‘Gotham’ Season 4 Episode 2 Recap: The Fear Reaper

Gotham Season 4 Episode 2
Jessica Lucas and Erin Richards in ‘Gotham’ season 4 episode 2 (Photo by Jeff Neumann © 2017 Fox Broadcasting Co)

Fox’s Gotham season four episode one introduced one of the season’s big bads: The Scarecrow. It also established what’s happened to all the key players since the season three finale. Season four episode two titled “The Fear Reaper” moves multiple storylines forward and brings Barbara (Erin Richards) back into the picture. Plus, a big step is taken in the evolution of Bruce’s vigilante costume.

Episode two begins with Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie), Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), and a few backups showing up at the Crane house, looking for Jonathan. No one is there but it’s obvious Jonathan has made more fear gas. Crane’s Arkham uniform is discarded on the floor and then Jim looks outside and sees a scarecrow. He and Harvey examine it and find there’s a man hung on a stake. The man yells, “He’s coming! Scarecrow!”

Alfred (Sean Pertwee) shows up at the station with a Wayne Enterprises lawyer to try to free Bruce (David Mazouz). Bruce explains how he got caught and that he nearly had the thieves red-handed but the cops showed up too quickly. As they’re talking, Jim arrives and Bruce once again explains he fell into a robbery already in progress.

Jim asks why Bruce was on the roof, and Bruce lies and says he was looking for Selina. Jim lets Bruce out without making him post bail.


Alfred and Bruce run into Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk) on their away out of the station, and they make up a story about rock climbing to explain Bruce’s injuries and the dirt on his clothes.

Over at Arkham, Warden Reed (Damian Young) is busy burning all his paperwork when Scarecrow (Charlie Tahan) arrives and tells him it’s too late to cover his tracks. Warden Reed figures out it’s Jonathan Crane under the Scarecrow costume, and Jonathan runs down the list of how the Warden mistreated him. Jonathan said he cured himself. “I feared the Scarecrow and now we are one,” explains Jonathan, adding, “Jonathan Crane is no more. Call me by my true name, The Scarecrow!”

Scarecrow sprays Reed with the fear gas and Reed freaks out. Scarecrow says his father was a genius who wanted to end fear, and then asks what Warden Reed fears. A clown appears and Reed screams. Scarecrow says for Reed to face his fears and defeat them. Reed picks up a gun and fires at the clown and then runs from the room chasing the imaginary creature down.

In the Arkham halls Reed sees more clowns and shoots each of them. In reality, it’s the staff at Arkham that he’s killing.

Scarecrow speaks to the prisoners, calling them his new army and spraying them with fear gas. His army will go after the men who killed his father.

Back at the GCPD, Penguin shows up and asks Jim Gordon if he’s caught Jonathan Crane. He asks, nicely, where the boy is that created the evil toxin, but Jim says they don’t know his whereabouts. Harvey interrupts to ask Penguin if a penguin is a bird or a mammal. Penguin says it’s a bird, and Harvey holds up the newspaper with a huge front-page picture of Penguin crying in Jim’s arms. The headline reads: “Penguin or Chicken?”

The media has accompanied Penguin to the GCPD headquarters and he addresses them, calling the cops outdated and ineffectual. He wants to know why the citizens are putting up with this, and Jim interjects that Penguin shouldn’t be talking since he takes money from criminals to license them to attack innocent people. Penguin claims his program is working and he’s not trying to destroy the GCPD, but to save both it and Gotham. Jim doesn’t care and he’s going to arrest anyone who commits a crime, even if they have a license. Penguin offers him a deal: find Jonathan within 24 hours or else admit to everyone that he’s failed and will allow Penguin to clean up the city. On the spot because of the media, Jim reluctantly shakes hands with Penguin.

Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) follows Selina (Camren Bicondova), angry she’s not being more careful. They were both secretly given business cards which read “An Opportunity Awaits.” When they enter the building, Barbara thanks them for coming. Tabitha’s astonished since she saw Barbara die, and Barbara reminds her she didn’t check for a pulse. Barbara offers them a new beginning, asking them to hear her out. She would take back what she did if she could, and Tabitha puts a knife to Barbara’s throat threatening to finish the job. Barbara confesses she was jealous and she’s sorry, and Tabitha frees her.

They ask if this building is Barbara’s new place and Tabitha says they don’t need another club in Gotham. Barbara assures her it’s not a club, throwing a switch and revealing an arsenal hidden in the walls. Barbara’s going to supply all the licensed criminals with weapons, and in doing so will learn what’s being planned, where, and when.

However, Barbara won’t do this without Tabitha and Selina. Tabitha says no, and that Barbara should be happy she’s leaving the building standing. After she leaves, Barbara asks Selina to talk to Tabitha.

Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce is ready to hit the streets again. Alfred won’t stop him but he also won’t go with him because he doesn’t think Bruce is ready. Bruce admits he feels more alive protecting the city, and Alfred says that’s why he’s not stopping him. But, he doesn’t want to watch him get shot.

Harvey tells Jim Arkham’s under siege and the guards have fled. Harvey thinks Jonathan dosed all the prisoners, but when Jim asks his fellow officers to help him with the riot, they remain seated. Jim tells them they’re not fit to wear a badge, and one officer finally speaks up. He says they get spit on and shot at every day and yet they haven’t made a difference on the streets. Even Harvey doesn’t want to follow Jim to Arkham, taking a stand against his partner because he’ll lose the rest of his men if he sides with Jim on this.

Jim makes it to Arkham, alone, and finds blood on the walls and fires lit inside offices. Warden Reed has painted his face like a clown and attacks Jim, but Jim fights him off. Scarecrow watches from the control room and sees Jim who he recognizes as the man who killed his father. Scarecrow opens all the doors and announces over the loudspeaker that the enemy is here.

Scarecrow slams a door in front of Jim, trapping him and announcing he’ll pay for what he’s done. He also warns Jim that tonight he’ll know fear. Jim fights off the prisoners, shooting at some who turn and run away. Scarecrow watches this and says, “All right, Mr. Cop. Let’s have some real fun.”

Gotham Season 4 Episode 2
Chris Chalk, David Mazouz and Sean Pertwee in ‘Gotham’ season 4 episode 2 (Photo by Jeff Neumann © 2017 Fox Broadcasting Co)

Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), Zsasz (Anthony Carrigan), and Ivy (Maggie Geha) pay a visit to Barbara’s new place. Penguin can’t believe Barbara’s not dead and that she opened a new business. He’s upset she didn’t run this by him first so that he could approve it and, of course, tax it. She says she’s waiting for her partners to come on board, and Penguin doesn’t think she’ll be able to convince Tabitha or Selina to join her new enterprise.

Ivy offers to talk to Tabitha and Selina, and Penguin tells her to keep her mouth shut. He explains to Barbara what he’ll need from her and warns her he’ll be keeping an eye on her. If she makes a move against him, Victor will use her own guns against her.

As he’s about to leave, Penguin asks who paid for her new, expensive digs. Barbara doesn’t answer.

Jim makes his way cautiously through the asylum, but Scarecrow gets the jump on him and knocks him down. Scarecrow says Jim’s presence has made him a believer in fate. He takes off his mask and Jim asks what happened to him. Jonathan says Jim he killed his father, and Jim reminds Jonathan his father was trying to kill him and Jim saved his life. Jonathan doesn’t accept that, believing his father was just trying to help all mankind. Jim calls Mr. Crane a murderer; Jonathan prefers to think of him as a pioneer and a genius. His dad taught him about embracing his fears.

Jonathan sprays Jim directly in the face and Jim hears a scream and follows it down the hall. He has a vision of Lee (Morena Baccarin) in a bathtub full of blood, wrists slit. She tells him he destroys everything he touches, and she wants to be free of the pain. She dies holding Jim’s hand.

Scarecrow tells Jim he can join Lee to show how much he loved her. Jim puts a blade to his own wrist and Scarecrow tells him it’s what Lee would have wanted. Jim protests, mind clear enough to realize Lee would not want him dead because she loves him.

Jim’s vision clears and he’s alone in a room. He tracks down Jonathan and Jonathan is livid. He demands to know how Jim defeated the toxin, something which shouldn’t have been possible. Jim reveals he did it by overcoming his fear. Jonathan thinks Jim’s lying and that it’s impossible to stop being afraid. Jim tells Jonathan his father wouldn’t have wanted him to become this monster, suggesting he needs help.

Jonathan says his dad thought he was a scared, weak child, but he’s not weak anymore. He lunges at Jim and then escapes through a nearby door.

Bruce paces on top of a building and then spots a gang up to no good. He follows them into a building, but it’s a trap. They knew he was stalking them and as they circle him, they ask who he is and then rip off his mask. They continue taunting him, asking why he’s hassling them. They claim to have licenses and will be giving Penguin his share.

They threaten Bruce, pulling a gun and holding it to his head. Bruce quickly assesses the situation and uses available items to take on the gang. He makes a blow torch to hold them off and then escapes by breaking out a window.

He’s not safe though, as he’s attacked as soon as he walks down the sidewalk. Fortunately, Alfred has his back and knocks out the thug holding Bruce at gunpoint.

Over at Tabitha’s place, Selina begs Tabitha to give Barbara one more chance. Selina’s tired of not being taken seriously by selfish guys. With Barbara’s backing, she might be considered more than just a girl. And with Tabitha and Barbara, they’ll be able to give the men a run for their money. Ivy makes herself known at that moment, saying she wants in.

Tabitha doesn’t want Ivy around, calling her a Penguin stooge. Ivy claims she’s not and wants to get back at the men who treated her like garbage. Tabitha doesn’t believe her but Selina does. Tabitha demands Ivy leave and she does. Once Ivy’s gone, Tabitha tells Selina to let Barbara know she’s willing to talk business.


Scarecrow commands all the prisoners to attack Jim, and they follow his orders but Jim can hold his own. Jim sprays one of the men with the fire extinguisher and quickly figures out water will wash away the fear gas. Jim turns on the sprinklers and the prisoners immediately calm down. That is, all except one. A massive dude continues to try and kill Jim. Fortunately, Jim picks up the empty fire extinguisher and knocks the guy out.

Alfred is yelling at Bruce about being reckless when Lucius Fox arrives at Wayne Manor. He’s brought a case with him and says Wayne Industries was developing a durable material for military uniforms. He’s brought the cloth with him, and it’s a Kevlar weave with reinforced forearm protection. He also shows off special gloves with a special grip design. The uniform’s both lightweight and bullet proof…adding that it’s perfect for rock climbing. It also has a long-distance communication system. Bruce says, “Thank you, Mr. Fox. I feel safer already.”

Tabitha and Selina show up at Barbara’s, and Tabitha demands Barbara’s hand since she and Butch both lost their hands because of Penguin. Tabitha has a butcher’s knife ready to do the job, and Barbara agrees if it will mean Tabitha will trust her again. Tabitha advances, staring Barbara in the eyes and then raises the knife and slams it down into the desk within an inch of Barbara’s hand. Barbara never budged.

Tabitha agrees to trust Barbara and it appears they’ll begin working together again next week.

Penguin waits with the media as Jim Gordon arrives at the GCPD. Penguin wants to know if he’s arrested Jonathan Crane and since Jim hasn’t, Penguin addresses the cops and asks them if they’re ready to start new. He’ll triple any GCPD officer’s pay if they want to work with him instead of the city.

Harvey quietly explains to Jim that it’s a war, not a battle. If he would have sided with Jim, he would have lost the loyalty of his officers.

Ivy shows up in a shop needing more supplies. She wants something stronger than what the store owner has offered her in the past, and she wants to know where the mystical potions are that are created by shamans. She forces him to reveal they’re in the safe and then he warns her the potions are too strong and can change her DNA. She gulps them down anyway and the bones in her face begin transforming.

Jim and Harvey have a drink at a bar, and for now Harvey’s plan is to just get drunk and let Penguin do what he wants to do. He suggests they need an army to take on Penguin, and Harvey even admits he misses Falcone’s honor and ability to organize at this point. That sparks an idea and Jim’s ready to approach Falcone to see what sort of deal can be struck.

Night falls, and Bruce tries out his new costume. He reveals it’s like wearing nothing at all. When he leaps from rooftop to rooftop, the gloves save him from falling. Alfred’s down below watching Bruce and tells him to put on the mask he made for him. Bruce does and now he’s closer to looking like the Batman fans know and love.

More on Gotham:
Recap of Gotham Season 4 Episode 1
Recap of Gotham Season 4 Episode 2
Recap of Gotham Season 4 Episode 4
Recap of Gotham Season 4 Episode 6
Recap of Gotham Season 4 Episode 7

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