Last weeks opening gambit in the Scarecrow saga ‘The Fearsome Dr. Crane’ (reviewed here) paved the way for one of the more creepy and twisted episodes of ‘Gotham’.
It’s like a mini-serialised story within a show which is predominantly all serialised stories.
Gerald Crane continues to conduct experiments on victims from his support group whilst Bullock and Gordon investigate his background. Discovering he lost his wife in a fire years ago they deduce that his own fear is what caused him to be unable to save his wife. Believing he can ultimately abolish fear Crane is experimenting on adrenal glands to create a serum to remove fear by making victims confront their biggest fear.
Sadly Gerald ultimately wants to remove the fear from him and his son Jonathan and when Gordon tracks him down he overdoses his son causing, as most comic fans can guess, irreparable damage. In a nice nod to his future identity it turns out that Jonathan’s biggest fear is now scarecrows… it’s not going to end well.
It’s quite a tragic story, the loss of his wife clearly weighing heavy on his conscience didn’t drive Gerald to become a criminal. It only drove him to want to better the human race but unfortunately the consequences of his actions led him to the climactic scene with Gordon and Jonathan which ultimately ended his life.
The change to the Scarecrow origin works well and showed the writers can handle even the more a-list characters in their own ‘Gotham’ way.
Frustratingly the Fish Mooney storyline fails to pick up with what happens after she charges at the assailant charging back at her in her cabin on the ship. Instead she wakes up in a dank basement and quickly sets about learning her new surroundings. Of all the crazy endings it seems she’s in a pit of unwilling organ donors if the girl who appears with no eyes is to be believed.
The Fish story is really going to crazy lengths but I can’t help but wonder if this ties in to where the season is heading for its climax. If you recall episode two ‘Selina Kyle’ (reviewed here) the street kids of Gotham were being ferried up stream to become organ donors for The Dollmaker. Perhaps he has returned.
Penguin is struggling with running the club, exited for his opening when a visit from old pal Maroni throws things in to disarray. Maroni has a message for Penguin, when Falconi passes he won’t hesitate to off Penguin for his betrayal. It remains one step forward and two steps backwards for Penguin who seems to be making waves but still under the watchful eye of his current and former bosses. At some point he’s going to try and legitimately strike out on his own but right now he doesn’t have enough power to stand alone.
Bruce is going through a new experience this week when he strikes out on his own in to the woods surrounding Wayne manor on a trip he used to take with his father. He falls foul of the usual giant log followed by falling down a bank and injuring his ankle trick proving that he’s not as untouchable as he believes and it’s of course up to Alfred to save the day.
Bruce has been feeling strong in his recent scenes, almost vaguely Batman-esque so considering his young age he needed a reminder that he isn’t the fully trained vigilante he perhaps sees himself as in his head. His separation from Gordon and the city has returned to its status quo of before the mid-season finale which is a small step backwards for ‘Gotham’. If his inclusion in the show is paramount to its continuing success he needs to be firmly planted in the heart of the city and not resigned to its outskirts where he has little impact on the world around him.
There’s time for a little Gordon-Thompkins action as she takes up her post within the GCPD. Again ‘Gotham’ and it’s creative team continue to treat this relationship with more care and affection than that of Gordon and his end-game wife Barbara who is again MIA.
‘The Scarecrow’ continues the run of strong episodes that are making up the second half of the first season of’Gotham’. Long may it continue.