There’s a moment in this episode when Oswold Cobblepot goes down to the precinct house and meets Edward Nygma. And the two have what might best be called a “weird off” as the two sort of posture and do their respective shticks and then sort of back away from each other.
That was probably the sort of thing that will seem more momentous in retrospect given who those two guys are.
However, for all that we’re seeing future Riddlers and current Penguins size each other up, this episode’s title refers to a very different Arkham baddie, the Scarecrow, and it gives him something of an origin story.
OK, there’s other stuff too. Bruce goes off to do something in the woods he used to do with his father, but opts not to take Alfred. Then he tumbles down a ravine and twists his ankle, forcing him to drag himself out only to find Alfred camping out above him. Alfred could have helped out at any time but didn’t because…OK, this Alfred is far more, I guess sadistic is the right word for it, in how he handles Bruce and making a man out of him. I rather like that way of looking at it, making Alfred’s contribution to the creation of Batman a little more obvious. You get the impression Bruce’s parents would have never done something like this.
And then there’s Falcone negotiating with Maroni to keep Penguin alive, something done in part with the gift of a blackmailed judge. It works, but Maroni does let Oswold know he won’t be killing the Penguin…until Falcone dies, so Penguin better hope Falcone lives a nice, long life.
But the main thrust of the episode is Dr. Gerald Crane, a man harvesting adrenal glands because he has a theory that fear is a disease and if you get enough of the vaccine in your system, you’ll never be afraid again. As such, he’s making enough for two doses: one for him, and one for his son Jonathan.
You know, fear isn’t a disease. It’s an evolutionary response telling you that you might be in danger so you should probably avoid something or it might hurt you. I get the impression Gerald Crane isn’t much of a scientist if he doesn’t know that. Eliminate fear, and what makes someone avoid danger? That’s gonna get someone killed.
Wait, it does get Gerald killed after he gives his teenage son a bad dose of the stuff. Jonathan might never be not afraid.
And maybe they shouldn’t have lived in an old farmhouse near a scarecrow, because now that Jonathan is full of fear. he just apparently will be seeing that thing following him around and being generally scary.
Oh, and Fish in some weird prison where, after getting the only knife in the pen by killing the lead prisoner, finds out someone might be doing organ harvesting where she is when some woman gets shoved in after having her eyes removed.
Gotham is a weird place. I didn’t even have anything to say about Gordon and Bullock this time, and they were the ones that found the Cranes.