The Demon’s Head was a departure from Gotham’s typical set up that resulted in the strongest in the early season. This might be a hard one to top though as it didn’t have any weak subplots of lame moments. I’ve enjoyed the previous two seasons, but if they remain the quality of The Demon’s Head, Gotham might be in the running for best comic book show this year.
Bruce wanted some more intel on the heavily-coveted knife and left it in the hands of a researcher and his grandson Alex. It didn’t take much time for Ra’s al Ghul to track them down and kill the researcher, but Alex escaped.
After his portrayal in Arrow, I was leery of how Gotham would handle Ra’s al Ghul, but Alexander Siddig is already the best TV version of Ra’s. There’s an air of authority and royalty that Siddig delivers so naturally in his take on Ra’s along with the hint of danger.
Siddig took a scenario that in previous seasons would have been played for laughs — Ra’s going undercover to the police station — and made it an intense scene. Ben McKenzie was terrific here as well.
Bruce and Gordon have randomly crossed paths before, but this felt like the first ‘official’ team-up. It’s crazy that David Mazouz is taller than McKenzie now. Of course, it’s probably just as good that McKenzie doesn’t have an ego about it to prevent them from having many scenes together without fancy camera tricks.
Riddler’s storyline reminds me of the main plot point of The War of Jokes and Riddles in the Batman comic. In that arc, it was Joker who was broken and could no longer smile. Gotham, is switching that up with having Riddler on the fritz.
I like that the Penguin/Riddler rivalry is remaining a big subplot this season. Even better it wasn’t Penguin’s focus this episode. With Sofia Falcone back in Gotham, he wanted to see if Falcone loyalists would return to her to start a takeover.
Donna Falcone had a sweet ring to it, but Penguin used her to bring the remaining cappos out. Sofia is playing innocent, but I don’t believe for a minute she didn’t return to Gotham to restart the family business. Her romance with Gordon already has more passion than his relationship with Lee or Barbara.
Riddler’s big confrontation with Penguin was amazing. Penguin called Ed out for his bad riddles and decided not to freeze him so he could suffer knowing he was no longer the smartest man in the city. That’s definitely a fate worse than getting iced for Nygma.
It’s time to give some long-deserved credit to Anthony Carrigan for his take on Zsasz. He’s made a one-dimension serial killer in the comic series one of the most consistently entertaining supporting characters on the show. And his bopping along during Riddler’s rap challenges was really funny. The lighting for this episode was exceptional too.
Given the writers’ mindset with liberally borrowing from Batman canon, I half expected and wanted Alex to be Bruce’s proto-Ryan. But while they survived the encounter with Ra’s henchmen combo of Gollum and Hagrid, poor Alex got killed. Gotham rarely goes this route making it a legit shock, but it showed the depths of Ra’s as well as showing Bruce the consequences of his mission.
This season is strongly benefitting from Mazouz’s maturation as an actor. Gotham relied on McKenzie driving the show forward with Gordon’s various stories and now it’s evolving into Bruce Wayne’s journey. The Demon’s Head was a tremendous hour for Gotham and an encouraging sign that this arc is only going to get better.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: FOX