Previously on Gotham, “Mad City: The Gentle Art of Making Enemies”
Gotham is back after a very unusually long Winter/Spring hiatus. When we last left our characters, Nygma who had apparently killed Penguin, Bruce was getting into some family drama with Selina, Gordon had a reunion with his Court-involved uncle, Frank, and the rest of the Gotham gang… well, they are off doing something or other. This arc of the season is called “Heroes Rise.” The show is ending the season like a phoenix rising from the ashes, born again as a platform for the villains and the heroes to take their rightful place in the city that Batman built.
Nygma is trying to find himself without his best friend, Oswald, who he just shot and left for dead in the Gotham River. He doesn’t know how to get out from under Penguin’s shadow and is attempting to enlist the help of Gotham’s intellectual elite to help him solve his greatest riddle: who am I? But when he cannot get his answers from the real world he turns to a drug-induced one. In his chemically enriched brainstorm he comes up with his need for a nemesis to help him determine how to become a villain. And the person he wants to help him in his villain quest is James Gordon.
Gordon is out of town so it looks like he will be dealing with the next best thing… Bullock? Well, kind of. He will actually be battling wits with Lucius Fox with Bullock getting in the way as he does from time to time. Bullock and Lucius are attempting to track down the person who is disposing of smart people. They follow the breadcrumbs from a chess match, which is shocking, to Bullock’s own abduction during a GCPD academy gradation.
Nygma gives Lucius three chances to solve just one riddle and everyone Nygma has kidnaped goes free. The problem is, the answers have to be his personal answers and not just answers that could be correct. After two strikes he answers the third riddle and saves Bullock. Bullock sends the GCPD after Nygma, but Nygma is now after Lucius – not to kill him, but to thank him for help him determine who and what his name really is.
The Court has created their own Bruce Wayne out of the doppelganger we met earlier this season. As they are teaching their new version of Bruce to replace the real Bruce, Alfred is training the real Bruce how to be the “man.” Alfred tells Bruce that a note came for him from Selina, who wants to meet with him after weeks of her ignoring him. Bruce is reluctant at first but changes his mind and goes to see her. Turns out she did not send the note and she tells Bruce not to come looking for her again. Not what he was expecting, but he did get a chance to work his new skills out on some neighborhood bullies. After the fight, faux-Bruce drugs the real Bruce and replaces him. So much for the Jedi training.
Gordon meets with his Uncle, who is trying to make amends for breaking away from the family. He wants to have a relationship with Gordon and wants him to join the family business: The Court of Owls. But his uncle has other plans for the Court and Gordon. He wants Gordon to help him bring down the Court from within.
Best Scene: Bullock and Lucius interrogating a suspect. Bullock with his best suit on, and Lucius invading people’s personal space try to get the guy to talk. Turns out the guy was covering for another guy named “Therion” which is the Greek word for “beast” and is part of Nygma’s clue. Lucius figures it out and Bullock, not the sharpest, thinks he is making things up, seeming to be as smart as he is, as he goes along.
Best Line(s): Lucius says, “Is this what Gordon deals with?” Bullock says, “Thank you. Have you seen my badge?” as Lucius looks on stunned and puzzled.
Most Ridiculous/Funny Scene: “What did I tell you about dripping on the couch?” Nygma says to his hallucination of Penguin as they discuss what makes a villain.
Honorable Mention: The sing-a-gram Nygma sends to Gordon in an effort to get him to track down the killer that has been murdering Gotham’s smart and creative.
Honorable Mention: Nygma dreams his own version of LaLa Land meets The Flash musical. So trippy!
Geek Moment: Nygma says goodbye to Oswald and the Penguin as he transforms himself into the Riddler. Nygma on the pier as the seagulls float in the air and he puts on his bolo hat for the first time was iconic.
The Riddler is born and he does not even need his drugs anymore to be the crazy quizmaster we all love. The theme of this episode was about the ability to look at one’s reflection and understanding the person staring back at you. For Nygma it was the Riddler and for Bruce it was faux-Bruce. I wonder how long they are going to keep Alfred guessing as to why Bruce is smiling as he is cooking? And as we all suspected, no one stays dead on this show. Penguin pulls a Jon Snow and Ivy is his Melisandre, red hair and all. And did I see Ra’s al Ghul in the preview for next episode?
"Heroes Rise: How The Riddler Got His Name"
Starring: Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, David Mazouz, Morena Baccarin, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor, Erin Richards, Camren Bicondova, Cory Michael Smith, Jesica Lucas, Chris Chalk, Drew Powell, Michael Chiklis, Benedict Samuel, and Maggie Geha