Gotham (2013) season 1, episode 15
WRITER: KEN WOODRUFF
DIRECTOR: NICK COPUS
AIR DATE: February 9 2015
‘The Scarecrow’ picks up largely where the previous episode left off, with the emphasis on the ongoing Gotham PD search for the elusive Gerald Crane (Julian Sands). Gordon and Bullock (Ben McKenzie and Donal Logue) have been looking more into his history - there’s a fear of fire that drives him, and Crane believes he can create a fear serum to shut down fear itself. Hence the whole harvesting adrenal glands aspect of his killings. It’s a decidedly creepy motive, but it certainly fits in the background of his son Jonathan (Charlie Tahan), who will rise to become the villainous Scarecrow, and who happens to have a phobia of those rural decorations.
The Mob continues to be a presence in the series. Carmine Falcone (John Doman) sees the Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) as an asset, and thus acts to protect him without reservation from the wrath of Sal Maroni (David Zayas), who is understandably put out that his attempt to kill Oswald didn’t work. While Maroni’s annoyance is sated by a gift from Falcone- a troublesome judge in his pocket- there’s still the hint that someday Oswald is going to have to deal with Sal Maroni with a grudge. There’s a great moment for fans in the episode too- Oswald turning up briefly at the precinct results in the first time he crosses paths with Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith), the once and future Riddler. Their brief interaction brings out a smile, considering how the two characters relate to each other in the comics universe.
Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) is in a very different dilemma, held hostage with other people in a place resembling a prison. Is this as far as she can fall, one wonders. It’s not a character with a history in Gotham in the time of the Dark Knight, after all, and how can she come back from this?[/justify]
father and son
Another subplot this time out has Bruce (David Mazouz) undertaking a hike out in the countryside, something of a tradition he wants to hold onto. It’s the day of an annual camping trip he and his father would take, and he wants to keep up the tradition. Alfred (Sean Pertwee) is understandably concerned, and where the two characters end up before it’s all said and done reaffirms the relationship dynamic between the two of them.
The episode takes the two detectives on the trail of a madman who believes he’s doing something good- a good rule is that the most compelling villains always believe they’re in the right. Sands certainly plays to that as Gerald Crane. Yet it’s the aftermath of his actions that have the longest impact. Jonathan, injected with the serum, doesn’t react in the expected way. Instead, the last we see of him, he’s confined to a hospital bed, the doctor telling Gordon that his every waking moment is filled with hallucinations of his greatest fear. Seeing his point of view, with malevolent scarecrows menacing him at every turn, is decidedly creepy- and one hell of a way to start the character’s eventual journey into what he will become.