Gotham Season 3 Episode 17

Gotham Review: The Primal Riddle (Season 3 Episode 17)

Gotham, Reviews

Every time Gotham is on, I sit down and desperately try to suspend my disbelief. Some weeks I am more successful than others. Fair warning: this is not one of those weeks.

Gotham Season 3 Episode 17 “The Primal Riddle” has me confounded for several reasons, but there is one in particular that really bugs me.

How does no one think to beef up security at the Mayor’s office?

With Penguin missing-in-action, the job of Mayor reverted back to Aubrey James, who is once again the target of a kidnapping. This plot is so old, and the number of times that villains have gotten hold of the mayor over the last three years makes me really doubt the competency of the Gotham City Police Department.

GOTHAM – L-R: Ben McKenzie, Drew Powell and Jessica Lucas – Cr: Jessica Miglio/FOX

I shouldn’t be doubting the GCPD when we’re supposed to be following the early days of Jim Gordon, who is supposed to be a great police commissioner in the future. Time after time it seems like the GCPD get the wool pulled over their eyes in the stupidest of ways, and this time is no different.

At this point, my frustration with some of the illogical plots of this show has made me excited to see Gotham fall, as the Court of Owls voted last week in Gotham Season 3 Episode 15 “These Delicate and Dark Obsessions.”

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Let’s add this tired kidnapping plot device to the news that doppel-Bruce is dying.

At the end of Season 2, the introduction of doppel-Bruce was one of many threads I was looking forward to. Then, he disappeared a few episodes into Season 3 to be trained by the Court of Owls, and has just now returned to fulfill his function.

While I’m happy to have the story of the Court of Owls unfold in a slow burn, I want to point out that the only two people in the room when Catherine and doppel-Bruce discuss his fate, are Catherine and doppel-Bruce! Could they have dropped one or two more hints as to what the court is planning? This tight-lipped secrecy with little to no information revealed to the audience is really frustrating.

GOTHAM – Cory Michael Smith – Cr: Jeff NeumannFOX

The brightest star in this episode is Nygma, who insists on a certain amount of showmanship as he commits his crimes.

I’ve been really tough on our villains this season because they’ve been walking a line between a farce of themselves and a wannabe Riddler. There is a difference between showboating, and actually posing a threat, and Cory Michael Smith balances Nygma’s showmanship and terrifying intelligence really well.

Yes, I don’t think kidnapping the mayor was a great way to display his skills, but so far, Nygma’s newfound villain identity is the only one I find genuinely scary this year.

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GOTHAM – Guest star Nathan Darrow – Cr: Jessica Miglio/FOX

Despite all my issues with this episode I am really excited about the return of Firefly and Mr. Fries.

One of the other things I have been critiquing is this show’s super short memory when it comes to new villains. Seeing Fries and Bridget again was like welcoming old friends back home.

Although the army may only have two inaugural members, I am hoping that the creators do the smart thing and continue to pull in some old threads.

Stray Thoughts:

  • Really? Is Ivy going to make the same pitch to every villain she has to recruit into Penguin’s army? Are they all going to look at her in disbelief? This really feels like something that should have gotten around by now. “Hey, did you hear Ivy Pepper fell into some toxic waste and grew up!”
  • Penguin, what made you think you could say those things during the campaign and no one would notice? Yea, of course Fries is going to be angry at you when you come asking for his help.
  • Doppel-Bruce pushed Selina out the window. My first reaction was “Oh, Real-Bruce is going to be mad” and then the tag left us with Selina surrounded by cats, so I guess we’re actually going to see Catwoman soon.

What did you think of this episode of Gotham? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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Gotham airs Mondays at 8/7c on Fox.

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Lauren Busser is a senior writer at Tell-Tale TV. Her work has also appeared on Bitch Media and The Hartford Courant. She has also been a dog sitter, worked front end at a bakery, and helped out in a kindergarten classroom. She learned to knit when she was five-years-old and thus, can now complete sweaters at a superhuman speed. She’s currently nursing a novel she’s been making slow progress on for the last six years.