This week’s episode of Gotham season 4 was all about Scarecrow. Unfortunately, the show’s episode of Jonathan Crane is underwhelming. But, tension between Jim Gordon and Oswald Cobblepot gave this episode some momentum.
Jim’s confrontation with Scarecrow was a real disappointment. The rules for Scarecrow’s fear juice seemed to suddenly change. Instead of facing some sort of leering specter like every other victim, Jim hallucinated a complex scenario in which Lee Tompkins killed herself and blamed him. He overcame his fear by repeating the mantra that Lee actually loves him. This felt not only cheap, but like a fundamental betrayal of Jim’s character. Part of why he’s likable despite his slip ups is that he doesn’t hold himself in high regard. His presumption about Lee’s feelings felt baffling. Even worse, Scarecrow’s hold on a group of Arkham patients broke due to simple water. I’m more than fine with Gotham being silly when it’s fun, but this just felt bland and phoned in.
The real kick to the episode came from Oswald challenging Jim in front of everyone, asking him to prove that the GCPD could stop Crane. While Oswald has always been conniving and good at getting things done, there’s something especially exciting about seeing him be so assertive with Jim. It’s a true shift that’s makes this season very exciting.
In another subplot, Barbara Kean returned from the dead and asked for Tabitha Galavan’s forgiveness. It was hyped up a lot that Barbara would be a completely different person this season, but I didn’t really see that this episode. That said, I already loved Barbara so I’ll be happy if she doesn’t change that much. I’m excited to see what comes from her team up with Tabitha and Selina Kyle, especially since they’re challenging Penguin.