REVIEW: GOTHAM – SEASON 1, EPISODE 14 “THE FEARSOME DR. CRANE”

Cue up the origin story machine and let’s sit back to watch shit hit the fan! Ok, not really. Sort of? Eh….

This episode was SO MUCH BETTER than last episode! (that doesn’t mean there weren’t stupid and ridiculous moments, of course.) Let’s take a look, shall we?

We start with a man tied to a chair being hung over the side of a building. This is supposed to be the terrifying introduction of the Baddie of the Episode but, since this is a Batman show, it just brings to mind the thousands of times Batman fans have watched as Batman himself dangles people off rooftops.

Totally OK and not threatening or violent at all!

I’d like to think that the show is making the viewer think about how Batman – a hero – operates completely outside the law and does mental gymnastics to make his questionable activities jive with his black and white morality. But this is the same show that had the guy who will be the Riddler drink from a coffee mug with a giant question mark painted on the side, so.

Chair Man gets himself terminated. He’s got a phone number on him, the phone number of a lady who Bullock would like to acquaint with his “nightstick”. She was Chair Man’s sponsor in a phobia support group (Chair Man was afraid of heights!) Bullock hits on her. She calls him an ass. It’s a love connection!

While this is going on, someone else from the group gets abducted by Dr. Crane holding an adorable scary piglet. Gordon and Bullock find the guy surrounded by pigs and kill the Professor Pyg wannabe brandishing a knife. And then, of course, Gordon tells Bullock and the Captain that they don’t have the mastermind behind the kidnappings. Bullock and the Captain tell Gordon to ignore his instinct and let it go, just like they did last week and about a dozen times before. These two idiots never learn because Gotham cannot let anyone who isn’t Jim Gordon be a good cop. This hinders the development of Bullock and the Captain. By this point in the season and based on Jim’s track record, Bullock and the Captain (which sounds like a folk band name) should trust Jim when he says the case isn’t over. There’s no reason for them NOT to believe him, other than the writers need another obstacle for Gordon to battle against. It’s getting tedious and makes zero sense for the overarching story.

Gordon, not trusting the medical examiner (he of the “getting stabbed in the back is SUICIDE” finding from last week) calls Dr. Tompkins in for a trusted opinion. Except she thinks it’s a date when it’s not. Gordon barely covers his real intentions and lies about the case being a ruse to see her. Lying liar who lies! Leslie is too fucking good for you, Gordon, and you’re lucky the writers need her to believe you so y’all can do the Sexy Rhombus (I have never had sex.) She agrees to look at the case and Jim runs off to do police things.

Bullock goes to the phobia support group and “admits” to being afraid of dying in an alley (just like the Waynes!) He’s just doing it to get laid. Good for you, Bullock. Get. It. Dr. Crane admits to being afraid that he’s fucking up his kid. This being a DC property, I can confidently say that he is. But it’s ok! All DC characters have Daddy issues. Crane runs away and Sponsor runs after him. He kidnaps her and Bullock gives chase.

Crane takes Sponsor to the pool she almost drowned in when she was a kid. Just as he’s about to kill her, Jonathan Crane walks in needing change for the parking meter (WHAT????) This is fucked up and sad. Poor BabyScarecrow. Dr. Crane tries to drown the Sponsor, Bullock saves her, Dr. Crane gets away to live another episode.

Back at the precinct, Jim Gordon apparently has the ability to hire a new medical examiner and gives Leslie the job. Then he kisses her in front of the whole squad, which is probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. Now Leslie is going to have to deal with assholes talking about how she slept her way into this job instead of got it based on her actual medical credentials. Good job, Jim! Live to suck another day!

Penguin/Mooney/Mob Plot: Mooney calls Maroni to tell him that he’s a blockheaded moron for not realizing the Penguin is a weasely asshair who is playing him at every turn. So Maroni, ever the brilliant strategist, invites Penguin upstate to “see a guy about a thing.” K.

Once they arrive, Penguin and Maroni do what Italians do and eat. I say this as a person of Italian descent – we really can’t do anything without eating first. Apparently, this extends to murder. Penguin knows something is up and he steals Maroni’s gun. It is, of course, loaded with blanks, which Penguin discovers while playing the weirdest game of Truth (without Dare) ever. Maroni is shit at playing this game because he gives Penguin way too much info in exchange for the Penguin’s bullshit about not liking coffee or oatmeal.

Maroni takes Penguin to a junkyard and tries to have Penguin crushed in a car. This is actually amazing. It’s stupidly cheesy but in the best way. Penguin, ever the survivalist, talks his way out of certain death by calling the car crushy machine operator. He escapes, Maroni is mad, and then Penguin passes out on the side of the road only to be rescued by a bunch of ladies on a church bus. That is literally a thing that happens in this show. Shine on, you fucking crazy diamond!

And Mooney, the shiniest of the crazy diamonds, is on a boat. A bunch of pirates? Mercenaries? Dudes with bullet belts (so, 90s comic book characters) sack the ship. The episode ends with Mooney glaring at a dude and then they both run full force toward each other (again – WHAT?) That guy has a gun – why not just shoot her? I bet he’s her brother or something.

Ngyma Plot: After almost getting suspended for fucking with the corpses too many times, Ngyma puts severed arms and legs into the medical examiner’s locker. CRAZY. DIAMOND. It’s confusing because don’t they have cameras in this locker room? What would have happened if no one was there to witness the medical examiner holding the body parts after they fell on him? Would he just have reported it and not have gotten fired? Oh, Gotham. You and your perfectly coincidental plotting that doesn’t hold up under the slightest bit of scrutiny!

Selina Plot: Gordon finds Selina chillin’ in his/Barbara’s apartment and chowing down on a box of what looks like Fruit Brute cereal:

FruitBrute1974

She feeds Gordon the same line she gave Bruce last week about not seeing the man who killed the Waynes. She’s lying through her fucking teeth. She jumps off Gordon’s balcony and we can all assume she died like the Nationwide kid.

Bruce Plot: We get to see Bruce display the winning personality that makes everyone who loves him abandon him by the time we get to the Batman Beyond years!

Gordon visits Bruce, who can barely contain his anger long enough to shake the man’s hand. He’s pissed – and justifiably so since Gordon almost got him, Selina, and Alfred killed. Gordon tells him that Selina didn’t see the man who killed his parents. Bruce basically tells him to pound sand because he’s the shittiest detective in Gotham. He “releases” Jim from his oath before storming off. Look, I get that Bruce is rich, but he’s not royalty. He doesn’t get to tell a cop not to do his job. That’s what the Captain and Bullock are for!

Alfred, of course, enables this shit. At this point, I’m not sure what’s more responsible for Bruce’s eventual transition to Batman – the death of his parents or Alfred’s enabling. Alfred’s the guy who says Bruce can’t get any counseling. He’s the guy who thinks it’s totally ok for Bruce to pull a Jaden Smith and develop his own (home-school) curriculum. He thinks it’s ok to let a traumatized 12-year-old to spend all of him time sitting in Wayne Room – alone – surrounded by details of his parents murder. Alfred’s also the guy who handed Bruce a fucking watch and drove him to BabyHush’s home to PUNCH HIM IN THE FACE WHILE USING THE WATCH AS BRASS KNUCKLES. I mean…

Barbara Plot: There wasn’t one! YAY!

Next Week: Bruce vs. The Forest!

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