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Gotham - The Scarecrow - Advance Preview

Gotham is a lot of things, Gotham is doing a lot of things. This is a thought that sometimes that worries me, scares me, and some would even say terrifies me. I worry with the constant bleeding of viewers and the mixed reaction from viewers still watching, how much of a shelf life the show has in it. How can a show have so much potential, but feel so lost at the same time? If every episode could be like this week's The Scarecrow the show could very well right the wrongs it seems to have done to it's viewers. While not an action packed hour of twist and turns, it was a very character driven hour that was pretty compelling and fun to watch. Yes, this week is the second part of last week's The Fearsome Dr. Crane, but honestly, it didn't need last week's episode at all to set this week up. They could have cut the case from the episode entirely and this week would have still functioned. To me, this speaks volumes as to how filler the show can be sometimes, yet how right it can get it others.

File Name: The Scarecrow
Case File: Season One, Episode 15
Study Originated By: Bruno Heller
Conducted By: Nick Copus

The Case: Like I stated earlier, this week's case is a continuation of last week, where our killer, Dr. Gerald Crane is killing victims by playing on their phobias and then removing their adrenal glands. If the name Dr. Crane sounded familiar, it's because it is the surname of future bat-baddy The Scarecrow, Jonathan Crane. We met Jonathan last week when his father was taking another victim while he played lookout for the cops. This week we see a lot more of the father-son duo outside of their murder spree, we see them going after what Dr. Crane really wants, to be free of fear. That's what makes this case so good this week, it's essentially the origin story of the Scarecrow. It's quite amazing watching it unfold before your eyes and is one of the show's finer moments. We are still watching and waiting for Selina to become Catwoman, for Ed to become the Riddler, for Oswald to become the Penguin. This week we practically see what causes Jonathan to be the Scarecrow.

Harvey, having seen Dr. Crane's face is working to identify him after another victim turns up, adrenal glands removed. They discover that Dr. Gerald Crane is actually just a biology teacher. They head to his school and discover he has been missing for weeks and that he had spoken to the headmaster before about proofing his academic paper about curing fear. The detectives take it back it to the station and consult with Ed, who tells them that Dr. Crane believes the only way to cure fear, is to inoculate himself against it. Turns out Gerald has set up two protocols for testing, one for himself and one for subject B, his son. Geralds seems to be working past his particular fear, but Jonathan appears to not be as strong as his father is. Harvey and Jim try to figure out what started Crane on this path, what his trigger was, and what they discover in his past leads them to where the Cranes are holding up. Dr. Crane refuses to call it a wash, and takes some drastic measures to ensure that subject B, overcomes his fears. He takes measures that end up having some lasting effects and costing a life in the process. We end the hour finally seeing a fully realized origin story of a Batman villain and it's worth it's weight.

Supporting research: Last week, we ended with one of the cheesiest scenes I've seen since the late 90's commercials for Kraft macaroni; Fish and some commando soldier running at each other full speed, yelling at each other about to clash. Don't expect any explanation about that scene, for there won't be any. Instead we find Fish waking up in some sort of underground lair, with a bunch of people who look like they have been there awhile. She quickly learns there is some semblance of a status-quo down here, and you can see the wheels turning in her head as she attempts to hold her own and gain control. I wills say, I find this down and out scheming Fish very enjoyable to watch, and while I was unsure of the character and am still wary, Jada brings life to the character that makes this confusing and strange situation watchable as she takes charge. Once again, expect this story to end on a rather weird note. There has got to be more to this than what meets the eyes here.

With Fish squandering down low, Penguin is above ground, tail between his legs pleading with Don Falcone for protection after he came so close to being canned tuna last week at the hands of Maroni. Falcone, merely brushes off his pleas as they stroll through Fish's club and he asks Penguin to do some tidy up to the place. Penguin is a bit miffed, as if his life has no concern to Falcone. Falcone ensures him he will take care of Maroni, but that club is a money-maker and it needs to be maintained and it's up to Penguin since it is his now. Penguin trots off to work, redesigning and rebranding for his coming out party at the club because everyone will be there. There's just one guest he wants to invite himself, and ladies and gents, that's when the magic happens. Penguin heads off to the station to invite Jim which doesn't go so well, and he meets Edward Nygma for the first time and my brain exploded from Geek-Gasms at their banter. Meanwhile Falcone is having a little chat with Maroni, who at every turn tells Falcone his hospitality is appreciated, but Penguin is still a dead man. In the end, they work it out, just in time for Penguin's grand party, where Maroni has choice words for Penguin.
I know there's been a lot of skepticism about how the show is handling Bruce at the moment and it looks like this week shows the writers have a direction, they are just treading very slowly. Bruce decides that it's time for him to take a hike that he used to do with his father, though Alfred is wary of him doing so alone. The hike is an emotional one for Bruce as we finally see some of his frustration, anger and determination breakthrough, and all the while it seems that Alfred is watching, unaware of the monster he is helping to create.

Finally, it seems that Bruce and Leslie are making a real go of things as this week we catch them coming from their third date, where she lets slip that she will be working with him as the new Medical Examiner at the station.(Goodbye, Arkham and any ties we had to you) Bullock tries to warn Jim that the two of them having a relationship and working so closely can only end badly, but Jim thinks otherwise. Still, he does tell Leslie they have to keep it professional at work, something Leslie doesn't seem keen on doing. Still, it's nice watching how playful she is with Jim, it helps balance out his rigidness. Plus, she did just invite him to the circus...

Conclusive Findings: This week was a great week for Gotham. I highly suggest that anybody that has dropped the show, check in on it this week, as it is one of the show's better hours. It finally feels like I sat through an hour that had some meaningful resolution and it was enjoyable. The fact that the episode is titled Scarecrow and we actually get a story about the Scarecrow makes me feel good knowing it wasn't just another bait and switch (*Cough, Harvey Dent, Cough*). Sure, it wasn't an intense thrill ride, but it was still a very solid hour. Everyone had something going and it felt balanced and even. For once the show felt layered like a good casserole. Sure, there will be some who may be tired of Gotham, and it's slow-burn approach to storytelling, but I have to say this week is worth the slow burn of last week's opener. I also can't wait to start shipping Nygma and Cobblepot a partners in crime. Can this be a thing? Please?

Are you excited to see Gotham's take on the Scarecrow origin? Do you think that Alfred knows that his tough love approach is changing Bruce? How long do you think Penguin has until things go south? If you think Gotham is broke, how would you fix it? What are you enjoying most about the show? Sound off below!

The Scarecrow airs February 9th at 7c on Fox.

About the Author - Winston Mize
Winston is a 24 year old goofball, born in the north, and currently living in the south. He loves TV.... for some it's coffee, for him it's TV talk that gets his day going. He wants to be a screenwriter, and watches some of everything. You name it, he's probably checked it out. And he would like you to know that it is okay for a 24 year old to play with action figures... well, he does anyway
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