In Review: Gotham, Episode 15 “The Fearsome Dr. Crane”

The first of two parts dealing with the Crane family was a decent start, but doesn't reveal enough of them.

Gotham, Episode 15 “The Fearsome Dr. Crane” Broadcast February 2, 2015

Written by John Stephens

Directed by John Behring

“Previously on Gotham” shows Penguin killing the wrong man, the arrest of Arnold Flass in the station by Gordon, Butch and Mooney’s escape from Falcone’s people, and her command to him, “I swear, Butch. We come back, we kill Penguin.” In the present, atop a building, a man drags a hooded man tied to a rolling chair. He attaches a rope to the chair and dangles the man over the side. After pulling the bag off, the antagonist shakes his victim awake, and puts a noose around the man’s neck. He checks the man’s heart with a stethoscope, then cuts the rope, causing the bound man to fall several stories before jerking to a stop from the noose. Gerald Crane looks down at the dangling man and smiles. Cue opening title sequence.

Sal pops champagne for him and Oswald to celebrate Fish Mooney’s death. Things are looking up for Penguin, until Fish calls Sal to tell him she’s alive and that the bird is playing him because Cobblepot is really Falcone’s man. After hanging up with her, Sal invites Oswald to go with him on a job in the country, and they can discuss opportunities on the way. The next morning at the top of the building, Nygma’s checking out the victim’s corpse as Gotham P.D. scours the roof for evidence. Captain Essen arrives and greets Bullock to find out what happened. Edward reveals the killer poked a hole in the man’s abdomen after hauling him back onto the roof. He wants to check the body further back at the lab. Essen tells him he’s forensics, not the medical examiner. She can’t cover for him any more. Alone with Bullock, Essen warns him to be careful. Flass had a lot of friends and “accidents happen.” After she leaves, all the officers on the roof seem to be looking at him menacingly. Meanwhile, at Gordon’s now single apartment, Selina sits on a table munching cereal happily when James comes in. He calls out for Barbara, but gets no answer. The future Catwoman tries to hide, but he finds her. She reveals she’s no more use to the detective because, as she told Bruce Wayne, she didn’t really witness the murder of the boy’s parents. Before Gordon can ask her anything she jumps out a window, where he can’t follow. Cue first commercial break.

There were some strong points in this episode. First and foremost was Penguin and Maroni’s relationship changing. I liked all their scenes until the gun entered the picture, as its end result was unsurprising. I really liked Penguin on the phone. This episode also showed the softer side of Bullock–well, as soft as he can get. It was nice to see him gushing over a woman, and she was no pushover. Maria Thayer did a good job as Scottie Mullens. Gordon was actually given a few light moments, mostly in reaction to the new Harvey, and they were fun. Captain Essen got much more to do in this episode, also getting some light scenes. Cory Michael Smith is really growing on me as Edward Nygma and for the first time viewers get to see a really twisted side of him–I loved it! Questions are growing with Kristen Kringle’s emotional state, which are left unanswered. And though it was only one scene, I enjoyed Alfred’s complete disdain for Gordon.

The good: The script, Oswald and Sal’s evolving relationship, Penguin on the phone, Maria Thayer, Donal Logue getting to play mushy, Ben McKenzie getting to be funny (and not forced), Ed’s tap to the forehead, and Morena Baccarin in the final scene. Not to mention a cameo of Jonathan Crane (the future Scarecrow).

Fun lines: “A bird in the hand is nine-tenths of the law,” “Hello, Sal,” “I release you from your promise,” “Don’t be an ass,” “Oh, dear,” “You need to be more optimistic,” “You are so bad!”, “Son of a bitch!”, “This isn’t what it looks like,” and “Only in Gotham.”

The bad: Didn’t need the music to be so cartoony. It made several scenes more suited for Saturday morning cartoons than prime time adult fare. The joke with the maid was cheesy. The second victim’s entrance into the truck was shot in 1960’s Batman angles. I wanted more of Julian Sands, but there’s more action than character for him, so far.

The final line: The first of two parts dealing with the Crane family was a decent start, but doesn’t reveal enough of them. The grade may change after next week’s conclusion. For now, it was okay. Overall grade: B- 

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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