Gordon and Bullock continue to pursue Gerald Crane, who is harvesting adrenal glands to create a toxin. Meanwhile, young Bruce goes on a hiking trip to confront his greatest fears.
Fear seems to be a common theme in this week’s episode, fitting of the featured villains. From Bruce’s trip, to Penguin’s fear of Maroni’s wrath, Gordon’s fear of his relationship being known, and Mooney’s attempt to put fear in the hearts of the criminals she is trapped with, we see all of the characters explore what keeps them afraid. The Cranes hurt people and try to manipulate their fears to their favor, while Bruce, a future foil as Batman, seeks to confront them head-on, at the risk of his well-being.
The main plot is rather simple, and it is mostly sidelined by several subplots. The solution to Crane’s location is rather simple, but the other characters’ arcs thankfully make up for the weak main plot, a re-occurring trait of this show. The only weak link of these was Mooney’s takeover.
Some of the strongest scenes come from the interactions between villains. Oswald and Eddie’s brief scene was fun, as it highlights their character flaws that leads them to become future Gotham villains. There is also another meeting with Falcone and Maroni, where they discuss Oswald’s fate. These scenes do not contribute much to the plot, but they do provide entertaining bits of characterization.
“The Scarecrow” does not advance much of the plot, but it does provide for the origin of one of Batman’s most iconic villains. The strong theme uniting the threads of this episode is its biggest strength, and a refreshing flavor for the show.