No Puzzle Unsolved | Gotham “The Primal Riddle Review”
As the title perfectly describes (The Primal Riddle), there’s one riddle that has evaded all of Gotham, one that especially picks away at Gotham’s Riddler (as one would expect) and Barbara Gordon. The show has been slowly revealing the Court and the total control it has over Gotham, and with so many characters attempting to infiltrate the Court in various ways, we may soon learn far more about the “big brother-like” organization.
Barbara and Nygma have an interesting relationship, especially considering the fact that each one believes they are playing the other, and they are the two characters that are most interested in the mysterious organization. Barbara has risen to power extremely quickly and still has Jim in her back pocket, but she loathes the fact that she can never really be the queen of Gotham with someone else above her pulling the strings. As for Nygma, he is easily the most intelligent character in Gotham, but his ego can’t refuse the riddle of The Court.
At one point, Nygma concocts a plan to taunt the GCPD with Mayor James, since word is that he is one of the few people that knows about The Court. A simple enough plan going up against the GCPD, of course, but his persistence to create a spectacle out of everything leads him to a poor situation. This is one of the many ways in which Barbara and Nygma differ. She would have just tortured James; although, that still wouldn’t have provided the answers for which they were both looking. It just so happens that the gamesmanship between Nygma and Jim will be taken to another level in this episode.
As explained in last week’s episode, Jim needs to “prove” himself to the Court, and he assumed that killing his uncle was enough. But, of course, it was not. After Nygma said he would blow off the Mayor’s head on live TV unless The Court revealed themselves, The Court strongly insisted that if Jim wants to become a part of their organization, he would have to bring Nygma to them. Luckily for Jim, Nygma can’t let a puzzle go unsolved. Jim strings him along so effortlessly that Nygma simply walks into the car himself, just for that chance to see what they are all about. It is unclear what exactly is going to happen with Nygma, but The Court explained that they certainly have something for a man of his intellect.
For as much as I hound on the (extremely) shoddy police work at the GCPD, Jim played this one out flawlessly, minus the almost getting Mayor James killed part. He managed to hand over one of Gotham’s current greatest villains, while also weaseling his way into The Court. As for Barbara’s whole plan, it seems like hers is beginning to fall apart at the seams. Tabitha is actually the one that tipped Jim off to what Nygma was planning all along, and she was happy to do so after Butch continued to plant the seed that Barbara is in it all for herself. A conflict is brewing between the two, and that will definitely be fun to watch.
Outside of The Court, we also had the return of two characters, Victor Fries (Mr. Freeze) and Bridgit (Firefly), of course, being the first recruits for Ivy’s and Penguin’s gang of misfits. The two really started getting their gang together, and they began with two very interesting characters. I’m not sure how they are going to keep ahold of them especially once their roster continues to grow. I’m also pretty excited where they are going with Ivy. She still does play that kind of ditsy blonde archetype, but she is just as crucial to Penguin recapturing his stature in Gotham as Penguin is himself.
The final plotline that received a little bit of attention is fake Bruce. We find out that he is dying, since he is a lab test after all, but we also discover that he’s beginning to grow fond of his time being Bruce Wayne. He is mainly smitten by Selina, but she quickly sees past his ruse and wants nothing of it. Fake Bruce attempts to convince her to leave Gotham so that she would be saved, but this is in stark contrast to what the real Bruce would have done. She explains that real Bruce would have tried to save everyone. Fake Bruce doesn’t necessarily outwardly express anger when she says that she is going to tell Alfred everything, but he does push her out a window. Nice obvious easter egg here when she becomes surrounded by cats that she has been feeding.