Gotham Episode 15: The Scarecrow Review

Fear is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it acts as a form of protection; a millisecond reaction of instinct that can save your life and keep you from harm. On the other hand, there is no real way of controlling our fear. It’s a part of us, built so deep in the human body it’s pretty much hard-wired to our brains. Nothing can overwrite such a fundamental part of us… at least, not without a few side effects. I’m sure most would say they’d rather live without fear, but the consequences for something like that can be more far-reaching than we might think. When you mess with such a vital part of human psyche, you can’t avoid falling down an endless rabbit hole which you will soon discover isn’t as easy to climb out of as you think. Despite your intentions, it may be impossible to avoid creating a monster; an abomination constructed of the darkest evil of the human mind. You may think you’re doing the right thing, but in the end, your foundations can be as fragile as a decrepit scarecrow.

Suffice to say, I was impressed by the ending of the woefully short Scarecrow arc. Horror seems to be a strong suit of Gotham and never has it been more pronounced than in this episode. Most of this episode explores Gerald’s and his son Jonathan’s backstory as well as their relationship with each other. While Jonathan seems to be fine with everything his father is doing from the start, he starts steadily getting more and more hesitant to help his father with his mad scientist experiments throughout the episode. It shows just how disillusioned and insane Gerald has become after the house fire that killed his wife. I’m not going to spoil the ending to the episode, but it’s so delectably dark and twisted that I wasn’t even bothered by the badly integrated CGI. In fact, it quite terrified me; and that’s definitely something to be commended.

Much to my dismay, Butch wasn’t in this episode, although there was a bit of focus on Fish who I still have mixed feelings about as a villain. It seems she didn’t win her fight with the pirates which is actually quite surprising though it’s only a matter of time until she gets her revenge. She proved her ability to quickly rise to the top and there was even quite a bit of gore which caught me off guard. As well as that, I was happy to see more of Penguin who managed to slip away from Maroni last episode. Fortunately, Falcone found a way to protect him and gave him Mooney’s club… which he did a few episodes ago didn’t he? Anyway, despite Penguin being somewhat of a psychopath, it filled me with joy to see him with his own club. He’s gone far since being a simple minion of Fish in the Pilot.

Finally, Bruce gets some more development that echoes his future as Batman. On a trip into the forest to see the sunrise, like he did with his father when he was still alive, he ends up falling down a steep slope and spraining his ankle. Far away from help, Bruce is forced to try and fix his ankle and climb up the slope all on his own. When he finally does make it to the top, it turns out Alfred had been up there for over an hour, camping out and waiting for Bruce to climb the slope. This shows just one instance of Bruce being toughened up and being forced to take care of himself without any parents to pick him back up, just a few of the elements responsible for Bruce’s modelling into a superhero. Hopefully, we’ll see him confront some more action soon like the epic chase we saw in Rogue’s Gallery.

Overall, I’m satisfied with the ending to the Scarecrow arc. I just hope they don’t forget about him in future episodes, I’d love to see more of him. While not much happened outside of the main arc, the scenes we did see were relevant and are sure to play an important role in the future. Gotham has managed most of Batman’s villains well so far despite making various changes to their backstory and character as a whole and that’s quite the achievement. I only hope it will continue.

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