The reason the world of Batman is ripe for a television adaptation is because of its villains. You will not to find another character, in either Marvel or DC’s stable of spandex-clad heroes, that has a more eclectic, fun, and terrifying group of baddies. This not only gives showrunners tons of fodder for interesting stories, but in the case of Gotham, viewers get to see their favorite villains’ origin stories, how they became the psychotic killers, cat burglars, or riddle-obsessed outsiders many of us know and love. “The Scarecrow” is the beginning of one of Gotham’s greatest madmen, Jonathan Crane, and within the episode’s 45 minutes, Gotham finally does an origin story right.
“The Scarecrow” rightfully starts off like a horror film. An unsuspecting victim enters his dark apartment. With a classic hint of “he’s right behind you!” terror, the victim is murdered, cut open, and left bleeding out on a kitchen table.
But before Gordon and Bullock can show up at this murder display, Gotham takes a moment to check in with Fish Mooney, who has definitely been in better circumstances. Last week, Mooney spent the whole episode, only a couple dozen seconds total, in the hull of some boat. Who’s boat was it? Where was it going? Who captured it? These are great questions that are never answered, but Mooney awakens in a dungeon of some sort, or maybe a dank and deserted basement in one of Gotham’s several abandoned warehouses.
Mooney’s narrative thread this week is minor and pretty predictable. After chasing off what the show not-so-subtly alludes to as two disgusting rapists, Mooney surveys her dingy surroundings and quickly identifies this pseudo-prison’s top dog, a rather unimposing man nicknamed Mace. Now, the well-traveled plot reveals itself. Mooney uses her seductive ways to get close to Mace—who turns out to only be the boss because he’s got the only weapon—steals said weapon, and inserts it vigorously into his jugular until he’s mortally challenged. By traditional prison rules, that means Mooney is now the boss, which doesn’t make complete sense because there’s no way that teeny weapon would even stop some of the roided out linebackers that are in this prison basement, but for the sake of the narrative let’s say it does.
Mooney isn’t head honcho long before she faces her first big problem. And it’s a weird one. An unnamed prisoner returns from who knows where missing both her eyes. W. T. F? Not exactly sure what’s going on here, but it will be interesting to see if and how Mooney will escape this cold, concrete version of hell.
NEXT: Love and revenge