Tuesday, April 25, 2017

My Review of Gotham's 3x15: "How The Riddler Got His Name"

Written by Megan Mostyn-Brown
Directed by TJ Scott

Nygma (to Lucius): "Oh come on, Foxy. I'm the Riddler"

It's been three months since the last episode and apparently now we're in the official second half of Season 3, which almost makes me wonder where those other three episodes (let's call them the other Jerome arc) fit into things but we're back and if this is what we can expect in the final eight episodes of the season, then we're off to a good start.

Ever since putting a bullet into Oswald and leaving him for dead, poor Edward has been at a bit of a loss for himself. It seems that terrorising intellectual types and murdering them when they fail to solve his riddles isn't quite as fun as Nygma thought they would be, so needless to say, he decides to up his game this week.

Being challenged by the dripping hallucinations of Oswald, whom Nygma seems to deliberately bring about every time he chewed on a pill in this episode, Edward gets the bright idea of bagging himself an enemy to go along with his newfound villain status. The candidate for this accolade of course was going to be Gordon but this episode decided to take a clever turn by having Lucius unsuspectingly take on the role instead after intercepting one of Eddie's deadly riddles.

It's moments like this that I truly find myself loving this show. Having Lucius be the thorn into Nygma's side is a far better proposition than Gordon. Aside from the fact that Lucius has been savagely underused ever since Chris Chalk was made a regular back in Season 2, this episode served as a great opportunity to highlight how great Lucius actually can be as a character when the writers actually give him something to do.

Lucius's scenes with both Bullock and Leslie during Nygma's terror campaign were great but his one on one moments with Nygma were truly the best part of the episode. For a moment it looked like Lucius was almost reaching out to Edward before the latter embraced his new criminal identity and life on the run after failing to kill Bullock as well for good measure.

Of course another great thing about this episode was when we weren't getting Nygma haunted by Oswald and mulling over their friendship, the latter also turned up to be alive and was being looked after by Ivy of all people. Now I wasn't surprised that Oswald would be alive (then again, who would've been?) but this was the second surprise pairing of the week and it was only a brief scene. Still, there's more to come with Oswald being on the warpath though.

As for the rest of the episode, the other two plots were merely okay. Bruce failed to patch things up with Selina but he did manage to get replaced by his clone and seemed to be in a snowy prison of sorts, which had some Batman Begins callbacks to be honest. Of course, the Court of Owls stuff worked alright in the background.

As for Gordon, he reconnected with his uncle and seemed to have a reasonable amount of scepticism about Frank's motives for seeking him out right now. I liked that Gordon was taken away from the main Nygma plot this week but he's going to be an even bigger pain in the backside for the Court of Owls for Bruce, so I'm not sure why Kathryn is even indulging Frank's attempts to manipulate Jim into joining up.

- Barbara, Butch and Tabitha sat this episode out and aside from one scene alloted to Selina, Ivy and Leslie each, this definitely felt like a very male centred episode. Also Nygma kept called Lucius 'Foxy'. I'm just saying.
- The tagline for the remaining episodes this season is called Heroes Rise.
- I absolutely loved Oswald's risque little musical number - a version of Amy Winehouse's Wake Up Alone. Can we please have a musical episode next season, writers? Go on, you know you want to.
- Chronology: A couple of weeks since the events of The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies.

How The Riddler Got His Name might have seemed relatively simple in terms of how Nygma finally embraced his identity but it certainly made for a compelling little episode and along with giving Lucius some much needed screen time and that musical number, how could you not love this one?

Rating: 9 out of 10

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