Film & TV Reviews

Gotham Review: A Solid Return in “How The Riddler Got His Name”

by on April 25, 2017

The Riddler, The Court of Owls, Bruce’s doppelganger…this episode did indeed touch on a lot of important points in the crazy world of Gotham. However, in the end, the episode was all about Cory Michael Smith and his amazing work as Edward Nigma and his birth into The Riddler. Gotham has been building to this for quite some time and this was a great way to start, letting The Riddler take center stage, green costume and all.

Nigma has struggled for a long timgotham-scn31-jn0025-hires1-1492715441320_1280we now, fighting his inner demons and trying to discover who he really is. Killing Oswald only pushed him to a deeper place and that combined with no sleep and drugs, all he managed to do was hallucinate and talk to a ‘dead’ Oswald about his constant fight to become something more. Cory Michael Smith has done a fine job with Nigma up to this point and this week, with the birth of The Riddler he really shines and makes the villain come alive in all his wonderful, wacky glory.

Meanwhile, Gordon and his Uncle Frank spend some quality time together and Gordon learns a little more about The Court of Owls and how Frank and his father were involved. Playing the family card, Frank makes an offer to Gordon on behalf of The Court of Owls which may have peaked Gordon’s interest but not in the way dear Uncle Frank believes. It is still unclear which side Frank is playing for and this is a good thing as it plays very well into the whole mysterious vibe The Court of Owls have built around itself.

Bruce Wayne’s doppelganger, also a product of The Court of Owls, confronts the real Bruce and things are changed completely for the rest of this season. Indeed, it is no secret they planned to switch the two Bruce Wayne’s but what was really intriguing was where the real Bruce ends up, especially with the arrival of a well-known villain later in the season.

Hey, and can we talk about what 58fa062eb4196a great team Bullock and Lucius make? No offense Gordon, but these two had great chemistry and I’d love to see them together a bit longer over this season’s final episodes.

The end of the episode was not exactly a surprise and had my least favorite villain to date but hey, maybe she’ll get better. Still, it does set up some interesting confrontations in the near future and I’m sure that was part of the long-term plan all along.

As I stated earlier, this episode touched on numerous story lines that are very important to the overall direction of the show. They were done well and made for a great setup going forward for the rest of the season. However, Cory Michael Smith was far and away the star of this episode, encapsulating everything you would expect from Nigma as he finally crosses over and makes the full transformation into The Riddler.

Gotham has this bad habit of giving us great episodes like this, only to follow it up with something that is not only lackluster but dumb and insulting. I hope this is the start of a new trend and some wonderfully consistent episodes to lead us through what should be a great final batch of episodes.

Four stars out of five


- Cory Michael Smith is amazing as The Riddler

- The back and forth between The Riddler and Penguin continues to be wonderful

- Lots of storylines, all of them relevant


- My least favorite villain made an appearance at the end. What are they going to do with her?

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Bottom Line

A solid episode from top to bottom, "How The Riddler Got His Name" not only highlighted the great Cory Michael Smith's talents but gave us numerous interesting plot arcs to chew on as we march on to the end of the season

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