What is your fear? My fear was just how scary this episode was going to be. I will confess horror is my least favourite genre. When executive producer Danny Cannon comments that the studio asked for the Scarecrow to be tone down, you know they are on to a good thing. It was exceptionally good episode with the balance of creepy, spooky and horror done extremely well.
Gotham doesn’t hold back with opening of the episode. Gordon and Bullock arrive with the GCPD at the Cranes desolate house. They discover more toxin has been made and they definitely know Jonathan has been there as his Arkham Asylum uniform lays on the floor with his inmate number showing 1109 (just in case you ever need it for a pub quiz). The stench of the house reminds Bullock of a Thai restaurant not far from the house. From the window just as a lightening storm starts Jim sees a ragged Scarecrow in the garden. Harvey and Jim go and investigate, as Jim pulls of the hat to reveal Grady from the Merton gang screaming and giving a message to the GCPD “He’s coming, the Scarecrow!”
Bruce is behind bars at the GCPD, he quickly explains to Alfred that him being arrested was a misunderstanding as the most talented lawyer from Wayne Enterprises is sorting out his bail. Detective Gordon accepts his story of how Bruce was looking for Selina Kyle and that’s why he was on the rooftop. As Alfred and Bruce leave the GCPD Lucius Fox ( Chris Chalk ) questions Bruce about being in a fight. Alfred nervously explains about how Bruce fell through a skylight window whilst talking to Selina “bloody teenagers!” One quality I have always liked about Lucius Fox how he works out the truth through his own use of forensics without directly asking for the truth. So when he points out that on Bruce’s clothes which looks like concrete and stone residue, Alfred informs Lucius that he is teaching Bruce how to rock climb. There is a wonderful tone in Lucius voice when he says “Rock Climbing” apologising to Alfred and Bruce for keeping them Lucius gives some wise words “be careful on those rocks Bruce, it’s a dangerous sport”.
Back at Arkham Asylum the Inmates are being rounded up for bed. Warden Reed is in his office burning papers in a waste bin. The Scarecrow appears in the doorway, as he walks towrds the Warden he scrapes a reaper along a metal table making it spark. The Scarecrow has caught Warden Reed covering his dirty footprints, he doesn’t realise it’s Jonathan until Jonathan explains how he picked a few tips after spending three hellish years in Arkham. Crane received ice baths and electric shocks once in a while and Warden Reed just threw him in a cell with no treatments or therapy. The telephone rings and The Scarecrow smashes it up with his reaper so he can make sure the Warden is paying attention as he tells him he cured himself of his fear. When Reed calls Scarecrow by his real name he accuses Reed of not listening as “Jonathan Crane is no more. Call me by my true name, The Scarecrow.” With this he drenches Warden Reed in fear toxin and he instantly starts moaning with fear. Scarecrow explains how his father was genius and he wanted to end fear for his sake. Because his father loved him, and Scarecrow wants to know what the Warden fears? A demonic clown appears into the room making the Warden scream, Scarecrow guesses that it must be something from his childhood. With trying to face his fear under Scarecrows encouragement Reed grabs his gun, the corridor he walks down is shown distorted so we know what he is seeing through the fear toxin. More clowns come towards Warden Reed and he shoots them, as he walks away we see that they are his colleagues all laying dead. Scarecrow makes his way into the ward where the inmates are in bed and tells them he wants them to be part of his army because the GCPD murdered his father and he wants the men responsible to truly know fear. Scarecrow then sprays the Arkham inmates with fear toxin.
Oswald Cobblepot always knows how to make an entrance especially when he wants to talk to James Gordon. He arrives with an assembly of people mostly press to find out whether the man that sprayed him with toxin, that almost killed him has been found. Jim try’s to pretend he doesn’t know who Oswald is talking about. Jim can’t hide his annoyance when Penguin mentions Jonathan Cranes name. With Oswald quick to point out that people share with him because they trust him to get things done, unlike Jim Gordon, ouch. When Penguin verbally attacks the GCPD because they don`t know the whereabouts of Jonathan Crane, Harvey intervenes by asking “What is a penguin. A bird or a mammal?” Oswald answers confidently, “A bird. It is a bird.” Bullock lifts the Gotham Gazette newspaper which has the headline `Penguin or Chicken`which he shows to press. This infuriates Oswald and puts his points forward that the GCPD expose themselves what they truly are an outdated, ineffectual and corrupt institution, and feels how much longer do the citizens of Gotham suffer their in competence. Jim makes his point that a man who takes money from criminals in exchange for a license allowing them to victimize innocent people. A deal is made between Gordon and Penguin (who forced Jim to shake on it) that Jonathan Crane must be found and locked up within the next 24 hours or admit to Penguin and Jim’s subordinates and the people of Gotham that Jim failed, so that allows Penguin to clean up the city of Gotham. I absolutely love any scenes that involves Jim Gordon (Ben Mckenzie) and Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) their on screen verbal sparring is always highly entertaining and engaging.
Selina and Tabitha have been both invited to a unknown location two plush looking business cards were left one outside the door and the other inside there apartment “an opportunity awaits”. They both tentatively enter through two ginormous solid oak doors. Its dark inside, a soft calm female voice greets them. As the room lightens Barbara Keen is the voice that they heard. Tabitha undoubtedly is shocked to see her dead friend and business partner alive as she was there. Barbara has a completely different persona compared to the crazy staby babs we have seen in previous seasons. Her hair is bright bleached blonde cut into a sharp short bob her appearance in sharp black classic suit. With this being Gotham Barbara advises Tabitha to check for a pulse next time. Selina asks what happened to Barbara but she reveals a long story and all they need to know for now what opportunity awaits them. Barbara’s new place is not a new club, she wants it to be their place. She pulls a lever the walls start rotating to reveal new walls of which are full of weapons. Barbara figures with Penguin taken over the city of Gotham every criminal will need supplies and that is where they come in so when the criminals buy their weapons they will also know what they are planning. Barbara isn’t prepared to go forward without Tabitha and Selina, this is there way back on top. Tabitha instantly refuses and leaves, Barbara appeals to Selina “This will be good for us, please talk to her.”
Back at Wayne manor Bruce is getting ready to go out again, Alfred enters the kitchen as Bruce explains his reasons for wanting to go back out there before the trail goes cold. Alfred isn’t going to stop Bruce, but Bruce asks Alfred ” you not coming?” Alfred refuses as he feels Master Bruce isn’t ready, he admits that Bruce can block punches and quick on his toes but what happens if they have got guns? Bruce explains that he feels more alive out there then he has ever felt before. This is precisely why Alfred won’t stop Bruce but he won’t stand by a watch Bruce get shot.
As riot takes place at Arkham Asylum a call comes into the GCPD from the guards who have all run away. Gordon and Bullock suspect Crane has used the toxin on the other inmates. Jim calls out to the other officers to see who is with him but he gets no response. An officer voices his opinion saying that the GCPD badge gets them spat and shot at everyday. For what? What difference have they made out there? Other officers agree. When Harvey refuses to go with Jim. Gordon is so surprised that Bullock isn’t going with him, but Harvey has a good reason “I told you, one day, that you would say, Now or never and I would say never, well today is that day. If I go with you, I lose them and then who is going to be the new captain? Because it’s damn well gonna be someone Penguin chooses. So i am sorry partner but you are on your own on this one.” A really brilliant scene and the writing in this scene between Jim and Harvey is superb.
With tourch light Jim investigates the corridors of Arkham, this is where the episode gets even spookier. Low light keeps flashing with an on coming storm rumbling in the background. There is smears of blood on a passing wall, snarling and shrieking can be heard. Jim calls out GCPD several times, behind him he hears a cackling laugh it’s Warden Reed he has painted his face to look like a clown. He knocks Jim to the floor screaming insanely. The Scarecrow is watching Jim on the security montiors, he remembers Jim shooting his father. Scarecrow announces over the PA that the enemy is here and releases the gate open so the toxin infected inmates can escape and attack Jim. As Jim runs to get away the Scarecrow is playing mousetrap with the gates to ensure he can’t away so he can have some real fun and show Jim fear.
Nobody stays undiscovered in Gotham too long especially if Victor Zsasz is trailing you. Oswald enters with Ivy and Zsasz into Barbara’s new place, Oswald is instantly impressed at the luxurious and tasteful weapon shop. Zsasz thinks it Christmas in a very funny scene where he is drooling over all the weapons. Barbara informs Penguin that she isn’t open for business, unknown to Barbara she needed to run her new business by Penguin first. Ivy questions who Barbara’s business partners are, Barbara doesn’t confirm that it’s is Tabitha and Selina. Ivy offers to help to talk them into it, but she is viciously told to keep her mouth shut by Penguin. The really interesting part of this scene is when Oswald asks Barbara who paid for it all, as she lost all her money in the Sirens club. Yes I wonder who did pay for it?
Back to Arkham where Jim is looking for Crane, he has made it back to the wardens office. With a big flash of lightning you can see the Scarecrow standing in the corner waiting. As Jim turns Scarecrow knocks Jim to the floor with his reaper. What is absolutely brilliant about all the scenes with the Scarecrow and especially this one is when Jonathan reveals himself beneath the mask as Jim has made him a believer in fate. By looking at Johnathans face you see how he has darkened around his eyes so when he is the Scarecrow the whites of his eyes stand out and make him terrifyingly creepy. There is a difference of opinion when Jim asks Jonathan what happened to you. Crane isn’t shaking or scared when he tells Jim. Because Jim killed his father he stopped him from helping people especially himself from being cured of fear. Jonathan considers his father to be a pioneer and without warning sprays Jim with fear toxin. Jim’s fear is actually heart breaking and incredibly deep I didn’t expect what I saw. Jim hears a lady voice yelling with pain. He sees Lesley in a bath of her own blood as she attempts to take her own life because of the pain Jim caused her and the pain of losing their child. Jim sees a blade in his hand, the Scarecrow whispers encouragement for him to join Lee, but a voice in Jim’s head is managing to remind him Lee would never want that and he defeats his fear. Scarecrow is furious at how Jim managed to overcome the toxin. Jonathan confides in Jim that his father thought he was weak and he is determined not to become that boy again.
Bruce is back on the rooftops he hears a group of men laughing, he follows them into a room in his hooded long coat and mask. Bruce gets circled by the men they remove his hood and mask. They tease Bruce for being young, one of the men thinks he recognises his face but can’t quite remember his name. Bruce is pushed back onto a table, you can see him working out his escape. With a gun pointed at his face this leads into a brilliant action sequence, Bruce knocks the gun away which fires and hits one of the other men, he grabs an aerosol can and gas tourch to create a ball of flames. This is where we see Bruce use grabblings hook for the first time as he crashes through a window to make his escape, he thinks he safe but the leader knocks Bruce to the ground unknown to him Alfred is ready and waiting with a wrench “now I hate to tell you I told you so Master Bruce.”
Selina is trying to convince Tabitha that joining Barbara would be good for them. Tabitha won’t forgive Barbara for choosing Nygma over her but as Selina points out he’s a giant popsicle now, I love Selina’s bluntness. Tabitha questions why she wants this but Selina is sick and tired of not being taken seriously. She feels teaming up with Barbara and Tabitha will show the creeps of Gotham that she should be taken seriously. A voice in the darkness belongs to Ivy who wants in. Tabitha pulls a gun on Ivy and refuses to listen to her because she is one of Penguins stooges. Ivy is disgusted by this comments and reveals she hates that freak, which makes me sad as I had high hopes for a great friendship between Oswald and Ivy. Ivy pleads to Selina to believe her and she does but Tabitha doesn’t want nothing to do with Ivy. Tabitha changes her mind and agrees to talk business with Barbara but she wants something in return.
Scarecrow is still on his mission to destroy Jim Gordon he encourages the toxin infected inmates to go after him. Jim picks up a fire extinguisher and uses the water pressure to shock one of the inmates, but the water washes the toxin away to Jim’s surprise and the inmate. Jim decides to use the sprinkler system on the rest of the inmates, Scarecrow sees this and escapes.
Whilst Alfred and Bruce argue over the possibility of Bruce getting shot, Lucius is knocking on the kitchen back door. He apologises for not calling but he could not stop thinking about their last conversation and Lucius remembered that when he worked at Wayne Enterprises they were working on a durable material for the military. It has a grip design so you can cling to any surface, extremely lightweight and bulletproof. Which is ideal for rock climbing and also comes with long distance radio communicators so Bruce and Alfred can stay in touch whilst “Rock Climbing”.
Tabitha wants proof of sincerity from Barbara which means cutting off her hand with a meat cleaver. Barbara agrees if that is the only way, she places her left hand ready. Tabitha motions the cleaver towards Barbara’s hand but lucky for her it hits the desk. This is enough for Tabitha and she agrees to start work on Monday!
Gordon’s returns to the GCPD empty handed, with Oswald Cobblepot waiting to remind him again he has failed he offers the police officers triple in pay to Police themselves. Harvey reminds Jim that they are fighting a war, not one battle. He tells Jim to say nothing as Harvey is going to buy him a drink. Over their drink they reminisce about when Falcone ran the criminal underworld. Harvey remembers even though he was vicious he was fair, ran the criminals with an iron fist and there was honour. Harvey sees the look on Jim’s face and warns him not to get Falcone involved. Italians don’t forget and after what Jim did killing his son Mario, Falcone will probably kill Jim. But Jim is willing to risk that because Falcone has an army and they need one to go up against Penguin.
Ivy Pepper has had enough of being nice she wants strength and power and you can hardly blame her. She uses her perfume on the Apothecary shop owner to find the strongest potions that will get into her blood and DNA, which is exactly what Ivy wants. As she drinks the potions her features distort, Poison Ivy is born.
I absolutely love how Gotham are at the moment are ending the episodes with Bruce and his progression into the vigilante. Bruce is trying out his new suit with Alfred in radio control and complimenting Bruce on his Gazelle like leap was an excellent light moment to finish off a spooky fun episode. Bravo Gotham!
Episode 3 which airs on Thursday 5th October will be called “They Who Hide Behind Masks” by watching the promo it looks like Jim Gordon recruits a member of the Falcone Family who we have not be introduced to yet.