Is this the end of Ra’s al Ghul? Gotham’s latest episode delivered a lofty twist with the death of the series’s most powerful villain to date. But, as we’ve learned in the past, death is never exactly permanent. (Just ask Barbara and Solomon Grundy!) We saw one villain rise from the swampy steam while another withered away at Bruce’s feet. “A Dark Knight: The Blade’s Path” continued to surprise and delight.
Alexander Siddig is doing an amazing job portraying the megalomaniacal warrior. Whenever he is paired with David Mazouz (Bruce Wayne) or Erin Richards (Barbara Kean), it is sheer electricity. I love their chemistries together! He had the best scene of the night when he confronted Bruce in his cell at Blackgate Prison. Even though Bruce had the knife, Ra’s was in complete control. From the music to the actors’ interactions, you could feel the theme of master and apprentice. Ra’s came off more powerful than Bruce; he held all the cards. Bruce was too inexperienced to make the attack.
I don’t think Ra’s is completely dead. There has to be more to the scene Ra’s had with Barbara in his cell. We saw the glowing hand when he touched Barbara, and his words were too on-the-nose to foreshadow his death. There’s a reason why Bruce was the one destined to use the knife to kill him. And as much as I like the special effect of him withering into a skeleton and viewing his corpse in the water, this could all be smoke and mirrors. I don’t want to be too speculative of what could happen, especially since we’re only five episodes into the fourth season. Though, I do like that the Gotham writers are setting the pieces for something bigger to happen later on.
Sofia’s goal to get closer to Penguin is coming along nicely. After only one episode, she was able to convince him not to kill her as a message to the city. Though, why did he want her dead? After what we saw in “A Dark Knight: The Demon’s Head”, Penguin saw value in keeping her alive – the two related over their mutual struggles of making it in the world. If he wanted her dead, he could’ve killed her last week. This didn’t make sense from a plot standpoint. Was it simply a power kill for the sake of killing?
A close partnership, or romance, is being teased by the writers for their next development. I’m curious for what happens next because Sofia is definitely up to something and she wants the power. Her using her seduction and manipulation skills to overthrow Penguin is not out of the question. Though, she should be worried. Penguin is a character who has shown himself to be quite intuitive of smelling out someone’s real agenda.
Solomon Grundy (aka the former Butch Gilzean) made his big introduction in “A Dark Knight: The Blade’s Path”. From what was shown so far on Gotham, I’m not the biggest fan of this execution. Solomon Grundy is not the easiest character to transition from comic book to TV/film/video games/etc. He is this big, hulking monster with grey skin and low intelligence. Gotham’s Solomon Grundy had the same high-level archetype in personality; however, his costume design looked as if Butch was covered in bags of flour. His portrayal in the Batman video games is a vast difference over this. Solomon Grundy’s introduction is an instance where just because we have the Batman villain to work with, it doesn’t mean we need to include everyone in the show if it isn’t executed properly.
I can’t wait for the day when Riddler gets his intelligence back. The joke of him losing his intelligence is starting to wear thin. We get it – he’s not good at deductive reasoning. His new partnership with Solomon is a good distraction for the time being; this will give them both some storylines until their worlds meet with Penguin. And with Lee in the picture again, I have a feeling she could be the reason behind Riddler getting his intelligence back.