Director: Nick Copus
Writers: Robert Hull
First Aired: March 21, 2016
*Non-spoilers and score at the bottom*
Well, it’s certainly been an interesting back half of the season so far hasn’t it? We opened up with a man freezing people in an attempt to try and save his wife. Then we had Bruce Wayne confront the man who killed his parents. Meanwhile in the background, our favorite criminal, Oswald Cobblepot, has been mentally tortured by the menacing Hugo Strange, before being declared legally sane and sent back into society. Now a new threat arises to take down the man who protected this city from criminals, Jim Gordon. Who is the new threat? Well, that’s a riddle you need to figure out… I hate myself for that joke. It’s the Riddler, let’s get on with his first big scheme!
We open to a single man robbing an art museum after making a threat with a bomb. The thief then leaves his calling card and a calling card we’ve been waiting for since the end of season one… A green question mark! That's right, The Riddler has finally come to Gotham. Soon after Gordon and Bullock are sent to look for this thief by Barnes, while he reopens the Galavan case as someone reveals new details on it. When the pair shows up, they begin to piece together clues that the thief left behind such as the artists names and the name of the painting that was stolen. It was actually a clever start to not only this Riddler case, but as Riddler as a whole.
When they piece it together they found the location of a bomb in a train station, which Jim is able to shut off to minimize damage. Cue the heroic trumpets! This was a short episode… Just kidding we aren’t done yet.
While Gordon begins his search, we find Oswald reconnecting to the outside after his time in Arkham, which unfortunately doesn’t go well. When he goes to Butch, he ends up getting tarred and feathered. When he goes to Nygma, he gets turned away due to his bizarre behavior. Without many other choices, he decides to go to the one place he would never be turned away: His mother’s grave. After having a depressing talk with her headstone, another man walks up. Meet Elijah Van Dahl, played by Paul Reubens, who turns out to be Gertrude’s lover, and by extension Oswald’s father. I’ll admit that I thought how these two met felt clunky and for lack of a better term, lazy. I get both of them would just walk up to the grave of the one they loved, but two minutes later one’s like, “Oh hey, I’m your father”? No one is like that! It’s a small nitpick, which is actually made up when Elijah explains his and Gertrude’s history together. A little cliched but nothing to wave a finger at.
Back in the case, we see Nygma set up pieces to incriminate Jim Gordon as a murderer. The best part about it? We see all the pieces get laid out, but we don’t notice. First was a written statement from another officer, which was played off as Nygma got his signature for a report. Then was Nygma murdering said officer with the same crowbar Jim used to break open the locker the bomb was in at the train station. Finally internal affairs brought up that the bomb’s signal came from a payphone RIGHT NEXT TO THE APARTMENT OF THE COP. When Gordon arrives, Barnes shows up a minute later, Gordon’s prints on the crowbar with a dead cop on the ground. The entire plot was brilliant and Riddler-like, which makes me more excited if he becomes the main villain for next season!
The episode ends with a small time skip, where we learn Gordon is found guilty of the murder of Galavan and now the Officer and is sent to Blackgate. Oswald has settled in with his new family, but only Elijah is ecstatic over the whole thing, making me think were about to have some kind of battle for the inheritance. Finally, Bullock promises Gordon that he will find the man who framed him… He just needs to survive in one of the most dangerous penitentiaries in the country… Piece of cake!
Bits and Pieces:
Well, things escalated quickly on most fronts. Jim Gordon went after a bomber and ended up being put away for murdering Galavan, Oswald tried reconnecting with his past life and only ended up finding a better one with a new family, and Nygma has realized his full potential as the clue-leaving psychopath we know and love.