Gotham Recap: “The Fear Reaper”


Things aren’t going well for the heroes of Gotham in “The Fear Reaper,” with the villains slowly overtaking the city.

Jim Gordon and Bruce Wayne are being pushed into a corner now that it seems like they’re the only two people left in Gotham willing to fight against violent crime. Luckily, a fan-favorite returns in this episode with the promise of more chaos while the Scarecrow arc seems to lose traction with every second he’s on-screen.

Penguin is looking for vengeance after being ridiculed at his club opening in last week’s episode and he marches right into the GCPD with a gaggle of reporters. He takes the time to berate the GCPD’s ineffectiveness and once again reiterate that it was his unionization of criminals that has kept the city safer. Jim isn’t ready to drink the kool-aid though, and Harvey happily points out the newspaper cover which calls the crime boss a “chicken”. This leads to Jim taking an ill-advised bet to take down Scarecrow within twenty-four hours or publicly admit defeat in front of the entire city. It’s a terrible decision, but just the first of many in “The Fear Reaper,” that he decides to make.

With the entire police force against him (including Harvey), Jim decides to walk into Arkham Asylum on his own to try to catch Jonathan Crane. What he doesn’t expect is that the psychotic boy has officially transformed into his alter-ego and enlisted the inmates to become his soldiers. While Jim is able to easily disarm them, he has more difficulty with Crane who happily douses the detective with his fear toxin.

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Of course, Jim’s greatest fear is Lee taking her life due to him causing her so much pain but he eventually snaps out of it realizing that she would never say those things to him. “The Fear Reaper,” seems to be casually overlooking the Lee of Season Three who said all of those things and much worse to Gordon by the finale. Nevertheless, Jim manages to subdue Crane but not before the boy escapes thus having the weary detective lose his bet to Penguin.

“The Fear Reaper,” doesn’t fare much better for Bruce Wayne, who has ended up in police custody following his vigilante actions in the previous episode. While some quick talking manages to get him out of a jail cell, Lucius Fox isn’t as convinced. After landing himself in some hot water with a gang, Alfred manages to save him at the last-minute but not before some of the criminals are able to see his face. Luckily, Lucius Fox shows up later that night to drop off a Batman type suit that is bulletproof, in case his young boss has a desire to “rock climb” in the future. He definitely needs a better mask if he plans to keep his identity sealed throughout this war with Penguin.

While the Scarecrow has been a pretty disappointing villain thus far, “The Fear Reaper,” sees the return of one of Gotham‘s finest with Barbara Kean’s reemergence. She’s back in the city looking to start-up a weapons business alongside a very apprehensive Tabitha and an excited Selina. Death has apparently restrained Babs greatly and suddenly she’s ready to play nice with all of the people in her town. The three girls eventually agree to work together but Penguin is the only one who brings up the obvious question: who is bankrolling Barbara?

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Overall, “The Fear Reaper,” is a pretty lazy episode of Gotham that just serves to continue the escalation of the war between Penguin and Jim. Thankfully, it looks like Crystal Reed will make her debut as Sofia Falcone next week as Jim Gordon’s new adversary and love interest. Hopefully, she will finally give the detective a break from his constant fight with everyone around him.