In a dormitory at Gotham University, Dick Grayson (first apperance in the series) and his room-mate, Brian Rogers, watch a sports newscast on a University football game from the day before. The report ends praising Rogers' performance and his high likelihood of being signed by a professional team. Dick mutes the TV and echoes the praise. Rogers is a little nervous about Gotham's upcoming match against State Tech and the importance the performance will have for potential scouts. Dick reassures Brian that he "will dazzle 'em" and throws him his football. Rogers appreciates Dick's support and hopes that by attaining professional status he'll be able to move his family into better financial straits. Returning their attention to the TV, they are both taken aback by a report on a series of bizarre sports bloopers: several athletes – many of them odds-on favorites – suddenly have panic attacks in the middle of their games, causing them to lose.
Just then, there is a knock on the door and Brian answers it to a courier with a telegram. After reading it, he appears confused, and Dick reads it with him: it starts out wishing him luck in the upcoming match, but then ends reminding Brian that "only a fool knows no fear. I'm betting on it – A Fan."
On the day of the match, the situation is shockingly unexpected — State Tech is leading Gotham University 24 to 3. Rogers has been off his game all the time. During a huddle, he appears nervous and sweaty, when his teammates urge him to take the offense. When the ball is snapped, and Rogers is charged by the opposing players, he sees them as horrific monsters, and drops the ball, curling up in terror. The game is stopped so a medical team can see to Rogers. Dick jumps down from the stands and runs to his friend, hearing him mumbling "they were so big and scary... I just... couldn't... ". And with that the doctors take Rogers to the infirmary, leaving behind a confused and concerned Dick Grayson.
Later that day, on night patrol, Robin asks Batman his take on his classmate's strange behavior. Batman seems to think it's simple pressure, but then they notice two robbers on the top of a building, attempting to get away with smuggled jewelry. Batman and Robin point their grapples and begin to reel up, but halfway up, Robin is overcome by fear and cannot move forward. Terrified, he begins sweating and shaking and looses his grip on the grapple. Desperately, he clings onto the wall of the building, barely holding himself in place. Batman notices this and the second he turns to look over at Robin, the two robbers shower him with bricks, blocks and other pieces of the building they could get their hands on. Batman tries to dodge them, but is eventually hit and falls off, barely able to grip the wall nearby Robin. He asks for Robin's help, but the still-trembling boy is frozen in place. Meanwhile, the two robbers manage to knock off one of the statues atop of the building, forcing Batman to let go rather than be hit by it. While falling, Batman manages to save himself with a spare grapple, then re-ascend the building before the two robbers can drop another statue on Robin. After subduing them, he takes Robin under his arm and lowers him slowly to the ground.
Considering it too suspicious for both Robin and his room-mate to have had panic attacks in the same day, Batman and Robin go to the University and investigate their dorm room. Batman finds the mysterious telegram and notices it staining his gloves with a strange powder. They take the telegram with them.
At the Batcave, the chemical is analyzed and it turns out that it induces fear, but is trigged by the secretion of adrenaline. In other words, when the subject becomes excited, the chemical transforms excitement into fear. The chemical can have only one possible source — The Scarecrow.
The Dynamic Duo's next stop is at Arkham Asylum where a corrupt guard insists that Professor Crane is still in his cell, but Batman shoulders past him and finds a decoy inside the cell.
At a bookie's, Scarecrow (in disguise) collects his latest winning, over $28,000. Its owner, Leon "The Bookie" wonders why the mystery man has been winning so steadily, and Scarecrow just says he makes his own luck. Leon merely turns to one of his lackeys and asks him to follow Scarecrow and "be persuasive" with him.
The thug does as told and soon the Scarecrow enters what seems to be an abandoned theater, his hideout. The thug follows close behind until The Scarecrow leads him to a barn setting. There, the man is confronted by The Scarecrow who baits him with another trick telegram and drives him into a terrified state.
The next day, Batman is called to the Police infirmary by Commissioner Gordon where they find the thug scared stiff, hidden under his bed. Batman explains Scarecrow's scheme: Scarecrow is "fixing" games in order to win at gambling by disabling the favored candidates with his fear toxin.
Back at the cave, Robin is trying to overcome his fear by negotiating a narrow cliff, but Batman returns just in time to keep him from falling. Robin says he cannot help Batman, but Batman insists that he needs Robin's help at that night's football game.
Outside the stadium, Robin spots The Scarecrow despite the big crowd and manages to follow him until he reaches the lockers. Robin hides behind a nearby hall-stand until Scarecrow exits the lockers. Despite being extremely close to the Scarecrow, who had even taken off his mask in front of him, Robin is able to keep his cool and not reveal his hiding place. When Scarecrow decides to leave to the stadium, Robin checks the locker room and disposes of the helmet Scarecrow had filled with his powder.
Shortly after, in the field, Gotham is leading and is close to winning the game. Scarecrow is puzzled by the delayed action of his toxin, when he is caught on the roof of the stadium by Batman. Panicked, S pulls out a test-tube with the fear substance and threatens to drop it on the people below, causing mass panic. Batman is held at bay, and just to make sure, Scarecrow drops it anyway. The tube lands on the rim of a scaffold, and Batman attacks.
As they struggle, the test-tube falls and Robin has no choice but to defeat his fear: he uses his grappler to swing towards the tube and catch it. Defeated, Scarecrow tries to escape, but has no chance.
Later, at Wayne Manor, Bruce and Dick watch TV in the living room, as Brian Rogers signs a much-desired contract with the Gotham Knights. Dick smiles at Bruce's suggestion to congratulate his room-mate through a telegram.
- Scarecrow's line "The fear of Victory and the agony of THE SCARECROW" is a pun on ABC Wide World of Sports' "The Thrill of Victory and the agony of Defeat".
- The Gotham Knights football team is introduced as an allusion to the Bat-family of crime fighters, who have also been referred to as the Gotham Knights.
- When one of the robbers calls Robin "Boy Blunder" an allusion is made to Robin's title of Boy Wonder, the name with which Robin was introduced in Detective Comics #38 in 1940.
- Scarecrow's appearance is re-vamped from his original appearance, going from a sock puppet to a more skeletal "scarecrow" face. The producers still felt this appearance was not sufficiently scary, thus leading to the second revamp for The New Batman Adventures.
- Scarecrow's tone of voice also changes with his new mask (though he is still voiced by the same person), in his previous appearance the Scarecrow sounded like a professional college professor where as here he sounds more like a grouchy version of a college professor with a broken sounding voice.
|Kevin Conroy||Bruce Wayne/Batman|
|Bob Hastings||Commissioner Gordon|
|Lloyd Bochner||Mayor Hill|
|Tim Curry||Additional Voices|
|Laurie Johnson||Additional Voices|
|Tom Williams||Additional Voices|
Sportscaster: Heavily favored middle-weight champion, Rudy Lovell set two new records: one for the shortest fight in history, the other for the 50 yard dash. Goalie Rick Gale came up with another way to protect his goal; rather unorthodox, but effective. And here's top scene, Chris Adams making it seem like she's in the wrong racket.
(After testing the fear chemical)
(After winning $28,000)
(Confronting Leon "The Bookie"'s lackey)
(After seeing Leon's lackey at the Police Infirmary)
Courier: Telegram for Mitch Knoll.
Commentator: (as the test-tube falls) It's a fumble! This could mean disaster for Gotham!
(After seeing Brian Rogers sign his contract for the Gotham Knights on the local news)