At the start of this Gotham season 3 episode 15 review, it makes sense to get some of the obvious out of the way when it comes to Oswald. Of course he’s alive! The show wasn’t going to get rid of one of its central villains at this point in the show.
The bigger surprise to some people out there is probably the sole fact that the Ivy was the one who rescued him, especially given her complete apathy for people. It was almost odd to see her talk about wanting to care for him while simultaneously also showing little to no actual care for him and whether or not he survived. Still, what makes this interesting is it sets up an epic battle between him and Edward Nygma, who spent much of this episode, fittingly titled “How the Riddler Got His Name,” seeing a ghostly version of Oswald as he coped with the fact that he killed one of the few people in the world who actually understood him and some of how he felt.
Most of the Riddler stuff in the episode was sensational, whether it be something as visual as the costume design or as intense as Cory Michael Smith’s performance. To fill his void, Nygma sought a rival, and he found one for a time in Lucius Fox, who was capable enough to play some of his games and understand precisely what it is that he was doing. The back and forth between the two characters was both simple but powerful, and it was especially intense when Ed chose to hold Harvey Bullock and numerous members of the GCPD hostage in the event to further press on his agenda and get everything that he wanted from them.
This is a Riddler that felt earned, and the best scenes of this episode were the ones where he was figuring out his voice and the sort of villain he will be.
Bruce Wayne versus the Court of Owls
This is where things are complicated somewhat, largely because we still don’t love the Bruce 2 side-story. It’s great for David Mazouz the actor since it gives him two different characters, but we think there are other ways for the Court of Owls to try to get to him beyond just training a doppelganger to act like Bruce Wayne and try to dupe even Alfred while they’ve got the real Bruce locked away in what appears to be the Gotham version of the Eyrie from Game of Thrones.
Now that we’ve thrown that out there, we do find the bulk of the stuff with Jim Gordon and his uncle, who is really operating against him and for the sake of the Court, to be very fascinating. It makes sense that Jim would want to trust this guy and his claims that he’s been forced to work with the Court for all these years, given that he’s family. This is a blindspot for Jim. Odds are, it’s a situation that is going to end very badly.
“How the Riddler Got His Name” was a heck of a powerful episode for the show, given that it brought to the table virtually all that you could want from a good hour of Gotham. It had some emotion, some shocking twists and turns, and also some great performances across the board. While we need to be convinced on Bruce 2, everything still contains tremendous potential. Grade: B+.
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