Scarecrow | Gotham “The Fearsome Dr. Crane” Review
Gotham comes in with one of the better episodes in, “The Fearsome Dr. Crane,” that does a great job of setting up what’s to come while also allowing older storylines to come to a close. While the procedural, monster-of-the-week setup does work in most cases, I am glad that this episode focuses on much more than just the current villain.
“The Fearsome Dr. Crane” started off with quite the scene; a character, soon to be revealed Dr. Crane, hangs a guy and uses a wench to bring him back up. Strangely enough, it looked as if Dr. Crane was trying to get something out of the victim. As the episode progresses, none other than Edward Nygma makes a discovery that the adrenal gland had been taken out of each victim. After GCPD actually did some decent police work, in between Harvey Bullock fawning over another women, they found out that the killer preys on the phobias of those at the meeting where people share and discuss their greatest fears. I guess Fish being out of town gives him free reign, or he’s just typical Harvey Bullock, and there’s a meeting for everything isn’t there? Of course, they do catch up with Crane, but he is able to slip away.
Crane should sound familiar to anyone that’s been paying attention to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy as Crane’s son, whom was briefly seen in the episode, becomes the villain we know as Scarecrow. Dr. Crane was just about as wacky as the previous villains, but the writers decided to show the soon-to-be Scarecrow legitimize his techniques as it will surely lead to Scarecrow’s fear toxin sooner or later. It seems that having villains survive and come back in later episodes is the best thing for Gotham at the moment. I don’t feel like their villains are fantastical enough to one-off them, and most of them require some background to actually have any impact.
Alongside the main villain storyline was the whole Mob conflict. It appears that, after having outwitted everyone episode after episode, The Penguin has finally been made. Fish called up Maroni and let him in on The Penguin’s schemes. So, instead of outright confronting The Penguin, Maroni plays a little game of, “I’ll tell you a secret, then you tell me one.” Since The Penguin was tipped off earlier, he stole a gun from Maroni’s bag as the confrontation was sure to get bloody. During the game, Maroni spills actual secrets where The Penguin talks about how he doesn’t like oatmeal and coffee. Maroni then spills all the information he has about what The Penguin has been doing. The Penguin pulls out the gun, but Maroni quips that they are blanks. The Penguin attempts to call the bluff, but they are indeed blanks. So, Maroni puts him in a car and has the foreman crush it. Of course, we know The Penguin isn’t going to become part of a crushed car. He pleads and begs to no avail with Maroni. But, since he is about the only one that can seem to think while under immense pressure (pun intended), he sees the number for the foreman and convinces him that Falcone, not Maroni runs Gotham.
That scene did such a great job of showing just how crazy The Penguin actually is. And even when his hand is shown, he is willing, and often able to get out of anything. The juxtaposition of him getting picked up by a church group was perfect since he is about the exact opposite of those church goers. Per usual, we just can’t get past that smirk.
On the sidelines, we get two pretty strong scenes with Bruce Wayne and Edward Nygma. Bruce Wayne was told by Gordon that Selina Kyle was lying about seeing his parents’ murderers, and simply did it to stay out of juvie. Bruce finally starts to show his inner character and releases Gordon of his promise to find his parents’ murderers. Instead, Bruce will go after the ones that killed his parents alone. This scene was perfect for showing how Bruce becomes the caped crusader and tends to work alone.
Only one character could be suspended, reinstated and then essentially solve the crime in one episode, and that’s Edward Nygma. Nygma is a little too hands-on and adds ME on his resume to the chagrin of the current ME. Thus, he is suspended by the Captain and must leave GCP, but as you’d expect he finds his way back. He breaks into the former ME’s locker and puts limbs, yes actual limbs, in his locker. This forces his reinstatement with the GCPD and allows him to become the stand-in ME. Brilliant.