Gotham 4×02 Review: “A Dark Knight: The Fear Reaper”

“A Dark Knight: Fear Reaper” proved why Scarecrow is one of the most terrifying (and powerful) Batman villains. Fear is a dangerous thing and based on those affected this week on Gotham, it can lead to pandemonium when left unchecked. Seriously! Scarecrow’s nerve toxin ended a lot of lives at the asylum – and it all had to do with demonic clowns that weren’t even there. This Gotham villain has sorely been missed. It’s great to see him rise to power, as well as the moves made by the other heroes and villains.

Scarecrow taking control of Arkham Asylum felt right at home. He had so much power over the patients and he had a domain to toy with James Gordon before potentially ending his life. When Warden Reed got sprayed with the toxin, I didn’t expect part of his greatest fear to be clowns. He’s lucky he didn’t have to interact with Jerome or his followers – that would’ve been the end of him. The special effects team did a great job with the manifestations and creating a hazy atmosphere; it showed his mindset and the terror he felt as he killed everyone. Due to this, I loved seeing the progression of his crazed state from frightened warden to maniacal clown-faced psychopath. It reminded me a little of the Joker and Jerome.

It’s not surprising that Jonathan (Scarecrow) escaped yet again. He needs a new plan of attack now that he’s assumed his villainous identity and since James Gordon overcame the fear toxin. Easily having it be eliminated by water might be something he’ll work on to create a stronger dose. But James has proven people can overcome it naturally. James’ fear of Lee committing suicide is an interesting one as they haven’t been connected for a long while now. Their relationship has always been a curious one. Why does he have such strong feelings for her? (To set the record straight, they’re not a couple I currently ship. I feel he has better chemistry with Barbara.)

Jeff Neumann/FOX

Speaking of Barbara, any theories as to how she returned from the dead? She did die, we all saw it! Her walking in with all the guns, working space, and killer haircut is all too suspicious to handle. Who is her mysterious benefactor? What’s her big purpose? It can’t all be about selling weapons to the criminals of Gotham City. She wouldn’t have needed Selina or Tabitha to help run the business – there must be more to the story.

And I don’t think it has anything to do with her love for Tabitha; that story needed to end…with Barbara’s first death. The whole scene with Barbara allowing Tabitha the chance to cut off her hand was her way to guarantee Tabitha would agree to join in.

Penguin is starting to become that annoying person who’s angry any time someone does something without checking with him first. He’s not the boss on Gotham, as much as he would like to be. Barbara wasn’t creeping into his territory – she was only selling weapons like any other arms dealer. Oswald just wanted to flex his muscle with Zsasz and Ivy by his side. Don’t get me wrong, I like the character, but when he’s in this smug state of running to the media and bragging about being in power, he’s at his least likable.

After seeing how Penguin treated Poison Ivy on Gotham, it’s no wonder she sought out more power. Her mind-control perfumes can only take her so far and the villains around her are (arguably) getting more powerful than she is. I liked seeing her waste no time in getting the toxins and ingesting them; there is already a lot happening on Gotham and it would’ve been a shame for this plot to get buried in with the rest. As viewers, it seems like we’re jumping right into Ivy becoming the Poison Ivy we know and love from the comic books. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if she has control over plant life.

Jeff Neumann/FOX

Does Bruce need more training before becoming a vigilante? It’s the one thing nagging me about this storyline. He’s still in his mid-teens during this time on Gotham and yet already he’s jumping on rooftops and fighting criminals. Sure, you need real life experience to develop fighting and acrobatic skills. However, he needs much more than that, and a few fighting lessons, to get into the field. I loved when he got the first prototype of the batsuit, but the character needs more training scenes to show his progression. We want Batman; let’s make sure he’s ready by the time he gets there.



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