Sunday, February 8, 2015

Gotham Recap: The Fearsome Dr. Crane

It’s that time again! Another Gotham recap. This time, we’ll be taking a look at the first installment of the scarecrow two-parter. Again, we’d like to remind readers that Gotham contains adult content and discretion is advised. Spoilers ahead.

Now that he believes his relationship with Barbara to be officially over, Jim comes to her apartment to drop off his copy of apartment keys. There, he catches Cat hiding. She says that, since the apartment is abandoned, it’s better for her to stay there than on the street. Jim says he’ll find some other safe place for her to stay. When he reminds her that he needs her as a witness to the Wayne murder, she says she was lying before and that she never saw the killer. Cat then escapes the apartment when his guard is down.

When Jim visits Wayne Manor, he discovers Alfred is still angry because of the assassin that came to their home. He also finds Bruce to be unusually stiff and formal. Bruce tells Jim that, since he has thus far been unhelpful to the case, he is releasing him from his promise to find the killer. Bruce says he will solve the case himself.

Meanwhile, Oswald and Maroni are discussing Fish’s fate. Since Oswald last saw her trying to escape Victor Zsasz, he assumes she is either dead or unwell. Maroni is overjoyed to hear this. Oswald also tells him he claimed Fish’s nightclub in Maroni’s name. Maroni briefly excuses himself to answer his phone, and is surprised to hear Fish’s voice on the other end.


Fish tells him that Oswald played both of them, and is secretly working for Falcone. Maroni is skeptical, but Fish encourages him to remember anything suspicious Oswald may have done in the past. She then tells Maroni to remember that she was the one who put him wise to Oswald’s scheme. After hanging up, Maroni formulates a plan to test Oswald and invites him on a “business trip” upstate. He takes Oswald to his private cabin, where he says he wants to make their relationship more open and honest.

Maroni starts bringing up past events that have him confused, such as why Oswald wanted him to give Indian Hill to Falcone, and how Frankie Carbone was stabbed to death during a gun fight. He pretends to be reminiscing, but the conversation has a menacing undertone that has Oswald suspicious. When Maroni steps outside for awhile, Oswald steals the gun out of the Don’s bag.

When Maroni comes back, he insists Oswald join him in a trust exercise that involves taking turns sharing secrets. Maroni goes first, revealing that their trip upstate isn’t really a business trip. Now that it’s Oswald’s turn, he’s reluctant to say anything, claiming he doesn’t have any secrets. Maroni insists, so Oswald says his secret is he doesn’t like the Don’s oatmeal.

For his next turn, Maroni says that Fish Mooney is alive and called him on the phone. In order to find out what she said, Oswald has to reveal another secret; so he says he doesn’t like the coffee either. Maroni says Fish claimed that Oswald and Falcone have been working together since day one. Oswald responds that Fish would say that, and asks if Maroni believes her. Maroni says that it would explain a lot.

He then insists that Oswald reveal another secret, this time a bigger one. Oswald reveals that he took Maroni’s gun; he suspected that Fish had called, and that Maroni would believe her, though this doesn’t mean she’s telling the truth. Maroni asks if Fish was telling the truth, if Oswald has been playing him this whole time. Oswald refuses to answer, and Maroni gets angry, asking how he could do this to him, when he treated Oswald like a friend. Oswald says he wasn’t treated like a friend, but like an animal.


At that, Maroni reveals one last secret: the gun is loaded with blanks. Oswald doesn’t believe him and tries to shoot him; which, of course, fails. Maroni knocks him out.

When he awakes, he discovers Maroni plans to murder him using a car crusher. Oswald begs for his life, pointing out that he’s useless dead, Falcone would avenge his death, and if Maroni keeps him alive he can help him figure out the significance of Indian Hill. Maroni shuts him up — saying this is about revenge, not business — and locks him in the car placed under the crusher. As the crusher descends, Oswald tries to get out of the car, but the door won’t budge. He even uses his cellphone to call Maroni (who is standing just outside the car, watching Oswald’s nearing death) and tries bargaining with him — offering him secrets about Indian Hill and Arkham, stating whoever controls Arkham will control Gotham itself. Maroni hangs up and begins to leave. Oswald sees a sign outside showing the phone number of the crusher operator. He calls it, telling the operator that Falcone will avenge his death unless it’s stopped. The crusher operator fearfully shuts the machine off, and escapes Maroni who's angry to see his plan foiled. Oswald climbs out of the remains of the car.

Later, a church choir finds Oswald sleeping in a pile of leaves. He convinces them to help him out, and they let him ride on their bus back to Gotham city.


 The GCPD discovers a man who was hung over a building by a noose while strapped to a chair. While they investigate the crime scene, we see a very concerned Essen, worrying that their arrest of Flass will cause backlash from those who protected him. Eddie finds a hole near the victim’s abdomen and wants to examine it, but Essen tells him to leave it alone as he’s been encroaching on the official medical examiner’s job too much lately. Eddie agrees; but later, we see him investigating the hole in secret anyway. He finds something; but before he can say what, the medical examiner catches him. The M.E. demands Essen do something to punish Eddie for taking over his job, and threatens to go over her head if she continues to do nothing. Fearful that this will add to the trouble started by Flass’s arrest, she agrees with him and suspends Eddie.


A woman by the name of Scottie Mullen comes to the station at Harvey’s request after her phone number is found in the victim’s pocket. The victim’s name was Adam Jodowsky, and Scottie was his sponsor in a phobia support group. Harvey questions her and finds out Jodowsky’s phobia was heights — something the killer seemed to go out of his way to use against him in the murder. Harvey says the killer could be someone in the support group and says he would like to attend one of the meetings; though this seems to be a cover to spend more time with Scottie, as he finds her attractive.

Meanwhile, Jim is researching the origins of the materials used in the murder. The ropes and pulleys could have come from anywhere, but the chair was made by a company that’s been closed for years. Harvey insists they check out the old building where the chairs were made long ago. There, they find a man being held in a room filled with pigs, where another man wearing a pig mask threatens them with a knife. They shoot the man in the mask and take the prisoner in to the station.

Though at the moment he is sedated and unable to talk, they discover the prisoner had a terrible fear of pigs and was another member of the phobia support group. The man who kept him prisoner, however, was not. Jim is doubtful he was the only one involved, but Essen and Harvey tell him to be more optimistic. Jim insists there’s something bigger going on; he says the hole in the murder victim’s body is strange, and wants Eddie to look into it. He’s upset to hear that Eddie has been suspended, as he doesn’t trust their official M.E. But Essen reminds him they have to be more cautious and follow the official rules because, after Flass’s arrest, they are being watched.

Without Eddie to turn to, Jim decides to get Lee’s advice and invites her to a restaurant. Thinking it was meant to be a date, Lee is disappointed to learn Jim wants to talk about the case. Jim says that the case was just a pretext to see her again. Relieved by this, Lee insists he also tell her about the case, but he gets a call and has to go. Jim gives her the file to look over so she can give him her advice next time they meet.

He turns back to his call and learns that, now that the prisoner is finally able to talk, he has revealed he was taken by two men. The second man is still out there.

On their way to the support group meeting, Harvey reveals to Scottie that he thinks phobic people are cowardly. She reminds him that he probably has phobias of his own, but he doesn’t want to admit this is so. When she starts to get upset, he changes his attitude; and, during the meeting, lays it on thick  — pretending to open up about all the fear he has in order to impress her.

One of the support group members, who goes by the name Todd, admits he has a horrible fear of failure. He describes this as a terrible illness he got from his father, and is afraid he’ll pass it on to his own son as well. Upset by this, he runs off, and Scottie runs after him to comfort him. Harvey and the rest of the group wait for the two to return, but after much time has passed, there’s still no sign of them. Harvey, suspicious that Todd might be the killer, goes to investigate and sees Scottie being driven away in Todd’s van.

At the station, the detectives realize “Todd” is probably an assumed name. They also realize that, just as he did with the other victims, he’s going to attempt to kill her using her worst fear. Scottie’s worst fear is of drowning in a pool. Harvey calls her mother and learns the name of the pool Scottie almost drowned in as a child. Harvey and Jim head over there.

At the pool, “Todd” has tied Scottie up and is analyzing her fear according to what he calls the Crane Scale, and labels hers as an 8 out of 12. His son Jon comes in and is very disturbed to see his father about to kill the woman. His father tells him it’s for the good of humanity and sends him away.


Crane throws Scottie in the pool and waits for her to drown. Luckily, Jim and Harvey arrive at that moment. Jim goes after Crane as Harvey dives into the pool to rescue Scottie from the pool and resuscitates her.


Unfortunately, Jim fails in capturing Crane, who escapes.

At the station, Eddie goes to tell Kristen of his suspension, and finds her crying on the ground. She won’t tell what she’s crying about, but Eddie assumes it’s Flass’s arrest. He tells her he’s been suspended and gives her back a pencil he borrowed from her which is all but used up.


Kristen says she wishes there was something that could be done about his suspension. This cheers him up a good deal. And, in fact, it turns out he does find something he can do about his suspension. In secret, he picks open the M.E.’s locker, and fills it with cut-up body parts. The next day, when the M.E. opens the locker and finds the body parts inside, he’s caught with them and fired, and Eddie is brought back. Eddie tells Kristen the news, but she doesn’t react. He leaves, disappointed. Kristen calls him back and says he owes her a new pencil.

Lee comes to the station to give Jim her input on the file he gave her. She says the killer removed the victim’s adrenal glands, which produce Cortisol in large amounts when the person is experiencing fear. If Crane wanted to obtain high amounts of Cortisol, that would explain why he wanted his victims to be as fearful as possible before their deaths. Jim suggests she gets a job at the station, and says they should talk about the possibility over dinner. He says he wants to kiss her, but can’t in front of coworkers because it will ruin his image. Lee insists he kisses her on the cheek at the count of three or she won’t go to dinner with him. On the count of three, he kisses her full on the lips instead, as his surprised coworkers look on.


We see Fish Mooney on a ship, leaving Gotham. Later, shooting is heard in the background. The ship’s captain runs to her, offering to hide her, but he’s killed before he can offer her any safety. A pirate comes in; and he and Fish exchange ferocious looks before attacking one another.


Final Thoughts: 

In this episode, Eddie showed his first real sign of his fall toward evil, as he framed the official medical examiner in order to get his job back. And in such a spooky way too. Where did he even get those cut up body parts in the first place? I didn’t expect him to do something that dishonest that quickly. I have to admit, I was expecting them to take it slower than this. I’m curious as to what his next great misdeed will be.

The sudden arrival of pirates on the show was… unexpected. I hope they don’t go too over the top with that. The pirate we saw in this episode seems to be on familiar terms with Fish. Though, whether they are actually enemies, or just friends who like to play fight, is yet to be revealed.

The romantic relationships are also getting much more complicated. Instead of love triangles, we have two love quadrangles. Jim is in love with both Lee and Barbara, while Barbara is in love with both Jim and Montoya. I have no idea who Fish loves (if anyone) but both Butch and Harvey are in love with her; meanwhile, Harvey is also falling for newcomer Scottie Mullen. I have to say I like the idea of Harvey being with Scottie much more than I do him being with Fish. I hope Fish either loves Butch or, even better, no one at all. She doesn’t seem like a character who needs a romance plot. With Jim’s romances, I’m not overly fond of either Barbara or Lee, but Lee is still an infinitely better character than Barbara. Sadly, we know from the comics that Barbara is who he ends up with. So unless they go against the canon, Jim’s relationship with Lee is somehow doomed.

I really enjoyed the scenes with Oswald in this episode. They were surprising, intense, and fun. I loved his audacity in calling Maroni while Maroni tried to execute him, as well as his cleverness in stopping the crusher by calling the operator. Very unexpected. And it made what was otherwise a very serious scene surprisingly funny. I love how the show uses Oswald as both a comic relief character and a very serious character simultaneously, with neither aspect getting in the way of the other. Despite this episode’s dangerous turns, they still managed to put in plenty of smile-inducing moments. Such as his infantile pout while the choir members sang religious songs at him.

Or his not-quite-suppressed reaction to Maroni’s misquoted cliché.


It’ll be interesting to see what Maroni does next, now that he knows Penguin was a traitor this whole time. Or what Oswald will do next, for that matter. Now that his secret alliance with Falcone is known by both Maroni and Fish, the show will probably give Oswald some more secrets to hide. Maybe betraying Falcone is next, to show he really is only loyal to himself?

I really like the kid they got to play future Scarecrow, Jon Crane. We haven’t seen much of him yet, but he already interests me.

It was quite sad seeing Bruce take back his faith in Jim this episode. I’ve never seen the baby bat so cold and stern before. It looks like he’s on the verge of some character changes that will bring him closer to his adult personality. I just hope that doesn’t take away what we love about his character in the process.

What’s to Come: 

As much as I loved this episode, Part Two looks even better. In the preview, we see glimpses of Bruce out in the wilderness for some reason (seriously, what is he doing out there?), and what appears to be young Jon Crane either seeing the Scarecrow or being turned into the Scarecrow by his father.


Also. The Scene. Between Oswald. And Eddie. It’s coming. For sure. Next Episode. We can already see a quick glimpse of it in the preview.


The episode after that, The Blind Fortuneteller, will feature trouble at a circus, what appears to be some very interesting goings-on between Butch and Falcone concerning Oswald and Fish’s club, as well as another appearance by Oswald’s mother. I’m interested to find out if this will be her last episode. Now that Oswald has been found out as liar after all, we’ll see if God (or Maroni) really does strike her dead with horrible torment as his oath suggested. There’s also a possibility the writers are saving her death for a more dramatic event, such as revenge for when Oswald inevitably betrays Falcone. Perhaps in the season finale? *Fingers crossed* I’m hoping they keep Carol Kane on the show as long as possible. And having Oswald betray Falcone, only to become even more bitter and insane after watching Falcone kill his mother as punishment, seems like a fitting plot for a finale.

So, what else is in store for the show? Of course, we’ll be seeing more of Eddie going bad, and possibly his backstory. We’ll be seeing more of Jim and Lee together. We’ll also be getting two new villains, The Dollmaker and The Ogre. The Dollmaker has been mentioned on the show before, back in episode two, but we have yet to see him on screen. Certain interviews have also revealed that some very interesting, unexpected things are in store for Fish, and I’m guessing they will probably introduce some new subplots.

And now for the most exciting news of all. It seems the showrunners have changed their minds on when they’re going to introduce the Joker. Despite previous statements that they either would introduce him later, or perhaps not at all, fans have been rallying so strongly for the character to appear that we will actually see some sign of him this season. So we’ll be getting much more than red herrings within the next few episodes. Could the upcoming appearance of the Red Hood genuinely be the Joker after all?


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