Gotham Season 3, Episode 15 Recap: “Heroes Rise: How The Riddler Got His Name”


Gotham returned tonight with Ed trying to fill a missing void in his life. And Frank moving forward with the Court of Owls’ plan to recruit Jim.

Gotham returned tonight and wasted no time in picking up right where it left off. Ed was again trying to find himself after murdering Penguin, and Jim demanded answers from his long lost Uncle Frank.

Spoilerific Recap

Ed surprises a chemistry professor, who is given a series of riddles to solve. The professor gets them all wrong, angering Ed—reasons we’ll find out later. When there’s no more use for the professor, Ed executes him in an explosion.

Bruce’s doppelganger (let’s just call him NotBruce) recollects Bruce’s experience of seeing his parents die. The Court of Owls has been training NotBruce to become the original. Katherine makes a call to Frank Gordon and emphasizes that Jim Gordon needs to be persuaded.

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Ed takes a pill allowing him to get visions of Penguin. Ed reveals that his murder spree was being used to find a mentor, someone who can teach him the ropes. Ed finally discovers that the greatest villains are defined by the men they’re up against. In this case, Ed needs Jim.

At the GCPD, a singing telegram delivers one of Ed’s riddles. Although it’s meant for Jim (who’s on “vacation”), Lucius quickly figures it out, leading them to a chess tournament where Ed has booby trapped all the tables.

Jim demands Frank tell him where he’s been all these years. Frank regrets abandoning Peter, Jim’s father, and wants to make things right.

Alfred trains Bruce in knife-throwing, and uses a series of distractions to teach him about stress. One of those “distractions” is a letter from Selina, but Bruce is not ready to go to her at her beck and call.

As Lucius inspects a booby trapped chessboard, he discovers another clue—a phone number. He calls Ed (still anonymous at this time), who invites him to solve another riddle.

Jim is adamant in wanting to know what happened between Frank and Peter. Frank reveals that both he and Peter were part of the Court of Owls. And now, the Court wants Jim to also become a member.

Harvey and Lucius figure out another clue from a man brought in for questioning.

At Wayne Manor, Alfred finally convinces Bruce that he needs closure with Selina. Bruce agrees and heads into the city.

Lucius finds his latest clue in the form of a body with fresh sutures. Leslie opens the wound and discovers Harvey’s badge—signifying Harvey as the next victim.

Ed abruptly shows up, as Harvey rehearses a very haphazard speech to the newest GCPD Academy graduating class. After a short exchange of words, Ed kidnaps Harvey.

Bruce, waiting for Selina, runs into Sonny (Butch Gilzean’s nephew) and his gang. As they’re about to rough him up, Selina comes in for the save. Bruce and Selina argue a bit, with Selina revealing that she never sent the letter. When Selina finally leaves, Sonny and his hoodlums assault Bruce, who ferociously fights back, taking them all out.

Ed briefly addresses the graduating class and concludes by deploying knock-out gas canisters.

Lucius arrives at the graduation and finds another singing telegram. This one alerts him to Ed’s identity—due to the usage of “Foxy.” Lucius finds Harvey dangling from a staircase, held by only three ropes.

Ed challenges Lucius: if Lucius gets at least one riddle correct, Harvey will not fall to his death. Lucius is able to answer one correctly, but the final rope still snaps. Lucius grabs Harvey just in time, saving him.

As Bruce walks through the alleyway, he runs into NotBruce, who quickly renders him unconscious with an injection.

Frank comes clean to Jim and tells him that the Court murdered Peter. Jim denies it at first, still believing it was an accident. Frank wants Jim to join the Court so the two can dismantle it from the inside. This way, both Frank and Jim can use the Court’s resources to bring order back to Gotham.

NotBruce arrives back at Wayne Manor and Alfred suspects nothing.

As Lucius enters his car, Ed greets him. A short debate between the two has Ed realizing that his search for an antagonist was his method of “holding on” to Penguin. Ed quickly declares his new mantle as “The Riddler” and knocks out Lucius.

Ed, at the docks, speaks to his Penguin hallucination, admitting that he misses him. Ed tosses the last of his pills, signifying he no longer needs his old friend.

At an unknown location, the real Penguin is alive and kicking, nursed back to health by Ivy Pepper. Penguin is back to his old self as he’s reminded there’s “someone he needs to kill.”

Jim returns to Frank’s, only to find an old photograph showing better times. A message on the back implores Jim to go along with Frank’s plans.

Frank and Katherine discuss Jim’s status. As Frank inquires about Bruce, we see the future Dark Knight in a remote, solitary cell overlooking snow-covered mountains.

Best Moment(s)

  • Harvey rehearsing his speech which had something to do with a prime rib.
  • Bruce showing off his fight training by easily taking out Sonny and his gang of hoodlums.

Final Thoughts

The overall episode would’ve been Gotham‘s usual craziness had it not been for the strange song and dance number Penguin performed. Because of that, the narrative seemed even more jumbled.

However, I do enjoy seeing Bruce gaining more skills. And who can deny their own satisfaction at seeing Sonny and his gang get what they deserved.

The Uncle Frank situation does prove to be an interesting situation. One one hand, it seems that he’s helping the Court. But he could be telling Jim the truth, wanting to destroy the Court from the inside. Is Frank a double-agent? Or maybe he has an even deeper agenda.

Next: Catch up with a recap of 'Mad City: The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies'

Don’t forget to visit the Gotham After Show where our friends at will give fans a play-by-play of the latest episode. And the fun continues with Welcome to the Batcave, also on