Episode   Cast   Crew    

"I... I just killed the best friend that I ever had. My search for a teacher or an enemy, that was just me trying to hold on to him for a little bit longer. But now, I know who I am without him."
Edward Nygma to Lucius Fox

"Heroes Rise: How the Riddler Got His Name" is the fifteenth episode of the third season of Gotham. It aired on April 24, 2017.


Nygma convinces himself that he doesn't need Penguin to succeed and begins to introduce himself to Gotham as "The Riddler." Bullock and Lucius Fox get caught up in Nygma's mind games, while Gordon learns troubling news about his father's death. Meanwhile, the Court of the Owls reveals its next move.[2]


On a building, Nygma catches a professor in a lab and holds him at gunpoint. He then questions him with riddles but the professor fails every question asked. Nygma then ties him up and reveals he has killed people before and that while he knows who he is, he does not know how to be himself. When the professor fails again at the riddles, Nygma ignites the lab with gas tanks and leaves, killing the professor.

In the Court, Kathryn ends Five 's brainwashing practice, and calls Frank to ensure Gordon's cooperation with the Court. In Van Dahl Mansion, Nygma has begun taking pills, which causes him to have hallucinations of Cobblepot, who torments him for his behavior. When confronted about the recent killings he committed, Nygma reveals he just needs a person who knows his riddles so he can help him. He then concludes that he just needs an enemy and he has just found it: Jim Gordon.

Bullock is informed by Fox about the recent killings, finding they all belonged to Gotham's intellectual and artistic elite but he is rejected as they have to focus on more important issues surrounding the city. A man in a fruit suit arrives at the GCPD and gives Bullock and Fox a card with a clue for the next target. The card contains a pattern that signals to the Knight's Tour, a chess exhibit. Nygma is already waiting for Gordon but finds that the person who solved is no one but Fox. He then turns on a device that electrocutes the participants. Fox then solves a clue in the chess parts to find a phone number, calling Nygma. Fox tries to solve it but Nygma refuses, giving him the message, "Tomorrow, when the pawn's on queen, you'll find my next target in the belly of the beast." Bullock and Fox then interrogate Winston Peters (H. Foley), a man who works on a pawn shop in Queens Avenue. Peters admits he was covering for an employee named Teddy Thirio. Fox finds that Thirio is Greek for "Beast."

Bruce and Alfred continue their training when Bruce receives a note from Selina for a meeting. Bruce initially refuses but when Alfred recalls when a previous relationship ended badly, Bruce decides to meet her. Bruce then runs into Sonny Gilzean and his men until Selina arrives. She claims she didn't send her the note and leaves. Sonny and his men start beating him but Bruce finally regains strength and beats them. Before returning to Wayne Manor, he is found by Five, who drugs him and claims that he is made to be him. Five then arrives at Wayne Manor and begins posing as Bruce.

Bullock leaves to attend a police academy graduation. Nygma is again confronted by Cobblepot, who just wants him to admit he's lost without him. Nygma refuses and then, in an hallucination, Cobblepot (using the iconic suit and top hat) begins to sing "Wake Up Alone". This causes Nygma to reveal that killing him killed a part of him but he will find a new road to leave him behind. Fox has Lee check Thirio's dead body and finds Bullock's badge inside his belly. Nygma arrives at the graduation ceremony, drugs Bullock to take his place as the announcer and throws a gas in the ceremony to knock the cadets. Fox is then told by Nygma that he will need to come with him to solve riddles to get an antidote for the cadets. Fox goes upstairs to find Bullock tied to a chair on the edge of the stairs with three ropes hanging him. Nygma then plays riddles with him for Bullock's life. Fox fails the first two riddles but guesses the last one, but Bullock's rope gets cut and he is nearly thrown to his death, only to be saved by Fox.

Meanwhile, Gordon and Frank go to a cabin in the woods to fully talk. Frank explains that he came back to Gotham in order to solve the problems between him and Gordon. He then explains about the Court of Owls, a secret society that controlled Gotham for centuries which wanted balance to the city. However, time passed and it became corrupt. He says that he and Gordon's father, Peter, were both members of the Court and they want Gordon to join them. he also explains that Peter discovered what the Court planned and as such, the Court had him killed on an car accident and the Court sent him to another place during these years to prove his loyalty and he returned to ask Gordon to join him in taking down the Court. Frank leaves later, reporting to Kathryn about their progress.

After finding Nygma gone, Fox leaves until he is confronted by Nygma on his car. Fox has already discovered that the attacks were just a charade. When Fox asks him for the other murders, Nygma replies there was someone inside him, someone that would cause people to fear him and Fox is now as an enemy to him. Now with Cobblepot gone, Nygma says he finally knows who is he, calling himself "The Riddler". The next day, he has a last conversation with Cobblepot in the Harbor before dropping his pills, finally accepting his role as the Riddler. Meanwhile, Ivy is seen caring for a person: a very much alive Cobblepot, whom Ivy saved from the river a few weeks ago. Cobblepot then says he needs to kill someone. Bruce wakes up in a cell and discovers through a window that he is on a snowy mountain.


  • Deleted Scene: At the Van Dahl Mansion, Edward Nygma is reading a newspaper article about Penguin's disappearance. However, Tabitha Galavan and Barbara Kean then interrupt him and demand his help in order to take control of Gotham's underworld. After they left the room, Nygma opens a tin case full of drug pills. This scene was most likely deleted very late during post-production, since three still images from it were released as promotional photos to promote the episode. Even though the scene was removed from the final cut, a few glimpses of it still remain intact in the released episode (a close-up of Nygma holding the newspaper and one of him opening the tin with pills), meaning this deleted scene takes place in between the scene in which Ed takes a pill and is haunted by a vision of Penguin for the first time. This extended scene was eventually included as a bonus feature on the DVD and Bluray box set Gotham: The Complete Third Season.[3][4]
  • The cabin that Frank Gordon meets up with Gordon in was previously used by Sal Maroni in "The Fearsome Dr. Crane".
  • Even though the murder of Isabella was the actual cause of the hostility between Penguin and Riddler that would continue for the rest of the season and occasionally reappear even up until season 5 episodes like "Pena Dura", the episode "How the Riddler Got His Name" ironically marked the final time Isabella was ever mentioned on the show. The original reason for the feud between Oswald and Nygma was never directly mentioned again over the course of the whole series.
  • The sound effect of Nygma's phone ringtone is an electronic version of the scene-to-scene transition music that was famously used in the 1966 Batman TV series.


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.