…..I have no banter to start this episode review. So…..let’s just get to it. This is Gotham season 4 episode 4, “The Demon’s Head”.
Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) and Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee) take the embalming knife of the Mesopotamian King Balahsi to be inspected by an antiques expert of the natural history museum in Gotham, Niles Winthrop (Dakin Matthews) and his budding antiques expert grandson Alex (Benjamin Stockman). Both of them seem to take a very particular interest in the knife. Bruce gives them the knife to gather as much information as they can for one day.
Meanwhile, Edward Nygma (Corey Michael Smith) is residing in a creepy, poorly lit room, complete with newspapers and articles placed all over the walls, to create a good enough riddle to take out Oswald as well as prove to himself that he has not lost his Riddler touch.
Later on that night, Winthrop takes a closer look at the knife and discovers ancient symbols on the knife that speak about “a demon’s head.” Alex asks about what the demon’s head is, and his grandfather replies that the demon’s head is not a thing, but an actual person. A thousand-year-old legend tells of a man that has the power to resurrect. That man went by the name of Ra’s al Ghul.
It just so happens that at that moment, Ra’s al Ghul himself (Alexander Siddig) appears at the museum. Sensing that this is no ordinary guest at the museum, but an intruder, Niles orders Alex to go and hide until help arrives.
Of course, Ra’s got word that Bruce Wayne had dropped off the embalming knife for a night in the museum, and has stopped by to procure it. Despite being interrogated and threatened, Niles does not give up information as to where the knife is. Ra’s then snaps his neck, killing him instantly, leaving Alex alone to hide and cry in the dark.
Hours later, Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) is called to investigate the scene of the crime in the museum. Bruce tries to get involvedand reveals Alex’s involvement in the situation. Bruce also mentions that someone else seemed to be interested in the knife other than Ra’s: Barbara Kean (Erin Richards).
Speaking of whom, Ra’s meets up with Barbara to introduce a man-dog like a creature named Anubis. Ra’s has brought out Anubis to track down the knife and Bruce Wayne……..seriously, look at him.
At the Iceberg Lounge, Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) has a meeting with Sofia Falcone (Crystal Reed), with Victor Zsasz (Anthony Carrigan) present.
Gordon goes off to interrogate Barbara, but their meeting is awesomely interrupted by Bruce, who is very passionately angry about Ra’s putting Alex, an innocent, through the exact tragedy that Bruce is familiar with. He accuses her of working with Ra’s….so obviously, Barbara denies it with her sass.
Jim and Bruce go to the museum library to find Alex when they’re suddenly attacked by Anubis and his new trainer and assassin (Owen Harn), who speaks in what appears to be in an ancient dialect. They are searching for the knife. He and Jim have a little scuffle and manage to beat some mess out of them and head on out to the precinct, however, Bruce and Alex have apparently escaped.
At the precinct, speak of the Demon’s Head, Ra’s al Ghul arrives and wants to talk with Gordon under the guise of a Namba Parbat officer. (For those who do not know what that is, Namba Parbat is a place in the DC comics. Kind of like Shangri-La). While being questioned by Jim, Alfred barges in the office and goes all bad ass butler on Jim and Ra’s, demanding to know where Bruce is. After Alfred recognizes him, Ra’s seems to vanish from the area.
Sofia meets up with a few of loyal mob members of Carmine, but are interrupted by Penguin and Victor Zsasz (Anthony Carrigan). While Zsasz takes care of the mobsters the only way, he knows how Cobblepot takes Sofia to another room to have a chat. In actuality, Cobblepot used Sofia to weed out any traitors to avoid any more competition. It’s a new Gotham. And there’s a new way of doing things. Oswald then receives another message from Edward’s messengers to have another meeting in another location since the last one was such a bust.
Bruce and Alex manage to escape and flee to the National Museum and get the knife but are once again attacked by Anubis and the assassin. Jim Gordon arrives on the scene and takes care of both of them. Unfortunately, another guest has arrived late at the museum. Ra’s appears and holds Alex hostage at knifepoint, demanding the knife in exchange for Alex’s safety. Jim urges Bruce to give him the knife. But a very torn Bruce can’t just give Ra’s the knife. If a man that dangerous wants the knife for something, there’s no telling what may happen. Impressed by his unwilling heir, Ra’s slits Alex’s throat and lets himself be caught and taken to Blackgate Prison.
Fed up with Oswald not showing up to either one of his riddled locations, Edward storms into his lounge, waving a gun and ranting. Oswald appears and explains to Edward that he did not show up to any location was because well….his riddles sucked. They weren’t clever and could not have one distinct answer. And in spite of Edward’s claim of them being right, his riddles were completely illogical and nonsensical. Adding insult to injury, Cobblepot points out that Edward’s intellect has been damaged and gone and that he is not the Riddler anymore. He’s barely even Edward Nygma.
Bringing him out for an encore, Cobblepot calls out Victor Fries (Nathan Darrow) to freeze him again. Once Edward seems to be completely reluctant to be frozen again, Oswald decides not to freeze him, feeling that Edward not living and being known as the Riddler is humiliation enough than being a frozen centerpiece.
Jim and Sofia make out and do it.
The last thing we see is Ra’s al Ghul being taken into Blackgate. Being escorted by the police and arriving at the gate, Ra’s smiles.
This episode was written by, wait for it……..are you waiting?......I hope you are, cause this episode was written by Ben Mackenzie himself! Well done! Showing off your mad directing and writing skills in Gotham.
I know I haven’t done my likes and dislikes in a while, but this new schedule change for Gotham is still sort of causing my schedule with work and everything to become somewhat hectic, so please, bear with me for now.
But one thing I really did love is the talk between Alex and Bruce. It had some sort of magnitude to it. It was, I guess, weirdly cool....
I’d give this episode an 8.5/10
Until next time. As always, stay weird.