'Gotham' recap, 'The Scarecrow'

Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz, right) is comforted by Alfred (Sean Pertwee) after a treacherous hike on "Gotham."
Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz, right) is comforted by Alfred (Sean Pertwee) after a treacherous hike on "Gotham." (Jessica Miglio / FOX)

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Sorry, Dr. Crane, but fear is still terrorizing Gotham, and you're only making it worse.

"The Scarecrow" explores the full gamut of panic, from debilitating paranoia to overzealous bravery, and how it can plague your life.


On one side of the fear scale is Dr. Crane, who goes from being paralyzed to immune to fear. On the other is his son, Jonathan, the future Scarecrow.

With his father's experimentation, he's now crippled and tormented by his fear — you guessed it, a scarecrow — every second, every hour, every day. Just awful.


Before he immunized himself, Dr. Crane is so afraid of fear, that he became obsessed with eradicating it from mankind all together.

You'd think that would make FDR proud, but his intentions seem less humanitarian and more selfish. Especially when you find out what he does with his victim's adrenal glands. He churns the glands in a blender (blegh, not while I'm eating dinner!), draws the goop into a syringe and injects it into his veins.

The rush kicks in. His eyes dilate, his heart thuds rapidly and he envisions his dead wife walking down a staircase lit in flames.

The shame of not saving his wife is what brought him to the "edge of abyss — paralyzed by fear." He's now consumed with fear, and relentless to find a cure from this "evolutionary flaw."


I have one word for you, Dr. Crane: Xanax. If you're so bold to pump a slurry of people's guts into your blood (ew!), I'm sure you can handle some good ol' fashioned pharmacology.

But he's hell-bent on administering the course to himself and the reluctant Jonathan, even when it puts both of their lives in danger. Jim and Harvey arrive to the Crane's burned down house just when Dr. Crane is about to give Jonathan his last dose.

Jonathan insists on running from the cops, so they bolt into the darkness and hide beneath the creepiest scarecrow you've ever seen. Foreshadowing: They're doing it right.

Since Dr. Crane isn't the least bit worried about the cops finding them, he administers a high dose of the adrenaline concoction to Jonathan. Shocker, Jonathan has an epic panic attack, writhing and screaming so loud that it leads Jim and Harvey right to the Cranes.

Dr. Crane is all fight and no flight, so he draws out his gun. "I have no fear!" he shouts as he fires a round at Jim and Harvey. But since they're trained cops who know what they're doing, they shoot him dead. That's why humans have fear, Dr. Crane.

His son survives the shootout and the heavy dose of adrenaline, but not without severely altering his brain. He's in a constant state of fear, and even worse, "We're not sure if it will ever go away," the doctor says.

It's a solid foundation for the Scarecrow's backstory, and a thrilling conclusion to a two-part episode. But the question remains: How will the Scarecrow learn to harness his fears? And for that matter, how will Bruce learn to manage his?

We know both channel their fears for different reasons: Batman for good, Scarecrow for evil. We won't see the Scarecrow's rise to villainy drawn out, like the Penguin or the Riddler's.

But since fear is a catalyst for both the Scarecrow and Batman, I wonder if his character will develop in tandem to Bruce when he does reappear.

The bravest person this episode is Leigh for kissing Jim in the GCPD in front of all his coworkers. It also makes her the most obnoxious. She is so clingy! Who thinks it's OK to kiss at work? No one. That's why Jim visits her in her office to tell her to lay off the smooching when they're on the clock.

"If your hardass reputation is worth that much to you … fine, be that way," she challenges him, and it almost throws Jim off balance.

"I'm just joking. I'll be discreet," she says as she pecks him on his cheek. He looks defeated and, for once, slightly happy he was outsmarted. The moment was adorable. I was almost done with her, but that cheekiness has almost redeemed her. Almost.

But even if they're no longer canoodling in the precinct, Jim and Leigh's relationship drama is far from over, and working in the office is only going to make it worse.

He pisses off all of his coworkers all the time — what's stopping him from getting under her skin?

That's why Harvey might be onto something when he said, "Office romance always ends in tears — tears!"

Sure, Harvey probably drank away his work ethic, but he's still a smart guy when it comes to love. He was right about Barbara being trouble, after all.


Best Harvey One-Liner: "Nothing that can't wait on your love life — just business." – Harvey to Jim. You'd think Leigh would have gotten the hint to stop the PDA there, but nope.

Most Badass Line: "A firecracker goes off once, and then just lies there. What you're looking at is the Fourth of July." – Fish Mooney to the prison Boss. Aside from quote, Fish's subplot bores me. I'll hand it to the girl: She's ruthlessness and I can't wait to see her break free from that prison. But in the meantime, her abduction to that hellish limbo is shrouded in too much mystery to keep my attention. There's already enough action going on in Gotham proper.

Best Line: "Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light." – Penguin to Jim. Aw, such a shame they're no longer old friends. Do you think Penguin will ask for his friendship bracelet back? Or maybe he'll give it to Ed Nygma.

Saddest Easter Egg: Leigh's tickets to the circus. That's where Dick Grayson (aka Robin)'s parents worked and were killed by the mafia. You sure those elephants aren't sad, Leigh?

Biggest Letdown: I was convinced Bruce's tumble down the mountain would be when he discovers the Batcave. It would have tied seamlessly into the theme of fear. On second thought, since they've managed to jam-pack so many villains into the first season, it's for the best that the writers holding out on exploring this key moment in the Batman mythos for a later season.

Best Bar Décor: Penguin's neon umbrella at his new club. What a bummer it had a low turnout for its opening night. It probably has something to do with the fact that Penguin's pissed off just about every mobster in Gotham, or that there aren't any scantily clad women working the bar and the stage. My money's on the latter.

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