Another big name is being dragged out this week and that name is Crane. With Gotham’s ever growing villain gallery I’m hoping for something special this week.
Just it isn’t the Scarecrow but his father. Same kind of thing though, he’s obsessed with fear and using a group of people who talk about their phobia’s to induce fear and cut out their fear glands.
Dr. Crane is played by Julian Sands who apparently sends both Anna and Amanda crazy just by the mention of his name. He plays the part extremely well managing to be one of the best bad guys so far this season. The way he plays it is creepy without actually being creepy, the character is much more psychological which is a good thing I guess seeing that is what I’ve always loved about the Scarecrow and if this is what we’re getting instead of Scarecrow its a pretty damn good second place. We get to see the younger Crane Jr helping his daddy, I’m not sure how much his son knew he was doing but he didn’t seem to be too put out by it all.
I prefer this, having the father of a future Bat villain instead of having the actual villain himself. In fact at first, knowing the name of the episode in advance, I was worried that they’d cast such a older gentleman to play such a brilliant character so early in Bat’s timeline. When it dawned on me that he was going to be the father of the future Scarecrow it made it a whole damn sight better.
The fear aspect is something I hope the second episode to this two parter carries on with as I’ve always loved that part of Scarecrow.
Away from the main focus we had a few other stories this week.
First up is not only the love life of Gordon but Bullock. For the first time since the series started we’ve had two flashes of the laid back Bullock seemingly having real human feelings towards women who aren’t paid to care for him. Last week he was helping Fish escape and this week he falls for the leader of the phobia group, his face when he saves her from drowning looks like next week he’ll mean business. Of course helpless Gordon has gone even more laid back and asked Doctor Thompkins out. Both relationships look doomed to fail from the beginning but with Gordon giving back Barbara’s keys (or at least leaving them in her flat) it looks all but over for Barbara.
My favorite part of the week was Edward Nygma. For the first time we see him actually doing something that forecasts his change into villain. After being warned to stay away from the coroners office and ignoring said warning Ed finds himself suspended, to save his job he puts a load of severed limbs in the coroners locker getting the coroner fired for stealing body parts and Ed off the hook. I spent a lot of time at the beginning of the season talking about how Robin Lord Taylor was able to really step into the role of Penguin and make it his own, the same can be said for Cory Michael Smith. The more I see of his take on Nygma the more interested I am of seeing where he takes it. Even though I’ve spent most of the season in two minds about characters being villain’s before the Bat is old enough to do anything I still foresee what could be quite the season featuring the Riddler. Of course it can play out in a number of ways but I for one am all for Cory Michael Smith actually getting a run as his alter ego, I think he does it perfectly. In fact the more I see of Ed the more he becomes the most charming and brilliant part of the show.
Talking of Penguin this week his plans start to fall down a little on him. Fish lets Maroni know just what Penguin has been doing after being saved by Butch last episode, we end the episode with Penguin nearly being flattened and having to go on the run from his old boss. Oswald stays one of the best things about the show but his story seems to have come to a end and the new beginning needs to happen in the next few episodes before him slouching around the place becomes boring. There are a few ways they could go with Penguin from here on in and I’ll be interested to see how he bounces back. Maroni is by far the best of the Mafia Don’s that we’ve met and David Zayas is a gem in this series. A real honest to god gem.
We also have the break up of communication between Jim and Bruce this week. I understand how upset Alfred must be with the assassination attempt and this week he all but threw Jim out of the mansion after Bruce basically let Jim know he has no faith in him in catching his parents killers. Where that will go from here on in we can only guess but since the show came back after the holidays I wouldn’t mind seeing Bruce and Alfred, as much as I loved them in the first half, disappear for a while. Ben McKenzie has come on bounds from the opening few episodes and his relationship with Bullock is such that we don’t need to focus on the Waynes anymore. Stories are getting much more interesting without having to go back to Wayne Manor every episode. That isn’t to say I don’t enjoy seeing David Mazouz and Sean Pertwee from time to time but I would like to see the show move away a little from being about Batman’s origins and actually go deeper into the GCPD which is starting to get more interesting by the episode.
And I think that is how I felt the episode presented itself. With everything starting anew. I felt like “Welcome back, Jim Gordon” ended a lot of the strands of certain stories and opened us up to the possibility of a load of new ideas.
With Jim back with a new personality and now Bullock showing a softer side, the war between the families all ending and a new focus I guess of Penguin now becoming a Mafia boss himself instead of standing in the shadows, and the ending of the leads for the Wayne deaths. I just feel that this episode drew a line in the sand and we could move on to bigger and better things.
I STILL want to see some unique villains for Gordon and Bullock. They need their own villains as well as utilizing the ones they’ve already met.
A really good episode. I love that we get to see Julian Sands Crane again next week.