When does fear know who you are? When does fear become your worst enemy? When does fear threaten to destroy everything? Those questions come to the surface when an ancient evil escapes from its tomb. This evil is the source of all the myths and folklore surrounding scarecrows. Feeding off the fears of its victims, it only knows one goal, to feed off the greatest fear yet, the fear of dying. Special Unit 2 is in a race against time to stop this maniacal link before he kills someone. This is something that is easier said than done when Nick and Kate must confront issues in their relationship and then face their greatest fears.
The only real way to start a review of this kind of episode is right off with the showstopping moments. Prominently, that was Nick in anger management classes as those scenes knocked me out of my chair laughing as they were amongst some of the funniest moments in the series. Nick's reciting of the event that brought him to anger management was pretty much the funniest moment of the episode. "What did you feel when you hit him?" and the Nick responded with "A dull thud." Do not take my word for it; this needs to be seen to be fully appreciated. We also learned that Nick is quite the artist when he gets bored. I thought that was a nice addition to who Nick is. While the anger-management class scenes were hilarious, they did not sell this episode as being as good as it was. The Straw was actually one of the more character driven episodes of the show. It developed and thickened the relationship between Nick and Kate so much more.
Now what truly sold this show, as being one of the more top-notch efforts of the season was the interplay between Nick and Kate. The writers and directors must have taken note on what lies at the core of the show and just went wild with it. The strength came from Michael Landes and Alexondra Lee and the great chemistry they have and was it ever capitalized on in this episode. I was pleased to see a little bit of the bickering they sometimes have over how the other acts. It felt like a throwback to the pilot episode of the series and it was a great feeling. To see that kind of frustration come out is nice to see every now and then. Every friendship is like that, as there comes times when friends do not see eye-to-eye on a given topic and subject. Sometimes it goes a little far, but in the end, it brings you a little bit closer to that friend. Allowing you to understand them just a little bit better and appreciate them for actually having someone to talk to even if it is a disagreement. What I saw was an episode that utilized that concept fully. Seeing the confrontation between the two a couple times mixed up the show and added a little bit of bite but also depth to the friendship they have. In the end, we saw Nick and Kate and how they spoke to each other, believing in each other and trusting the other. As long as we do not see them like this all time, this could be a great way to spice up an episode even more than it would without it. It adds something real and deeper to the show when the writers do things like that. However, credit has to be given to Michael and Alexondra for the chemistry and great interplay they have with each other. I say put them in a room for an episode and just let them do their thing on improvising. I would put money down they would shock us all with what they would come up with. What was also neat about all this angst was that it touched upon elements seen in the second season premiere of "The Grain" and the first season episode "The Depths."
Jonathan's history was a nice way to add a bit more to his character. His top five hottest babes ever list was pretty funny. Yet, we learned about where he used to work as an intern. He worked at a historical annex where he read many ancient scrolls and writings. It was nice to learn more about some of the characters; mostly we get a little tidbit thrown in every now and then. As a character piece, we learned just about something new from everyone. We learned that Kate could be just as bad as Nick, maybe even worse when she gets upset. We learned about Nick's fears of nothing (except Carrot-Top), and Carl's ex-wife, and that the Captain actually gave Carl advice on his situation with the wife. It was something about everyone, and added bonus to each relationship to further cement the growing bond between everyone.
Another solid point of this came from the writing on Scott Nimerfro and Martin Weiss. I know mentioned the writing earlier, but I must give credit where credit is due. They crafted a wonderful story with twists thrown in for characters as well as the relationships they have with each other. They knew the rules and characters and did not insult us with some stupid character traits. It made for a one of the finer entries into the series, keeping it fresh and exciting the way only Special Unit 2 production can do week in and week out. This remarkable episode played upon the talents of the entire cast and production crew. I should try to give credit to the creature design and effects department for creating a menacing link. I had heard that the Scarecrow was based on a Patrick Tatoupolos design, which is what we saw on screen. Therefore, I was very impressed with the work I saw.
I know I must be overlooking some other great aspects, but I am still soaking up the tremendous atmosphere and vibes it sent. That pretty much means there is no way a review like mine can do the episode justice. On top of that, the show is being canceled so I am rather humbled by what is happening to the show. Anyway, there was nothing about the episode I did not like. Well there was one thing; I think we were just given the excuse why Alice will not be back. She is rather cracking under the pressure and is going on vacation. I would love to see her back. The time when she spoke about her thing for bad boys and that Nick was a bad boy was a nifty yet funny moment. I highly recommend this episode to everyone, just to see the stellar chemistry everyone has, as well as the featured writing and underlying theme the show maintains every single time. Friendship is forever, despite small speed bumps every now and then. Friends are important to us, because they are the foundation upon which we build our lives around and incorporate more into our lives. Just so, I do not start repeating myself too much I will end by saying this episode is definitely on my favorite list