14 “The Fearsome Dr. Crane” (Gotham season 1) [SPOILERS]

22 episodes is a lot of TV series.

I’m slightly astounded that this used to be the unquestioned standard for US TV shows. It’s exhausting! And with episode 14 of Gotham, we have another seven still to go after this.

That’s not necessarily a complaint, but it makes me question how the story progression has been going. Will Penguin be a main focus throughout? He’s already approaching the top of the crime world, so will Gotham move on from him after the first season?

Who knows? And we’re not going to find out for a bit, are we?

So after one episode back on the force, Jim has already annoyed his colleagues and painted a target on his back by arresting Flass. This week he and Harvey are investigating a series of attacks based around the victims’ phobias. Meanwhile, Maroni starts to get suspicious of Penguin.

The criminal investigation, as anyone who has seen the title will know, is a proto-Scarecrow story. Harvey tracks down a support group for phobia sufferers, and is rather taken with one young woman there. The killer, apparently, is after the victim’s adrenal glands at the time of their terrified death.

At the support group, Harvey’s crush is kidnapped by someone who seems to be Jonathan Crane’s dad, who ties her up and throws her into a swimming pool — her own phobia. Gotham’s favourite crimefighting duo — yet — arrive just too late to catch Crane, but Harvey gets to save the girl. Which is nice, for him to be the knight in shining armour for once. And he goes all vulnerable earlier on, at the support group. Bless!

Maroni and Penguin are celebrating Fish’s downfall, when the woman herself gives the mafia boss a call to let him know that Penguin has been working with Falcone. Maroni takes him to a house in the country where they play a game of truth or truth, where Penguin inexplicably shows his hand. He points a gun at Maroni, which he got from Maroni, which is full of blanks.

Despite offers of information, Maroni is poised to kill Cobblepot in a car crusher. Penguin intimidates the machine operator with Falcone’s name, and manages an escape. But his cover is blown. Because he’s a cocky idiot.

In other Gotham-y happenings, the Medical Examiner gets Ed Nygma suspended, on account of he keeps cutting up corpses — though, as Gordon points out, this is the same Medical Examiner who decided that Fass’ victim last week had stabbed himself in the back with an ice pick. Spurred on by Kristen Kringle’s polite regret at his suspension, Nygma fills the ME’s locker with bodyparts, so that it looks like he’s stealing them. Because GCPD has literally the worst detectives.

Of course, it opens up the way for Gordon, fresh from dropping his keys off at Barbara’s flat and learning that Cat — allegedly — lied about seeing the Waynes’ killer, to recruit his newest ladylove Dr Thompkins, as the new ME. Circles within circles.

As Gotham episodes go, this was on the more fun side. Witty, entertaining, with some great tension. It advances the plot, plays with the characters, and made me look forward to the return of the proto-Scarecrow next week.

And the ending… Fish Mooney is woken, on the boat she is taking from Gotham, by gunfire, and a strange man appears in the doorway. They then charge at each other like some sort of Thunderdome thing.

You can’t accuse Gotham of playing it safe, at least…

Closing thoughts:

  • “A bird in the hand is nine tenths of the law.” Salvatore Maroni is a genius.
  • Though, how come Fish has a direct line Maroni, surely her de facto enemy until very recently?
  • In fact, this episode was a goldmine for quotable dialogue. Harvey: “My love life is an open book, and a short and nasty one. But I’m working on the vic’s friend in the support group in the phobia support group, and unless she’s the killer, I think I’m in there.”
  • The fantastic Julian Sands — who I loved in Rose Red — is playing Crane sr. I am pleased with this.
  • Ed Nygma’s autopsy face…

ed nygma's autopsy face


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