Gotham: The Fearsome Dr. Crane review S1, Ep. 14

Don’t get too excited by that title. Remember this show wants to keep teasing some connection to Batman without actually bringing in Batman. But as far as Gotham goes, this was an encouraging episode.

In another kinda foreshadowing of all things Batman in Gotham, a guy is strapped to a chair outside looking down at the street several floors below. He’s clearly terrified and Gerard Crane (Julian Sands) is doing some analysis. So we’ve got Penguin, Junior Riddler and baby Poison Ivy and Catwoman and now we’re setting the stage for Scarecrow. Unlike Batman though, the Scarecrow stand-in tosses the guy after putting a noose around his neck in case you missed the inference.

Proving Falcone made an idiotic move in not having her killed immediately, Fish is still out in the wild causing mischief. This time she rats Penguin out to Maroni, who decides its test to test his lieutenant’s loyalty once and for all in easily the episode’s most entertaining subplot.

Gotham Ep. 14 - The Fearsome Dr. Crane - Penguin and MaroniMaroni brings Penguin to a cabin in the woods to see if he’ll spill about his connection with Falcone. Penguin gets a bit concerned and grabs Maroni’s gun when he’s out getting wood. For someone so smart, Penguin sure does make the occasional really bad move like outing himself to Fish without making sure she was dead personally to ensure his lies wouldn’t catch up to him and now thinking Maroni would leave him with a loaded gun. Sure enough, after a few rounds of a game of secrets, Maroni calls him out for working with Falcone and Penguin drops the lies and raises the gun. Maroni’s not worried though since he filled the gun with blanks.

With Penguin’s lies exposed, Maroni doesn’t have any more use for him and puts him in a car in a scrap yard. OK, clearly without Penguin there is no “Gotham,” but why would Maroni waste the time driving Penguin to a scrap yard, place him in a car and watch the car crush him instead of just putting a bullet in his head? At least Maroni bothers to sit and watch the car get crushed. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t bother taking Penguin’s cell phone, which Penguin uses to call the owner of the scrap yard and name drop Falcone to get him to turn off the machine. By the time Maroni chases after the scrap yard owner, Penguin manages to escape the very crushed car, which seems to go against all kinds of physics.[irp]

The show finally wraps up a glaring subplot with Selina using Barbara and Gordon’s apartment as her crash pad since no one in Gotham is interested in using window locks. Gordon returns to drop off his keys and catches her. Selina further reduces the need for her character to appear every episode by telling Gordon she didn’t really see what happened to the Waynes.

Gotham Ep. 14 - The Fearsome Dr. Crane - Leslie and GordonGordon goes to tell Bruce the news, but he’s already moved on past that silly Selina girl and is interested in solving his parents’ murder on his own so thanks for your help Jimbo. I’m probably hoping for too much, but this should lead to less Gordon interactions with Bruce and Selina.

Free of babysitting, Gordon can get back to actual homicide investigation work with Bullock on the chair victim. Nygma determines the killer pulled him back up to the rooftop and took something. Nygma wants to do an autopsy, which is not part of his job description and has drawn the ire of the actual medical examiner. Nygma decides to probe the body anyway and finds something. Too bad then that Essen and the medical examiner bust in and she suspends him for his meddling. Hinting at Nygma’s more sinister nature, he plants severed body parts in the examiner’s locker at the police station. Somehow that’s enough for him to be reinstated even though Nygma clearly was breaking the rules.

Bullock is smitten with a key witness Scottie Mullen (Maria Thayer), who offers some possible hints on the murderer. She and the victim were part of a therapy counseling group and Bullock quickly realizes the killer is in the group. Bullock has become a much more interesting character since the writers ditched that cop on the take subplot.

In a scene so ludicrous it works, Crane presents another group member with a surpriseĀ  — a potbellied pig. Turns out this member is terrified of pigs so Scarecrow Sr. has his henchman wearing a pig mask while he carries out his scheme.

Gotham Ep. 14 - The Fearsome Dr. Crane - Leslie ThompkinsWhile Bullock investigates on his own, Gordon hopes to tackle the case from another perspective with Leslie’s help and if he can work in a dinner date all the better. Leslie/Gordon is only a thousand times a better pairing than Gordon/Barbara and of all the various subplots, I haven’t seen anyone asking what’s up with Barbara just yet.

Bullock sits in on the therapy session and concerns Crane so much that he takes Scottie away and begins his experiment on her. He’s analyzing adrenal glands and needs his victims at their height of fear for his fear potion. Crane’s son, Jonathan, isĀ  apprehensive about the plan, but Crane isn’t interested. Gordon and Bullock arrive in the nick of time to save Scottie, but Crane gets away to scheme for another day (or next week).

Gotham Ep. 14 - The Fearsome Dr. Crane - FishOut on a boat somewhere, Fish hears gunfire. The captain runs in to get her to safety, but is gunned down. Fish seems to recognize the gunman and runs after him as the episode ends. I’m gonna be so disappointed if they just hug.

This episode benefited tremendously from the Gordon/Leslie scenes, Bullock showing he can get something done without Gordon and Penguin/Maroni. It’s amazing how much more interesting the show can be when it’s not trying to force Baby Batman on us, isn’t it?

Next week: Riddler meets Penguin!