Knight Moves: Gotham Episode 404, "The Demon's Head"

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Gotham 404 The Demon's Head

After having procured an ancient embalming knife at auction, Bruce Wayne (DAVID MAZOUZ) takes the knife to Dr. Niles Winthrop (DAKIN MATTHEWS) for analysis and translation of the markings on the handle. But Ra's al Ghul (ALEXANDER SIDDIG) shows up at the doctor's office, and kills him, with the doctor's grandson, Alex (BENJAMIN STOCKHAM) as a witness. Now Alex is on the run with the knife, hunted by to of al Ghul's lackeys.

Meanwhile, Edward Nygma (CORY MICHAEL SMITH), fresh out of the ice block, works feverishly to compose a riddle to draw out the Penguin (ROBIN LORD TAYLOR) in order to exact his revenge on him. He delivers these riddles through messengers in the form of absurd rap telegrams. The problem is, the riddles suck, evidence that The Riddler's brain has been decidedly damaged by the time spent frozen by Mister Freeze (NATHAN DARROW).

Also meeting with Penguin is Sofia Falcone (CRYSTAL REED), daughter of retired gang boss Carmine Falcone. Penguin is concerned that she's back in Gotham to take back control of crime in Gotham, which is now his purview. He uses her as bait to draw out the other capos of Carmine's gang who went into hiding after Carmine's retirement. However, once he takes care of business, he's shown just how short-sighted he is when Sofia tells him how her father would have done things.

When Bruce and James Gordon (BEN MCKENZIE) finally locate Alex, they're only a few steps ahead of Ra's al Ghul, who captures Alex and demands the knife in exchange for Alex's life. When Bruce won't give it over, al Ghul slits Alex's throat and then willingly submits to Gordon for arrest.

When the episode wraps up, Bruce is wracked with guilt over Alex's death. Penguin decides the best revenge on Nygma is to let him live knowing he will never be the genius he used to be. And the relationship between Sofia and Gordon heats up. And Ra's al Ghul isn't all that broken up about being sent to Blackgate, if that smile of his is any indication.

Episode 404, "The Demon's Head," has its share of action sequences, with Bruce, Alex and Gordon on the run from al Ghul's Hunter (OWEN HARN) and Anubis (ANTHONY RODRIGUEZ), a man-dog on a leash straight out of AMERICAN HORROR STORY. But the stolen scenes continue to go to ANTHONY CARRIGAN, who's portrayal of Victor Zsasz as your friendly neighborhood killer is as amusing as it is unnerving.

Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0