This episode of Gotham set up the final episodes to come. I thought the Ivy and Penguin recruiting scenes were interesting more for who they were going after than how they went about doing it. The Faux-Bruce stuff was okay and I was not expecting him to do what he did in the end. The Gordon storyline, which is usually my least favorite was, again, my least favorite. It is dull and doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere. And finally, the Riddler story was not very good (it was mixed in with the Gordon story) even though I did enjoy the Barbra, Tabitha, and Butch interactions.
Are Penguin and Ivy going looking for Santa Claus at the North Pole? Nope he is going to talk to Victor Fries (a name I hate, by the way) to see if he wants to join their little vengeance gang. Next on the list is Bridget (Firefly) who is not in the happiest of places. They seem to have a very good start to a happy dysfunctional family. I don’t see these union lasting long no matter how much Ivy may love having this lot around. We will see.
In the wake of Uncle Frank killing himself, the Court has reached out to Jim Gordon. But why an ancient order of oligarchy would trust a cop who knows that they had a hand in his father’s death is a little silly. Kathryn explains that Gotham needs saving and the city needs his help. They will be calling on him to prove his loyalty to the Court in the future. The Riddler leaves a clue behind after a showing at the theater. The clue was written in iambic pentameter, for those of you who don’t know, “that is how Shakespeare wrote his sonnets and plays.” I laughed at Jim getting that line out of his mouth. Why, writers? Why? I was looking for that to be a thing later in the show, but nope.
Nygma and Barbra are buddies now too… I guess. Seems like this is pick-a-side week. Are you team Riddler or Team Penguin? Barbra poses a riddle to the Riddler asking if he knows who the mysterious group running the show in Gotham is, and the Riddler, loving riddles, is happy to play along. He also wants to announce himself to the city so what better way than to do it on a theatrical stage in front of Gotham’s elite.
After killing an actor or two, he lets the GCPD know that he plans on kidnaping Mayor James, because of course he would know who is secretly running Gotham. He gets his hands on James, and with the threat of the “Box” the mayor gives up the name of the shadowy organization running Gotham. Nygma wants to bring them out into the open so he puts them on blast on TV. The Court gives Jim a call and tells him to prove himself by bringing Nygma to them. After giving Nygma something he could not refuse, an answer to a riddle, Gordon walks Nygma right into the Courts’ hands.
Alfred and Faux-Bruce or his experimental name, 514A, are doing their thing when Alfred senses something off about Bruce. If he only knew. Faux-Bruce is having his nosebleeds again, which cannot be good. He is worried and goes to see Kathryn, who tells him he is dying. Imminent death seems to have softened his heart because he does not want Selina to get hurt in the Courts’ plan to cleanse Gotham. He tells her the truth and that she is in danger. Like the characters last episode, Selina was not nice to 514A and as a result she gets pushed out a window. The things people do for love.
Best Scene: Ivy and Penguin are out recruiting and go after Firefly. She’s not interested at first until Ivy talks about how they are all freaks and that she does not have to be alone anymore, but could be part of a family. Penguin offers to sweeten the deal by killing her boss, but Firefly has her own way of dealing with mean people. Fire in the face.
Most Ridiculous/Funny Scene: Alfred and Master B playing chess. What is he? A hip-hop artist? Again, stop trying so hard, writers.
Honorable Mention: “My name is the Riddler…” strike a pose!
Geek Moment: Not sure if this is the best or worst moment of the show. The writers again went back and used a scene from another superhero movie, but this time it was one that was not so good. Halle Berry’s Catwoman. Ugh! Selina gets pushed from a window by Faux-Bruce and is seemingly killed, but the cats have come out to play.
Honorable Mention: The Riddler leaves his first question mark box for the cops to find. This is so 1960s Batman the TV show — in a good way, though.
As I said in the beginning, this episode was ho-hum over all with some interesting things sprinkled in. I feel the writing was poor over all, with some very poorly choice phrases used as well as some scenes used from other bad movies that we could have done without. Why not do something new with the Selina’s re-birth into Cat-woman and not use the very bad Cat-woman movie with Halle Berry or Alfred trying to be “down” calling Bruce by his rap-star name. On a more positive note, I will say the breakdown of Barbara’s and Tabitha’s relationship was well paced and I continue to enjoy the interaction between Penguin and Ivy.
“The Primal Riddle”
Gotham: Heroes Rise – S3E17 – “The Primal Riddle” | 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.