'Gotham' Recap Season 4, Episode 2 - 'The Fear Reaper'

Episode 2 starts with Jim and the GCPD raiding the house that Jonathan Crane and the thugs were  making fear toxin in. Harvey and Jim see a menacing scarecrow next to the house and upon closer inspection see that there is a man in the scarecrow costume. He is clearly manic and under the influence of the fear toxin and screams “SCARECROW IS COMING.”

Scarecrow goes to visit his prior home of three years, Arkham Asylum, and warden Reed. We see the warden hurriedly burning documents in his office, trying to get rid of anything incriminating. Scarecrow shows up and accuses the Warden of locking him in a cell for three years subjecting him to constant ice baths and electroshock therapy. Scarecrow says that he managed to cure himself, he was afraid of the scarecrow so he became the scarecrow. Scarecrow then gives the warden a healthy dose of fear toxin right to the kisser and we see the warden’s biggest fears, clowns. The warden takes a gun and goes on a bloody rampage killing every clown in sight – which of course are actually all of the workers in Arkham. While the warden is clearing house, Scarecrow goes to the patient ward to recruit his army.

Cobblepot takes a trip to visit Jim at the GCPD demanding that Jim reveals the location of Jonathan Crane. He then demands that Jim finds and locks up Crane within 24 hours or admit to everyone that he failed and allow Penguin to clean the city up. Meanwhile. Selina and Tabitha each have received business cards from Barbara that say that ‘opportunity awaits.’ Last season we were led to believe that Barbara had died, and Selina and Tabitha were under that impression as well. Barbara may have a new haircut, be we know she has the same old crazy going on. Barbara’s new plan is to be the main weapon distributor for all of the street criminals in Gotham. Tabitha promptly rejects this plan, but Selina’s interests have clearly been piqued.

Jim gets word that there has been a breakout at Arkham and tries to round up some of GCPD’s finest to come with him. His colleagues are clearly not the biggest Gordon supporters and he receives no back up. Jim doesn’t seem like he was expecting much support, but unexpectedly Harvey also refuses to go and support his partner.  When Jim gets to Arkham, Scarecrow recognizes him and unleashes his army of Arkham patients and locks Jim in with them. Jim kicks some ass and takes some names and eventually the moment we’ve been waiting for happens – Jim and Scarecrow meet face to hay-mask.

While this showdown is occurring in Arkham, a more sophisticated ‘business’ meeting is happening at Barbara’s new digs. Cobblepot visits her and lets her know that in order to run her operation, she will “of course” need a business license and will be charged a weapons tax. Barbara lightly chuckles and gives Cobblepot an incredulous look, but he is far from joking. As he’s leaving, Cobblepot wonders aloud how Barbara managed to acquire enough funds to buy all of these weapons and set up shop.

Okay, back to the real action. Scarecrow uses some fancy scythe work to corner Jim and then gives him a helping of fear toxin. We now get to see Jim’s biggest fear – I’ll give you three guesses… yup you got it, not being able to save Lee. There is a harrowing scene with Lee in a bathtub full of blood blaming Jim for ruining her life. Scarecrow tries to manipulate Jim into thinking that Lee is asking him to hurt himself, but Jim’s pseudo superhuman badassness kicks in and he overcomes the illusion. He confronts Scarecrow again who can’t believe it proclaiming that “it’s impossible to defeat the toxin.” Scarecrow gets his insane cronies to attack Jim, but luckily Jim realizes that water nixes the effects of the gas and sets off sprinklers to stop the army of crazies from taking him out.

Oh and we get another Ivy sighting! Ivy feels disrespected and angry after being shunned by the newly forming femme fatale group of Selina, Tabitha, and Barbara. She decides that she needs to be given more respect so she visits the potion shop she went to earlier in search of ancient potions. Ivy uses her perfume to convince the owner to give them to her and she drinks them all, ignoring his pleading that they are too strong for her and might get into her DNA. We see Ivy start mutating a bit before the end of the scene. I’m sure that in the next episode or two we’ll be able to see the final product of all of this ancient potion chugging.

In the meantime it’s Christmas come early for Bruce. Not only does Alfred save him from getting shot by a thug when he tries to take on a whole group by himself, but Lucius Fox interrupts a conversation to bring goodies! Lucius is worried about Bruce’s injuries from “rockclimbing” so he wants to make to give him all the help he can. At the end of the episode we get to see Bruce try on his fancy new batsuit – oh wait just fancy new vigilante suit for now.

I am loving what they are doing with the Scarecrow story arc. Gotham’s version of Scarecrow is fantastic and the nightmarish visions from the fear toxin are perfect. I am looking forward to Ivy causing some trouble in the very near future. It's also refreshing to see the Batman storyline rapidly progressing. It looks like episode 3 will feature Jim trying to get Falcone to help him take down Cobblepot – which I’m sure he will be eager to do, it’s not like Jim murdered anyone close to him. Bruce and Selina’s relationship will also get another test next week when he witnesses her participate in a botched robbery – will he risk his life for a thief? We’ll find out next Thursday!