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Gotham - How The Riddler Got His Name - Advance Preview

After a long hiatus, “Heroes Rise” and “Gotham” returns with its spring premiere. Given the lengthy break between episodes, it’s somewhat surprising that – as the title suggests – “How The Riddler Got His Name” is heavy on Edward Nygma while the show’s ostensible leads – Gordon and Bruce – are relegated to subplots. But the novelties in the main story are actually what make this an entertaining hour.

Several weeks have passed since the events of the winter finale and Nygma is grappling with a peculiar problem. Penguin’s parting shot (before being shot) that Nygma is nothing without him has been haunting Ed and he’s at loose ends as to how to continue his criminal career. He soon latches onto the idea of defining himself by a mortal enemy and, natch, sets his sights on Gordon. But with Gordon preoccupied with his subplot, he ends up playing his deadly game of riddles with Lucius Fox. It’s a smart choice by the show, as Lucius’ calm, casual intellect is an interesting counterpoint to Nygma’s maniacal genius. Chris Chalk is often underused so it’s great he gets this showcase, and I continue to enjoy Lucius’ odd-couple rapport with Bullock. The storyline also leaves the newly christened Riddler in an intriguing place, plus there’s a plot turn that manages to be both expected yet surprising.

Meanwhile, Gordon spends the episode reconnecting with his uncle Frank, who gives him an illuminating lesson about their family’s history with the Court of Owls. Whether Frank is to be trusted, though, is clearly a question for both Gordon and the audience. And Bruce is stepping up his training, but can’t help being distracted by his latest schism with Selina. Little does he know that the Court has “Five” waiting in the wings. Both of these story threads are obviously going to be a big part of the season’s back half, but the bits of setup we get here are rather boring.

Find out “How The Riddler Got His Name” this Monday on FOX. Until then, riddle me with your “Gotham” thoughts and speculations in the comments section.

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