Gotham: ‘The Scarecrow’ Recap/Review

The episode opens as a man enters his apartment which is full of religious paintings and crosses. The apartment is dark and the overhead lights don’t work. The lightning from the storm outside is the only illumination of light in the apartment. A hooded man is seen in the corner of the room which alarms the man. While the man is distracted by the hooded figure, another hooded figure bursts through the door at him.

Meanwhile Fish Mooney wakes up in captivity in some sort of abandoned building. (It looks like she lost her fight with that guy from the last episode.) She seems to be in a prison of sorts, which is full of random people and criminals.  She is approached by innocent looking man in a suit drinking coffee and two men standing nearby watching Fish. The man in the suit reveals that the first man will go after a new girl, while the second man attacks the first man. Fish stands up and warns the men that if they even come near her, she will kill them in s snap. The men slowly back off.

Gordon and Leslie go on another date, their 3rd date to be exact. The snow falls on Gotham, as Jim walks Leslie to a cab. He inquires about her apartment and asks if he can see the bed room. She tells Jim not tonight, as she starts a new job in the morning. It turns out she is the new medical examiner for the GCPD. Jim seems shocked, but not too shocked as he brought up the idea of having her come and work at the police department. She kisses him and both tell each other good night as she leaves in her taxi.

Jim and Harvey investigate he apartment of the man we saw earlier. The man is found dead with an incision mark  in this body- the work of Gerald Crane. The man is identified as a high school english teacher and Jim is curious to know why this victim and what is Gerald doing with the adrenal glands?

At his home lab, Crane is seen experimenting with the adrenal glands. He extracts fluid from the glands and injects himself with a small does of the fluid. This sets in motion a fear ridden trip where Gerald’s eyes dilate and he starts having hallucinations. Gerald has been working on some sort of fear serum and it seems to be working. He sees what appears to be his wife walking down a stairwell engulfed in flames asking for help. Talk about disturbing.

At Wayne Manor, Bruce packs some items into a backpack to prepare for a woodland hike. It’s revealed that Bruce used to go on this hike every year with his father. Alfred asks to go with him, but Bruce demands that he does this alone. Alfred looks worried but agrees to let him go alone.

At Fish’s former club, The Penguin meets with Falcone to talk about what took place the night before when he was almost crushed at the junk yard. He tells Falcone that Maroni will come for him and begs for protection. Falcone ignores him and keeps remarking about the feng shui of the club and for Penguin to change the style. He tells Penguin that the club can make him a lot of money, so he gives Penguin the club and allows Pengin to be seen publicly working with Falcone. Before he leaves, Falcone tells Penguin not to worry about Maroni.

At the GCPD, Harvey looks for clues in a yearbook for the school the victim was a teacher at. Leslie arrives and greets both Jim and Harvey, which Jim is caught off guard. Essen greets Leslie and gives her a little orientation. Harvey warns Jim that office romances don’t end well. Looking the yearbook pays off, as Harvey finds the picture of Dr. Gerald Crane. Both decide to pay the school a visit.

Back at the prison area where Fish is being held, a tray of food is slid by the captors. Fish begins to approach the food, but the man in the suit, Kelly, stops her. The “man in charge”, Mace, eats the food. Once he eats, everyone gets his scraps. Fish looks on unamused that this man is “in charge”.

Bruce walks through the woods and makes it to the top of a hill where he finds two piles of stones. One pile has Bruce’s initials, while the other has his fathers. He looks at the rock piles and begins to tear up. He then bursts out in anger and kicks the pile down the hill and storms off. He then falls down the hill where his ankle is badly injured. He struggles to get on his feet and winces in pain when he tries to take a step.

Jim and Harvey arrive at the school and interview the principal about Gerald. She reveals that his wife was killed in a car accident. Jim inquires about Gerald’s obsession with fear or phobia and if he ever brought it up to her. She gives them an academic report stating that fear is evolutionary and that it can be conquered. She tells both men that Gerald wants to be cured of his fear.

Back at the place station, Nygma figures out that Crane has been working on a serum of some sort. Jim and Leslie’s office romance continues to be public to Jim’s dismay. The reason why Jim winces when Leslie tries to kiss him at work is that it’s threatening Jim’s tough-guy cop image that he projects at the office.

Falcone has Maroni over to his home and so that they can talk business. Maroni makes it clear to Falcone that he wants Penguin dead. Shockingly, Falcone actually agrees with him. But he tells  Maroni that he still has use for Penguin. So he offers Maroni the “head” of a judge who put many of his men to death in exchange for keeping Penguin alive. Falcone escorts Maroni to a room, where he reveals to have the judge in captivity. He is seen being beaten by a dominatrix. Maroni seems pleased and agrees as both men walk away laughing.

Jim and Harvey look into the death of Gerald’s wife and they discover that she died in a house fire. Meanwhile back at the Crane household, Gerald continues to test his “fear” which he seems to have under control. He calls for his son to celebrate, but Jonathan runs out of the house away from father.  Jonathan wants nothing to do with the serum that his father is injecting himself with. Gerald consoles and comforts Jonathan and tells him that they are doing something great for humanity. As he consoles his son, a scarecrow symbolically looms behind them.

Night falls on Gotham, as Alfred stands worried by the window in Wayne Manor. Bruce constructs a splint out of sticks and elements of his backpack and slowly makes his way back up the hill.

Fish continues to “warm up” to Mace. She asks to speak to him and convinces him that she can be of great value to him. He sits clutching his knife at first, but brings to his side as Fish seduces him. While he is caught off guard she takes the opportunity to grab the dagger and impales his jaw/head. She announces to the group that she’s in charge as she holds the dagger above her head.

Jim and Harvey arrive at the former Crane household where Gerald and Jonathan are hiding out. Gerald and Jonathan flee the house when they hear Jim and Harvey at the door. They escape to the backyard where Gerald reveals that he needs to complete his “protocol” by curing his son of his fear. He injects Jonathan with a high dosage which causes Jonathan to convulse. He looks up at the Scarecrow and begins to scream as the Scarecrow comes to life with a fiery mouth and eyes. Meanwhile Gerald walks toward Jim and Harvey shooting stating that he is not afraid of them or their bullets. He ends up being shot and killed by both Harvey and Jim as they check on the convulsing Jonathan.

Bruce continues his climb up the hill where he finds Alfred waiting for him at the top. He sits by a fire as Bruce asks how long he had been there. Alfred reveals that he had been there for a while and is glad that Bruce succeeded in making it up the hill. Both sit by the fire and watch the sun rise, just like Bruce did with his father.

Oswald officially opens his new new club “Oswald’s” and business is not exactly booming as he hoped. Maroni arrives and tells Penguin that he talked to Falcone and that everything is kosher – as long as Penguin tells no more secrets to Falcone.

Jim meets with Leslie at the medical examiners room where we learn that Jonathan’s condition has stabilized. Leslie is almost settled in to her job and asks Jim to go on another date to the circus. Jim confirms, on the condition that there will be no kissing on the job. Leslie doesn’t see the big deal in showing feelings, but she agrees only that she will be discreet.

Fish announces that things are going to change in the prison. Just as she is to deliever her speech to everyone, a woman is thrown into the prison by the captors. It turns out that they have taken out her eyes.

The episode ends with Jim visiting Jonathan in the hospital. We learn that the dosage his father gave him, almost killed him. The effects of fear are lingering, meaning that he is in a constant state of fear. The doctor tells Jim to imagine seeing the thing that you fear most every waking hour. Gordon watches on as Jonathan struggles in his bed as he sees a scarecrow climbing up his bed toward him.

My Thoughts

We finally see the beginnings of a Batman villain – The Scarecrow! I gotta admit, Jonathan’s upbringing was a little twisted – with his mom being burned alive in a house fire and his dad being being pretty screwed up (I wouldn’t expect anything less for a Batman villain though.) Jonathan appeared to be somewhat normal – he was just a naive kid who found out that his father was doing some twisted stuff and wanted nothing to do with his fathers fear experiments. Gerald however wanted his son to share his ideals of conquering fear. How about that last scene though? Damn!

I’m a little confused as to what is going on with Fish Mooney. Why exactly is stuck in a basement or something? Who was the guy she was fighting on the boat – who she clearly lost to? I knew it was a matter of time before she was in control of that makeshift prison. I’m curious as to who her captors truly are and why they snatched that girls eyes. That’s brutal man.

Jim continues his dismissive attitude of kissing Leslie in the workplace. Yeah, a place like Gotham Police Department is going to care about a guy kissing a woman in the office. If I were Jim Gordon I’d be worrying about other things – including all of the criminals walking in the police department and shooting/electrocuting the place. I’d also be thinking about all the crooked cops associated with Flass looking to take me out – although there are none to be seen (only when the story is convenient I guess.). And you think kissing a woman in the office is a problem? Give me a break pal.

I thought the encounter between Ed Nygma and The Penguin was peculiar. I guess it was cool to see two future villains face to face. The problem, it really served no purpose. I feel like the writers just said “hey let’s have a young penguin come face to face with a young Edward Nygma – it will be great”. Ed’s curiosity of Penguin is a little strange though, i’m not sure what was going on there? Perhaps he wants to make friends with the Penguin? It’s safe to say that Nymga weirded out the Penguin…and Penguin is a weird dude. (That says a lot about Nygma) Penguin’s future seems uncertain as both Falcone and Maroni agree that he can be disposed later on – but Falcone finds him valuable in the meantime. I’m guessing the whole “killing off penguin” scenario that Falcone is portraying is a bluff to fool Maroni.

In this episode Bruce learns to tough it on his own. Throwing a temper tantrum and falling down the hill was probably not the best solution there Master Wayne. (Here have a Snickers – feel better?) He learns that when you fall down – that you have to pick yourself up again. Sometimes the only person who can do that – is yourself. Bruce has to use his survival skills to make it back up the hill in order to make it home. Lucky for him, Alfred is waiting at the top of the hill with a fire going. I talked to a friend of mine and we noticed that Gotham is trying to establish a father-son relationship with Alfred and Bruce. At times it feels genuine…at other times it feels kinda weird. (Just watch their on screen time together and read into that on your own.)

Overall it wasn’t a terrible episode. I enjoyed seeing the beginnings of the Scarecrow, but the other story lines need to step it up next week!

Images via IGN

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