Gotham Episode Review: "Mad City: Burn the Witch"

by StevenHelmer

A review of the season 3 television episode that first aired September 26, 2016.

Synopsis: Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) forces Bullock (Donal Logue) to reveal the location of Hugo Strange (BD Wong) while Gordon (Ben McKenzie) reluctantly teams up with Valerie Vale (Jamie Chung) in an effort to collect Penguin's (Robin Lord Taylor) $1 million bounty. Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) gets his face-to-face meeting with the people who are really running Gotham.


After what turned out to be a very long and stressful day yesterday, my wife and I finally had a chance to settle down on the couch for about an hour last night to watch this episode. After the build-up from last week's season premiere, I was hoping I wouldn't be let down by this follow up episode. And, as it turns out, I wasn't.

I'll start out by saying I'm still not crazy about Fish Mooney's return to the series. I keep trying to give her the benefit of the doubt. But, each time I do, I wind up being even more disappointed. It's not that I don't like her character at all. I just don't think she's a good fit. Every scene she is in could easily be done with another character, such as Penguin or perhaps even a seriously under utilized Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova).

I'm also not a fan of this whole Gordon/Vale thing. As I predicted last week, she (very quickly) became his love interest. The only thing that is going to lead to is tension when Leslie (Morena Baccarin) returns to the picture and, when you take his already interesting relationship with Barbara (Erin Richards), his love life might become a little too much of a distraction.

That being said, there were some redeeming aspects of this episode.

For one, I liked the story involving Bruce finally learning the truth about what is going on behind the scenes at Wayne Enterprises and Gotham, including the murder of his own parents. His willingness to give up so much to protect those he cares about was an interesting twist from that meeting and I suspect we'll start to see him begin his Batman training soon.

Of course, I'm still not completely sure about his apparent clone. Now that they have officially met, I guess I'll just have to wait and see just how that develops.

Another thing I found I liked about this episode was Ivy (Maggie Geha) being aged and essentially re-born into a beautiful, confident killer. It's definitely a casting/character change that worked really well and I'm excited to see where it leads, especially since we've already gotten a taste of her potential for violence.

Final Opinion

To tell you the truth, I'm going to find it hard to be completely on board with this season as long as Fish Mooney is still around. However, there are enough new developments, including the introduction of one of my favorite villains, to keep things interesting so, for now at least, I'll live with Mooney being on the series.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 09/27/2016, StevenHelmer
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