Gotham 4X02 The Fear Reaper Review

So another week, another episode of Gotham that is living up to this season becoming the darkest season yet, with no small amount of fear as we finally see the Scarecrow in action. Babara Kean also comes back with changes for the better.

Gotham’s take on Scarecrow is amazing, Crane gives off a slow methodical style of speech and always seems to have wide open eyes giving more of emphasis to his now maddened state. This incarnation of the Scarecrow is also comparatively “lighter” than most, at least in his rationale. The Scarecrow’s motivation has ranged from spreading fear after being bullied to simply just spreading fear because he can.

In this incarnation, Crane feels that the twisted way in which he was forced confront his fears, should be spread to everyone else to help embrace them. Yet you also see plenty of anger, in the young man, how he confronts Warden Reed about how Arkham never bothered to even try and help him, and his motivation to go after Jim Gordon for killing his father. The only negatives are that the costume could use a bit of work, and the gas needs to be tweaked, but I’d assume that Crane is starting with little chemical knowledge of his own, and going off his father’s work. However, I’d like to actually see him become more of a threat to Jim, or at least one that can’t be stopped by water.

Barbara’s return was something I was cautious about, however ever seeing her, I’m excited for her character than ever. Season one made her crazy, season two played off that, but made her a character used for schemes against Jim. Come season three she’s somewhat less psychotic and more focused, with a few serious issues, and makes it to the top only to seemingly die. Season Four comes along and she’s back and actually has a well thought out plan. Becoming a gunrunner and selling to both sides to gain more information on the criminal underworld. It’s a far cry from her aiming for the top and getting irrationally angry and paranoid when there’s a shadowy conspiracy she can’t touch. She appears to be less self-serving this time around, willing to a lose a hand to regain Tabitha’s trust.

I also like how Selena is coming into her own, she is showing assertiveness, that she wants to do more than just survive, but actually, make something of herself as a criminal. The fact that she wants to do it own her own terms, sets herself apart from her mother, who had to rely on her lover’s gang for her schemes. Her relationship with Tabitha also appears to be good, while Tabitha does look out for her, she doesn’t immediately dismiss her or her concerns because of her age.

Bruce and his growing dynamic with Alfred, has become rather recognizable, with Alfred voicing his reservations, but knowing he can not stop what Bruce sets out to do. I also liked the reference to Batman Begins, where Lucis has suspicions on Bruce’s real motives, and even provides him a proto-Batsuit, and communication, where Alfred becomes mission control. The suit does look a bit too much like a biker jacket, but since Gotham is rather camp I felt it was fine, and it won’t be a final look anyway.

The Penguin and Jim’s feud is escalating, with the Penguin creating a challenge to again try and prove the GCPD’s ineffectiveness. This Challenge is to capture Johnathan Crane, who the Penguin believes was responsible for the attack on his club. While Jim does fail the Penguin’s forced challenge, why he and Harvey are pining for the “good” old days of the Falcons is admittedly beyond me.

The Penguin would at least keep crime limited to certain people, and so far non-violent which is more than Falcone and the Gotham mob every did. Unless Jim’s issue is he is angry at the fact that Penguin is blatantly trying to tell them how to do their jobs. Although If the GCPD even bothered it wouldn’t be that, which makes the fact the GCPD has essentially sunk so low so quickly quite pathetic.

Speaking of which this season seems set to possibly provide yet another fall for Cobblepot, I’m fine with characters going through ups and downs. Yet with the Penguin it always comes back to some sense of arrogance, when his penchant for treating people like trash has come back to bite him. Will he ever truly learn or is this supposed to be his fatal flaw?

The only thing that has me worried is what to do about Ivy. First, she went from Selena’s weird friend with a love of plants and a knack for their uses, to then get aged up with the same knowledge of plants but remains kind of stupid, to saving the Penguin convincing him to at least treat people with more respect. Come season 4, the Penguin treats her like garbage anyway, she gets rejected by Tabitha and goes on a potion bender to get stronger. One can only hope that there is a good payoff.

Overall I’d say this episode was a 6.57/10. The introduction of Crane as the Scarecrow was good, along with Bruce and Selena’s development, how Barbara seems to be turning out this season so far is a nice change. I can only hope that The Penguin and Jim plot-line makes some sense later on down the line.

Author: False Facer 92

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