Previews for episode can sometimes be very spoilerish. So knowing Nygma was FINALLY going full Riddler was a little letdown. And yet, “Mad Grey Dawn” did more than I bet anyone could’ve guessed with this development. As Riddler was not only born, but got the major victory by framing Gordon for the murder of a cop.
The real beauty of it all was that this was a true Riddler crime. Riddles and clues, long game mentality, and yet no one sees the true end result until its too late. You had to wonder how Ngyma would pin the murder on Gordon, after all, he had an alibi of sorts AND was told where to go to in order to get to the place the body was found.
But…Nygma was two steps ahead, and used his position to move the pieces into the place HE wanted them to be! A true Riddler move. It was tense the scene between Barnes and Gordon, as Barnes laid into him, and Gordon basically couldn’t do anything to prove his innocence. In truth, the jump forward was a little jarring, especially when it happened after a commercial break. But, the effect was good, and it skipped some unnecessary stuff, something that likely wouldn’t have happened in Season 01.
So what now? Well, Gordon is in Blackgate, Bullock is now alone in the hunt for Riddler (who he doesn’t know exists), Leslie has been told to leave. Barbara is awake! AND BRUCE IS TICKED!!!!
Speaking of which, I appreciate the writer wasting no time getting into Bruce’s storyline in the streets. It was short, mostly effective, and brought back Ivy! With full knowledge of plants! YAY!!!! I’ll admit, some of it was cheesy, but it sold where it counted. I liked how Selina cautioned Bruce that “no one is unbreakable” a lesson Batman sometimes struggles to remember.
Then there’s Penguin, who made the rounds and eventually met his father! Paul Reubens, aka…PEE WEE HERMAN! *cue annoying laugh*.
Now, my dad watches this with me, and he was wondering if Penguin was somehow doing a long con. And it made sense in a way, however, Penguin’s game would’ve had a limit. And he certainly wouldn’t risk his life when he could’ve just gone underground. Also, meeting his dad (who he admittedly thought was dead) was too random to plan. Now, I’m guessing he’ll snap very soon, but we’ll see how it goes.
Back to the dad, the story behind his “absence” was actually very well done. Reubens sold it very well. And it adds another element of tragedy to the Penguin’s story in that his mother was forced to leave his father, and didn’t get the “reward” she was promised. All the while, the father was too cowardly to try and find her.
“Mad Grey Dawn” did what Gotham has tried to do a lot of this season, break the status quo. Never keep things in one place too long. Things are happening, and this show is better when they do.