Gordon and Bullock chase after Doctor Gerald Crane, a serial killer targeting his victims based on their phobias. Meanwhile, Maroni takes Penguin on a trip with him in order to test his loyalty.
The series takes on one of Batman’s most well-known enemies…sort of. The titular doctor evokes the Scarecrow’s M.O. without using his trademark fear toxin. These attacks range from genuinely terrifying (fear of heights) to rather goofy (fear of pigs, with a man resembling Batman villain Professor Pyg). Julian Sands plays Doctor Crane, who ends up being the father of teen Jonathan Crane, the future Scarecrow.
The subplot with Penguin and Maroni is genuinely interesting. Though gun blanks do not work the way they are shown, the scenes in the cabin are genuinely tense, and it is difficult to tell at first whether Maroni knows the truth about him or not. Unfortunately, once Maroni assaults Penguin and tries to crush him in a car, the tension is replaced by plot-induced stupidity that allows Oswald to escape.
While Ed Nygma has been shown as as a creepy stalker before, his darker side becomes more evident in this week’s subplot. Though the body parts scene was a bit goofy, it does finally progress his character. His enormous ego should swell as the show continues. The other subplots with Bruce, Doctor Thompkins, and Seline are lightweight in importance, but fortunately, they do not take much time like Penguin’s party sequences last week.
“The Fearsome Dr. Crane” is a step up fro last week’s episode. While there are still some weak plots holding the series back, the origin of the Scarecrow and the crime lord storylines are interesting enough to continue with the series.
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