Gotham's 5 Best Moments From The Riddler's First Big Episode

Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn't yet watched tonight's Gotham.

After bidding fans a temporary farewell earlier this year, Gotham finally returned tonight with "How The Riddler Got His Name," which features some major comic book sourcing in the form of Ed Nygma's transformation into his questioning counterpart. But we're already getting ahead of ourselves. An episode that continued building the mental madness that Season 3 has so far delivered, tonight's installment also dropped some big twists and badass sequences that seem to be leading fans down a particular Bat-avenue. Here were the five biggest moments Gotham's return had to offer.

The Riddler's True Arrival

Okay, so Ed's rise to Riddler-dom happened throughout the episode and could have made up own Top 5 list, but a lot happened tonight. Cory Michael Smith rocked it tonight with a loud and proud performance, taking Ed's psychosis to the next level by setting up another series of riddle-fueled problems for Gotham City's citizens to suffer through, and often while looking as dapper as any Gotham villain has before. (It goes without saying he's sharper than Jim or Bullock.) What makes it even more fun is while Ed is clearly having serious mind problems, his issue is not being able to adapt to his more destructive side in a quicker fashion. Bring on the question marks, bring on the mask, and definitely stick with that hat. It looks good on him.

the penguin gotham

That Amazing Musical Scene

Previously, Ed rudely messed with Penguin's mind by having Clayface pose as Paul Reubens' deceased patriarch, and tonight's episode saw our burgeoning villain dealing with his own haunting: a soaking wet and astoundingly astute Oswald. Things took a particularly marvelous direction in the middle of the ep when Ed's own delusion suddenly spins itself into a mini-musical, with Oswald suddenly decked out in some fancy duds and performing a rendition of Amy Winehouse's "Wake Up Alone." It all would have been weird enough if presented normally, but this particular slice of Ed's fractured mind was represented through the aesthetic of an aged and crimson-saturated film reel. This show needs more moments like that.

More Lucious Fox

One character that Gotham hasn't gotten to use as often as I'd have hoped is Chris Chalk's Lucius Fox, but that might be changing after tonight. While Ed's first victims clumsily tumbled over his riddles, Lucius is smarter than many of Gotham City's other citizens, making him a formidable adversary to The Riddler. At least, an adversary that works for the good guys, since Ed's already got a few enemies on the villainous side of things. In any case, we got to see Lucius prove his worth by saving Bullock with a correct riddle via technicality, by getting one riddle right by a technicality, by correctly guessing Ed's intentions in murdering Oswald., and then by the sheer physical feat of saving Bullock from falling to his death. But this all just means he's Ed's biggest target now.

penguin getting shot by ed gotham

The Penguin Returns

We knew that the last of Oswald Cobblepot had not yet come, since enjoyable characters so rarely die of gunshot wounds on Gotham, but it wasn't exactly clear when he would return. Fans only had to wait until tonight to get Penguin's presence back on our TVs. Of course, actor Robin Lord Taylor was all over the episode anyway as Riddler's hallucination, but he was a living and breathing Oswald by the final scenes, and the explanation for his survival is plum ridiculous. Ivy Pepper, a.k.a. Poison Ivy, rescued him from the river, took him back to wherever she's holed up, and nursed him back to health for a few weeks. She was totally bored doing it, too, since he slept a lot. But now he's back, and he knows he has to kill someone. Anything more complex would have been uncivilized.

Bruce's New Setting

Tonight, Bruce Wayne got fooled by a text message from his evil double, which is something that Batman wouldn't do. But then Bruce beat the shit out of a bunch of street thugs, which is definitely something that Batman would do. And the young man's journey to vigilantism seemed to take a drastic leap forward by the episode's end, after Bruce had been drugged by the aforementioned doppelgänger, when he woke up in a roomy jail cell that could not have resembled U.S. prisons any less. For right outside his window was a large snowy mountain, which almost definitely indicates that iconic comic book villain Ra's al Ghul will soon arrive to welcome Bruce into Nanda Parbat for some intensive ass-whippings, er, training. It could indicate something else, but our money is in the Lazarus Pit.

Find out what Gotham has in store for its characters when it airs Monday nights on Fox at 8:00 p.m. ET. Head to our midseason premiere schedule and our summer TV schedule to see what else is returning to the small screen in the near future.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.