In what appears to be a significant transformation, Scarecrow decides to terrorize the city of Gotham by taking fear away. A full 180 degrees from his typical style of experimental fear induction, Scarecrow’s newest weapon is a toxin that eliminates any biological response related to fear and anxiety. After a few of Scarecrow’s patients get loose, create mayhem, and catch the discerning eye of Batman, the Caped Crusader begins his investigation into Scarecrow. However, he becomes a victim of the toxin and begins to act a bit more…like Batman? With his fear and vulnerability completely wiped from his psychological repertoire, Batman is reckless, impulsive, and lethal. He engages in risky and senseless behavior, putting himself and others in danger. Robin notices this shift in Batman’s approach and immediately realizes the consequences ahead: If Batman’s fearless ego goes unchecked, he may do something he’ll regret. Robin takes things into his own hands by tying Batman up and pursuing Scarecrow on his own. The episode culminates with a confrontation among all three on a speeding train heading down a broken track, of course!
In our analysis of the episode, we address the real importance of anxiety and fear. Our bodies are equipped with a physiological “alarm system” designed to warn us of actual danger and risk. When that system goes awry, our ability to protect ourselves and others is disrupted. Does Batman ultimately learn this essential lesson about the advantages of fear? Does he experience remorse for putting Robin in danger during his altered state? Was there any permanent damage and will we see him become a colder, harder Batman? Listen below for our exploration of these topics as well as our responses to questions all about anxiety symptoms and ways to manage them!
The Arkham Sessions is a podcast [typically] dedicated to the psychology of the show, Batman: The Animated Series. Have psychology related questions about Batman? Write to us via twitter @ArkhamSessions or on Facebook.
And don’t forget to subscribe to The Arkham Sessions on iTunes to get all the latest episodes!