Batman Rewatch: Nothing to Fear

  • Season 1, episode 3
  • Writers: Henry T. Gilroy & Sean Catherine Derek
  • Director: Boyd Kirkland

It took me a lot longer to post this episode than I had planned. Zoey simply wouldn’t watch it. She saw it once before, and the Scarecrow scared the bejeezus out of her. I just couldn’t convince her to watch it again. So this “rewatch” recap will be light on the Zoey commentary. I’ll let Bruce show you how that makes me feel.

The Scarecrow is one of my favorite villains, though, and this Scarecrow is my absolute favorite version of the character. I mean, what’s not to love? He’s lanky. He’s ruthless. I love his character design for this show. And Henry Polic II does a wonderful job in the role.

We’re introduced to the Scarecrow and his “fear toxin” in this episode. His red fear gas is what petrified Zoey about this episode. And to be fair, there are a lot of downright scary moments.

What’s unique about this episode is that we’re actually given the Scarecrow’s backstory. We haven’t gotten Batman’s or Joker’s, but we get Scarecrow’s: Dr. Jonathan Crane. He says he was the university’s leading authority on subliminal psychology, yet in the flashback to his time at the university, we see that he has room upon room of people subjected to actual, concrete fears–a girl covered in spiders, a guy in a room full of rats. How is this subliminal?

Most of the episode is about Batman facing his innermost fear that his father would be disappointed in him. He and Alfred have a tender moment, and then Bats is off to take down Scarecrow once and for all.

Scarecrow steals all the money from a university fundraiser and then escapes…

…in a blimp? Well, this is Batman: The Animated Series. Of course it would be a blimp. But….why is it a blimp? There’s absolutely no reason for them to use a blimp. And of all the getaway vehicles you can think of, a blimp would have to be the slowest, most inconvenient, and easiest to track. The professor apparently isn’t as smart as he thinks.

Batman of course catches Scarecrow after a prolonged blimp fight. Crane gets doused with his own fear toxin, and his greatest fear is revealed to be….bats? Oh, the irony.

He probably should’ve moved to Metropolis.

If you like grandiose self-important grandstanding, then boy oh boy, is this the episode for you.

Scarecrow: I am fear incarnate. I am the terror of Gotham. I am the Scarecrow!

Batman: I am vengeance. I am the night. I am Batman!

Oh, as if we needed more evidence, but Bullock is the WORST detective ever. He has an entire conversation with Gordon about Batman being “in cahoots” with the Scarecrow and doesn’t even notice that there’s a man hanging from the ceiling fan directly over his head! No wonder Gotham is overrun with costumed criminals.

There’s one of these shots in every episode, and so help me if I won’t post them all.

Verdict? I love this episode, but it scares the crap out of Zoey. Shall we call it a wash?

Jamie is a publishing/book nerd who makes a living by wrangling words together into some sense of coherence. He's the founder and owner of The Roarbots and also a contributor to Syfy Wire,, and GeekDad. On top of that, he hosts The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, which celebrates creativity in popular culture, science, and technology by talking to a wide variety of people who contribute to it.