Note: There will be spoilers within the review and recap.
On this week's episode of Gotham, a man returns to his house to find someone waiting for him, except it's more than one man. Fish Mooney wakes up somewhere where people are beating each other up. A couple of men with bad intentions want to take her on but she flat out says she'll kill them both and they walk away.
James and Leslie have their third date. She lets James know that she's coming to work at the GCPD with him. James heads to the house where the man was jumped. He's dead now and Bullock explains his adrenal glands are gone. Crane is mixing is up and using it in a little concoction. He injects himself with it and sees his greatest fears. It's a lady on fire.
Over at Wayne Manor, Bruce is going off on his own and doesn't want Alfred's help. Bruce says he'll be back before dark.
Penguin is back at his club and updates Falcone with what happened with Maroni, who is more worried about the club. He wants it cleaned up and changed, so it doesn't look like Fish had it. Falcone says Penguin can have the club and that he's earned it.
At the station, Bullock is going through the victim's yearbook. Thompkins comes in and introduces herself to Bullock and Essen catches her up. Bullock finds Gerald Crane's picture in the year book. They head to the school.
Fish tries to figure out where they are and what it is. She learns about the hierarchy of the place, Mace eats first. At the school, Bullock and Gordon talk to the person in charge. She tells them his wife died and he was quiet. She has a paper Crane wrote. She says Gerald was trying to cure himself fear. Back at the station, Nygma explains everything and helps them with the case. They find Crane is trying it out on two people, one is patient B.
Crane slowly learns to conquer his fear. His son comes up to him to see if he's ok. Gerald says it's working and it's almost Jonathon's turn. Gerald says Jonathon will be cured from fear.
Falcone and Maroni take a walk. Maroni wants him dead. Fish moves in to talk to Mace at the underground jail. Mace is in charge because he has the only blade in the place. Fish wants to make a deal.
Penguin goes to the GCPD to deliver an invitation to Gordon. He's not there but he and Nygma have a bit of a talk. Penguin is extremely mean to him. Gordon comes back and Penguin gives him the invitation.
Crane injects his son with his concoction. Jonathon freaks out and screams. Back in the woods, Bruce walks around and puts a stone with his initials and his father's initials on a pile. Bruce gets angry and throws all the rocks. Bruce slips and falls down a hill. Bruce banged up his ankle. He's scared and alone.
Falcone offers Maroni a judge he has kidnapped that screwed Maroni in the past. The two seem to be bonding a bit.
Bullock finds that Gerald's wife died in a house fire, not during a car crash. Gerald was in the house but his fear stopped him from saving her. Back at the house, Gerald conquered his fear. Jonathon runs away and Gerald says he needs to finish it.
It's nightfall and Bruce tries to crawl. He can't. He takes a few sticks and makes a splint to help him move around. Fish cozies up to Mace, then kills him. Fish is in charge now.
James and Harvey make their way to the Crane household. Jonathon wants to run, but Gerald says they need to complete the protocol. Gerald injects Jonathon with a ton of the mixture and Jonathon freaks out while looking at a scarecrow. Bullock and Gordon tell him to put his gun down, but Gerald is now fearless. He fires back and ends up getting gunned down.
Bruce crawls his way home. He gets back to the top of the hill, where he kicked the rocks down. Alfred is sitting there, next to a fire. Bruce and Alfred decide to stay and watch the sun rise.
At Penguin's club, Maroni shows up. Maroni says he talked to Falcone and all is forgiven. Maroni says the second Falcone is out of the picture, so is Penguin.
At the hospital, a doctor explains to Gordon that Jonathon has brain damage and is in a constant state of terror. It may be permanent. In the bed, Jonathon sees the scarecrow, creeping closer to him.
The opening with Crane is really cool, after he injects himself. The shaky camera effect really sets to mood of fear and terror and the woman on fire, walking down the stairs looks extremely cool as well. Fear vision was something that continued through the episode and it was really cool, except when the CGI scarecrow came in. That didn't look to great.
For as much as I like Robin Lord Taylor as the Penguin, his walk was incredibly exaggerated in this episode. It felt like this week, we almost saw the cartoon version of him at times, but his story wasn't the strongest here and was overshadowed by everything else.
More silly music during the scene where Bullock walks up to Leslie and James. It takes all the seriousness out of the scene and it's not a silly scene at all. The ominous moments score sound pretty good though.
We get it, Gotham. Jonathon Crane is Scarecrow. You don't need to frame up an actual scarecrow behind him in every shot where the kid is outside. You're not subtle. I guess I do have a fanboy complaint about the whole Crane being scared of Scarecrows. It takes away meaning from the character when you present his origin this way. Batman became Batman to put fear into his enemies and bats are what he feared as a child. Here, they're giving Crane pretty much the same origin as Batman, in one sense, and it feels forced and lessens the idea the meaning of who this boy will become. Understandably, it's a different universe and characters can have different origins, but it just draws way too many with Batman. Scarecrow needs to stand more on his own as far as his origin goes. End rant.
In what's becoming a frequent trend on Gotham, half of the show is very rough and the other half is actually a solid episode. The stand-out part of this episode was Bruce's story here. His bonding and moving forward in life was the highlight of the episode. We get to see an evolution in the character here as he deals with the death of his father and starts to accept Alfred as his caretaker. The scene with Alfred and Bruce watching the sunset was fantastic and we get to see a great deal of growth of these characters, from where they were in the first episode of the series.
Adding Thompkins to the GCPD does add a lot to the show. It's someone else for Bullock and Gordon to talk to and I like the idea of seeing Gordon try to juggle his professional and romantic life at the same time.
Once again, I'm really enjoying David Zayas as Maroni, even though his story within this episode was a tad bland. What overshadowed that this week was Fish in the makeshift jail she was at and taking over the place. She's over the top, the whole story isn't incredibly believable, but for some reason, it really won me over and it's something I'm looking forward to in future episodes.
All-in-all, this was a down the middle of the road episode, once again. The story of Gerald and Jonathon was very cool and felt like a story where the motivation makes sense. However, the whole Jonathon/Scarecrow connection was weak and the show plays the audience for the fool. It's a bit insulting. The real shining moments of this episode was Bruce Wayne's story. Both Alfred and Bruce have come a long way and this was a great moment for them. However, the episode, as a whole, didn't flow very well and it's just a bit bland.
However, next week, the teaser gave us the impression that the Joker as a kid would be appearing. If that happens, I'm going to lose my mind. Please stop the villains as kids stuff.