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"Empty out the GCPD. I want it to just be you and me. Alone. Well, and this idiot with the bomb around his neck."
Edward Nygma to Jim Gordon

"Heroes Rise: The Primal Riddle" is the seventeenth episode of the third season of Gotham. It aired on May 8, 2017.


Some of Gotham's most unhinged villains band together, while The Riddler continues his conquest of the city. Gordon is on a search for answers and all roads keep leading him back to the Court of Owls. Meanwhile, as Alfred begins to notice a change in Bruce, Bruce 2 confides in Selina.[2]


Cobblepot and Ivy arrive in the Arctic and enter a base. They find Victor Fries there, who is angry at Cobblepot for causing him and any other freak to leave Gotham during his mayor campaign. Penguin convinces him to join them and in exchange, will give him every resource he needs to reverse his condition. They then present him his refrigerated suit so that he can go back to Gotham while maintaining his frigid temperature.

Gordon meets with Kathryn in the Court room. She wants him to prove his loyalty to the Court and they make sure to manipulate Frank 's body scene. Gordon "discovers" this in the GCPD but Lee sees through this and suspects that he's hiding something. Gordon and Bullock also discover that Nygma, now getting called "The Riddler" by the press, begins striking again. Nygma is visited by Barbara , who wants to know more about the organization that controls Gotham. Nygma remembers Strange worked for an organization in Indian Hill and seeks to find out more about the organization. Later, Nygma kills the lead actor during a performance of Hamlet in front of Gotham's elite after delivering a promise that he will kidnap one of them.

In Wayne Manor, Five continues posing as Bruce and discovers that he is experiencing nose bleeds again. He meets with Kathryn, who tells him that he has a little time before he dies. Gordon and Bullock investigate Nygma's interrupting of the theater and find a box that contains a riddle signaling a "two-faced politician". Gordon and Bullock arrive at Mayor James ' office where they find him eating Danishes made by a "citizen" and when he tries to eat a pill for his pain, discovers that they're all have question marks on them. They transfer him to a hospital but Nygma had Tabitha bomb a biker gang's bar, causing the hospital to flood with casualties.  The chaotic influx of unruly patients explodes into a riot, allowing Nygma to snatch James.

Cobblepot and Ivy then visit Bridgit , who is now working with molten metal in a foundry. After some resistance, she eventually agrees to join them.  To announce her quitting the job, she scoops up a double-hanndful of molten metal and flings it on her abusive boss, killing him.

Nygma and Barbara interrogate James, who tells about an organization that controls Gotham that calls itself, "The Court." Realizing that the worst fear of a secret society is being exposed, Nygma makes a TV broadcast showing James as a hostage with a remote-control bomb collar.  He claims that he will kill James if the Court is not exposed. Kathryn asks Gordon to bring them Nygma in order to prove his loyalty. Gordon calls Nygma and promises to tell him everything about the Court if he comes to the GCPD. Nygma agrees if Gordon empties the department, which he does. Nygma takes James with the bomb collar to meet Gordon, however, it fails to detonate when triggered. Gordon had Tabitha instruct him on jamming the device's signal as a partial revenge on Nygma.  After freeing James, Gordon leaves with Nygma to show him who runs the Court.

Five arrives with Selina, revealing his personification and telling her to leave Gotham. Selina refuses, telling him he's not like Bruce and plans on telling Alfred but Five throws her out of her apartment to the pavement, seemingly killing her. Then, a group of cats begin to swarm around her.

Barbara confronts Tabitha and Butch for disarming the device and storms off when she proves that she wants full control. Cobblepot, Ivy, Fries and Bridgit set in Dahl Manor while discovering about Nygma's activities.

Gordon takes Nygma to a location where they meet with Kathryn, who tells Nygma to get in her car so he can find all the answers he needs. The episode ends as Kathryn introduces the Court to Gordon, officially becoming a member and donning a mask.


  • This episode takes place the day after Heroes Rise: These Delicate and Dark Obsessions.
  • This episode was originally called "Fallen City: The Outsiders".
  • Near the end of the episode, Ivy Pepper calls Oswald Cobblepot "Pengy" after their arrival at Van Dahl Mansion. In the 1966 Batman TV series, Burgess Meredith's Penguin was also often nicknamed "Pengy" by his female accomplices. While Meredith's Penguin actually liked the nickname, Gotham's Penguin despises it and immediately tells Ivy to never call him "Pengy" again.
  • This episode was named after the comic storyline Batman: The Primal Riddle, which was released in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #109–111 (1998).
  • Selina being pushed through a window towards her death and the cats swarming her body after is a nod to the Michelle Pfeiffer's adaptation of Selina Kyle in Batman Returns (1992).


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