[Featured Image: Fox]
I always suspected that Ra’s would come back and either take the Demon’s Head from Barbara (and potentially everything she builds) or he would team up with her and they would work together, so it wasn’t too much of a surprise when the former happened. I would have much preferred a team up because I did like their scenes together but what happened this episode worked pretty well. My only complaint is that Barbara being able to master the Demon’s Head should have lasted longer (or started a little earlier).
What we did get was good, just a little short. I loved seeing Barbara go up against Ra’s. Even when they first fight in the vault, she manages to get in a few good hits before he takes her down. Something that has been lacking a little is Barbara’s fighting abilities. She was seemingly trained by Ra’s to fight better and we have seen examples of that lately (including this episode) but we haven’t seen it nearly enough. With some sort of army behind her, I wonder if we’ll see her rise to take over Gotham again (and/or face Ra’s later) and perhaps use her own fighting abilities more and more.
She also has Tabitha on her side and these two seem to be back on equal terms again. The visions that Barbara had were really interesting, and I wonder if we’ll see more of them through Ra’s. At the end of each vision, there was a clear transition between it and real life, meaning there was lack of confusion. The fact that you’re thrown into the vision with little to no warning actually works, so long as they don’t over do it. At the end of the episode, there is a slight indication that we’re about to leap into Ra’s vision. Hopefully, we’ll see a little more of them, at least until the end of the season.
I loved that despite giving up the Demon’s Head Barbara was still supported by the Ladies of the League. Although she clearly doesn’t regret her decision to save Tabitha’s life, you can tell that she thinks the League will completely abandon her because she gave it up and was “weak” by saving Tabitha. Instead, the Ladies of the League stick by her because she saved someone who was loyal to her.
Speaking of, it was so good that Barbara was able to fully realise how she felt towards Tabitha and feel the pain of losing her without it actually happening. Although the Ladies of the League were bowing to Barbara, I wonder if we’ll get a joint ruling between Barbara and Tabitha (or at the very least, if Tabitha will become a close second in command).
Throughout this process, there’s help from Bruce, Selina, and Alfred. The little distraction they put on to steal the blade was hilarious. Tabitha and Alfred worked together so well and the little smile Selina has when she comes through the skylight was nice little touch. With Selina refusing to pick sides, I wonder if we’ll ever get this type of team up again.
Selina’s hatred for having to pick a side was one of the best details in this episode. She is told more than once that she needs to pick a side and stick with it. You can see how torn she is when she has to pick who to give the blade to and she ends up making the decision that will hopefully lead to everyone surviving. I love that when she realised that wasn’t the case she called Barbara out on it and made her realise that their way has no guarantee.
The Bruce and Selina team-up continues to be one of the best things about Gotham. That moment in the car where he puts on the quiet mode and she calls him a show off was so cute. We even see her trying to get to him when the League grabs him and forces him to bring Ra’s back. It’ll be interesting to see where she ends up. Selina may constantly move between different sides, but once she’s loyal to someone she’ll stay that way unless they give her a reason not to and even then, it’ll take a lot. We saw her go back to Sirens (with Bruce) to help Tabitha and Barbara, and we also saw her after that at Wayne Manor. She seems on good terms with everyone by the end of the episode, and Selina is one of those characters who could be paired up with anyone and it just works. Having a base with Bruce, and then also Barbara and Tabitha, while also allowing her to go off with other characters every once in a while would work really well.
Bruce is incredibly panicked at the idea of Ra’s coming back from the dead and is determined to kill him again. I don’t see it happening, not only because Selina is right in saying he might become that douchebag again, but because I don’t see Gotham having another character die at the hands of Bruce Wayne. It’s very un-Batman of him and it worked that one time because we all knew that Ra’s was going to come back again at some point but I don’t see that happening a second time.
Speaking of Ra’s, I can’t believe he interrupted Bruce and Selina’s kiss. They were so close and this is the first time that Bruce has initiated it. It was a really funny moment though and it seems to be the introduction of what’s to come in the rest of the season, and perhaps future ones too. It’ll be interesting to see how the cleanseing fire looks when it actually arrives (if it does). We saw a glimpse of it in Ra’s vision but that implies that there’s time for it to change. The season 4 finale is going to be a No Man’s Land inspired story but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to get the exact firey blaze that we saw in Ra’s vision. Regardless, it’s not that long until the end of the season, so we’re going to find out for sure sooner rather than later.
Also, Ra’s talking about Bruce becoming a Dark Knight!
While all of this is going on we have Ed/Riddler and Lee who have successfully robbed five banks in one night and have major plans to pull off one last heist which will be far bigger. I can’t wait to see where Ed/Riddler and Lee go after this episode. He is aware that she is using him and she has come to the realisation that he understands her, or at least what she’s going through now. Also, if you believe what Lee said in the Narrows, she cares about him and depends on him.
At the beginning of the season, right after he gets out of the ice, the Riddler side of himself is suppressed, and more recently it’s the Ed side that’s been trapped. Something I personally want to see is a blend between the two sides. The Riddler seems to be more intelligence-based, a little more ruthless, whereas the Ed side is a bit softer and more feelings-based. We have seen a blend of those two sides before, primarily during season 3, and it feels like we’re heading more towards a combined version. The possibility of this is confirmed when he talks to himself in the mirror and we get the quote, “soon there will be no telling where you end and I begin.”
However, we still don’t know (for sure) where he and Lee are at. It’s always been clear that part of the reason Lee got close to Ed/Riddler in season 4 episode 17 was to bring out the suppressed part of him again, so it’s pretty believable that she does care about him, she just doesn’t love him in the same way that he loves her. They’re now on a slightly more level playing field because they’re both aware that she was using him. But where do things go from here? Is Ed/Riddler playing his own game now so that a part of himself continues to be suppressed? He mentioned in this episode that he let Oswald in on their final robbery so he could keep an eye on him, perhaps he’s doing the same thing with Lee. Either of them could be playing games still. There are various things that Gotham could do with this and we, the audience, don’t have all the cards yet.
The only issue I really have with Oswald and Grundy/Butch’s reasoning is that Ed/Riddler already paid back his debt. Oswald set the Riddler free and then the debt was repaid by the Riddler breaking him out of Arkham. Really the debt that was owed was when Oswald showed up to the docks and stopped Ed/Riddler from being killed. It’s just a little detail but admittedly that annoyed me slightly. With everything that’s about to go down in Gotham, I doubt there’s going to be another Penguin VS Riddler story but we’ll have to wait and see where they go from here.
The only other notable part of this episode was Jim (and Harvey and Harper) investigating all of the bank robberies. Hopefully, we’ll get a bit more of a follow up now that Lee has been arrested. I don’t see her staying in there for very long but this new territory that should be explored. The last time that she was detained was when she was on the virus. This is different.
We saw when Jim went to visit her that Lee has people to protect her (there were several of them standing around her). We also know that Ed/Riddler cares for Lee (even if he’s faking it, he has to keep up appearances) and probably won’t stand for her being locked up. So at some point, Lee is going to get out of it but in the meantime, I want to see her interact with Jim and Harvey a little bit. The former didn’t seem that surprised when she walked out because he already suspected, whereas Harvey did seem a little stunned at the whole thing.
Also, I love that Harvey wanted to compliment Lee on shooting Sofia. I’ve missed Harvey’s little moments like that.