What to Watch Verdict
Jason Todd's story is interesting, but is overshadowed by the guff surrounding Scarecrow's storyline
💥 Adding more depth to Jason's story and character.
💥 The addition of Dr. Leslie Thompkins.
💥 The Scarecrow - all of him.
Of course, Jason Todd (Curran Walters) would get his own episode since this entire season so far seems to revolve around him and his descent from Robin to Red Hood. To be honest, it was a good Jason-centric episode. It allowed audiences to have some sympathy towards Jason’s second child complex - always living in Dick Grayson’s shadow. All Jason wanted was to live up to the Robin mantle and make Bruce (Iain Glen) proud. Unfortunately the episode, like Red Hood says at the end of the episode, “It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.”
When Jason returns to Gotham after his near-death experience from Slade Wilson last season, he suffers from PTSD, which leaves Bruce concerned for his young protégé. Dr. Leslie Thompkins (Krista Bridges) is introduced as Jason’s therapist who sees right through his tough exterior. Bridges' Dr. Thompkins is a nice addition to the Gotham gang as she's very likeable, because she sincerely seems to care about Jason. We learn he believes the only way for Bruce to truly see Jason is to remain Robin. Although Bruce tells him that he doesn’t need to be Robin in order to be his son, Jason doesn’t believe him and sets out to prove himself worthy of Bruce's love.
This is where things become a little grey, and extremely galling. Jason seeks out the Scarecrow (Vincent Kartheiser), who we found out last week is the one who brought Jason back to life, to find a cure to prevent fear. This leads Jason to reveal all of Bruce’s secrets in exchange for the formula. The formula works too well and leads Jason to become so fearless he is killed at the hands of the Joker. Now, this is where it gets worse - somehow the Scarecrow knows about the Lazarus Pit and is able to get his goon to steal Jason’s body from the morgue and bring him back to life. Not only that, but bring Jason’s now-alive body into Arkham where the Scarecrow bribes Jason with anti-fear gas in order to keep him under his leash.
I don't know where this story is going or why the Scarecrow is the main villain this season. The character is extremely dull and offers no real purpose to the overall story. It would have been more appealing if the character were given more layers. Instead, we have drug abuser driven by instilling fear in others. Yet, he brought Jason back to life to seek revenge on the Titans for no reason.
This also is out of character for Jason to work with the Scarecrow. In the episode, Jason as Red Hood tells his best friend Molly (Eve Harlow) he's going to change things around Gotham. With that, there is a sense of vigilante justice, but, instead, kills innocent lives and targets the Titans. I understand that Jason is only listening to the Scarecrow because Jason has become a junkie off the anti-fear gas, but this is ridiculous.
There is no reason for the Scarecrow to know where the Lazarus pit was. Who was that goon who tossed Jason in that pit? All of this doesn’t make sense. I’m both happy for Jason in this episode to have more depth to his character, but also irritated with the Scarecrow storyline. As much as we needed answers for why and how Jason became Red Hood, the episode left me with more questions than answers. At this point, I am starting to really not care. I’m so over Gotham. Just give me the Titans already.
Laura Sirikul is a freelance writer, researcher, and managing editor of The Nerds of Color. Throughout her career, she has written for Nerd Reactor, What To Watch, Nerdist, IGN, Movie View Magazine, Red Carpet Report, Mental Floss, Trek News, The Hollywood Reporter, Character Media, Bitch Media, and many other outlets. She has been on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, Nerdist's Fangirls, and many other news shows. For almost ten years, she has covered film and television extensively along with in-depth interviews with major studios such as Disney, WB, and FOX. She is also a member of the Asian American Journalist Association and the Hollywood Critics Association. Apart from addressing topics covering film and television, Laura is a strong advocate for social awareness for the underrepresented in the entertainment industry.