Tonight’s episode was good from the main story standpoint, as we got to see the “true” origin of Scarecrow, and it was very impactful. Sadly, the other storylines just didn’t help out at all.
I’ll get the lesser storylines out of the way. The oddest one was easily Fish Mooney. Thankfully, we didn’t see the “fight game” ending from last episode play out, cause there is no way it would’ve ended believably. Fish’s new surroundings are curious to be sure, but it’s very unclear on what the point of the “prison” is. Also, though I dug Fish using her smarts and toughness to get out of the situation in regards to the leader, it was incredibly cheesy at times. Hopefully the ending will spark some excitement in the next episode.
Then there’s Bruce and Alfred. Although I did enjoy Bruce getting to show his anger that he’s been building up, and the cleverness and smarts it took to splint his leg then crawl up the hill, it just doesn’t feel as compelling as it should’ve been. I did dig Alfred not helping Bruce, more-or-less forcing him to get up himself. That was cool, and hopefully (i’m going to be saying that a lot here), that’ll lead him to teaching Bruce more skills on his quest.
Onwards and upwards came the continued awkwardness of Jim and Leslie. I still dig their relationship, even if it did (almost) take a now classic TV approach to dating in regards to the “three dates now, let’s sleep together” approach. Thankfully, it got averted. But a new “problem” arose as Leslie is now officially the GCPD medical examiner. I’m intrigued with how this will play out, cause though I dig the awkwardness, especially with Jim wanting to keep his “tough guy” profile and Leslie teasing him about it, I hope it doesn’t last. Cause if it keeps popping up, it’ll get annoying.
Penguin once again was a highlight, as he became a true Falcone henchman, and got to get Fish’s club, truly this time. This led to some very interesting character interactions. Not the least of which was Falcone and Maroni talking about Penguin, and the lengths Falcone went to get him spared. Though subtle, this showed the drive Falcone now has in regards to ruling Gotham. He would not have harmed that judge before, but now? Anything is game. Also, their talk about Penguin “knowing he’ll never be on top” shows they both still underestimate him. That will haunt them…hopefully.
Also, that Penguin/Riddler interaction? Classic. Pointless? Kind of. You kind of wonder why Nygma did that conversation in the first place. Curiosity? Intrigued by Penguin? Who knows, but it was fun. Also, Penguin’s chat with Gordon was fascinating, as it showed me that Penguin really kind of does see Gordon as a friend.
Finally, the tale of two Cranes. There were two ways they could’ve played this. The obvious way, and the new way. Thankfully, the chose the latter. Having Gerald Crane make the Fear Toxin to help conquer fear instead of instill it was brilliant. Also, they showed him to be a true scientist here instead of just a madman. Showing that he had put great thought (via a thesis paper) into his “protocol”, so much so that he knew how much of a dose to take, and in how many doses, it would take to conquer fear.
The effects of the Fear Toxin weren’t new to established Batman fans, but it was amusing, especially seeing the two different fears of Gerald and Jonathan. Gerald’s drive to “help” Jonathan was actually well done, as was Jonathans’ fear of what his dad was going to do to him.
The final showdown between Gerald, Bullock, and Gordon was great. As it honestly showed why fear is a good thing to have. Going back to the pilot, “fear shows us where the edge is”. Without that edge, we fall over, and like Gerald, we likely die.
In the end, “Scarecrow” put a new take on a classic character with great results. However, the other material honestly didn’t add anything to the episode. The main story though did a good job though, so my score reflects that.