Review: Gotham (S1 E15/22), Monday 6th April, Channel 5

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Gotham has explored some pretty dark corners, but none darker than the one Fish Mooney finds herself in now. She’ll face a test of her determination and survival instinct which makes what she suffered at the hands of Don Falcone seem like nothing. Can our favourite female mobster get through in one piece?

When we last saw Fish, she was being shanghaied off her escape yacht. Outmanoeuvred by Penguin and Falcone, deprived of her strong right arm Butch, she had no choice but to flee the city; but when she wakes in a dreary dungeon filled with savage captives, she doesn’t even know where she is, let alone what’s going on.

It doesn’t take her long to intimidate a couple of potential rapists, recruit a follower and figure out who’s the head man; stabbing him to death and taking command of the dungeon is her next natural step. Talk about assertive.

Rather less assertive is Gordon, still mooning around the luscious Dr Thompkins. He’s trying to get her into bed, but is thrown when she reveals that she’s taken the job at GCPD as Medical Examiner; maybe he regrets making the suggestion, and is worried it will derail their budding relationship – Bullock certainly thinks so.

More worryingly, murderous psycho Dr Gerald Crane is still on the loose, scaring victims to death and taking their adrenal glands. His experimental subject, we discover, is himself; he’s paralysed with dread by visions of his wife burning to death, and is trying to overcome his and his son’s fears by inoculating the two of them with adrenal secretions.

Meanwhile, young Bruce Wayne is taking the hike he used to do annually with his father; inevitably it goes wrong, and he injures himself in the woods. Is this the point, we wonder, where he crashes through a ravine into what is to become the Batcave? Well, no, for some reason we’re deprived of that revelation – but the adventure, and the way in which Alfred saves Bruce and stands in loco parentis, strengthens the bond between the two in a significant way.

It’s instructive to compare this relationship with the less healthy ones between the Cranes, and between Penguin and Falcone; though Alfred isn’t Bruce’s father, he’s a better Dad than Gerald Crane, and a better paternal influence than Falcone.

Penguin is back in the fold with Falcone, who placates the revengeful Maroni with offers of cash and influence over a judge. Penguin is put in charge of Fish’s bar, a task we feel he’s probably not up to, and also has an encounter with Ed Nygma at GCPD, setting up a future rivalry.

Bullock identifies Gerald Crane, and discovers his plans from his university; Crane is close to completing his experiment when Gordon and Bullock track him down to the old family home, and in desperation, he injects his son with an overdose of his anti-fear drug. Gerald is shot down, but with his last sight a tattered scarecrow, Jonathan Crane goes into paroxysms of fear from which he can’t recover. Haunted by horrific visions, The Scarecrow is born.

As if that weren’t horrific enough, Fish finds out why she and the other captives are being held; one of the dungeon dwellers returns from isolation minus her eyes. Fish, it seems, is in the hands of a live organ harvesting operation – and if that idea rings bells, think back to episode 2, where street kids were being kidnapped by someone called The Dollmaker.

It’s probably the grimmest episode of Gotham so far, but worse may yet be to come; if anyone tries to take bits of Fish Mooney, we don’t fancy their chances of getting away in one piece.

Chris Jenkins

For all our Gotham reviews, go here

 

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