On this episode of Gotham, titled “A Dark Knight: The Demon’s Head,” Sofia meets with a suspicious Penguin, Bruce tries to save a boy who knows too much about the knife making him a target of Ra’s al Ghul and Nygma is determined to get revenge.

Bruce brings the highly-coveted knife he bought at the auction to a curator of antiquities, Mr. Winthrop, to learn as much as he can about the knife’s origin and potential significance to Ra’s. The curator asks that Bruce leave the knife, so he can have more time. Alfred doesn’t think it’s a good idea, but Bruce agrees.

The Demon Head is Real

Winthrop is able to decipher an inscription on the blade that states, “He who rises from the waters, whom death shall not touch. With this sacred blade, his final savage destiny shall be fulfilled. The earth will quake. The blood with flow. All tremble before the Demon’s Head.”

Winthrop tells his grandson, Alex, who shares his grandfather’s passion for ancient relics. Alex questions what the Demon Head it and Winthrop explains that it’s not a “what” but a “who.” There was a legend in the time of the knife that told of a man who could not die, or who died and was reborn. Winthrop asks if Alex has ever come across the name Ra’s al Ghul in his reading. Alex recalls Ghul was a warlord, but those guys always had stories invented about them. They were just that: stories. Winthrop warns Alex that people do believe in these stories; they kill for them. Winthrop thinks Bruce has stumbled across something more difficult than he imagined and infinitely more dangerous. 

Winthrop hears a noise, and sends Alex to hide with the knife. Ra’s al Ghul has come to pay Winthrop a visit. He wants to know where the knife is, but Winthrop denies having it, Ra’s doesn’t believe him. An alarm goes off, and Winthrop warns Ra’s the police are coming. Ghul snaps the old man’s neck, leaving Alex cowering in the dark nearby. 

Gordon is called to the crime scene and encounters Detective Harper. (Bullock has taken a few days off, leaving Harper to babysit Gordon.) They discover the last person to visit Winthrop was Bruce Wayne. 

Bruce arrives to check on Winthrop’s progress and discovers the old man is dead. Gordon questions why Bruce met with Winthrop, and Bruce tells the Detective that Winthrop was examining a knife he bought at an auction. Bruce wants to know if anyone has spoken to Alex, but the cops haven’t seen any kid. 

Bruce regrets leaving the knife behind, and Gordon wants to know what’s so special about it. Bruce will only admit that as far as he knows, it’s just a very old knife. But he paid a lot for it, and there was another very aggressive bidder: Barbara Kean. Gordon is confident Harper will track down the grandson while he deals with Barbara. Gordon instructs Bruce to go home.

Ra’s al Ghul has brought in some very scary reinforcements and instructs one to bring him a knife, and the other, Anubis, to kill Bruce.

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Sofia Meets the Penguin

After learning Sofia is in town, Penguin requests she come to see him. He welcomes her to Gotham and inquires about Carmine, wondering if he can expect to see the old Don anytime soon. Sofia assures Penguin that her father’s illegal businesses hold no interest for her. She’s in town because the Falcones have a number of charitable organizations that need her attention. Penguin finds it odd that Sophia could only handle these matters in person. Sofia tries to assure Penguin that any concerns he may have are unfounded. 

Penguin tells Crystal he learned a lot from Carmine, and one lesson was how to nurture a healthy paranoia. When Penguin took over, some of Carmine’s capos went missing. Penguin isn’t sure if they just left or have simply been waiting for Falcone’s return to lead a rebellion. If Sofia can’t convince Penguin that she’s not in Gotham to rebuild her father’s empire, he’ll have Victor Zsasz dispose of her.

Sofia insists she was sent away when she was very young and simply wanted to come home. Penguin lets her go, but there’s no doubt he’ll be keeping a very close eye on her.

Gordon and Bruce Work Together

Gordon looks up his former honey. He gives her the latest update regarding the knife she was so interested in and questions where Barb was during the time of the murder of Winthrop. Barbara can prove she was at her place of business and has witnesses to corroborate her alibi. 

Gordon is curious who is bankrolling Barb’s new business venture, but she refuses to give him a name. Bruce arrives and accuses Barb of associating with Ra’s al Ghul, warning her she has no idea who she’s dealing with. Barb denies knowing anything about Ghul and threatens to call her lawyer.

Gordon is pissed Bruce followed him, but Bruce feels responsible for what happened to Winthrop and Alex. He has no doubt Barbara is lying, and Bruce is confident he can help Gordon find the killer and Alex. The only thing Gordon wants from Bruce is to find out who Ra’s al Ghul is, and why Bruce didn’t mention him before. Bruce reveals that Ghul is the real leader of the Court of Owls. 

Gordon wants to know what’s so important about the knife and why Ra’s is so desperate to have it, but Bruce doesn’t have any idea. He’s been trying to find that out himself. 

Gordon gets a call from Harper, informing him that nobody can find Alex. Gordon figures Alex tripped the alarm, took the knife and is hiding somewhere. Gordon urges to Bruce to think of where Alex might go, and Bruce remembers Winthrop mentioning how much Alex liked the library. 

Gordon decides to bring Bruce, hoping a friendly face will prevent the kid from running. They find the boy, and Bruce assures Alex he can trust Gordon. Alex can’t give a description of the man who killed his grandfather, having only seen him from behind. Alex is also upset at the idea that Bruce knew the knife was dangerous, so Bruce denies having any knowledge of the risk involved. 

Gordon wants to take Alex to the station, but the boy views Ra’s al Ghul like the Terminator. Nowhere is safe, and he won’t stop coming until he gets the knife. Just as Alex admits that he hid the knife, screams echo through the library. Ghul’s psychotic minions have tracked Alex down. Gordon and Bruce are able to fight them off. But Gordon loses track of Bruce and Alex. 

A Singing Telegram

Ed Nygma sends Penguin a message using two rappers whose rhyme is, of course, a riddle. What is clear is that Nygma wants to meet and settle the score once and for all, but Penguin isn’t certain where this showdown is supposed to take place.

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Gordon Meets Ra’s al Ghul

Ra’s al Ghul shows up at the precinct and introduces himself to Gordon. He poses as a Minister of Antiquities for a small country in the Himalayas. Gordon suspects that the goons at the library told Ra’s that they made contact with Alex, and he gave them the knife. 

Ghul tells Gordon that Barbara Kean was acting on his behalf to procure a certain property. Ghul has come to Gordon to press his claim on behalf of his government and get Gordon to return the knife. Gordon wants to know why this knife is so important to Ghul’s country. Ra’s tells Gordon the story of a man who couldn’t die, committed terrible acts, raised a great kingdom and then vanished. According to legend, he walked away from his throne, vowing that one day that he would return and complete his destiny, but that task would require a particular knife. Ra’s al Ghul shrugs if off as just a story but still meaningful to his people. 

Gordon tells Ra’s that his chief concern is for a boy who saw his grandfather murdered and is now being hunted. That could be because of the knife, or because the boy saw something. Ra’s questions if the boy did witness anything, and Gordon says no. Ghul replies that the boy is safe, but Gordon needs to know that for certain before doing anything that could affect the case — like releasing the knife. Ghul wants to see the knife.,

Alfred burst in looking for Bruce, and when he spots Ra’s al Ghul, he punches him. Gordon pulls Alfred aside to calm him down, and when they turn around, Ra’s is gone. Gordon realizes the man knows they don’t have the knife.

Carmine’s faithful capos go to see Sofia, pledging their allegiance. She repeatedly tells them to go, but they are eager to dethrone Penguin. Sofia’s reaction is obviously an act on the likely chance that Penguin is watching and listening. 

Penguin arrives and Victor shoots the capos. Penguin’s paranoia is put to rest. Sofia accuses him of using her, knowing those loyal to her father would find out she was in town after Penguin summoned her to his club. Sofia points out that Penguin handled this whole thing badly. If he had built an alliance with her, the men he killed would have gladly pledged their loyalty to him. She points out that her father knew how to build on the strength of others. Nice move, Sofia. Penguin is plagued with insecurities about his effectiveness as a leader, despite his false bravado. 

Alex takes Bruce to the knife and makes Bruce swear that the man looking for it won’t get his hands on it. Ghul’s henchman arrive, and Bruce and Alex run and hide in a glass-encased museum exhibit. But it’s difficult to allude Anubis who possesses canine attributes, including a keen sense of smell. 

Just as it looks as if Bruce will become dog chow, Gordon arrives to save the day. Anubis bites, but he also likes to chase bones, so Gordon picks up one from an exhibit and throws it through the window which prompts Anubis to jump to his death. Gordon stabs the other man whose only real power is strength — just a giant lug easily bested by someone a bit quicker and more agile if they can avoid his steely grasp. 

Bruce, Gordon and Alex don’t get to enjoy their victory for long, since Ghul sneaks up on Alex and holds a knife to his neck. He promises to let Alex go if Bruce hands over the knife. Bruce insists he can’t hand it over. Ghul praises Bruce for finally beginning to see things clearly but questions if Bruce is strong enough to handle it. Ghul slits Alex’s throat. 

Gordon arrest Ra’s, and the man is sent to Blackgate. He tries to comfort Bruce, telling him Ra’s is a psychopath, and Bruce isn’t responsible for his actions. Gordon wants to help but he needs something more concrete than all the mystical stuff. Bruce is too plagued with guilt to see past the fact that Alex is dead because of him.

Penguin is unable to decipher Nygma’s riddle, so Ed sends the rappers back with another. Penguin loses patience with them and goes with Zsasz’s plan to torture the men. 

Frustrated at being stood up by Penguin twice, Nygma finally shows up at the Iceberg Lounge. He calls Penguin a coward, but Penguin ascertains that Nygman’s riddles just suck, and he’s not smart anymore. Nygma is certain his diminished skills are due to his being trapped in a block of ice, but he’s sure that getting revenge on Penguin will make him feel better. Ed threatens to shoot Penguin. Not only is Penguin not worthy of revenge, Nygma has failed to notice the presence of Victor Fries. Just as Victor is about to freeze him, Ed admits he’s’ not the Riddler and surrenders.

Penguin isn’t interested in freezing this Ed Nygma. Far better to let him live knowing he’s no longer the villain he once was.

Gordon learns about the three missing capos and wants answers from Sofia. She has a plan, and it won’t be bloodless, but she’s not letting Gordon in on it. If he wants the city back, she’ll give it to him, but he has to trust her. Gordon seems okay with it because they wind up having sex on her living room floor. 

Do you think getting sent to Blackgate is part of Ra’s plan? Should Bruce have handed over the knife to save Alex? Will Nygma get his powers back or fade into obscurity? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Gotham airs Thursdays at 8/7c on FOX. Want more news? Visit Buddy TV’s Gotham Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of FOX)


Jennifer Lind-Westbrook

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Jennifer has worked as a freelance writer in the entertainment field since 2012. In addition to currently writing feature articles for Screen Rant, Jennifer has contributed content ranging from recaps to listicles to reviews for BuddyTV, PopMatters, TVRage, TVOvermind, and Tell-Tale TV. Links to some of Jennifer’s reviews can be found on Rotten Tomatoes.