‘Gotham’ Preview: The Scarecrow Speaks!

Gotham - Scarecrow
Jeff Neumann/FOX

Gotham‘s fourth season hit the ground screaming last week with the official reveal of the Scarecrow, the costumed (and creepy as hell) alter ego of young Jonathan Crane (Charlie Tahan).

Tormented by Merton’s gang and forced to whip up batches of his late father’s fear toxin, the traumatized kid wound up locked in a closet with his worst nightmare—yes, a scarecrow—before morphing into the iconic DC Comics villain. “He must have gone through some serious stuff inside that closet,” laughs Tahan, adding that the kid’s past already had him primed to break bad. “He’s spent a few years in Arkham Asylum and wasn’t treated so well….he’s a little angry about that I think. He probably has a little mental list [of targets] after he gets out of that closet.”

Now that he’s on the loose, Tahan says the Scarecrow’s M.O. in Thursday night’s episode is “to release the city of Gotham from their fear” via the chemical compound spray that has already awakened in Oswald (Robin Lord Taylor) the haunting worry that Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) will escape his icy prison. And as altruistic as Scarecrow thinks he’s being, Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) is still determined to protect the city from his reign of toxin-induced terror.

“Scarecrow’s showdown with Gordon kind of has to do with both of their pasts and it goes emotionally deep into Gordon’s personal life,” continues Tahan, noting that the conflicted cop employs a tactic that’s more humane than Crane is used to. “Jim kind of tries to reach Jonathan, whatever’s left of him, instead of Scarecrow.”

So does he actually get through to him? Tahan, who is set to start shooting the second season of Netflix’s Ozark in November, is as mum as, well, a Scarecrow. “You’ll just have to tune in and see.”

Gotham, Thursdays, 8/7c, Fox.