A 'Villain' is Born! #Gotham S3 Ep15 "How the Riddler Got His Name" Spoilers, Recap, & Review

Great, green garment, Batman! Gotham has returned after a long, long hiatus, much to the delight of fans of the show. Even the title alone is sure to catch anyone’s attention: ‘How the Riddler Got His Name’. Along with the title of the spring premiere of season 3, you might catch something else: The original tagline for the first part of season 3 was Mad City, aptly named after the Mad Hatter himself, Jervis Tetch, played with a somewhat perverted view of childlike innocence that the villain is mostly known for by the Australian actor Benedict Samuel. However, the tagline has changed into Heroes Rise. Now, it’s no secret that I myself tend to lean towards the villains, but we have seen many badass bad guys grow and thrive in the city of Gotham, but now it’s time to see just what our heroes will do to combat said villainy. Remember: a good villain inspires change. A villain acts. Heroes react.


Well, to use a cheesy line, the episode started out (literally) with a BANG! We first see a professor in his laboratory. Now, why should we care about this guy? Because Edward Nygma does, that’s why! (Played by Corey Michael Smith) He manages to tie up the professor and what does Ed do? Ask the poor egghead riddle after riddle. Unfortunately, the professor was not smart enough to match I.Q.’s with Edward. Nygma becomes enraged and almost saddened by each wrong answer to his riddles, until Edward basically smart shames the professor and then, well…… BOOM! You may be asking “Why would he do that? What’s his plan?” Calm down, and I’m going to get to that; I’m just giving you a spoiler recap for starters.

Speaking of villainy, we also see our favorite group that works in the shadows, the Court of Owls. You remember Bruce Wayne’s clone? (Played by David Mazouz) Well, guess what? The Court has been training him to become the perfect imposter of our hero Bruce. We see that Kathryn (played by Leslie Hendrix) declare that the clone’s training is complete. We also see a new character, Frank (played by James Remar), who turns out to be Jim Gordon’s uncle. Yeesh. Talk about a family history; Jim’s father was a decorated veteran and cop, and now we see that Jim’s uncle has been a member of the Court for who knows how long? Apparently, Kathryn wants Frank to reach out to Jim and ask him to join the Court. But if he can’t convince him….. use your imagination.

Back to Edward, still living in Dahl Manor, we see that he has been losing sleep and he has been taking pills. What kind of pills? My best guess is some form of the hallucinogenic drug. Why? The audience has seen, throughout the seasons that Edward does tend to see hallucinations, much to Ed’s chagrin. This time he’s taking pills to see visions whenever he needs to. And who he might be seeing in his head? Why, his ex-best friend, Oswald Cobblepot. (Played by Robin Lord Taylor) Yeah, it turns out that Edward is still in need of guidance to become more of who he is; more of a villain (his words, not mine). In Edward’s mind, Oswald is soaking wet, has a crab or two crawling on him, and is covered in scum. That would make sense, because the last time those two saw each other, Edward shot Oswald point-blank and pushed him into the cold waters by the docks. Literally, most things in Gotham go down at the docks. So Edward imagines his dead partner and summons him whenever he needs someone to talk to or some guidance. It would be more heartfelt if Edward’s mentality weren't deteriorating before our eyes. What Edward wants now in his life is to feel whole, complete, to figure out just who he really is. Nygma’s conclusion to that answer is to find the brightest minds in Gotham and see who can match his own intellect. To each their own, and all that. Mirage Oswald keeps fighting him on every step, saying that the way he’s going about this in a completely stupid way. Then Edward gets an idea for another contestant: Jim Gordon (Played by Ben McKenzie). Now, I like Jim, I really do, but come on. He is intelligent and strong in his own right, but I don’t think he would last a few rounds with Edward Nygma.

Edward sends a singing telegram to the GCPD, where Captain Harvey Bullock (Played by Donal Logue) is still cleaning up from the big hoopla that was left in Jerome Valeska’s wake. Lucius Fox (Played by Chris Chalk) informs Bullock about recent killings that have been going on in the city as of late. He takes note that each victim is either artistic or very intellectual. Fox is interrupted by the singing mentioned above telegram, telling them about the next possible victim. The card, of course, has a puzzle on it. The puzzle turns out to be a location: a chess tournament. Of course, Lucius Fox figures it out in less than a minute, and he, Harvey, and other cops from the precinct are on the move.


If you’re wondering about Jim, don’t worry. He’s just taking some time off to go on a hunting trip with his estranged uncle Frank. What could go wrong?

At the chess tournament, we notice that Edward Hazen overlooking view of the event.  Again, he summons Oswald.  Edward’s attitude towards his hallucination of Oswald is not necessarily bitter.  That may seem strange, give in their last encounter, but we see that Edward does not hold much malice towards Oswald.  In fact he still regards him as his best friend.  Of course there is tension, but Edward does not really care for that at the moment.  However the hallucination of Oswald is still fighting Edward at every step in turn that he makes.  Edward even thanks Oswald for coming, to which Oswald replied that he did not have much of a choice.  Edward is not too surprised when he sees the GCPD come in, but he is surprised to see Lucius Fox.  You could consider it a delightful surprise.  Ed activates an electrical device that is rigged to every chessboard in the building.  No one is safe for the then move or not.  But that does not matter, Edward has found his intellectual match.  Lucius Fox.  And he is already solved another riddle, a phone number leading to the person responsible.  Edward Nygma.  The phone call consisted of another riddle.  Which leads Lucius to a grim answer: the belly of the beast.  Which literally means that he had to cut into the belly of one of Edward’s victims for his next clue…..ew.

We take a minute to focus on Bruce and Alfred (played by Sean Pertwee) as they continue their training.  Knife throwing training, which is freaking awesome in my book.  But Bruce is clearly distracted in it interferes with his training.  Alfred calls him on it, and what is on his mind is Selina Kyle (played by Camren Bicondova).  Long story short: Selina’s mom turned out to be a garbage human and Bruce kind of knew about it, but did not tell her.  They had kind of a messy breakup.  Bruce tells Alfred that he received a note in the mail recently from Selina asking him to meet up with her.  Bruce knows that his training is really important, especially after what happened with Jerome, but he can’t get her out of his head.  So Alfred suggests that he takes her up on her note.

While Bruce is wandering the city, he comes across Sonny Gilzean and a bunch of his thugs.  They start messing with him until Selina arrives.  As it turns out, she did not send that note to Bruce.  And then she storms away. Sonny and his guys start beating up Bruce at first, but the rejection from Selina seemed to take its toll on him and he fought back, and kicked major ass, I might say.  As he turns to go back home, he encounters his clone, who drugs him unconscious as he plans to take his place.

We go back to Bullock, who is speaking at the police officer’s graduation ceremony. Until, uh-oh, Edward shows up and knocks him out.  All the while, Mirage Oswald insists that there is no Edward without him.  Edward admits some truth about that statement, but he will find something new in something better to replace Oswald with in his heart.

We see Lucius and Lee (played by Morena Baccarin) examining a dead body, cutting open his stomach, to reveal a police badge.  That match belongs to Harvey.  Lucius knows where Harvey is and he immediately leaves for the ceremony. To the young cadet’s remorse, Edward replaces Harvey as speaker.  He throws a grenade into the crowd, but not before giving a riddle.

Lucius finally meets up with Edward who has Harvey tide up in a chair which is suspended over a stairway. Edward gives Lucius three chances, three riddles, to save Harvey.  Fox gets the first two riddles wrong, but the last one he got absolutely right. Lucius also finds out that Edward killed Oswald Cobblepot, their mayor. But, we get a thumbs up from Edward while still making Harvey fall to his death.  Lucius manages to catch him in time, only to find that the green suited man was gone.

On Jim Gordon’s end, he and his uncle have a long talk.  Franks says that he came back to Gotham to patch things up. Then he comes clean about the Court of Owls, and how they are a secret organization that really pull the strings in Gotham.  He reveals that he and Jim’s father were members of the Court and that that originally wanted him to join as well. But Jim’s father saw how much of a threat they were to the city and try to fight back.  Frank reveals that the Court had set up a car accident that would cause Jim’s father his death.  French had to prove his loyalty, so the Court sent in a way for years to an unknown location. Jim is of course, outraged by this and is unsure whether or not to believe his uncle.


After saving Harvey, he, and some GCPD members go out and try to find Edward in the Dahl Manor.  The only thing that they find is a portrait of the mayor with a big, bright, green question mark on its face.


After a long day, we see Lucius get into his car.  Edward was waiting for him in the back seat with a gun.  Instead of completely submitting to the threat, to Lucius psychoanalyzes Edward.  He sees that everything that Edward has done is some sort of act and he questions him about it.  Nygma states that he feels like there’s someone inside of him, someone that could be feared, and someone that could replace Oswald.  Lucius turns to Edward with a concern to look on his face and tells him that if there’s any part of him, that is still sane, he needs to get help.  Edward seemed shocked at first.  But he shakes it off and says…

“I am the Riddler!”

And he knocks Lucius unconscious.

We cut to inside a house filled with plants.  We see a bed with someone in it.  Hey, guys too, Oswald is ALIVE!!!!!!  To and apparently he was rescued by Ivy Pepper.  He wakes up and says one thing:

“I just remembered, there is someone I have to kill.”

The final moment that we see in the episode is Edward at the docks where he shot Oswald.  He has one final conversation with his hallucination.  To Oswald says that no one will ever be afraid of anyone called the ‘Riddler.'  Edwards says that he did a value their friendship, but now he will pull it Oswald behind him.  He dumps his pills into the water.  He stands up straight placing a bowler hat on his head.  The last thing that we see is a green suited man, Edward Nygma, no, the Riddler walk away.

Overall I did love the episode.  It was really nice to welcome Gotham to back on Monday nights.  It was so great seeing the characters come back and it was so great to see their next step or their journey in a pre-Batman Gotham. It does my heart good to see the actors bring more and more to the characters that we to all know and love to the table.

Things I liked:

Every single scene that Corey Michael Smith was in, he is now the Riddler, to and he loves every single minute of it. The Riddler is someone that a lot of us know even if we don’t read the comics.  He is flashy, showy, intelligent, incredibly vain, and absolutely arrogant.  Smith has already begun to take on to the Riddler, and already he is showing much potential, and he will certainly make his mark as the third person to ever be a live actor for the Riddler, and I can’t wait.

I always love me some Harvey Bullock. That should go without saying.

The relationship between Edward and Oswald as it continued seemingly after death.  The illusion of Oswald said to Edward that he really isn’t talking to the real person.  That he just imagined something that is already in his mind, but he just won’t face it.  It shows that Edward really did respect Oswald and that he did see him as a teacher for him.  Edward knew that he couldn’t just turn away from Oswald after he shot him.  He needed to figure out who he was without Oswald.  And the conclusions that Edward reached as he trudged through his epiphany was really enjoyable to see.

LUCIUS FOX, BABY!!!!!!!!  A lot of people know only about Alfred taking care of Bruce.  But Lucius Fox has just an important a role in Bruce’s life.  Sometimes I see Alfred as the bright side of Bruce’s brain, and Lucius is definitely the left side.  As a singular person, Lucius Fox is absolutely not one to be trifled with, especially when it comes to intelligence.

Poison Ivy saving the Penguin? AWESOME!!! 

Bruce Wayne KICKING ASS!!!!

Alfred’s Shepard’s pie

Things I didn’t like:

Lee Thompkins. Don’t like her. Never did from the beginning.

8 out of to10!

Well done, Gotham. Well, freaking done!

Until next time, stay weird, Gotham