If there was ever a show going all out right now for the sake of craziness, it’s “Gotham.” However, at the same time you have to wonder if some of the craziness is simply too … crazy.
Let’s start off with the good and bad when it comes to Captain Nathaniel Barnes. The good news is that despite everything that he went through tonight as the Executioner, complete with confronting Jim Gordon and trying to get his head on a swivel, he is actually still alive somewhere in an institution. The bad news is the way it got there felt far too rushed. This is a character who’s been a significant part of the show for over the past year, so to have the past three episodes effectively bring about his end felt terribly rushed. Michael Chiklis is a talented enough performer that very easily, you could have kept him around for several more weeks, and caused him to inflict far more damage before his eventual capture.
The culmination of this episode felt a lot like the confrontation between Jim and Barbara last year, or before that what happened with Jerome, with the difference being that Barnes is still alive and can be brought back eventually. To be fair, he could be back in a week or two, given that we don’t know the status of Chiklis moving forward. It just doesn’t seem logical. Getting rid of Barnes now allows Bullock potentially to replace him, and that is something he needs given that Donal Logue is lacking enough quality content on this show. Many actors are seeing a sputtering out of screen time just because there are too many cast members in general. The only use of Lee Thompkins tonight, for example, was seeing her lie for Jim and Harvey in order to get the police after Barnes.
One person who did rise from the ashes somewhat this week was Ivy, who was involved in a very silly story in which she went to Selina and by extension Bruce over what happened when she tried to use one of her new plant perfumes to steal a valuable necklace. She managed to grab it, but the effects of her perfume wore off before she could get out the door with it. There was someone out to get her, and lucky for her that person was killed by a mystery group, one we’re assuming could be the Court of Owls.
Where there some funny moments in this story? Sure, such as Ivy being a human vacuum, her harassing Selina about her dating life, or Ivy’s response to Bruce commenting on her attractiveness. This whole Ivy storyline is to date ridiculous, but at least it was entertaining.
Meanwhile, we’re really hoping the Nygma is playing a game on Oswald in telling him that he thinks Butch is responsible for what happened to Isabella. He knows that someone with a lot of power and influence was behind making her death look like an accident, and how much of that does Butch really have at the moment? This is an incredibly smart man, and while he may not know about Oswald’s feelings, he knows that this is a man without much of an emotional connection in life, and someone who seemingly cares about him and would be upset to see him with someone else. If Nygma completely misses that, despite being a villain known for his intelligence, we’ll be somewhat disappointed.
For now, we’re looking at the past couple of episodes as “Gotham” thinning its herd and regrouping, given that Valerie Vale seems to be out of the story, and now Barnes is right there with her. Jervis Tetch is still out there, but the circumstances of his return are unclear. The show’s setting up the Court of Owls to be the next significant threat, and maybe somewhere after that we’ll see more of Butch since we also know he’s alive. “The Executioner” was a fairly entertaining episode, if a little predictable by and large save for Nygma looking at Butch as a suspect and Barnes making it through the hour alive. We were never bored, but at the same time, we expected a little more of a change to the formula. Grade: B-.
To get some other news on “Gotham,” head over here for a preview for the next installment. (Photo: Fox.)