Air Date: May 16, 2016
Genre: Crime, Drama, Action
So after witnessing Azreal’s over the top fate in last week’s Unleashed, how does the A Legion Of Horribles keep the momentum flowing? Well, it’s the episode before the finale, so naturally we need to wrap up some events of this season while also setting up the antagonist forces of the next season, which will obviously carry into next week’s episode. A Legion Of Horribles finds our story taking an unexpected turn in one aspect; the introduction of “A Secret Society” (because god forbid they actually call them The Court Of Owls). A great deal is revealed and while we get more insight into Hugo Strange’s character, in a strange way (no pun intended), it also sort of takes away from the character a bit. I know that sounds confusing but I’ll get into that soon enough.
The episode begins on a strong note, picking up where Unleashed left off. Selena Kyle (Camren Bicondova) is still being held captive by Hugo Strange (B.D. Wong) and is being pursued by her brainwashed best friend, Bridgette Pike a.k.a. Firefly (Michelle Veintimilla). Meanwhile, Bruce (David Mazouz), Gordon (Ben McKenzie) & Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk) devise a plan to enter Arkham Asylum in order to find Dr. Strange’s secret stronghold and Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) forms an unlikely partnership with Dr. Strange in order to stop them. Oh, and Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) is back… Um, yay… I guess.
A Legion Of Horribles manages to stay engaging enough, despite having to juggle a great many things in under an hour. The scenes with Selena and Firefly are fun, especially when Firefly is boasting about being “The Goddess Of Fire.” It was interesting to see how Selena would get out of a trap like this (because let’s be honest, it’s Catwoman so she’s not going to die) and the way she goes about it fits with her character. She’s not down there to expose Hugo Strange or really even to help Bruce; she’s there to save her friend and will do whatever it takes to get her friend out of her current state, even if that means pretending to be Firefly’s servant for the time being. I’m actually a bit intrigued to see where this goes in the finale.
Yes, Fish Mooney returns to the game, having been resurrected by Hugo Strange via “science babble, science babble”. Personally, I never cared much for this character. I have nothing against Jada Pinkett Smith but her character doesn’t have anything to her. She’s just a generic mobster with no personality that was entirely made up for the show. The only thing they ever did with her regarding any semblance of character development was in her relationship with Butch (Drew Powell) but even then, Butch didn’t get interesting until after Fish Mooney was gone.
When Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) threw Fish Mooney off a building in the season one finale, I had a sigh of relief knowing that the show could finally get on with itself. But now, not only is she back and bland as ever, she now has the power to hypnotize anyone she touches, making them bend to her every wish (so she’s essentially Silverfox from X-Men Origins: Wolverine). I seriously hope something happens with her in the next episode because, thus far, I don’t see any point to her character being here at all. She wasn’t interesting to begin with and she isn’t going to be interesting if all you do is give her a dumb superpower.
On another note, Edward Nygma doesn’t need to be given any dumb superpower to be menacing or fun, as he manages to form an unlikely alliance with Dr. Strange and Ethel Peabody (Tonya Pinkins) in this episode. This is where we got to see Edward Nygma become the villain we all know and love. In the past, we’d really only see him ask riddles in passing, accidentally kill the woman he loves and develops a split personality. These elements were not bad, but rather a good setup for the villain he would become. That day is here, as we see him holding both Bruce and Lucius Fox hostage, taunting them over a loudspeaker, which will obviously carry into the finale. I hope they do something strong with this in the finale because, for all intents and purposes, this is The Riddler and Cory Michael Smith is perfect.
One area A Legion Of Horribles excels in is what it does with Bruce. This is an episode that really showcases David Mazouz’s talents as an actor. For half of this season and most of the last one, Bruce was relegated to more of a side character and, as a character in general wasn’t really that interesting. This meant that there weren’t many moments for this actor to do much serious acting. However, that began to change during the latter half of season two as we delved more into the mystery surrounding the death of the Wayne’s. A Legion Of Horribles shows Bruce having a face to face conversation with Hugo Strange who, as we established in an earlier episode, had somewhat of a hand in the death of his parents. The way these two play off of each other is well done and the highlight of the episode. That scene with Bruce and Strange is quite poignant as a whole.
However, while I did like this, it also makes Hugo Strange seem a little less threatening as a villain. Don’t get me wrong, his words to Bruce are chilling and, in many respects, heartbreaking but knowing that Hugo Strange has been taking orders from The Court Of Owls (let’s just call them what they are, shall we?) makes him seem like less of a legitimate threat. I wouldn’t mind this so much if there was a legitimate lead up to The Court Of Owls, but there isn’t at all. The existence of this secret society wasn’t even a factor until this episode so it comes off as a bit rushed and forced. This isn’t like The Dark Knight Rises, where they dropped a ton of hints that Bane was working for somebody else. This plot thread in A Legion Of Horribles just comes out of nowhere. It’s not unwelcome, it’s not handled very well and on a side note, the mask looks ridiculous.
Other additions included Gordon being captured and apparently replaced at the end of the episode by Clayface (Brian MacManamon), one of Dr. Strange’s many experiments down in Indian Hill. I’m not too keen on Clayface’s appearance, nor am I fond of the way he changes his face via dumb science machine but I guess we’ll see where it goes. The Indian Hill subplot became more interesting in this episode as we did see more experiments and were given a taste of exactly what Hugo Strange was trying to accomplish all this time. Bullock (Donal Logue) and the gang at the GCPD didn’t get much to do in this episode but it was pretty awesome how Bullock assembled an entire task force at the end of the episode to find Gordon. It reminds us that while they may not always agree on what the best course of action is, Bullock will always have Gordon’s back.
Overall, A Legion Of Horribles was a good episode on the whole. It has some intriguing moments, some of which I’ve been wanting to see for awhile. The introduction of The Court Of Owls was pretty forced as a whole and I still have no idea why Fish Mooney is still “a thing”, but the episode manages to keep itself afloat with some intriguing character moments, a bit of fun action with Firefly and cliffhanger ending that should lead into an interesting finale if done right (Clayface looked a bit dumb but what can ya do?). Hopefully, the next episode can pick up the momentum a bit and deliver a great finale for season two. Maybe Fish Mooney can die for real this time… fingers crossed!
- Characters: While Fish Mooney was a minor annoyance, most of the other characters are developed further in the episode with Hugo Strange and Bruce being the two standouts.
- Story: There’s a lot going on in A Legion Of Horribles; some of it good, some of it unnecessary, but fine overall.
- Cinematography: There were some interesting effects regarding Clayface stretching his face out but nothing too special on the whole.
- Acting: Some standout performances from David Mazouz and B.D. Wong outshine everyone else in the episode.
- B.D. Wong And David Mazouz's Performances.
- Edward Nygma's Riddler Moment
- Catwoman & Firefly
- Further Character Development For Bruce And Hugo Strange
- A Good Setup For What Should Be An Awesome Finale
- The Court Of Owls Feels Incredibly Shoehorned In
- Fish Mooney Still Sucks
- Clayface Looks A Bit Too Lame
A graduate of Full Sail University with a Bachelors Degree in Creative Writing, Adam is a Writer and Film Critic, looking to make his mark on the world. When he isn’t at the movies, writing for The Nerd Stash, playing Duck Hunt (respect the classics) or delivering pizzas to his neighbors, he is back at school earning his Masters Degree in Film Production.