So, we had some site issues last week that meant I couldn’t post a Gotham recap and I got behind. As a result, I’ll post two in the next few days to get caught up. I feel like I let Gotham City down, but there’s only so much one man can do. Batman would consider me a failure, but I did my best. He, of course, would have just built a new Internet. Anyway, here’s a late look at “The Fear Reaper”.
Cops show up at the old Crane home. The place seems to be empty, but there’s some fresh toxin and Jonathan’s Arkham clothes. Outside, they find Grady, hung up like a scarecrow and screaming in terror that the Scarecrow is coming. Man, Scarecrow is really good at branding.
Alfred shows up at the GCPD to spring Bruce after he was arrested for falling into a crime scene. Gordon shows up just then and Bruce tells him what happened, except in his version he was on the roof looking for Selina. Gordon gets it and releases the kid. At Arkham, Warden is busy burning evidence until Scarecrow shows up. He has a scythe now, which is an essential Scarecrow accessory. Reed tries to distract him and grab a gun, but Scarecrow blasts some toxin right in his face.
Lucius catches up to Alfred and Bruce and lets it be known that he doesn’t buy Bruce’s story without actually saying he doesn’t believe him. Yeah, Lucius Fox always knows the score.
Reed has nightmarish visions of murder clowns beating the rest of Gotham City to it by a few years. He starts shooting the clowns, which means he’s just basically killing whatever inmate happens to cross his path. Meanwhile, Scarecrow finds a room where spasming prisoners are tied to their beds. He starts spraying everybody to create his army. I mean, that’s cool and all, but maybe he needs some henchmen who aren’t crapping their pants in terror 24/7.
Penguin shows up at the Police Department demanding to know why Gordon hasn’t found Jonathan Crane yet. Man, he is comfortable making demands. Harvey makes fun of him for panicking at the opening last night so Penguin makes a speech to the reporters who follow him everywhere and he acknowledges the crime licenses. Gordon says they’re illegal and he’ll arrest anybody who has one. Penguin gives him 24 hours to find Crane or admit to everybody that he’s failed and then he forces a handshake. Ha! Gordon does not acknowledge or accept this ultimatum, but Penguin grabs his hand and that’s good enough.
Selina and Tabitha head to an old building – they each received a card with an address and the message “opportunity awaits”. Inside is… Barbara! YES! And Tabitha acknowledges that she died but Barbara brushes her off with “check for a pulse next time”. I think there might be a story there, but for now let’s just bask in Barbara. She’s sorry for what she did to Tabitha, who is not in the mood to accept apologies. Barbara has a new business – she’s an arms dealer. Panels open up everywhere to show off her selection of armament. She wants to supply the underworld with weapons and also keep track of what everybody is planning. That said, she wants Tabitha and Selina to work alongside her. Tabitha storms out and Barbara asks Selina if she can put in a good word.
Stately Wayne Manor. Bruce suits up to go out again, but Alfred refuses to be a part of it. Bruce isn’t ready and his participation feels like tacit approval. Alfred knows he can’t stop him, but he’s not going to stand by and watch him get shot.
Bullock tells Gordon that there’s a riot at Arkham. Gordon yells to the squad room that he needs backup, and nobody pays attention. They’re not happy with Gordon’s stance on the licenses and they’re not going to back him. Even Harvey won’t go along – if he takes Gordon’s side, he’ll lose the rest of the squad and they’ll make somebody else captain. And at this point, any new captain would be somebody Penguin chooses. I really like the way Bullock has to work out these compromises on the fly – he’s in a really interesting ethical place.
Gordon walks into Arkham all alone as inmates dart in and out of view. One of them is straight up doing the Ring walk. Then Reed, now wearing white makeup, attacks him, still seeing murder clowns. He knocks Gordon down and runs off. Scarecrow watches on the monitors and remembers Gordon from that time he sorta killed his dad. So he opens all the doors in the place and lets the inmates free. Gordon manages to beat up the first wave and scares off the rest with warning shots, but the Scarecrow is not deterred.
Penguin, Zsasz, and Ivy show up at Barbara’s and, man, that is solid lineup of my favorites. Oswald explains that she has to get approval for this business and she’ll have to pay taxes if he allows her to operate. She mentions her partners and Ivy offers to talk to them. Penguin yells at her because he’s destroying joy. He also asks Barbara who paid for all this and that’s a good question. Who’s her mystery partner? I suspect Ra’s al Ghul, who also could have resurrected her. (NOTE: I wrote this before last week’s episode aired but couldn’t post it right away due to technical issues. I still think I deserve credit.) Penguin’s crew leaves, with Zsasz helping himself to one of the big guns on the way out.
Back in Arkham, Gordon searches for Crane. Scarecrow hits him with a sneak attack and take off his mask to show Gordon who he is. It’s nice of Gordon to pretend to be surprised. And then Scarecrow hits him with a load of fear toxin and we’re going to find out what Jim Gordon is afraid of.
And what he sees is… Lee. She’s dying in the bathtub, having slit her wrists and she hangs on just long enough to blame Gordon for everything. In the vision, Scarecrow taunts him to kill himself and make amends. He shakes it off and returns to the real world where Crane ambushes him. He can’t believe Gordon survived the toxin and attacks him with a scythe. Gordon tries to talk him down but despite some wavering, Crane goes right back to trying to cut him in half.
Bruce spots some ne’er do wells heading into a hideout and so he follows them. It’s trap, and suddenly a bunch of full grown adult men are ready to just wreck a teenager. They pull off his mask and one guy recognizes his face but can’t quite place it. Bruce manages to wriggle fee and improvise a flamethrower and get out with a jury-rigged version of Batman’s grapnel. The thugs chase him but Alfred is waiting outside with a sneak attack. You knew Alfred wasn’t going to leave him!
Selina goes to see Tabitha and presents Barbara’s offer. She’s really pushing hard for it. Ivy shows up uninvited and says she wants in. Nobody takes her seriously and she wants a fresh start. Tabitha pulls a gun and tells her to leave and Maggie Geha is really good here. She brings a lot of comedy to the character and this is the first time it seems like maybe this whole thing where she aged fifteen years in one second is maybe taking a toll.
Gordon pursues Scarecrow to a common area of the Asylum where dozens of gassed inmates are ready to attack. When he sprays one with a fire extinguisher and he snaps out of it, Gordon realizes he can maybe wash the toxin away. It takes way too long to activate the sprinklers, but be honest, you assumed Arkham Asylum probably had fake sprinkler heads glued to the ceiling. One big guy still attacks Gordon (even without the toxin, they’re still criminally insane), but he takes him down and goes after the fleeing Crane.
Lucius shows up at Wayne Manor with an experimental suit that Wayne Enterprises developed. It’s lightweight body armor with a whole bunch of features (it’s bulletproof!) that would be useful for “rock climbing”. And give Chris Chalk a hand because not only does he fill his speech with air quotes on that phrase, but at one point he says “climbing rock” and I love it.
Selina and Tabitha show up at Barbara’s and agree to join on one condition. Barbara has to let Tabitha cut her hand off. Both she and Butch lost their hands, so it’s only fair. And let me be absolutely clear before I say this that I love Jessica Lucas. She is great on this show and she seems really fun on social media and if she wanted to take my hand, I would let her. That said, it is clear that this is the first time she’s said the word “Machiavellian” in her entire life. I only point it out because it took me a couple tries to figure out what she was saying and I heard it as “mocking alien”.
Anyway, Barbara agrees and puts her hand on the table for a chopping and neither of them flinch until Tabitha buries a cleaver in the table right next to Barbara’s hand. They both play it really well – Erin Richards gets about one second to sell the idea that she was ready to lose a hand but is glad she didn’t, and she totally does. Man, if only they’d play nice with Ivy, this would be an unbeatable team.
Gordon limps back to GCPD where Penguin and the press are waiting for him. It’s been 24 hours and he didn’t deliver Scarecrow. Gordon points out that he never made a deal and Penguin just made a demand. Penguin offers to triple the wages of any cops that want to come work for him and protect the city his way. Gordon lashes out at Bullock who reminds him that it’s a war and they need the rest of the GCPD to win. He still has to publicly support them over Gordon, but he’s trying to make it right.
Ivy shows up at an herbalist’s office – it’s a place she’s been before to make her perfume and she’s heard they have ancient potions. She needs power and this guy is going to give it to her. He leads her to them because she’s Ivy and she just starts drinking potions. Ivy, no! Not the botions! (That was for the folks who are into both Gotham and Monster Factory. If that’s you, contact me on Twitter immediately so we can be best friends.) Her face starts to distort and we cut away. Oh, I’m worried about this.
Bullock and Gordon share a drink and Bullock wonders if they really are making a difference. He misses Falcone – at least that guy was fair. And Gordon gets an idea – Falcone probably hates what Penguin is doing so maybe it’s time to get him back in the game. Hey, you know who Falcone hates more than Penguin? Jim Gordon, that’s who.
Bruce tests out his new suit and bounds from building to building. Have to say, it looks better in motion than it did in the still shots. It’s still kind of silly looking, but it’s knockoff Batman. It’s not supposed to look great. I like it.
Guys? That was lots of fun and I have to do another recap tomorrow to catch up, so we’ll talk more then. I love you.