Romance is in the air in ‘Gotham’ with the first of a two-part episode exploring the backstory to the famous Batman villain The Scarecrow.
‘The Fearsome Dr. Crane’ is a wonderfully misleading title as all of us were kept guessing about just how the show would introduce Jonathan Crane aka the Scarecrow. I didn’t see the twist coming that he would be nothing but a teenager.
Instead the episode focusses on his father Gerald Crane (Julian Sands) who poses as a victim attending a support group to identify the subjects for his fear experiments. The introduction of a pre-Scarecrow history and family connection is a little derivative for this type of show but as ‘Gotham’ doesn’t rely on this angle regularly it works.
Elsewhere in the episode the burgeoning relationship between Gordon and Dr Thompkins takes on a new twist when an opportunity comes up to shift her focus for Arkham to the GCPD. The writers have quick manipulated her story to allow more screen time for her clearly seeing the same magic between Ben McKenzie and Morena Baccarin that we can all see.
Edward Nygma gets to take more of a centre stage when he frames the medical examiner for stealing body parts, it’s a creepy yet comical side story that allows Dr Thompkins to move in to the GCPD but is also a great introductory tale to the creepier side of his character. As the season has developed so has his personality, in the pilot he was an awkward addition to the cast but now his scenes are a real draw to the show and it’s hard not to eagerly await the moment he finally snaps.
I’m a little concerned that the object of his affections, Chelsea Spack’s Kristine Kringle, is going to end up a twisted Riddler equivalent to Harley Quinn. Her character is a little random to say the least and considering all her quirks it’s amazing that she doesn’t share Edward’s affections for her.
Penguin is having another tough week this week after Fish returns the favour and dishes to Maroni that his new lieutenant has been working for Don Falconi all along. Maroni sidelines Penguin in a secluded cabin to kill him but the pair soon end up back in Gotham. As I’ve said before Penguin can’t find a balance between anxiety and exuberance but right now he’s firmly planted on the side of anxious.
The development of the Penguin story has slowed down a little to focus on the fall of Fish Mooney which is now heading in strange and dramatic new territory. After grassing up Penguin to Maroni, Fish makes it out of Gotham on a ship which finds itself attacked at the episodes close with the final shot being Fish and a marauder charging at each other with full force. It’s quite a strong image to end on but one which has bemused a lot of fans who have found it to be entirely laughable. I felt the image was very comic book in tone and the cinematography of the final shot of the episode feels straight from a comic book panel so absolutely no complaints from me.
The serialised story has gone a little off the boil in that the characters have all fractured and gone their own separate ways at the moment but it’s always good to take a breather when the action can be so heavy. The separate elements of the show all still remain strong and a change in focus, no matter how brief, has not hurt ‘Gotham’ in any way.