Nothing To Fear, the 3rd produced episode, was first broadcasted on September 15, 1992 with a script by Henry T. Gilroy & Sean Catherine Derek and directed by Boyd Kirkland.
Batman encounters the Scarecrow and attempts to foil his scheme to burn down Gotham University, but in the process is exposed to the Scarecrow’s fear gas, and is forced to face his own guilt over the death of his parents.
Scarecrow was always one of the more cooler villains in the Rogues Gallery to me, the whole idea that he could create a toxic gas so intense that it would cause you to face your worst nightmares, I always thought that was such a great concept for a villain and in this episode, a lot of what makes his so great as a villain in here. The voice actor, the late Henry Polic II brings this great gruff performance to this character, which would be a lot different compared to the later episodes he appears in.
But what makes this episode so perfect is that this is the first time the series has acknowledged Bruce Wayne’s parents being deceased and Batman facing his own guilt after being hit with the Scarecrow’s gas.
The result leading into a spectacular animation sequence in which Batman has to overcome his fears to stop the Scarecrow leading to arguably the show’s most memorable line:
I mean, the animation alone in that scene is spectacular and it’s one of the most epic early moments the show has to offer.
And then, you have the scene where it’s Batman vs. The Scarecrow as Crane has taken his own medicine and it leads to this great sequence, animationwise and dialoguewise. I especially love how Batman’s design when under the fear toxin looks a little like Chernabog from Fantasia in a way:
But not only that, the episode even ends on one of the best and most striking conclusions to an episode ever. It’s a simple shot where Bruce is at the grave of his deceased parents and there’s no dialogue and the music and the animation is letting the scene play out on its’ own:
Nothing To Fear is the first real episode where you start to realize that this is a more adult and more complex Batman series than you would expect to see dealing with the pressures of reliving the past while also trying to save the present, the episode works animationwise, storywise, and musicwise, another great early outing for Batman: TAS and the best of the three I’ve looked at thus far.