Review: Gotham 4×02 – “The Fear Reaper”

[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Director: Louis Shaw Milito

Writer: Danny Cannon

Starring: Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue & David Mazouz

 

Summary

Gordon takes on the Scarecrow while Bruce faces his physical limitations as a crime fighter and Barbara returns with an offer for Tabitha and Selina.

Positives

Gordon’s story is strong. I like that the entire GCPD has pretty much abandoned him so he has to go against Scarecrow alone; Penguin has gotten inside the heads of all the other cops. This both puts Gordon in an interesting place for the show but also creates an environment that necessitates vigilantes. The police are looking the other way while Penguin and the criminals take over. I think people were a little concerned about a 17-18 year old Bruce putting on a costume but the writers have created a status quo in which Gotham absolutely needs Batman whether he’s ready or not.

I also like the Gordon vs. Scarecrow elements. Naturally, Gordon is dosed by the fear toxin but I like that he’s able to overcome it himself. After the Alice Tetch virus, I imagine that Gordon would have enough self control not to lose himself to the toxin.

Ivy’s plot is interesting. Throughout the show’s history, she has been treated like crap. She thought that teaming up with Penguin would gain her some respect or at least kindness but she’s being treated worse. It looks like she’s finally reached her limits with everyone and I’m curious to see where that leads.

Negatives

Bruce’s costume that he receives at the end of the episode is ugly. I know it’s a work in progress but it looks terrible. I hope he keeps wearing the trench coat with the hood up because that would help a lot.

Barbara is back and it’s not that great. Barbara was a character I did not enjoy in the first season but grew to love in the second and third seasons. Her crazy was fun to watch and brought a lot of energy to her scenes. Here, Erin Richards is playing her more reserved and soft spoken and comes across a little wooden. She’s not as engaging as she’s been. I feel like there’s something off which may be completely intentional. There’s obviously something to what’s going on than what we’re told in this episode. This could all work when I have more information later but the scenes weren’t that enjoyable.

Verdict

The episode is a mixed bag. It’s back to the show’s typical three plot structure which means, like most episodes, not everything works. Gordon’s plot is interesting and engaging and there is good stuff in the other two plots. I like where the writers are taking Ivy, and Lucius Fox was a lot of fun, but the two subplots are a little dull.

 

 

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Sean Blumenshine

I am currently a senior at Wichita State University studying communications. I started reading comics in 2013 because of how much I loved Man of Steel and season one of Arrow. My favorite hero is the Green Arrow and my favorite villain is the Joker.