After a rather thrilling episode last week, Gotham took a step back to focus on certain relationships of the main characters. This led to some very interesting dialogue and plot twists. However, it also led to a rather ho-hum (at least to start, as this is a two-parter) case.
Let’s start off with the big twist, the new status quo of Penguin. Just when you thought he talked his way back into Maroni’s good graces (remember, he blurted out he worked for Falcone), Fish calls in (literally) to ruin everything for him. The following scenes led to some very tense moments, and showed just how smart both Maroni and Penguin are. I really like how Maroni was truly willing to kill Penguin, even though it most likely meant losing leverage against Falcone. Penguin using every piece of info as leverage to try and save his life was also cool.
It’s truly a testament to Penguin’s will to survive that he keeps…well, surviving. I mean, calling Maroni’s phone? Classic. As was him calling the owner of the establishment to stay his hand. Penguin may have Catwoman beat in the “nine lives department”. What this also makes us ask is where does Penguin go next? Now that he’s outed by Maroni, does he go back to Falcone? Truly become the new Fish? Or does he do something else entirely? We’ll find out, won’t we?
Before I dive into Gordon and Bullock’s case for the week, I want to dive into the very cool scene with Bruce and Gordon. If there has been one complaint against Bruce’s character during this series, it’s that he’s too naive. That, is now over. It’s clear that Selina’s “betrayal” has had a big impact on him. His cold demeanor towards Gordon was really striking, as was him “releasing” Gordon from his promise of trying to find his parents killer. Maybe now, truly, Bruce will begin down the path to becoming Batman. Or at the very least, find clues as to who killed his parents.
The case of the week as it were was pretty strange, even for Gotham. As it dealt with arrival of Dr. Crane. No, not Johnathan, Gerald, his father. Though Johnathan was there, and will be there next episode as well. It was interesting to see that fear (the obsession with it) runs in the family. The question was, to what end? Was the stealing of the adrenal glands the beginning of the Fear Toxin that makes Scarecrow famous? We don’t know, and there honestly was much to say that it is or isn’t the endgame.
What really dragged down this case was the lack of feeling of urgency. Only one guy died, another was saved, and if Crane didn’t pull a stunt (a good one mind you) to get the third victim, he might not have got caught in the act just yet. True, he got away, and he’ll be back, but it just felt like something was missing.
Also, it didn’t help that Bullock’s motivation for solving the case was to be with the redhead. It felt crating at times, and his “confession” at the “Fear Anonymous Group” to me felt fake. Hopefully this case will pick up in the back half.
One thing that felt awkward in the good way was the relationship between Gordon and Leslie Thompkins. The nervousness between them, and the way Gordon was trying to show interest in her really sold this to me. Too many times in TV (and this includes certain OTHER superhero shows…), we we see a guy and a girl look at each other, have a conversation with each other, and then end up in bed. To me, that’s pathetic, and to a degree unrealistic in regards to relationships. With how they’re portraying Gordon and Thompkins though, it doesn’t feel rushed, it truly feels natural, which is nice.
Shoutout to Edward Nygma, who took a BIG step tonight in becoming Riddler. Gross? Yes. Brilliant? Definitely. And who knows? With Leslie possibly being the next medical examiner (which was a brilliant move by the way), Nygma could be her assistant. I think she’d actually like the help.
The only real curiosity in this episode was Fish. Who pulled a Barbara type move and had a couple scenes that honestly made no sense. I’m not sure where this is going with the pirates, but hopefully they didn’t just do it for that final shot.
In the end, “The Fearsome Mr. Crane” did a decent job overall. The focus on characters was nice, but the case of the week really got swept under the rug. We’ll have to see how this all plays out next week.