On this episode of Gotham, titled “A Dark Knight: The Fear Reaper,” Gordon is forced to go after Scarecrow alone after Penguin calls out the Gotham City Police Department (GCPD), Barbara Kean returns with an offer for Selina and Tabitha and Mr. Fox aids in Bruce’s transformation into Batman.
So, Jonathan Crane has officially embraced his “Scarecrow” persona, giving Jim Gordon and the GCPD one more eccentric villain to take down. Thanks to a tip from Merton, Gordon and Bullock head to the former Crane residence only to find it empty. They also discover that there’s a whole new batch of the fear toxin in circulation. Gordon spots something in the backyard, and it’s Grady dressed as a scarecrow, and he warns them the actual Scarecrow is coming.
Wrong Place, Wrong Time
Bruce is behind bars and explains to Gordon that he fell through a skylight into a robbery in progress; he didn’t technically break in, he fell in. Gordon asks the obvious question — what was Bruce doing on the roof, and Bruce tells the Detective he was searching for Selina. Gordon lets Bruce go but promises they will discuss this mishap later.
Lucius Fox encounters Alfred and Bruce as they’re leaving the police station, and after taking in Bruce’s worse for the wear appearance asks what happened. Alfred and Bruce give him the abridged version and throw in a story about rock climbing as well. But Fox is no fool, and he warns Bruce to be careful because “rock climbing” can be dangerous. Probably not much longer before Mr. Fox is recruited to start providing Bruce with some of those wonderful toys.
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Crazy, Killer Clowns
Scarecrow’s first stop on his “Bringing Terror and Mayhem to Gotham Tour” is the asylum. Poor, pathetic Jonathan cuts a menacing figure now, carrying a sickle with his head covered with a burlap sack. He catches Warden Reed in the process of getting rid of evidence of his misdeeds which promise to include more than handing a patient over to criminals for financial gain. Jonathan tells Reed that he cured himself. He feared the scarecrow, and now they are one. Reed reaches for a gun and winds up with a face full of the fear toxin.
As if clowns aren’t currently getting a bad enough rap thanks to It and AHS: Cult, Reed’s biggest fear of psychotic-looking clowns comes to fruition. A disturbing one makes an appearance as Reed’s body is overtaken by the effects of the fear juice. Scarecrow instructs Reed to face his fears and defeat them, so the Warden grabs a gun and begins shooting at his hallucination, chasing it through the hallways of the asylum. But soon, one clown becomes dozens, and the Warden goes on a murdering spree, killing innocent bystanders.
Like all Gotham villains, Scarecrow has an ax — or sickle — to grind with the GCPD. They killed his father, and he wants revenge. Scarecrow enlists an army comprised of mental patients to help him with this task.
Penguin Issues a Challenge
Penguin comes to Gordon looking for Jonathan Crane. Through Penguin’s many connections, he’s learned that Crane is responsible for the fear toxin that turned Penguin into a quivering cry baby at the opening of his club. Gordon isn’t able to give Penguin any information, and the crime boss calls out the GCPD for yet another failure. There also happens to be press around, giving Penguin the platform to call the GCPD a corrupt and ineffectual organization. Gordon brings up Penguin’s licenses and promises to arrest anyone he finds who has one. Penguin questions how sure Gordon is that his “boy scout morality” can protect the citizens of Gotham and offers to list the victims of Gordon’s “antiquated righteousness.”
Penguin issues a challenge: either Gordon finds Jonathan Crane and locks him up within 24 hours, or he can admit to Penguin, his subordinates and all of Gotham, that he failed. Then Gordon must allow Penguin to clean up the city.
Babs is Back
Selina and Tabitha receive cards with the message “An Opportunity Awaits.” The invitations were sent by none other than Barbara Kean, who is very much alive after being electrocuted in the season 3 finale. Death becomes her because she’s sporting a very chic bob and looks fantastic. Tabitha is understandably confused, and Barbara tells her former bestie that next time, she ought to check for a pulse. After all, this is Gotham. Selina questions where Barbara’s been, but she’ll only say it’s a long story.
Barbara does regret the way she treated Tabitha and swears that if she could take it back, she would. When Tabitha threatens to slit her throat, Barbara admits that she was jealous and stupid and then apologizes. Tabitha has always had a soft spot for Babs, so she decides to hear Barbara out.
Barbara’s got some fancy new digs and a new business — supplying weapons to the criminal element of Gotham, and she wants Tabitha and Selina to become her partners. Tabitha refuses, telling Barbara that what she took from her, Tabitha will never be able to get back (I assume she’s talking about Butch.) Tabitha walks out, leaving Selina behind. Barbara insists this venture could be good for all of them and encourages her to talk to Tabitha.
Bruce is determined to follow up on the list of licensed criminals in Gotham, but Alfred warns Bruce that he’s just not ready. He may be quick on his toes and able to fight, but what happens when he comes up against somebody with some heavy artillery? Bruce is free to do as he chooses, but Alfred refuses to stand by and watch him get shot.
Follow the Yellow Brick Road
Bullock and Gordon learn there’s a riot at the asylum. Gordon calls on his fellow officers to help, but nobody leaps at the opportunity. Gordon questions if they actually believe Penguin is going to make crime go away and reminds them that Penguin is simply getting rich off of the lowlifes they used to hate. His speech fails to inspire anyone, including Bullock. He worries if he goes with Gordon, he’ll lose the rest of the department, and the new captain will be someone Penguin chooses. He apologizes and lets Gordon know he’s on his own.
Gordon enters the asylum alone armed only with a couple of guns. Scarecrow spots him on the video monitors and announces over the loudspeaker that the enemy is here. He opens the gates, and a bunch of inmates make a beeline for Gordon. He manages to incapacitate or scare off the first attack, but Scarecrow has some other surprises in store, promising Gordon that he will know fear.
Barbara’s Mysterious Benefactor
Penguin reunites with Barbara. He heard she was back from the dead and open for business. He informs her that all enterprises pertaining to the criminal underworld must be approved, monitored and taxed by him. Barbara knows when to play nice, so she apologizes for not coming to him, but she’s waiting for her partners to come on board, and when Penguin learns she’s referring to Tabitha and Selina, he wishes her luck, warning that both women are slippery characters. (Pretty funny coming from a guy named Penguin.) Once Barbara pays off Penguin, he’ll allow her to run her operation but promises he’ll be keeping a close eye on her.
Penguin is curious who is backing Barbara financially, but she’s keeping mum. Penguin is certain he’ll find out soon enough.
Visions of Suicide Dance in His Head
Scarecrow catches Gordon off-guard and is able to disarm him. He removes his mask, and Gordon wants to know what happened to Jonathan. Well, there’s the obvious lunatic father who is now deceased, but Jonathan believes his father was not only trying to help him but all of mankind. Daddy taught Jonathan that you can live your life imprisoned by your fears or embrace them. Predictably, he gives Gordon a hefty dose of the fear toxin.
So, what haunts Jim Gordon? He hears a woman screaming and finds Lee bleeding in a bathtub — she slit her wrists. Gordon wants to help her, but she tells him about all the pain he’s caused her. They could have been a family, but Gordon destroys everything he touches. Lee dies, and Scarecrow urges Gordon to join her as a way of proving how much he truly loves her. Gordon notices a razor in his hand, and he contemplates making a cut as Scarecrow tries to push him over the edge. But Gordon realizes that Lee wouldn’t want that because she loves him, and the vision vanishes.
Scarecrow doesn’t understand how Gordon was able to defeat the toxin, and the answer is obvious — he overcame his fear. Scarecrow calls Jim a liar. He doesn’t believe you can just stop being afraid, you can only become your demon like he did. Gordon tries to convince Scarecrow that he has a choice, and no matter what, this isn’t what his father wanted for him. Jonathan is determined to never going back to being the weak boy his father thought he was which means any further attempts at therapy are likely off the table.
Scarecrow orders the inmates to finish off Gordon, but Gordon realizes that water negates the effects of the fear toxin and sets off the sprinklers, taking Scarecrow’s army of mindless minions out of the equation. Scarecrow takes off before Gordon can apprehend him.
The Batsuit is Born
Bruce should really listen to Alfred. While discreetly stalking a group of thugs, he finds himself taken prisoner by a group of thugs he thought he was stalking discreetly. But Bruce is proving to be much more resourceful, and while he isn’t a full-fledged badass, he’s not a total wuss either. He manages to escape his captors. Well, almost. Bruce comes face-to-face on the street with the one most determined to kill him, but Alfred is on hand to knock the bloke unconscious and gloat about being right.
Lucius drops by Wayne Manor with a gift. Wayne Enterprises was developing a durable material for military uniforms when he worked there, and Mr. Fox just happens to have a sample with him. It’s bulletproof which comes in handy when…rock climbing.
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Selina is tired of not being taken seriously, and she thinks that if she, Tabitha and Barbara team up, that could all change. Tabitha’s still holding a grudge that Barbara chose Nygma over her and Butch, but Selina is eager to convince Tabitha to give Barb another chance. Someone else who wants to join this formidable girl gang is Ivy. She’s tired of being kicked around by Penguin, and there’s nothing she wouldn’t do to get back at the men who have treated her like garbage. Tabitha’s harboring some serious trust issues, so she’s not down with Ivy, but she does agree to talk with Barbara. However, she wants something in return.
Tabitha wants a token of Barbara’s sincerity — one of her hands. Tabitha even has a cleaver handy. Barbara agrees since it appears to be the only way to get Tabitha to trust her. But Barbara’s willingness to give up an appendage is enough, and not only does she get to keep her appendages, Barbara has her partners in crime.
War and No Peace
Gordon’s failure to apprehend Scarecrow is Penguin’s gain. Penguin offers to triple the salary of any cop who comes to work for him. Bullock advises Gordon to keep his cool. This is one battle in an ongoing war. If Bullock had gone with Jim to the asylum, he’d have lost the whole department, and they need all the help they can get to win the war. Gordon realizes he may need one really big weapon, Carmine Falcone.
As for Ivy, she’s done playing nice, and she acquires some mystical ancient potions that promise to give her some serious strength and power. Ivy is about to become poisonous.
Who is Barbara’s mysterious benefactor? Can Tabitha and Selina trust her? How will Gordon convince Falcone to help him? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Gotham airs Mondays at 8/7c on FOX. Want more news? Visit our Gotham page on Facebook.
(Image Courtesy of FOX)
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Jennifer has worked as a freelance writer in the entertainment field since 2012. In addition to currently writing feature articles for Screen Rant, Jennifer has contributed content ranging from recaps to listicles to reviews for BuddyTV, PopMatters, TVRage, TVOvermind, and Tell-Tale TV. Links to some of Jennifer’s reviews can be found on Rotten Tomatoes.