pinewood Farm sounds disarmingly serene and harmless. On the other hand, coffins were traditionally made out of pinewood and Gotham, of course, chose to go that route by introducing one of Wayne Enterprises super-secret black ops mutant factories and then killing everyone. It was sad. It also finally gave us some actual solid clues to work with as we follow Bruce and Gordon down the rabbit hole of office politics and assassination. Bruce wore the emo turtleneck. “Pinewood” was one of those episodes. 

How has no one traced the breadcrumbs back to Hugo Strange, though? Between Penguin, Barbara, and now Mr. Freeze back on the streets, at the very least, he’s an incompetent director, and at worst… well… we already know he’s the “worst” and quite smug about it. With a nickname like “The Philosopher,” I chalk all this carelessness up to some smug kind of ubermensch mentality a la Leopold and Loeb—of course no one can catch Dr. Strange. He’s just so much smarter and better and smarter than everyone else. Also: he’s going to cure death, so like, murdering a few philanthropists or maimed ex-criminals is totally justified. 

Despite all the angst of Bruce discovering his father’s role in the Pinewood Farms project, the possibility that his murderer was someone he trusted and thought of as a friend, and poor dead Karen Jennings who briefly and completely managed to fill the big sister role that Bruce never realized he was missing out on, “Pinewood” was pretty funny at times. Those times usually involved the newly freed Barbara “Batshit Cray Cray” Keane. I’m not used to enjoying Barbara or even particularly caring about her, but the Barbara that emerged from Arkham is an enigma.  

Barbara claimed to the Lady that she was fabulously wealthy (and she certainly dressed like it) but really? Even still? Even if we want to go with the logic that even though she murdered her parents, she was an only child and probably the only heir/beneficiary of their fortune, wouldn’t court fees and coma-upkeep eat a lot of that up? At the very least, wouldn’t her assets be frozen? I’m just having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that the courts would just be like “Yeah, you totally killed the shit out of your mom and dad—here’s their money.”

Anyway, the new Barbara has shown that she can move fluidly between Gotham’s upper-crust and its vast underground crime network. She still has power and influence and can still be an asset to Jim Gordon—a volatile, unpredictable, and dangerous asset. As of “Pinewood,” Barbara seems to genuinely want to help Jim and make up for the whole trying-to-murder-everyone-he-ever-cared-about thing, but then she slipped so easily into the role of scorned lover and master criminal that frankly, it was a little scary. I was so proud of her when she tazed The Lady and took out her thugs. I like this Barbara. I want her to be good with a fun, sparkly bad streak. 

With nowhere else to go, Barbara ended up at Butch and Tabby’s place. I’m okay with it. 

While Barbara tried to redeem herself, Bruce and Alfred visited one of the mysterious contacts in Thomas Wayne’s calendar: the wrongly-jailed Karen Jennings, who turned to the Pinewood Farms project as a way to earn her freedom. What was supposed to be a procedure to remedy a birth defect actually left Karen with a velociraptor claw for a hand, which admittedly sounds badass in theory, but ended up kind of ruining Karen’s life more than it already was in practice. Nothing says social pariah like a condemned murderer with a dinosaur hand on the run from a secret science project that was/is more than happy to experiment on humans under the guise of philanthropy with creepy B.D. Wong at the helm. 

With everyone else from her lab rat cohort supposedly dead, and a soft spot for daddy-she-never-had, Thomas Wayne, Karen posed a tremendous risk to Strange and Peabody’s experiments at Arkham and the man might be smug and sloppy, but he’s not that sloppy. Karen knew his face, knew his nickname, and knew that he and Thomas had very different ideas about what Pinewood was supposed to be. She could bring everything down around him, so letting Mr. Freeze out of his cage, handing him a cold gun and a hazmat suit, seemed like the obvious choice for taking Karen out. Always with the flair, Dr. Strange. Why not just wait until she got to Blackgate and pay someone to shank her? Why not argue that her trauma obviously left her insane and then drag her to Arkham for more “treatment?” 

Because Gotham, and also because comics. For all of Gotham’s grittiness, the occasional leap of logic is allowed. Just don’t give us another Balloon Man incident. Gotham has come so far. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that awful episode came from the same series that’s been gleefully stomping on our feelings of late. 



NOTES FROM THE BATCAVE

— There was something awkwardly funny about Strange and Peabody in their matching parkas. 

— T-minus how long until Barbara snaps again? 

— No Penguin this week! What do you think he was up to? 

— Gotham has really stepped up its Bruce-game. It must be the Emo Turtleneck of Justice. 

— Bruce’s outburst that Thomas being murdered by someone he thought was his friend was “not fair” was out of character for the calculating little weirdo, but so perfect considering where Bruce is in his evolution. It shows the kind of logic that a child might have. Friends aren’t supposed to kill each other! What kind of world is this? And I loved it because for all of his growth, Bruce is still a child. 

— LOL at “morally neutral” lock picking. XOXO

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Apr 21, 2016
Bullock+pizza box was pretty funny.
"This would be the perfect opportunity to let our Sub-Zero guest try out his new suit."
Wanted Karen to stick around more and throat slash people.
It was good to see Tabitha.
AZRAEL!
Couldn't stop laughing at Strange and Peabody in their parkas and Gordon was punching people left and right!


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Apr 20, 2016
Another solid episode. Barbara's return is going well with her awesome double cross of Lady for Jim's sake. I honestly wasn't sure which way she was going to go.....crazy bad or crazy good. Bullocks reaction to seeing her in the hallway was awesome. Bruce has really blossomed into a junior detective and Alfred has given in to the fact that he can't stop him anymore. So he's just going to go along and be his muscle. I hated Galavan so I'm not thrilled he's alive again but at least he'll be buried in the Azrael character. I'm not happy with the direction of the Mr Freeze character so far. His motivation was always about saving his wife, but she's dead now and he's just a frozen, angry guy right now with no purpose. His mission to save his wife gave him a little sympathy. So many great storylines going on right now. With Penguin and Ed Nygma still to be dealt with. Good stuff on the way.
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Apr 20, 2016
Not that it wasn't obviously going to happen, but having Galavan as Azrael is a bit disappointing for me. He was just too goofy in all the wrong ways to be convincing as the avenging angel of the Order of St Dumas (although I suppose that explains his fighting prowess against Gordon).
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Apr 20, 2016
This was a great episode!

Babs was truly and tragically crazy. I get why Jim refused to forgive, but being kind could've helped her "normalize".

Gordon as an anti-hero was too cool for words.

Little Bats has finally made an appearance! Alfred is going to have to learn to deal with him.

And nobody thought to ask what the Philosopher looked like...weak. Fortunately, this was the only part that didn't feel right.
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Apr 19, 2016
Why didn't anyone (looking at you Jim, can you describe the suspect mam?) just ask Karen what the boss looked like?
Eh, Hazmat suit MaryAnn? A metal one? When I saw that it reminded me of Robocop, namely, shoot him in the face dickhead!
I hope Michelle Gomez some more airtime in meatier ways, with her bril' delivery of dark comedic lines.
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Apr 20, 2016
It's mind boggling why he didn't ask what the Philosopher looked like. -Describe the suspect
-he kinda looks like BD Wong
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Apr 20, 2016
Because the writers thought it'd be fun to make us think that it would be several more eps before the Strange reveal by having the cliche of the sole witness being killed before they talked. Then they just had Lucius prove that he's the best detective in the room by producing the name and face himself.
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Apr 19, 2016
DId they really have to bring Galavant back though? He was the worst
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Apr 19, 2016
Average episode see Jim Gordon doing his Vigilante style not as spectacular as the Punisher of course but with Bullocks tools why not. Then we have Alfred we his cockney rhyming slang lol at least the episode was cat less . Barbara helping Jim out was a highlight now she back with Butch and her girlfriend Tabby. No Penguin which was a shame still it wont be long before Dr Strange has a queue of villains out to get him Penguin , Enygma and Tabby. Next week Gotham doing a Game of Thrones some lunatic running around in a suit of amour lol
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Apr 19, 2016
I love Barbara Keane because whereas Ben McKenzie appears like he has just come out of a root canal every time he appears on screen as Jim Gordan, Erin Richards is having a blast playing Barbara. She made those scenes with her and Gordan so much more fun. Ben McKenzie remains the biggest problem with this show. Everyone seems to be having more fun than him and because he is so boring, Jim Gordan isn't even as remotely interesting as Bruce Wayne. David Mazouz is learning on the job and getting better and more engaging each week especially when paired with either Sean Pertwee (Alfred) or Camren Bicondova (Selina Kyle) - why doesn't McKenzie ever get any better? Nice seeing David Frain is returning to the fun soon!

I am very excited to see that Babs went back with Butch and Tabby now that Theo has been resurrected by Dr. Strange. Now if they can just keep Fish Mooney dead.......
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Apr 19, 2016
I loved the adventures of Jim and Barbara. Honestly wouldn't have minded if Barbara killed Jim and we got to watch crazy Babs become Queen of Gotham. #Spinoff
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Apr 19, 2016
Weirdly enough, it was the "Balloon Man" episode that actually convinced me to keep following Gotham. I haven't regretted it yet :3
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Apr 19, 2016
Finally an episode focused on who killed the Waynes. It was good - didn't lose my head over it, but it was good!

Poor Barbara... sane or insane none can tell and none cares!

Really Jim? You had to see the pic to realize that Hugo Strange was The Philosopher? Ok... that's an odd nickname for someone of Strange's profession.

Mazouz was very good! The Bruce / Alfred team in action is always fun to watch!

It was a fun episode that progressed the main plot! I hope the show continues like that!
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Apr 19, 2016
#cold_blow_of_death

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Apr 19, 2016
#crazy_tasty

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Apr 19, 2016
#damn_you_hand_cream!

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Apr 19, 2016
Total Recall rip off original not the shit remake
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Apr 19, 2016
#new_plot_for_the_next_catwoman_movie_starring_Halle_Berry
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Apr 19, 2016
No Penguin, no Nygma and way too much Jim and Barbara drama for my taste.
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Apr 19, 2016
Watching this episode, I believe Batman is son of Jim Gordan.
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Apr 19, 2016
Barbara! Another (very brief) scene with both Alfred and Bullock! (Keep them separated or they will upstage the whole show!) Azrael!! And maybe the point where Bruce starts calling the shots. (The slightly stunned look on Gordon's face was enjoyable.)

But ugh, redshirt claw lady dead because apparently Mr. Freeze had an impenetrable invisible forcefield around his head. And the "rise/wrath of the villains" season finally sees villains "rise" in episode 18 of 22.
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Apr 19, 2016
A good episode without Nygma or Penguin! You continue to surprise Gotham. Highlights for me were Mr. Freeze in full gear and the introduction of Azrael. Should have seen that coming with the 'Order of Saint Duma' stories earlier this season but didn't think they'd actually go there.

Looking forward to the rest.
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Apr 19, 2016
HA, CALLED IT! I new Matches Malone wasn't the Wayne's killer!!
What is it about comic book stories where NO ONE can ever aim for the face when a Super is attacking? Geez Jim, you ever play a shooter -b-4-N-UR-LIFE? Or do you just practice your firearm skillz on perps? Lol.
Also Gotham's currency looks hella fake, but at least the butch ( NOT the real Butch. Ha, he's too busy getting Taffy-4-Tabby! Boy is he a lucky S.O.B., b/c now he's got 2 thirsty psycho's in need of a father figure,;-) cop SURVIVED, and got PAID! YAY:)

Barbara-'Say my name"
Jim-"Goodbye Barbara" Oh shit, he just validated Ms crazy-pantz by saying her name. Like Barbz lil' bi-yotch or something!
Though that was cold for Jim to slam the door on her face, it'll be even colder when she comes back at night when he's sleeping. You know it's only a matter of time b4 she rapes him, and is preggerz w/ his BAB-EY;-P

Alfred-"Ah Mr. Fox"
Lucious- " I let myself in" Alfred thinking who the HELL said you can come out the damn hole? Lol, again, outside of having a scene of this and him stating he was hungry, I just assumed he lived in the Batcave working on Brucie's computer. You know for free, b/c it's not like he has a job or anything:-/
The actor playing Thomas Wayne changed from the pilot, to this episodes photo of him&the Philosopher a.k.a. Dr. Strange! Dun dun, DUUUN!!!
Now we have a zombie who takes on the name of Azreal!?
The plot thickens.
Ha, and he goes all Judge Dredd on the city next week & it's going-2-B-Awesome. I can't wait.
Another cray cray installment, and I loved it:-)
GOT HAM? -U-SO CRAZEE ;-P
More+
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Apr 19, 2016
Shooting someone in the head is hard, particularly when they're wearing a high armored collar. And are shooting at you.

Believe me, I've tried. ;)
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Apr 19, 2016
spammer below flag at leisure
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Apr 19, 2016
So so episode.
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Apr 19, 2016
Disappointed No cat girl but satisfied overall. (I was skipping Gordon scenes...
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Apr 19, 2016
Freeze looks terrible, his previous costume looked better imo. Also his freeze ray looks like the weirdest water gun.
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Apr 19, 2016
And the text recap is up, as soon as it clears the cache.
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Apr 19, 2016
THX 4 the headz up as always;-p
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Apr 19, 2016
I love crazy Barbara. I would watch a spinoff with her being half crazy half not. Best episode this season.
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Apr 19, 2016
Crazy Barbara is great. Then again, any Barbara not stifled by having to play beneath a flat lead character (Gordon in season one) is great.
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