Tuesday, May 09, 2017

My Review of Gotham's 3x17: "The Primal Riddle"

Written by Steven Lilien & Bryan Wynbrandt
Directed by Maja Vrvilo

Nygma (to Gordon): "I'll admit I didn't see this coming."

It was only a fortnight ago that the Riddler had an episode with his name in it and now we've got another one after he skipped out on last week. This time around though there isn't a fun reprise of the Nygma/Lucius rivalry but a more muted and slightly predictable round of Nygma vs. Gordon as the pair clash over the Court of Owls this week.

Barbara's desperation to know more about the organisation who truly hold all the power in Gotham led her into acquiring Nygma's services to unravel this mystery sees the newly appointed Riddler going into full theatrical mode by killing a performance of Hamlet (literally, he does) and of course announcing his plans to kidnap Mayor Aubrey James.

On one hand, it's impossible to care or feel an iota of sympathy towards the grossly annoying and incompetent Aubrey but on the other hand, isn't endangering him just a tad boring for any aspiring villain, despite him being the mayor and garnering the right amount of attention? I did however find it rather hysterical that despite publicly announcing his intentions, Nygma was still successful in actually snatching the Mayor from under the GCPD with relative ease.

I also liked the scenes between Ed and Barbara in this episode as the two of them seemed to be mostly on the same page while Butch was doing his level best to drive a wedge between Babs and Tabs and when the latter sabotaged Nygma by helping Gordon, it seemed that a wedge between the two Sirens fell in place there.

As for the stand off with Gordon and Nygma, it was pretty decent. Both managed to outsmart the other while Aubrey remained background noise and then the Court of Owls came into play. The episode ended with Nygma being in their custody and Gordon cementing himself a membership for good measure.

Keeping with the Court, their plans to destroy Gotham led Other Bruce to show some conflict as well. Aware of the fact that he was dying and the city would soon perish, he went out of his way to persuade Selina to leave the city. Needless to say, that went down badly and resulted in Selina being chucked out of a window when she turned on Other Bruce. The moment totally went out of it's way to recreate that iconic scene from Batman Returns and it worked pretty damn well to be honest.

Meanwhile after taking up a fair chunk of screen time last week and being the best thing about it, both Oswald and Ivy have a reduced role this week but it was mainly for building up Oswald's army of freaks. By the end of this one, both Mr Freeze and Firefly joined the team and they all retreated back to Oswald's abandoned manor for good measure. Now we just need to add Fish into the mix again.

- Firefly has been recast with Camilla Perez now in the role. The animosity between Firefly and Freeze is still there though.
- Leslie is also going to stick her nose into the Court of Owls, which nearly all of the cast are now involved or seeking answers about this lot already.
- No real Bruce in this episode and Alfred seemed a little too slow on the uptake of Fake Bruce taking his master's place.
- Chronology: More or less from where These Delicate And Dark Obsessions left off.

The Primal Riddle certainly had it's moments. Nygma in full theatrical mode was amusing enough, though I am curious as to what the Court of Owls will do to him now they've got him. Barbara and Tabitha falling out has some interesting potential along with Selina's own transformation and the little army that Oswald and Ivy are currently building up.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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