Season 4, Episode 2: “The Fear Reaper”
Directed by Louis Shaw Milito
Written by Danny Cannon
* For a recap & review of the Season 4 A Dark Knight premiere, “Pax Penguina” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “They Who Hide Behind Masks” – click here
Dt. Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and Captain Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) track down more of the “fear toxin” being made by Jonathan Crane (Charlie Tahan), the Scarecrow, who’s already leaving behind scared people in his wake. The cops also find that Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) is in their lockup. So, Jim helps Alfred (Sean Pertwee) and the young man out, letting the billionaire go home and they’ll talk about whatever the kid was doing later.
Love how we’re so slowly moving towards Bruce as Batman, it’s fascinating. There’s also Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk), he knows more than he lets on, seeing what Bruce is up to in the nighttime.
Meanwhile, Scarecrow is back at Arkham Asylum where he’s hashing out his difficulties with Warden Reed (Damian Young), all the horrific treatments and therapies he had to endure while in a cell, stuck behind those walls. He gives the warden some gas to really get the party going.
Oh, and what a terrifying party it is, too! Crane sends the warden on a murder spree through the halls with a gun, telling him to face up to his fears. Afterwards, Scarecrow takes a walk through to see the other patients, igniting more madness. He gasses the inmates up to create an army for his purposes.
“You see, I feared the Scarecrow. And now we are one.”
At the GCPD, Jim gets a visit from Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), members of the press following as usual. The little limping crime boss is there to check in about Crane and his whereabouts. Mainly, he’s there trying to make the cops look bad. So Jim and Harvey fight back, much as possible to save face in the media. The detective makes a deal: he’ll find Crane, or admit to failure and let Penguin do his thing to protect Gotham.
Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) and Selina (Camren Bicondova) get a message from someone mysterious. Turns out to be none other than Barbara Kean (Erin Richards), still alive, still kicking. She does have an opportunity for the two women. She has an outrageous amount of weapons at her disposal, hoping they’ll become the supplier to all the criminals with licenses. Moreover, they’ll know everything going on in the city. Tabitha refuses, hating Barb due to their history, though Selina’s willing to try changing her friend’s mind. Later on, Barb gets dropped in on by Penguin asserting his dominance. Wonder who’s the benefactor of the arms dealer setup?
Crane has a full scale fear riot going on at Arkham. Unfortunately, Jim can’t get any of the officers at the GCPD to head up there with him. Not even Bullock himself; today he’s saying “never.” Like every other time, this puts our detective on his own, the only one to go it alone. Just Jim and a shotgun head inside the asylum. The halls are dark, smeared in blood, full of fire and smoke and eerie noises. Upstairs, the Scarecrow watches, happy to see Jim make an appearance and letting more crazies out of their cells. Soon, he attacks the detective, blindsiding him. He raves about his father’s genius, the typical thing. Before gassing Jim full of his toxin.
What does Jim see? He stumbles through the asylum hallway, into a room where he finds Dr. Lee Thompkins (Morena Baccarin) in a bathtub, wrists cut, blood everywhere. He faces the failures of his life, the future failures. Scarecrow urges him to “join her.” He gives Jim a straight razor to cut his own wrists.
After a while, Gordon fights past the toxin’s fear, which drives Crane mad. The detectives tries talking the Scarecrow down from becoming the demon inside. That doesn’t exactly work, the young runs off as Jim gives chase. He walks into the middle of a cyclone of madness, as Crane sics the patients on the detective. He gets to the sprinkler system, showering everybody with water, and begins countering the effects.
On the roofs of Gotham, Bruce is seeking out crime. He finds a group of criminals busting into a warehouse. When he follows them, they catch him. Looks like trouble. They decide on killing him. That won’t fly with the young billionaire, trained by a hard Cockney lad and a Shaman. With a few kicks and punches, he gets out of there. But the one saving grace is Alfred with a crowbar in the alley.
They argue all the way home. Not long after arriving at the mansion, Lucius gets there. He dropped in because he wants to show the young billionaire some interesting things Wayne Enterprises has been developing. A nice suit that provides many benefits, among them some resistance to bullets.
Tabitha agrees to join up with Barbara, if she gets one thing: a hand. So, Ms. Kean agrees, and puts out her left one. It’s only a fake, Tabitha wanted to see if her onetime friend and semi-lover was honest in her loyalty. Looks like she is, so that works for both of them.
Faith in justice is dropping. Penguin announces he’ll “triple the wages” of any cops willing to take care of the city. In the meantime, Harvey’s trying to show Jim there are ways to get things done without charging in like a bull in a China shop. He just needs to have a little patience. Despite that, Jim always comes up with wild ideas. Like going back to see Falcone, the only one left who may have the army they need to win this war against the criminals of Gotham.
Ivy (Maggie Geha) is seeking out power. Everywhere she goes, people are using her, abusing her, not taking her seriously. Therefore, she’s getting a little out of hand, and this brings her to a special shop where she finds things to indeed make her more powerful. However, she bites off more than she can chew.
Loving this season already. Every season seems to find a way to keep the series alive, whether it’s different angles to old rivalries, new additions to the cast of characters, and new dynamics in the old relationships. Fantastic. Gotham is just filled with intriguing things.
“They Who Hide Behind Masks” is the following chapter.