Review: Gotham, “The Executioner” – Is All About Barnes vs. Gordon


Gotham “The Executioner” Plot Summary:

As the Tetch virus continues to consume Barnes (Michael Chiklis), Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and a reluctant Bullock (Donal Logue) investigate him for Simon’s murder.  Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) mourns the death of Isabella, and Ivy (Maggie Geha) reveals herself to Selina (Camren Bicondova) and Bruce (David Mazouz) after getting into trouble.

This all ramped up quickly following last week’s shenanigans.  In the words of Peter Venkman, “Barnes has gone bye-bye.”  Aside from the trigger happy Barnes, Nygma is all depressed, and Ivy finally decides to drop the bomb shell on Selina.  I was starting to forget about Ivy.  It’s been a while.  By the way, where’s Fish Mooney?  Did I miss something?  Enough with the side tracks.  We have plenty to dive into.

Photo Credit: Jeff Neumann/FOX
Photo Credit: Jeff Neumann/FOX

It really was all about Barnes v Gordon.  The entire episode was practically a stand-off.  Now fully embracing the blood, Barnes is more unhinged than ever.  Michael Chiklis does a fantastic job of fully diving into evil Barnes.  You can really tell Chiklis loves playing the bad guy.  He does a good job of making you feel uncomfortable.  Gordon certainly is.  This conflict was very workmanlike for Gotham.  It was solid and compelling all around, but none of it blew the doors down.  

I liked how annoyed Bullock was at the thought of even investigating Barnes.  Bullock also had the funniest line of the episode, per usual.  What cemented this episode was how it got resolved.  Not only was it a clever idea, but it created a nice moment between Gordon and Lee (Morena Baccarin).  The ending for Barnes was also pretty sad, which put the exclamation point on this entire plotline.  I’m intrigued to see where it goes next.

Ivy finally does something, so that was nice.  Maggie Geha does a great job of playing the kid trapped inside the adult’s body.  Her interplay with Selina and Bruce worked seamlessly.  Much like Bullock, Selina looked annoyed throughout the whole episode, making for some good humor.  They made Ivy out to be a real moron though, which I never really grasped from the character before.  This was an enjoyable romp all around.  They also managed to introduce a nice little Court of Owls mystery.  My only real complaint is the nonchalant whatever reaction from Bruce at Ivy now being an adult.  Okay, I get they’ve seen some pretty weird stuff in Gotham, but come one!  She aged 15-20 years!  That’s not an everyday occurrence!

Photo Credit: Jeff Neumann/FOX
Photo Credit: Jeff Neumann/FOX

Poor, Nygma.  You really feel for the guy in this one.  Predictably, Nygma is very melancholy in his own Nygma way.  Robin Lord Taylor was more comedic here, as he tries to push Ed past the grieving process at break neck speed.  As always, the chemistry between Nygma and Oswald is a delight.  This didn’t get interesting till the very end though.  Nygma’s ultimate conclusion had me really thinking.  Nygma seems smarter than this, so are we to believe that this is what he thinks actually happened, or is this a huge elaborate scheme that will slowly be revealed over time?  Kudos to the writers for keeping us guessing.

Gotham continues to deliver consistency with another very good episode.  It’s been a while since I’ve been wowed though.  Looking at next week’s preview, the potential is definitely there.  It looks packed to the bat brim.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10 (Very Good)

Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.