Tuesday, February 10, 2015

My Review of Gotham's 1x15: "The Scarecrow"

Written by Ken Woodruff
Directed by Nick Copus

Jonathan: “I’m not afraid like you.”
Gerald: “We’re all afraid. Every man and woman on the planet. We’re all standing on the abyss, paralysed by fear.”

Last week’s episode was a good set up for Jonathan’s future. This week’s episode really drove the point and traumatised the poor kid for the rest of his life. Not only will it be unsurprising when he eventually takes on a certain mantle, but this episode actually made me feel bad for the poor kid too.

Being used in his own father’s nightmarish experiments to conquer fear now means that he’ll never be unable not to see the very thing that gives him the creeps (a scarecrow of course) and that along with another subplot this week saw this episode end on an extremely dark note. The kind of note that while this show shouldn’t end on every week, it should definitely end on every now and then though.

This truly felt like a proper origin story for an upcoming villain and while it might have been done in two episodes compared to the slow burning arc we’ve had all season with Oswald, it was truly effective. I actually felt sorry for Gerald and his guilt over his wife’s death and Jonathan certainly deserved sympathy for the hell his father subjected him to in order to try and get him to conquer fear.

Of course when Gordon and Bullock weren’t piecing together Crane’s past and current actions, there was something of an unsubtle commentary on workplace romances. With Leslie now the new medical examiner at GCPD, Gordon sensibly wanted to draw a line between their professional and private conduct and Leslie wanted him to lighten up a little. Essentially both of them had good points along with Bullock’s slightly cynical comments on workplace romances ending up in tears. I’m actually hoping that his words ring false for Jim and Leslie though as they continue to have effortless chemistry with each other.

Keeping with the workplace stuff – that lovely passive aggressive rapport with both Falcone and Maroni was in full swing this week as Oswald’s life was spared and a pain in the ass judge’s was now theirs to toy with whenever the mood would take them. While their scenes have the usual gangster cliché whiff about them, they’re still fun to watch especially as both men continue to underestimate just how valuable Oswald actually will become.

Speaking of Oswald, it wasn’t really his week, was it? Sure, he inherited Fish’s club properly, got to rename it and give it his own stamp but at the same time, Falcone wasn’t too concerned for his life, Gordon wanted to maintain a distance between the two of them while Maroni made it clear that he would kill him the first chance he got. Oh and his opening night was a bit of a flop too. Better luck next week, Oswald.

As for luck – even being stuck in some unknown prison isn’t enough to keep Fish Mooney down for long. She was barely there a day and she managed to kill the prison’s leader Mace while assuming command over the rest of the prisoners as well. She even got herself a new right hand man in Kelly while showing some visible disgust over a woman who had her eyes gouged out. Something tells me that Fish won’t be languishing in that prison for much longer.

As for Bruce – like Jonathan, I think this episode gave us a taste of things to come with him. He went on a hike alone, got injured and had to fend for himself while later watching the sunrise with Alfred. It was a nice little subplot in an episode with plenty of great moments and Alfred’s tough love approach certainly seems to have the right effect on Bruce at the moment.

Also in “The Scarecrow”

I think I speak for everyone over the joy of having both Oswald and Edward briefly interact with each other. I definitely want to see another scene with those two again.

Fish (to two men): “Here’s a promise, boys. The first to come at me will die like that. The second will die slow. So boys, who’s first?”

We didn’t see Fish’s mystery attacker from last week in this episode, so I’m going to assume he’s the one who’s keeping her and the others captive for now.

Bullock: “Office romances always end in tears. Tears!”
Gordon: “It’s not gonna be like that.”

Gerald: “It’s working Jonathan, I said it would and now it’s your turn. You will be free of fear forever.”

Mrs Crane died in a house fire which Gerald lied about to contain his guilt over not saving her. Gerald was also revealed to be a biology teacher.

Oswald: “Are you asking me a riddle?”
Nygma: “Do you like riddle?”
Oswald: “No!”

Oswald (to Gordon): “Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking in the light alone.”

The trailer for next week seems like not only are we seeing Gordon and Leslie going on a date to the circus (Graysons alert) but also indicated another foe may be appearing after all.

Fish (to Mace): “Firecrackers go off once and just lies there. What you’re looking at is the Fourth of July.”

Chronology: From where “The Fearsome Dr Crane” left off.

Now this was a superb episode. “The Scarecrow” was the perfect origin story for Jonathan Crane, even though he only had a handful of scenes and the dark and creepy tone is something that the show can pull off so well when it really goes for it. It also helped that all of the subplots managed to be interesting as well.

Rating: 8 out of 10

No comments: