He seemed to have a great respect for Jim Gordon and it was hard to see just when he was going to go from socially awkward to socially deviant. After he murdered Detective Flass it was obvious it wouldn’t be long. After he takes care of Kristin Kringle’s abusive boyfriend he swoops in and gets the girl, only to murder her too. This gave the feeling that any minute now we’re going to get some Riddler action. It wasn’t until Jim Gordon promised Lee that he’d look into Kristin Kringle’s disappearance that we got what we’ve been waiting for. When Gordon started asking Nygma questions it made something snap in Nygma. He seemed to have a lot of respect for Jim, but now that he sees him as a threat it’s open season on Detective Gordon.
Right from the start this episode was fun and exciting. It felt like a bit of a throwback to the Batman ’66 series. The oversized fake bomb, the cops bumbling around looking for clues and the best was when Gordon and Bullock figured out the first riddle. You could have superimposed Adam West’s Batman and Burt Ward’s Robin over Gordon and Bullock and it would have felt natural. The writers did a great job with Nygma. In order to modernize him and not make him such a cartoony villain they made him really smart and devious. Instead of just displaying his quirky riddle making they showcase his intelligence. He plans everything and covers every little last detail in order to frame Jim Gordon and it works perfectly.
In other villain news, Penguin has been successfully brainwashed by Hugo Strange and for what purpose? Who knows. It’s odd to see this side of Penguin after he went from the guy who held Fish Mooney’s umbrella to king of Gotham’s underworld back to a normal guy. He makes his rounds to apologize to those he hurt and to thank Nygma for helping him out, then to tell his dead mother he’s sorry for not making it to her funeral. As he’s at her grave he meets his long lost father, Elijah Van Dahl, played by none other than Paul Reubens.
Elijah is overjoyed at meeting the son he never knew he had. Unfortunately, Elijah has a wife and two step-children who don’t seem to care for him. Grace Van Dahl is played by Melinda Clarke and if there are any fans of the show, The O.C., watching Gotham you probably got a little excited at the fact that Ryan Atwood (Ben McKenzie) and Julie Cooper (Melinda Clarke) are in a show together again. Maybe Seth Cohen will show up as Jim Gordon’s cell mate in prison?
It was also fun to see Ivy Pepper showing off her botany skills. She may be cultivating illegal “magic” mushrooms to be sold by Gilzean’s street thugs, but still. Bruce and Selina find themselves in a heap of trouble and Bruce’s face is used for a punching bag. It’s ok, since Bruce is on his own and wants to learn to survive without his money he learned his first lesson in being thrifty. Now he doesn’t have to buy a Halloween costume, he can go as Sloth from The Goonies. There was a pretty great seen with Bruce and Selina. Bruce explains to Selina that getting that beating was great. The feeling it gave him; he now knows that he’s unbreakable. Selina has to let him know that nobody’s unbreakable.
It will be interesting to see what happens with Nygma now. Who will he target next? What will become of Barbara Keane? What’s going on with Penguin’s new family? So many question!