This article contains spoilers for the Gotham episode ‘A Dark Knight: The Demon’s Head’.
Last night’s Gotham moved the Ra’s al Ghul story along quite a bit and spent time with the Penguin. The episode opens with Bruce and Alfred visiting Dr. Niles Winthrop about the dagger and we meet his grandson, Alex. Bruce leaves the knife with them to see what they can discover.
We cut to Edward Nygma, obviously still not quite himself, but wanting to kill Penguin. Then back to Winthrop, who receives a late-night visit from Ra’s al Ghul. Ra’s kills Niles, but doesn’t get the knife because Alex hides with it. Jim Gordon gets the case and Bruce tells him about the knife and the Barbara Kean wanted it, but nothing about Ra’s. We then go to Barbara’s place where we meet Anubis, a guy who acts like a dog, and his handler, who are given Alex’s scent and told to get the knife and kill the boy.
We move to Oswald, who receives a visit from Sofia Falcone. Sofia is playing it shy and innocent — just back in Gotham to deal with some charity issues. Penguin is cautious, but seems to buy the act. Gordon visits Barbara, who gives him no information, but Bruce shows up and asks about Ra’s. She doesn’t flinch, but Jim questions him about Ra’s outside. Bruce tells him that Ra’s is the true head of the Court of Owls and they go together to try and find Alex.
Meanwhile, Penguin receives a rap riddle from Riddler. Gordon and Bruce find Alex at the library and protect him from Anubis, but he and Bruce get separated. Ra’s goes to visit Gordon while Bruce and Alex have a bonding moment over having seen people they love killed. Gordon and Ra’s have an interesting talk about Nanda Parbat and the history of the dagger — only to have it interrupted by Alfred, and Ra’s vanishes.
Sofia is visited by Falcone’s old lieutenants, and of course, Penguin shows up. He kills the lieutenants, but leaves Sofia alive. She puts him in his place, stating that he could’ve won them over instead of killing them. Alex takes Bruce to the knife and tells him about the legends when Anubis shows up. The dog man chases them around the museum while Alfred and Gordon figure out where they’re at.
Back with Penguin, it turns out he didn’t pick the right location and never found Ed, so he sent the guys back with another Riddle that makes no sense. Gordon arrives in time to save Bruce and Alex, using an dinosaur bones to stop Anubis (tossing a bone out the window for him to chase) and stabbing his handler with a tooth. But Ra’s shows up and slices Alex’s neck when Bruce won’t give him the dagger. he then submits to being arrested. He’s off to Blackgate while Bruce takes Alex’s death on himself.
Nygma shows up to confront Cobblepot, but is made to realize that he’s not the man he used to be. He’s not the Riddler anymore. And instead of freezing him again, Penguin just lets him go, forcing Ed to accept the is no longer the man he once was. Gordon goes to visit Sofia to find out what she’s doing, but instead they end up making out on the couch. and the episode ends with Ra’s going into prison smiling.
This was a busy episode, and a bit of a regression for Bruce, showing us he still has a long way to go to being Batman. It also had no Bullock in the episode, which was a little strange as he would normally be in the scenes. Maybe they wanted to push the Gordon/Bruce dynamic without interference.
Alexander Siddig plays a very different Ra’s than we’ve seen in other incarnations. His isn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty. Not sure what his overall play is yet, but it’s interesting. But Anubis, as a villain, didn’t work for me. He was too silly — especially how he was finally defeated. But the rest of the episode worked pretty well.
Next week, Bruce looks to be on a revenge kick, breaking into prison to kill Ra’s. And we will finally get to meet Solomon Grundy…