’Gotham’: ‘How The Riddler Got His Name’ Review

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Gotham 315Gotham returned this week and the episode opens up with Edward Nygma terrorizing a professor in the chemistry department who wonders who he is and Nygma admits that what he is trying to find out. Nygma gives the professor a riddle, but doesn’t get the right answer. He starts tying the professor’s hands while dropping another riddle, but Nygma is still not getting the right answer from him. Nygma starts turning on a bunch of gases and tells the professor what he had just experienced with Cobblepot. After Nygma’s third and final riddle, the professor still fails to answer it correctly and leaves the professor to die as the lab blows up.

The next day Nygma is reading the headlines that say that Mayor Cobblepot is still missing before he takes some unknown pill and suddenly sees Oswald in the room, but it’s just a hallucination. Nygma is frustrated that he isn’t able to find someone that is on Nygma’s intellectual level, a new enemy to fill The Penguin’s spot in Nygma’s life. Nygma decides to make Jim Gordon his next enemy and tries to take him out during a chess tournament where he is expecting Jim to show up with cops. But he changes his mind when he spots Lucius Fox and decides to make Lucius his new opponent. The GCPD arrives as they start seeing that people are getting electrified whenever pressing the chess clock that Nygma had re-wired. Later at the station, Lucius and Bullock go through some of the chess boards and pieces to see if the killer left a clue behind, with Nygma did, as he left a number under certain pieces that together form a phone number.

They dial it up and Nygma picks up and isn’t surprised that Lucius figured it out. He warns them of that he has set his eyes on a next target and that they will find it in “the belly of the beast”. Bullock and Lucius interrogate a pawn shop worker about the incident at the chess tournament. They get suspicious when the guy brings up that he was filling in for one of his colleagues who were missing and they know where to look. Lucius goes to see Leslie and discovers the missing pawn shop worker’s dead body and Leslie points out that someone had stitched him up at the side of his stomach. She opens the stitches up and finds inside Bullock’s police badge that had gone missing earlier that day. Lucius realizes that Bullock is Nygma’s next target. Meanwhile, Bullock is getting ready to address a group of police cadets, but Nygma shows up in a green suit and drugs Bullock. Nygma later goes out to speak with the cadets before unleashing a toxic gas to everyone in the room.

Lucius goes to look for Bullock, but is greeted by another message carrier from Nygma and the person accidentally refers to Lucius as “Foxy”, which makes him realize that Nygma is behind all of his. He calls Nygma who tells Lucius to meet him upstairs alone. He finds Bullock tied up at a chair that is hanging from an edge that could kill him. Nygma explains that the antidote is hanging around his neck and that if Lucius doesn’t get any of Nygma’s riddles right, Bullock will fall down to his death. Nygma goes ahead with the riddles, with Lucius answering the first two wrong. However, Lucius answers Nygma’s final riddle right, but the third rope isn’t strong enough to hold Bullock’s chair and he almost falls down before Lucius manages to catch him.

Bizarro-Bruce is rehearsing telling the story when Bruce’s parents died and Kathryn from the Court of Owls is pleased with his performance. She gives Frank Gordon a call to see how he is progressing with his nephew Jim. The Gordon men go for hunting in the forest as James confronts his uncle about what happened between Frank and Jim’s father. Frank tells Jim about the Court of Owls, what they have been up to throughout all these years and that they want Jim to become a member. Jim gets upset over the fact that his father was able to be part of something like the Court. Frank confesses that he isn’t loyal to the Court anymore and explains how Jim’s father discovered some of their darkest secrets which led him to his death. Jim gets furious about all of this and confronts Frank why he has been gone all these years. Frank suggests that they work together to take the Court down by having Jim joining the organization so they can destroy it from the within. Later on when Jim comes back to the cabin, Frank is nowhere to be seen, but he finds a family with photo that has a message on the back: “Help me honor his memory!”

Bruce is training with Alfred, but is clearly distractive because of his dispute with Selina a few weeks ago. Alfred notices and calls Bruce out on it as he shows Bruce a note that Selina left and Bruce storms out. Bruce, reluctantly, agrees to go and meet Selina if it will get Alfred to start nagging him about it. We see Bruce waiting for Selina, but hear a couple of guys and goes to see if they know where Selina is. One of them is Sonny, the guy that Bruce and Selina encountered in Season 2 and he starts harassing Bruce immediately. Selina shows up and breaks the fight up, but isn’t happy that Bruce is there. He tries to apologize to Selina, but she won’t hear it until Bruce confronts her about the note he got in his mailbox. Selina has no idea what Bruce is talking about because she didn’t leave a note for him and warns Bruce to not come back. Sonny and his gang aren’t done with Bruce as they try to rob him.

Bruce starts fighting back and puts his training to use as he takes the gang down. As Bruce tries to get out of the alley, Bizarro-Bruce shows up and asks him how it went with Selina. Bruce realizes that it was him who sent the note and picks up on the fact that his clone is dressed just like him. The clone injects Bruce with a powerful knock-out drug and tells the original version that he has only one purpose: to be Bruce Wayne. The clone returns to the Wayne Mansion and tricks Alfred that he is done with Selina.

Lucius gets into his car and gets ready to take off, but find Nygma waiting for him in the back seat. He confronts Nygma that the gas wasn’t toxic at all and that the antidote was just regular juice. Nygma goes on to talk about there being a stronger person inside of himself that he knew people would fear. When Lucius asks Nygma if he is supposed to fill Penguin’s old spot as a reflection for Nygma, he explains to the GCPD forensic that he finally knows how to be the man that he was always meant to be. Nygma explains that Lucius helped him get to that point. Lucius tries to convince Nygma to turn himself in and get help, but Nygma isn’t budging. Before knocking Lucius out, Nygma says he finally knows who he is: The Riddler.

The next morning, Nygma goes to the docks where he has one last conversation with the Hallucination-Oswald as he is ready to take on the city as The Riddler and throws the pills away. We cut to Oswald waking up in Ivy Pepper’s place and she explains that she found him weeks ago. Oswald remembers what happened to him and tells her that he has someone he has to kill. Frank has returned to the Court and tells Kathryn that he managed to get Jim to consider joining them. He asks her how it went with swapping the real Bruce with the clone and Kathryn assures him that it went more than well. Bruce wakes up as he finds himself in a different outfit and somewhere far away from Gotham City as he looks out through a caged window and sees snowy mountains.

A lot happened in the spring premiere of Gotham that we want to break down and discuss. So hit the NEXT button below and let’s go through some of the highlights and important moments of the Gotham Season 3 episode: “How The Riddler Got His Name”

#5: Edward Nygma Vs Lucius Fox

#4: Uncle Frank – Friend Or Foe?

#3: The Bizarro-Bruce Strikes

#2: Welcome Back, Mayor Cobblepot

#1: Where Is Bruce Wayne Now?

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Andy Behbakht

Andy Behbakht

Andy Behbakht is an online entertainment journalist who has been covering television and movies since 2010. In addition, he is also a podcast producer.

  • z0rk

    I think you should watch the scene with Bizarro-Bruce and Alfred again. I thought it was obvious that Alfred knows something’s wrong, even if he doesn’t realize what it is yet. Look at his reaction to BB’s comment about the food…

  • or27

    My real take was that I learned how much I depend on Ben McKenzie as the anchor and Gordon as the heart. Without that, things fall about for me and the other characters and stories fail to sustain any level of investment or interest. As much as I like Harvey, he only works in tandem with the excellent dynamic that Ben and Donal have with their characters. It seems effortless and I always anticipate it. They have too little time together. Lucius as a minor character who occasionally shares screen time with them is fine, but not as a forced substitute. He’s not even a cop and putting him in the role of partner when there’s a supposed precinct to choose from makes as much sense as a sudden “vacation” or “R & R” for Jim, who never takes any time for any reason unless he’s physically unable. That was lame and lazy. I know that Ben McKenzie directed the upcoming episode airing this Monday, 5/1, and that means he had to do all of the prep work as director as well as lead/actor, but i wish that they had shot more scenes out of sequence to have him as a major part of the A-plot. Like the Riddler, I wasn’t buying the second best scenario.

    I definitely agree that more emphasis on Gordon and his obviously dishonest, manipulative and self-serving uncle was necessary. It was very well-acted, a given, and much more compelling than the other stories. If the goal was to leave the viewers as frustrated and disbelieving as Jim, than it worked with so few sketchy details and next to no information. It was filled with major holes. Obviously, “Frank” and his group have done their observing and know how vulnerable, alone and isolated Jim is as a result of Nygma’s framing him for murder because of the Kringle murder that Lee was pressuring Jim to solve. I’m sure Nygma would have set Jim up regardless of any Galavan circumstances. He would have invented something, anything to save his own skin. However it all came together, Frank did nothing to help Jim then or any time since Peter’s death, which had to be part of the plan. Clearly, Jim’s being used and framed again as they prey on his connection to his father, that terrible childhood trauma, and the only time he’d felt safe as a child. Pretty despicable. I hope that the coming week(s) fill in the blanks about all of the missing, vital areas about Jim’s background and how this all fits. The scenes between Jim and his dad in the flashbacks earlier this season were some of the best of the series. I hope something this important isn’t a throwaway like the plot was in this episode.