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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Gotham Season 3 Episode 15: How The Riddler Got His Name

April 25th, 2017 by Todd Black Comments

After a LONG wait, Gotham has returned, and as promised, they delivered the true origin of the Riddler. But in what may be a surprise, how it came to be was a little different than why may have expected. For unlike many versions of the character, “How The Riddler Got His Name” proved very much to be an examination of Edward Nygma, and how far he would got to get that name.

What I thought was brilliant was that the death of Penguin was a major factor in his true rise to being Riddler. Now sure, he was Riddler before when he framed Gordon for murder, but that wasn’t as much of an arrival as it was a desire to put Gordon behind bars. Here, he wanted desperately to find his own identity, one that would let him rise up without someone else’s help. And that meant going toe-to-toe with an enemy worthy of his talents.

Now ironically, that person turned out to be Lucius Fox, as Gordon was dealing with family issues (more on that in a second), and Nygma seemed to enjoy this new rival even more than battling Gordon. Of course, he also had to battle his own demons, as Nygma took drugs to “see” Oswald and prove to his own mind that he was ready to move on.

The game of riddles with high stakes was very well done, and by the end the Riddler did truly rise up. And Nygma’s warning of how Gotham would soon fear the name Riddler was very poetic.

In a surprise move, Gordon was relegated to a much smaller role, which actually worked in the shows favor, as it allowed the other characters to shine. But also, it put an interesting spin on the Court of Owls storyline as we got to hear the “truth” of Gordon’s uncle and father being in the Court, and his uncles “desire” to take it down. Now sure, we don’t know whose side he’s playing here, but having Gordon in the Court has some potential to really deliver.

Which of course brings us to the ones called Bruce. Bruce still being hurt by what happened with Selina felt very natural, as was Alfred wanting him to get closure before refocusing on his training, which is apparently going very well. And the swap was handled very well…but…Alfred already knows something is wrong, so I look forward to seeing where it all goes.

In the end, “How The Riddler Got His Name” was a very cool episode featuring a fan-favorite villain and not falling into old habits. Let’s hope the rest of the episodes maintain this quality or better.

4 out of 5 nerds

Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians ( He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!