Jim Gordon had his hands full this week, and he still doesn’t know the biggest bombshell of them all — Barbara Kean is alive and well. But it is Gotham after all. But for now, he’s got Penguin and his licenses to commit crime to deal with, as well as Penguin’s little grudge against the guy who dosed him with the fear juice. Penguin marched himself into the GCPD — with a gaggle of reporters — to box Jim into a corner with the demand that if Gordon can’t capture Penguin’s assailant within 24 hours, he gets to take the matter into his own hands … and get to continue controlling Gotham’s crime population. Refusing to shake on the deal, Penguin grabs Jim’s hand and forces him to so that all the press can have photographic evidence.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Crane has gone full Scarecrow, now out for vengeance against all those who wronged him. First he pays a visit to Arkham and doses the warden, bringing out his greatest fear: clowns (this is just not a good year to be a clown), which is quite unfortunate for the staff who all appear to him as clowns and get shot to death. Scarecrow’s big plan is to build an army to take out the people who wronged them and put Crane in Arkham in the first place — the GCPD in general, Jim Gordon specifically. Unfortunately, Crane is a bit bonkers from the fear juice, which seems to have given him the confidence his father never saw, but building an army of the mentally insane and then using their ultimate fears to control them does not seem like the best of plans.
Once word of a riot at Arkham reaches the GCPD, Gordon wants to form a group of officers to help him contain the commotion but no one will go, not even Harvey who always throws his hands in the air and goes galloping off with his buddy. This time the police have decided that Penguin is handling things and all they get for wearing the badge is spit upon. Harvey refuses to go because, logically, if he shows any more support for Jim then his men will completely turn on him, giving Penguin the chance to have someone under his control installed as the Chief.
But Jim goes it alone, manages to fend off some of Scarecrow’s minions and then comes face to face with him, finally realizing that it is Jonathan Crane who tells Jim that he will die for killing his father. Crane, though, really seems to have conflicting ideas about his father. He says his father never saw strength in him and when Jim tells Crane that his father turned him into this person he’s become, Crane insists that his father was only trying to help him, not hurt him. But he also has the upper hand and sprays Jim with the fear juice, asking him what scares him most. And that is completely losing Lee, who we see for the first time this season in Jim’s foggy state. He sees her in a bathtub, wrists slashed, blaming him for everything before dying. Scarecrow tells Jim that he needs to kill himself because that’s what she would have wanted, but somehow Jim fights through it and snaps out of his fog. It seems that confronting your fear will undo the effects of the gas.
Chasing Scarecrow into a room full of dosed mental patients was not the best move on his part, but we know Jim can handle himself in a fight. Pinned to a wall next to a convenient fire extinguisher, Jim sprays one of his assailants in the face and they are instantly back to normal … or whatever normal is for them when they aren’t running on pure fear. He sprays another and realizes water is the antidote so before the horde can tear him apart, Jim manages to set off the sprinkler system but Scarecrow manages to get away. This doesn’t sit well with Penguin who insists that Jim violated their non-existent deal, but Harvey tries to convince Jim that Penguin has the upper hand now and they ought to let things play out. But Harvey’s rumination of how it was easier to deal with someone like Carmine Falcone than Penguin set something off that he could see behind Jim’s eyes. Despite the grudge Falcone probably still has with Jim for killing his son, Jim just may use Falcone to take down Penguin.
Elsewhere, yes Barbara is back from the dead (“It’s Gotham. Check for a pulse next time.”), looking to make a new business deal with Tabitha and Selina to become arms dealers for Gotham’s newly licensed criminals. Tabitha isn’t really in a forgiving mood considering Barbara killed Butch and Nygma cut off her hand (to match the one Penguin took from Butch), and Penguin isn’t happy that Barbara has set up shop without a license. In the midst of all this, there’s Ivy always being degraded by Penguin. You can only push a girl so far. Ivy tries to convince Tabitha and Selina that she hates Penguin and wants to get in on their deal with Barbara, but despite Selina’s faith in her friend, Tabitha treats Ivy just as badly as Penguin does. Tabby finally decides to make a deal with Barbara on one condition — she gives up her hand. To prove she’s truly sorry and to gain Tabitha’s faith, Barbara presents her hand to Tabitha who swings a meat cleaver and … purposely misses. That was proof enough for her that Barb is on the up and up, at least for the moment.
Meanwhile, Bruce found himself in jail after falling through a skylight, but Jim released him, knowing he was not committing a crime but following the criminals. Confronted at the station by Lucius, Alfred came up with a cockamamie story about Bruce learning rock climbing to explain his appearance but Lucius wasn’t buying it. Later, Bruce again wanted to track the gang he had been following but Alfred refused to go along because he didn’t want to watch Master Bruce get shot. Finding the gang, Bruce narrowly escapes death once again, but finds a gun pointed at his head. Lucky for him, Alfred is never far away. Back at the mansion, Bruce insisted he had everything under control, and as the two argued Lucius arrived with a gift, something he’d been working on when he was with Wayne Enterprises — a suit, lightweight, virtually bulletproof, with gloves that could grip any surface, and a communication device. For “rock climbing.” Taking it out for a test run, jumping between rooftops in the city like a gazelle, Alfred reminded Bruce to always cover his face. Try that mask Alfred made. And the Dark Knight is born.
But what of Ivy? She goes to a shop that just might have a few mogwai tucked away looking for special potions to make her stronger. The owner knows her tricks with perfumes but she still gets the upper hand with a fragrance, finding the potions in the safe. Not knowing which one she needs she just starts drinking all of them despite the owner’s pleas (warnings?) to stop. And then her eyes go black, her face contorts, her entire body vibrates and she becomes … what? Or who? Tune in next week, same bat time, same bat channel to find out.
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