Gotham Review: The Executioner (Season 3 Episode 9)

Gotham, Reviews

After pandering to the Mad Hatter’s flamboyant style and inept use of his abilities, Gotham seems to be on an upswing.

Gotham Season 3 Episode 8, “Executioner,” is about Barnes and his newfound ability to find the guilty within Gotham’s ranks. After “Blood Rush,” I am really excited to see where this goes, and after weeks of watching the GCPD try to catch Jervis Tetch, I thought that surely we would get a little more time watching Barnes deal with this gift.

Instead, the episode ends with Barnes in Arkham after trying to frame Jim Gordon for murder. No incubation of this new supervillain. No time to let him simmer and provide the compelling b-plot. Just a sudden escalation that ends with him out of the GCPD.

The worst part is, I am torn with how to react to this.

On one hand: Jim Gordon really can’t catch a break. On the other: Can we get one worthy adversary in Gotham? Or did they all burrow deep underground after they escaped Indian Hill?

We spent three episodes watching Jervis Tetch try to pull the wool over the eyes of the GCPD and get nowhere. How the heck are we supposed to believe that the GCPD would catch Barnes so easily when he should know the GCPD’s tactics.

I am holding out hope that the conspiracy controlling Wayne Enterprises will come back into play, but the closer we get to the midseason finale, the more it looks like we won’t be seeing that come to fruition until the show returns.

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So yes, I facepalmed a bit this week regarding the villain: again. Thank you Gotham.

While I do feel that we’ve been cheated out of another compelling villain storyline, what I do like about this episode is the bits of humor injected into some of the scenes. Nowhere is this more apparent then the return of the adult Ivy.

This is the first we’ve seen of Ivy at any length since she fell “a long way down into water” and washed up on the shore, and to my surprise I both like the result and I find it disturbing.

I miss Clare Foley, I loved her precociousness and her deadpan delivery as Ivy, but I am enjoying seeing the interaction of Maggie Geha’s “Older Ivy” with Selena and Bruce.

However, I can’t ignore the fact that this is a creepy casting change.

Poison Ivy is a sexy villainess in the DC canon, and that may have played a role in the recasting, but the dichotomy we see between the seductress in the first moments of the episode and the clueless jokester seems a little extreme.

I guess this gives new meaning to the phrase “they grow up so fast.”

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It feels like Ivy is both emotionally mature and at the same time stunted and I can’t quite reconcile that in my mind, but I do want to see where the new Ivy goes. I feel like it’s going to be a very wild ride.

The last big storyline involves Isabella’s death after being hit by a train. The way that Gotham is introducing characters is really disheartening.

We meet several Indian Hill escapees who are now dead, and now Isabella has joined these characters. Her relationship with Nygma was starting to grow, and although it was twisted, I was really sort of looking forward to watching this psychopathic relationship develop.

Now, I know the creators may be pushing the Penguin and Nygma angle, and I love the prospect of that, because these two are great friends, but I am not sure why they’re not taking the slow burn with this. Isabella’s resemblence to Kristen is introduced so briefly and Nygma barely gets a chance to react to her being okay with that and even embracing the resemblance, that all I can see is a missed opportunity.

All in all, this episode of Gotham is very solid with a lot more character development. Although it feels like some opportunities are lost, I feel like ultimately the rest of Gotham’s season will be stronger because of it.

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What did you think of this episode of Gotham? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Gotham airs Mondays at 8/7c on Fox.


Lauren Busser is a senior writer at Tell-Tale TV. Her work has also appeared on Bitch Media and The Hartford Courant. She has also been a dog sitter, worked front end at a bakery, and helped out in a kindergarten classroom. She learned to knit when she was five-years-old and thus, can now complete sweaters at a superhuman speed. She’s currently nursing a novel she’s been making slow progress on for the last six years.

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