TV Recap: Gotham, ‘The Scarecrow’

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The Scarecrow Plot Summary:

Plot: Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and Bullock (Donal Logue) continue to track down Gerald Crane (Julian Sands) as his fear plan begins to unfold. Fish (Jada Pinkett Smith) finds herself in an underground prison, and Oswald (Robin Lord Taylor) is given a big promotion by Falcone (John Doman).

Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio/FOX
Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio/FOX

Much like last week, Gotham started off slow, but certainly ramped up as the episode went along. While the storylines were kind of ho-hum, the actors did a great job of elevating the material, including a lot of great one-on-one character moments. What I loved about this episode though was the mood they set up. They really got dark and depraved this week, including some awesome imagery with the Scarecrow. This could have easily looked stupid, but they pulled it off. Charlie Tahan did a commendable job as Jonathan Crane, who we know we’ll be seeing much more of as the series goes on. The actual Crane plotline though left a lot to be desired.

The idea of Gerald Crane wanting to take fear away from himself and his son was interesting, but it never grabbed me. I was more interested in the dynamic between Gerald and Jonathan that I wish could have been explored more. Julian Sands did a great job as the villain though, perfectly portraying a crazy person with a tinge of sympathy, which is usually the formula for a Batman villain.

Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio/FOX
Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio/FOX

The character who really got to shine this week was Oswald (what a surprise). Still on edge after his run in with Maroni (David Zayas), Taylor does a superb job at playing the nervous Oswald. We also get an intense exchange between him and Gordon at the GCPD, which adds to their contentious relationship. Most importantly though, we get the first meeting between Oswald and Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith). This was a great exchange. Oswald treats him like nothing, but I love how Nygma acts as if he knows someday they will be equals. I’m sure their storylines will be more intertwined much later in the series.

Speaking of villains, we got an extended scene between Falcone and Maroni. Even though these guys are competition, it was nice to see them have a moment as both have similar enemies, which is unfortunate for a particular judge.

Jada Pinkett Smith continues to have a presence as Fish Mooney, but I’m not so sure about this current storyline. Fish finds herself in an underground prison, which she vows to take control of. There wasn’t a whole lot to this, and I’m hoping this gets resolved next week. I don’t want to spend a lot more time here.

Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio/FOX
Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio/FOX

Bruce Wayne’s (David Mazouz) story found him hiking through the woods to continue the tradition he had with his father. There were some nice cinematic moments and good acting by Mazouz, but there was nothing very powerful here, and I feel like there should have been. It’s like the show wanted to have a Batman moment, but couldn’t find it through all the leaves and trees.

Despite the forgettable storylines, the characters were more than enough to keep me entertained and engaged. Gordon and Thompkins (Morena Baccarin) continue to have great chemistry. Visually, the episode looked great, and there were also some solid music cues. Next week’s episode is certainly looking to go all in, and if you’ve seen the previews, you know what I’m talking about. Oh boy.

Rating: 7 out of 10 (Good)


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Daniel Cohen is the Film Editor for Pop-Break. Aside from reviews, Daniel does a weekly box office predictions column, and also contributes monthly Top Tens and Op-Ed’s on all things film. Daniel is a graduate of Bates College with a degree in English, and also studied Screenwriting at UCLA. He can also be read on www.movieshenanigans.com. His movie crush is Jessica Rabbit. Follow him on Twitter @dcohenwriter.
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Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.