Fear | Gotham “The Scarecrow” Review
This week’s episode of Gotham, “The Scarecrow,” is the epitome of what Gotham has become; for better or for worse. For every great scene, there’s an awkward one, and every time you start to get a handle on the characters in the show, another one is introduced. Alas, this episode in and of itself was pretty good, but it’s incredibly hard knowing that we may never see the true potential these villains actually have to offer.
Last weeks episode was a great lead-in to working our way through one of the best periphery storylines thus far, Scarecrow. Gerald Crane was furthering his adrenal-gland experiments in hopes of conquering fear entirely. Of course, to conquer fear you must face it, and the serum manifests your deepest fears. Gradually, the serum does take hold, and he is able to withstand his greatest fear, watching his wife burn to death. The manifestation of his fear was interesting because, as you would expect, GCPD had his wife dying a different way, stunning police work per usual. But, as you know Gerald Crane isn’t The Scarecrow; his son is. I love the aversion his son shows to the serum-induced fear, trying to explain to his dad that he doesn’t feel the same guilt he does over his mom’s death. He really doesn’t want any of it, but it is forced upon him.
GCPD does eventually find where Crane is testing out his serum and are in pursuit. So, he forces all the serum into his son, far too much, and the reactions are seen throughout Batman Lore. Since Gerald doesn’t have fear, two gun-toting cops aren’t going to stand in his way. Well, since he isn’t bullet proof, he does die within a few shots. It feels so weird that a guy is smart enough to create the serum but doesn’t realize the issue stemming from you having no fears, while other people still do. It’s very “Gotham”, but still doesn’t really make much sense. As for Jonathan, since this dose was far too much, he is in a perpetual state of fear. Thus, Scarecrow is created. While I do love this origin story, it begs the question; will we ever get to see him become a nemesis to Bruce Wayne? I feel like they are alluding to that, but due to the age differences and such it’s hard to fathom that even half of these characters would make sense to faceoff against Bruce at any point in time.
With Bruce gaining more and more screen time as the season goes by, it was nice to see him start to be useful here. He went hiking where he used to go with his late father and, since this happens every time a character defies the buddy system, he falls and hurts his leg. I could’ve sworn he was going to fall into a bat cave, or we’d at least see a bat at one point. But they were a no show. Instead, we got a tauntingly good Alfred sitting in front of a fire as Bruce struggles to crawl up the hill. Their scenes are especially great throughout this season because as much as it shows that Alfred is the father figure, he isn’t going to coddle Bruce, nor feel bad for him.
As Gotham usually goes, there were a few periphery character interactions that ranged from good to pretty bland. Fish Mooney, yes she’s back sort of, is in some sort of underground prison and looking for a way to rise through the ranks. She gets cozy next to a seemingly random dude that has a knife, Mace, and stabs him in the temple. There wasn’t really any setup, no real reason for the scene to be honest. The mob showdown over The Penguin was far more show than action. It basically amounted to an agreement amongst Falcone and Maroni and a random judge they are going to blackmail together, of which his name wasn’t mentioned until now. Nygma, while not having a lot of screen time, had a great scene with Penguin. They face off with one another in in the GCPD precinct and Nygma, of course tries to get The Penguin to answer a riddle. Even better than the awful riddle was that he threw out a fact about male Penguins. The passive aggressiveness is great, and I loved seeing the two stare each other down. And, now for the Gordon-isms… Thompkins filled the open ME spot and now works alongside Gordon. She tries to give him a kiss at work, and he gets bent out of shape about it, talking about how it’s not professional. Gordon is a afraid to kiss because what others would think about him, even though they all hate him anyway. I get the point of him being the white knight of the city and all that, but he wouldn’t even kiss Thompkins.