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2x 01 Damned If You Do
- The season begins with a short montage of the main cast in the aftermath of season one. Namely: Jim being demoted to traffic cop duty for trying to stand up to Loeb, completely alone because Harvey quit the force and now works as a bartender.
- Bruce finding the letter his father wrote him in his secret room. His voice cracks when he reads his father's plea for him to choose happiness over 'the truth.' Especially more poignant since we know how - and who - Bruce is going to be when he grows up.
- The reveal of what the entry code is, since of all the codes that Bruce tried, he apparently never even considered that it might be his own name. What does that say about his relationship with Thomas?
- Alternatively, this could be a reflection of how he considers "Bruce" as a dead entity not worth mentioning.
- The look on Jim's face when he realizes he just murdered a man - albeit in self-defense- in order to return to the GCPD after Loeb pettily fires him. He knows that whatever he does next, he will always have this on his conscience.
2x 02 Knock, Knock
- Sarah Essen's death. A literal one: she herself sheds a tear as she dies.
- The heartbroken look on Alfred's face when Bruce fires him (temporarily). Especially since he was genuinely just trying to protect Bruce and is obviously terrified for his safety and mental well-being.
2x 03 The Last Laugh
- Even though he's an unrepentant murderer, there is something sad about hearing Jerome's story of childhood abuse at the hands of his mother and her sex partners. Since he's telling the story to his father, who was there, it's probably true.
- Cicero's death.
- In a meta way, Jerome's death. Many fans were pretty upset that such a dynamic character met his end so soon.
2x 04 Strike Force
- Alfred punching Selina for killing Reggie, and ordering to her to never come near Bruce, again. Poor Selina looks like she's about to cry, and is in a deep funk by the episode' end.
- It hurts even more seeing Bruce so enamored so quickly with Silver, knowing he'd told Selina just one episode before that he missed her, and that she'd been waiting outside school to see him again before Alfred punched her.
- To give more context: Selina murdered a man who had almost killed Alfred and then threatened Bruce. Bruce himself almost pushed Reggie, and Selina stepped in when he couldn't, as well as to keep his hands clean. As well, she was clearly shaken afterward by what she had done. So she was trying to protect Bruce, and Alfred slapped her for it.
- In order to coerce Penguin to be his hired gun, Galavan kidnaps his mother. Oswald is far, far from a good man, but that doesn't stop his sheer anguish from being heart-wrenching.
- It's just heartbreaking to see the kind and loving Mrs. Kapelput locked up and handcuffed in a tiny room, tearfully begging to be freed. The teary-eyed look on Penguin's face when he sees his mother in captivity really hits the feels hard.
- His confrontation with Jim at the end. Jim knows he's been behaving uncharacteristically throughout the entire episode, and even seems a little worried about him, and it's obviously eating Oswald up that he can't confide in his "old friend" without putting his mother in danger. The way he coldly tells Jim to leave is totally incongruous with the tears in his eyes.
2x 05 Scarification
- Bridgit and Selina summarising each other's life experiences: "Why have a family if you're a slave?" "Why be free, if you're alone?" It's hard to tell which of the two girls had it worse, but it's impossible not to feel terrible for both.
2x 06 By Fire
- Edward accidentally murders Kristen.
- That whole scene really. Edward's revelation that he killed Tom, he and Kristen's subsequent fight, and Kristen's death itself are so hard to watch, especially because of how happy they had been together up until that point in their new relationship. And seeing Edward smile as he holds up Tom's badge as a way of convincing Kristen that he's dead... It's both Nightmare Fuel and Tear Jerker because he's trying to reassure her that she's safe from Tom's abuse, and meanwhile she's horrified and it wasn't what she meant when she said, "[Tom] could be dead in a ditch somewhere for all I care." It's the way Edward can't read her, can't react normally to something so traumatic (and she highlights it by being rightly terrified and calling him a freak), but he seems so earnest and well-meaning, makes the whole scene so very painful. And then his screams of agony when he realizes he's just killed her...
- Ultimately Kristen's fate as a victim of domestic abuse and not a survivor... is very hard to stomach. After experiencing abuse from her previous partners and trying so hard to escape it, seeing her die from abuse ultimately is heartbreaking.
- Being unable to escape abuse is something of a running theme in this episode, especially with Bridgit's ultimate fate. Selina's tearful reaction completely sells it; it might be the first time we've seen her cry.
2x 07 Mommy's Little Monster
2x 08 Tonight's The Night
2x 09 A Bitter Pill to Swallow
- Penguin reminiscing on how his mother used to cheer him up by singing to him when he was a child.
Penguin: Every night when I was young, my mother would sing that song to me when I was going to bed. And every time, she would tell me, (starts to tear up) "Oswald... don't listen to the other children. You're handsome and clever. And some day, you will be a great man." She said that every time.
- Another tear jerkingly sad moment is when Ed is asking advice on how to kill people, Penguin just looks out the window and sadly laments that the road to becoming a murderer is a sad and bitter one. He then tells Nygma that he himself is leaving Gotham as soon as he recovers. Sure, that doesn't last but it's painfully clear just how bad his mother's death broke him.
- Captain Barnes revealing to Jim part of his backstory as a Marine. He says that what he did back then no longer haunts him, but he seems to be swigging from that liquor bottle with more gusto than simply deadening the pain in his injured leg would require.
2x 10 The Son of Gotham
- Despite everything she's done, seeing Silver cry for Bruce when Tom takes him away to torture him is just heartwrenching. It's clear that at this point, she genuinely cares for Bruce, and is completely devastated when he gets dragged away. Sure, it was all just a Batman Gambit and he was perfectly fine, but you can't help but feel a little sympathy for her.
- Unless it was an act to appear more sympathetic to her torturers. Which is possible since Selina points out she didn't start negotiating until her life was on the line.
- Or if she was crying because she's afraid her uncle will kill her for not keeping Bruce alive so he can be ritually sacrificed instead.
2x 11 Worse Than A Crime
- Silver and Bruce exchanging stories about their (now deceased) parents.
- Bruce telling Silver that he's not afraid to die, because it means he'll see his parents again.
- Really, Silver in this whole episode. She's shown to be just a scared, confused young girl who has no choice but to go along with her family's wishes out of fear for her life.
- Galavan's death, not because of any Alas, Poor Villain (in fact his death was for many impossible to feel bad for seeing as he deserved every minute of it), but unusually it was because of the one who delivered the killing blow. Seeing Jim, the most heroic character one could ever hope to meet, be so tired of the injustices of a system that has let him down too many times to count that he decides that he has to compromise his principles and do the hard thing, is really hard to watch. [[spoiler: Especially, how broken he looks afterwards knowing that there is no turning back and that he has to live with the knowledge of killing someone in cold blood because it was the only way to protect the rotten world of Gotham.
2x 12 Mr. Freeze
- Victor Fries is horrified when forced to freeze a police officer and looks like he's ready to burst into tears himself before remembering to run.
- Nora Fries discovering just how Victor has really been trying to save her. When the cops show up, she's still sitting in the same spot staring blankly at the people who were killed for her sake.
- Penguin tearfully requesting Nygma, his only remaining friend, to visit his mother's grave for him on occasion, while he's incarcerated.
- Even more painful if you recall that Gordon had commented on Gertrud's remains being missing in an earlier episode. She doesn't actually have a grave for Nygma to visit. And Ed doesn't have the heart to say so.
2x 13 A Dead Man Feels No Cold
- This interpretation of Mr. Freeze's origin may be one of the most tragic and depressing ones yet. As in the comics, Victor proceeds to cryogenically freeze his wife in order to keep her safe until he can find a cure for her illness. Before he does, however, Nora switches the correct formula in his freeze gun with the faulty one, subsequently killing her once she is frozen. The reason? She would rather die peacefully with Victor by her side than wake up to a life without him. Once Victor discovers what she had done, he is absolutely broken; so broken, that he then attempts to kill himself by freezing his own body alive. His wife, the only thing he strived for, is dead, so he might as well die alongside her.
- After Nora switches the formulas, her final words to both Victor and Leslie are heartbreaking. She tells Leslie to tell Victor that it wasn't his fault. Leslie, of course, doesn't know what she's really talking about, but the audience does: she's telling him not to blame himself when she dies instead of going into cryostasis. The entirety of her conversation, where the audience knows she's saying her goodbyes and preparing to die, but Victor and Leslie don't know, is heartbreaking.
- Victor's cries of anguish once he realizes that Nora is dead, and that she switched the cartridges.
- Then, his strange, almost reassuring calmness when he tells Leslie: "Will you be very kind and go tell the police that I'll do as they say?" Leslie walks out, none the wiser that he has already decided that he doesn't want to live without Nora and is planning to kill himself. Those events must haunt Leslie's conscience: not one but TWO people decided to take their own lives that day, and Leslie couldn't stop them because she didn't know, but she was right there while they were both still alive... Those are the things people have nightmares about, thinking that there must have been some way, something they could have done to intervene. The whole scene takes on an extra layer of devastation when you consider how in Real Life, many suicide victims' family and friends often blame themselves for not seeing the signs before a loved one takes their own life.
- And to top it all off? Victor wakes up in Indian Hill, irrevocably transformed by prolonged exposure to his formula. After everything he's done and all the people he's hurt...he still doesn't get to be with Nora, even in death.
2x 14 This Ball of Mud and Meanness
- The episode starts with Oswald undergoing Hugo Strange's simulation test (powered by Gerald Crane's fear formula), in which he sees his deceased mother sitting beside him, speaking to him in the most touching, motherly way possible ("Life is so hard when you are special, and you are so special. So clever, so handsome..."). Then all of a sudden, another Oswald sneaks up behind her and proceeds to beat her to death with a bat, while the real Oswald is forced to watch.
- Bruce's emotional, harrowing confrontation with Malone, the man named as his parents' murderer. It's a fraught, intense scene where Bruce is forced to confront the fact that this bogeyman he'd built up in his head...is just a tired old man who doesn't even flinch when Bruce levels his gun at his head. Even worse, it's not clear if Malone confessed to the murders because he really did it, or because he wanted Bruce to kill him.
- And in the aftermath of the confrontation, Bruce runs away from Wayne Manor to live on the streets with Selina. He leaves a note for a distraught Alfred to find.
- When Matches urges Bruce to kill him by telling him "You have to kill me kid, I'm a monster". Bruce's response is a tearful "I wish you were a monster, but you're just a man".
2x 15 Mad Grey Dawn
- Oswald visiting his mother's grave.
: Hello, Mother. What a lovely spot. I'm so sorry I couldn't be here for your funeral. But I think you would be proud of me, I'm a changed man, or at least, I'm trying to be. To be honest, I don't know if I'm gonna make it without you...
- The aftermath of Jim being set-up for murder by Nygma. From Captain Barnes' furious, heartbroken reaction to the stacks of evidence against him, to Jim telling a distraught Lee to leave Gotham with their unborn child and never contact him again, to Harvey vowing to bring Jim justice even as he's led to Blackgate.
2x 16 Prisoners
- The entire ending.
- After he bonds with Oswald one last time (and ends it by granting his entire household to him), Elijah is poisoned by his treacherous wife, and dies in his son's arms, just like Gertrud. He was the only family Oswald had left, and now he's gone.
- Meanwhile, Gordon manages to escape Blackgate Penitentiary (thanks to Bullock and Falcone), and decides to bring his young prison buddy Puck, who was suffering critical injuries after being brutally beaten to near death by the other prisoners. Soon after they make it out, Puck dies peacefully in the car.
- Earlier in the episode, the heartbroken and devastated look on Jim's face when Harvey has to tell him that Lee suffered a miscarriage and left Gotham afterwards.
2x 17 Into The Woods
- The scene of Oswald heartbrokenly crying at his father's funeral. Especially with the tragically coincidental Reality Subtext of Robin Lord Taylor's father passing away during this episode's filming.
- Oswald being reduced to being his stepfamily's servant, and them taking sick pleasure in making him miserable. Which makes his revenge as awesome as it is terrifying.
- Which leads to a bit of costuming Fridge Brilliance that is awesome, heartwarming, and a tearjerker all at once: Oswald is wearing the suit Elijah made for him when he gets his revenge, which was no doubt intentional on his part.
- She had it coming and totally deserved it, but it's hard not to feel a glimmer of sympathy for Grace, as horror dawns on her that she was forced to cannibalize her own children, right before Oswald takes his bloody revenge.
- Bruce being forced to push Selina away in order to protect her.
- Selina's reaction is particularly heart-wrenching. She says, "After all we've been through?" and when Bruce insists, she says, "Why, because you're Bruce Wayne and I'm street trash?" Hearing Selina think so low of herself, especially when Silver delivered that exact insult to her several episodes ago, shows just how devastating Bruce's rejection is to her.
- After she leaves, Bruce is trying to fight back tears. It's clear both kids are heartbroken.
- Ed's Villainous Breakdown has been a whole season coming, but that doesn't make it any less tragic.
Jim: How did this happen to you? How did you become ...this?
Ed: ...You dummy. This is who I am. It was just finally admitting the truth to myself. Well, that and murdering some people.
Jim: I don't believe that.
Ed: You don't believe it why, Jim? 'Cause it would make you incompetent? To know that I was right under your nose the whole time? Or you don't want to admit that there's a monster in all of us, because YOU, OF ALL PEOPLE, SHOULD KNOW THAT! THAT'S WHAT MADE IT SO EASY TO FRAME YOU!
Jim: ...I was your friend.
Ed: Were you, Jim? Were you my friend? Or did you just pity me? Oh, poor, weird little Ed, with his little silly wordplay and his little riddles.
2x 18 Pinewood
- Bruce's guilt following Karen's Heroic Sacrifice. His digging into his parents' murders has led to the death of someone his father worked hard to save, and yet another ally has been killed. If Lucius hadn't suddenly discovered a new lead, Bruce would most likely have packed it in right there.
- Insane murderer she may be, but Barbara still pulls some heartstrings when she admits to Jim why she helped him: Jim saw the good in her once, and it made her feel like she could be a good person. She just wanted that feeling again. Interestingly, she seems to have accepted that Jim doesn't love her any more. All she wanted was for him to see her as a good person one last time.
2x 19 Azrael
- James Frain absolutely hams it up but the broken, scared, and child-like way he asks, "Why don't I know my name?" provides some serious tear jerking Mood Whiplash.
2x 20 Unleashed
- Butch with Tabitha after she is injured by Galavan.
2x 21 Legion of Horribles
- After Strange gets in his head, telling him that his parents' deaths were his father's own fault for doing the right thing, Bruce starts to blame himself for what's happening to him and his friends this episode.
2x 22 Transference
- Hugo Strange's Villainous Breakdown near the end. The stonefaced, psychotic Arc Villain finally shows some raw emotion when he practically begs Gordon to escape the Asylum before the bomb goes off. When Gordon demands that he let him disarm the bomb, he breaks down completely, and it's absolutely heartbreaking.
Gordon: Tell me how to get that bomb and shut it off, or I'll batter you to death right here!
Hugo Strange: In which case, young man, (voice breaking) I suppose I will just have to die.
- Later, we see him sitting alone in a cell in tears, waiting for the bomb to go off and ultimately destroy him. Fortunately for him, Gordon manages to shut it off just in time.