How The Riddler Got His Name marked Gotham’s long-delayed return. It’s going to take some time to build up to the excitement level of the winter finale, but I’m learning not to bet against Gotham.
Nygma was going around killing off Gotham’s intellectual elite in pursuit of his purpose. And having hallucinations of Oswald in the process. This was at least consistent with Nygma’s coping mechanism with the haunting visions of Kristen. I’d complain more about Oswald’s goofy dance number, but at least it was in the context of a hallucination. Not the basis of an entire episode…
It was refreshing to see Lucius Fox be Nygma’s Batman stand-in as opposed to Gordon. Jim is more of the destroy everything in sight and ask questions later type. Lucius is far more suited for a battle of wits and this episode really delivered in their confrontations. If nothing else, it was good to see Chris Chalk get a prime spotlight for once. He played off Donal Logue well thanks to his deadpan delivery.
With Nygma deciding on his villain alter ego complete with green suit, I’m looking forward to this Riddler/Lucius rivalry continuing. Cory Michael Smith has justified the decision to accelerate Nygma’s turn to villainy. Smith has delivered big time and really captures The Riddler’s demeanor well, particularly with his impatience after saying a riddle.
Naturally, Oswald isn’t dead. He’s been nursed back to health by Ivy. Apparently a bullet to the chest and a dunk in the river is enough to convince Oswald that Nygwald isn’t happening. Now, he wants to kill his old pal.
While the main plot was highly entertaining, the subplots didn’t inspire a ton of confidence.
Bruce continued his training with Alfred when a note from Selina arrived. She’s ready to make amends and Bruce reluctantly agrees to meet her. The Bruce/Alfred exchange had the same Batman/Alfred vibe from the comics with Alfred gently nagging about Bruce’s obsessions at the cost of his love life. I always enjoy when the writers can work in these more subtle Batman hallmarks in the show.
But Selina wasn’t interested in seeing Bruce. Bruce Reilly ambushed him in order to take his place and stick him in Arkham’s Alps outpost. This subplot does not excite me. In part because we’ve already seen this with Bruce Reilly and Selina. And the other, less fair complaint, is this body swapped angle was already done to near perfection on Agents of SHIELD. I don’t trust Gotham to be able to handle the nuances to make this subplot work nearly as well.
The Gordon and his Court of Owl uncle Frank subplot could go either way at this point. There’s a decent mystery going here regarding Frank’s allegiance. Sure, he’s probably working Jim, but it’s not definite he really is trying to destroy the Court from the inside. I’m pulling for the latter as that has more long-term and possible tragic potential.
How The Riddler Got His Name delivered with the main storyline, but the other subplots weren’t nearly as interesting yet.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: Jeff Neumann/FOX