[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Director: John Behring
Writer: Ken Woodruff
Stars: Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue & David Mazouz
Gordon investigates Barnes while Ivy turns to Selina for help.
Ivy actually gets to be relevant to the plot in this episode and she’s fun. Maggie Geha does a good job of playing a young teenager. She actually does feel like the same character; Ivy’s weird personality has not really changed. She’s also just as naive as she was. Her interactions with David Mazouz and Camren Bicondova are strong and provide humorous moments. This trio has unexpected chemistry that carried this side of the plot.
Everything between Gordon and Barnes is excellent. This might be one of the best scripts from this show. All of the talk about the law and what it means is interesting. There’s a discussion about whether police should care more about the law or about protecting people. Besides the fact that this idea is strongly relevant right now, it’s well though out in the episode. Barnes used to believe in the law without question which the episode does point out. It’s why Gordon came back to the GCPD; he needs that structure and those lines to keep him in check. And the episode doesn’t ignore the fact that Gordon has done exactly what Barnes is doing. He certainly regrets it and paid the consequences for his decision but he made that choice. And right when he tries to redeem himself, Barnes turns into an exaggerated mirror of who Gordon was last season. It’s wonderful stuff and Ben McKenzie and Michael Chiklis are great in every scene they have together.
I like how well the writers are doing at creating a rogues gallery for Gordon this season. They tried to do this last season with Galavan but it never quite worked. However, the Mad Hatter and Barnes are excellent foils to Gordon and have made this show a lot more interesting.
I’m not sure how I feel about Nygma thinking Butch killed Isabella. I understand that he’s insane so he doesn’t think like a normal person even when he isn’t grieving but that felt like a giant leap to me. The signs obviously point to Penguin. I don’t know if Nygma is so naive that he cannot even conceive that Penguin would kill her.
This is an excellent episode. The main conflict between Gordon and Barnes in interesting and well written. And the subplot with Ivy provides some nice humor as a break. This is a strong addition to an already strong season. If you gave up on this show at some point over the first two seasons, I think season three is where you need to jump back on.