Gotham: Review: Series 1 Episode 15: The Scarecrow

Gotham 1.15The hunt for Dr Crane continues as Penguin and Fish adjust to their new circumstances…

After complaining about the unrealistic survival of the Penguin last week, it’s only fair to begin with a compliment for the much better handling of the character as well as the crime lords with whom he’s associating this time around. The deal between Falcone and Maroni – and the casual way in which the fate of one of Gotham’s finest members of the judiciary is dealt with – rings far truer, as does Maroni’s visit to Oswalds (the new name for Fish Mooney’s place), leading to one of the best visual double entendres of the series, when Penguin’s glass runs over and he’s filmed from behind…

Fish’s quick rise to power in her new community (wherever that is – the final shot is making me wonder if she’s in the basement of Jim Gordon’s former place of work) is similarly deftly told: time constraints mean that we don’t get (or really need) to see her whole method, but you can’t really imagine her not rising to the top quickly.

Jim and Harvey’s pursuit of Crane sees them involved with real detective work and the flirting with the new medical examiner adds an interesting dimension to the GCPD scenes. The main focus of those, of course, is the brief, but beautifully played, encounter between Penguin and Ed Nygma: the framing of the shots and the editing added to the ambience.

Although there were moments in Batman Begins where you felt the force of the Scarecrow’s fear-creation, the final scene in Jonathan Crane’s hospital room really brought it home – and when the young Crane is able to harness the abilities, as we know he will, this incarnation is going to be a real threat to the Batman.

Talking of whom, I was really hoping that we weren’t going to get yet another rerun of the “why do we fall?” scene when Bruce went out on his hike in the woods, and full credit to the scriptwriters for ensuring we thought it without needing the words to be said by Alfred.

Verdict: A well-balanced episode that played to the show’s strengths. 8/10

Paul Simpson

 

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