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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

With Barnes, Gotham tells yet another version of the same story

Illustration for article titled With Barnes, Gotham tells yet another version of the same story

Because The A.V. Club knows that TV shows keep going even if we’re not writing at length about them, we’re experimenting with discussion posts. For certain shows, one of our TV writers will publish some brief thoughts about the latest episode, and open the comments for readers to share theirs.

  • Much like last week’s episode, “Mad City: Executioner” begins with an overwrought monologue from Captain Barnes, concluding with his new catchphrase, “I am the law!” He says it two more times before the episode ends just in case anyone missed it.
  • This is a strange episode in terms of its pacing and place within the larger season. Two of the season’s main plots reach a conclusion of sorts: Nygma learns of Isabella’s death, therefore ending the love triangle and moving into new territory, and Barnes is arrested by Jim Gordon. On the one hand, the expediency with regards to Barnes’ turn is welcome, as that’s a story that’s been told on Gotham more than a few times. On the other hand, Isabella’s demise feels rushed, a predictable and dull way to complicate what was otherwise a loving, productive relationship between Cobblepot and Nygma, while failing to provide any new insight into the characters.
  • When Barnes and Gordon go for that car ride to find Sugar, it’s crystal clear that Gotham is just repeating its season two storyline with the character roles reversed. Here, Gordon is the by-the-book cop, and Barnes is the man seeking justice no matter the cost. The inclusion of the Tetch infection doesn’t suddenly make it inventive.
  • At least Barnes is safely in Arkham now, screaming “GUILTY!” well into the night, so maybe Gotham can move on to a story it hasn’t told before.
  • Isn’t it going to be fun to watch Ivy given stories where she’s nothing but a sex object all season long? So far she’s been creepily groped by a man at a club, and been seen extolling the virtues of looking a certain way so that men give her what she wants.
  • I don’t know about you, but I’m very curious to see what that key Bruce, Selina, and Ivy found unlocks.
  • Bullock’s analysis of the GCPD: “trigger happy killbots.”
  • Thompkins and Gordon still love each other, in case you’d forgotten.
  • Nygma believes Butch killed Isabella, and now he’s about to wage war on him alongside Cobblepot.