Gotham: Executioner

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Ivy did what, now?

Things take a turn for the GCPD in “Executioner.” Gordon is pursuing a lead he really doesn’t want to: Dr. Simon’s dying identification of Barnes as the killer. He and Lee talk about the murder at her party, and stay professional, which is nice to see. Gordon then goes to Bullock with his suspicions, who very understandably doesn’t want to believe that Barnes has gone bad. They finally agree to work the case together, but Bullock maintains he’s going to prove Barnes innocent. They both agree they hope he’s wrong.

Barnes, meanwhile, is embracing his new… passion? Compulsion? Hobby? He has rounded up a group of thugs he’s been keeping watch on for a while. After ranting for a while, he earns the title of the episode. It’s an new ugly side to the Captain. Alice’s legacy is wreaking havoc on the poor Captain.

Speaking of new sides to people, the pseudo-adult Ivy is back, and up to no good. She’s a lot clumsier than her adult self in the comics, and this is just painful to watch. Especially remembering how old she actually is. She does manage to steal a nice necklace, but with no finesse at all.

Out at the strangest ongoing sleep-over on the show, Nygama is nervously checking his watch. He’s waiting for a call, but not at all the one he gets. The GCPD has him come in to identify Isabella’s body. It’s a horrible blow for Nygma, and Penguin’s reaction is making me want to smack him. Nygma’s no saint, of course, but Penguin is really crossing way too many lines here.

Possibly the best reacion of the week is in the next scene. Selena is feeding various stray cats that are hanging out at her place when she gets a visitor. Ivy shows up, and, after taunting Selena for a while, admits who she is. Selena’s face is priceless.

Gordon continues with his own theory about Simon’s death. Barnes catches Gordon searching his office, but Gordon covers nicely. Barnes ends up taking Gordon with him to run down a lead in Dr. Simon’s death. It’s a very tense drive as the two of them verbally fence. It’s a nicely written and acted scene.

Selena, very at a rare loss, calls Bruce about the returned Ivy. Ivy is less then thrilled to see Bruce, and the interactions among the three of them are entertaining. Bruce really needs to learn when to shut up. The reunion is interrupted by men in black with odd face masks and crossbows, of all things. Did we stumble into a vampire hunting show? Selena, Bruce, and Ivy flee, and Ivy admits she might be in trouble. No kidding? Ivy trying to negotiate with Bruce about the necklace is fun to watch. Selena is clearly growing more and more annoyed at her former friend.

Nygma is completely crushed by Isabella’s death and is curled up on a couch blasting opera, which isn’t helping Penguin, who has chosen this odd time to get his portrait painted. Sorry your lady died, turn down the music so my artist can concentrate? This really is getting to be a weirder and weirder house. Nygma resolves to go say goodbye to Isabella by going to the scene of her death. While most underestimate the Riddler, likely because of the 60’s tv show, he’s one of Batman’s sharpest foes, and one of the few to give Batman a run for his money, mentally. All this is to say that Penguin should be nervous about him poking around.

Barnes has Gordon backed into a corner, and give Gordon points, he won’t back down. Gordon has his faults, but he’s a brave man. After some tension and ratcheting up the suspense, Bullock arrives with the GCPD to try and defuse the situation. Or at least save Gordon. Gordon manages to use the chaos to run for his life, while Barnes pursues with a truly improbable number of shells in his shotgun. Eventually, there’s a resolution to Barnes’ plot here, which doesn’t go the way I thought it would.

The other two subplots have some interesting twists and turns. Nygma shows just how smart he is, although in fairness, he has a bit of luck. Penguin’s twisted plan is running in to a lot of snags. It is nice watching Nygma put the pieces together and watching Penguin’s reaction. The Selena/Bruce/Ivy trio try to make things right with the man Ivy stole the necklace from, but find out they were wrong about a few assumptions, although they get a new clue. The crossbowmen themselves pop up again, and find something that ties back to the very first episode of the series.

What I liked: Bruce is clueless about women still, which works for his age, but he’s starting to show the intelligence and leadership he’ll need later in life. Selena’s reaction to Ivy’s reveal was great. The entire Barnes plot worked, and left things on an interesting note. I’m intrigued by the crossbow/vampire hunters (hey, they don’t name ‘em, I get to call ‘em what I like). And maybe we’re finally rid of Tetch, who has been lingering like a nasty cold you can’t shake.

What I didn’t: Barnes deserved better. I feel for him, and for Isabella for that matter. I’m not liking the new Ivy.

Taking the Week Off: Again, they are smart enough not to cram everyone in. Recurring characters we don’t see this week include Alfred, Barbara Kean, Tabitha Galavan, Butch (I’m sure he has a last name), and Mario Falcone.

This was one of their better episodes. I liked most of what they did. I don’t like the resolution of the Barnes plot, but it was well done. I’ll give this one a 3.5 out of 5. I can’t wait to see what happens next with Nygma.

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