"The Fearsome Dr. Crane" (S1/E14)
Author: Ricky Church (Follow RICHARDCHURCH16)
February 4, 2015

EPISODE INFO: "The Fearsome Dr. Crane" was written by John Stephens and directed by John Behring. It originally aired on the FOX television network on February 2, 2015. It is based on "Batman" characters owned and published by DC Comics.

SYNOPSIS: Fish Mooney reveals a secret of Oswald Cobblepot's, prompting Maroni to take him on a trip to test his loyalty. Meanwhile, Gordon and Bullock hunt down a killer who targets victims with severe phobias and Bruce Wayne confronts Gordon for failing to make progress on his parents' murder case.

MAIN CAST: Ben McKenzie as Detective James Gordon, Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock, Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney, Sean Pertwee as Alfred, Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin, Erin Richards as Barbara Kean, David Mazouz as Bruce Wayne, Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle/the future Catwoman, Zabryna Guevara as Captain Sarah Essen, Cory Michael Smith as Edward Nygma/the future Riddler, Victoria Cartagena as Renee Montoya, Andrew Stewart Jones as Crispus Allen, John Doman as Carmine Falcone.

GUEST CAST: Julian Sands as Gerald Crane and Charlie Tahan Jonathan Crane.

EPISODE PREVIEW: Preview #1

PREVIOUS EPISODE: S1/E13 "Welcome Home, Jim Gordon" Review by Bill "Jett" Ramey (1.28.15)

This week’s GOTHAM saw the introduction of an iconic Batman villain as well as several important advancements in both plot and character development. "The Fearsome Dr. Crane" was a good improvement over the last couple episodes as its character moments were very strong and the mob plotline heated up in a surprising way, once again turning the tables for the loveable Oswald.

The Penguin’s storyline was, as is usual for GOTHAM, the best part of the episode. Penguin really had to scramble as he faced a tough interrogation by Maroni after Fish tipped off the mob don about his underling’s true allegiance. David Zayas really stepped it up throughout the episode, providing the most intimidating Sal Maroni audiences have yet seen. It’s also funny to think that, unlike most of the characters on GOTHAM, Maroni has been the only one to personally attempt to kill Penguin rather than hand the job off to someone else, as well as not showing any interest in anything Penguin had to say. Unlike everyone else, Maroni knows Penguin will say anything to get out of a jam. The manner Penguin escaped his latest brush with death was also quite clever.

On the GCPD side, Gordon and Bullock had to solve an unusual murder case perpetrated by one Gerald Crane, father to Jonathon, the future Scarecrow. Though the case itself wasn’t too interesting and viewers briefly saw the dynamic between father and son, it served to develop quite a few characters. Bullock once again showed off his own detective skills as he took the lead on the case and Gordon was introspective as he mused over his feelings for Dr. Thompkins (already their chemistry is way better than his and Barbara’s). Even Bruce, appearing briefly, developed a bit more as he retreated further into himself, closing Gordon off after Selina’s confession.

Where the character development worked best, however, was with Edward Nygma. This was the first episode where Nygma, and conversely Cory Michael Smith, was not over the top or too campy. The GOTHAM team could still tone down his obsession with riddles, but otherwise Nygma worked very well in this episode, especially as he did his first morally ambiguous act as he sought revenge against a co-worker. Even his scene with Ms. Kringle, often some of the most groan inducing GOTHAM scenes, was written much better than before. Hopefully Nygma’s development into The Riddler will continue on this track.

Overall, a fairly solid episode that had good character development and upped the stakes in some unexpected ways.

STRAY THOUGHTS:
* Seeing as this is part one of a two-parter, it looks like we’ll get a better look at the Crane family next week.

* It’s about time Gordon finally started looking for a place of his own!

* It really is awesome how Robin Lord Taylor can go from supremely confident to wetting his pants nervous in a matter of seconds.

* What the hell was up with that ending with Fish? Did that seriously happen?

GRADE: A-


GOTHAM airs Mondays at 7PM CT/8PM ET on FOX.
CLICK HERE for all of BOF's GOTHAM coverage.


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