‘Gotham’ Season 4 Episode 4 Recap: The Demon’s Head

Gotham Season 4 Episode 4
David Mazouz and Sean Pertwee in ‘Gotham’ season 4 episode 4 (Photo by Jeff Neumann/FOX)

Fox’s Gotham season four episode four begins with Bruce (David Mazouz) and Alfred (Sean Pertwee) determined to find out what’s so special about the knife Bruce purchased for $2 million at auction. Dr. Niles Winthrop (Dakin Matthews), Curator of Antiquities at the Gotham museum, is examining the knife when his grandson Alex shows up, and it turns out he’s well versed in history. Alex is impressed with the knife and Bruce advises them to keep the knife a secret. They agree, and Bruce leaves the knife in their care for further examination.

The newly thawed Ed Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) is surrounded by wadded up paper scattered all around him. He’s trying to draft the perfect riddle as part of the revenge he’s plotting against Oswald.

Back at the museum, Alex and Dr. Winthrop decipher the writing on the knife and it reads:

“He who rises from the waters who death shall not touch, with this sacred blade his final savage destiny shall be fulfilled. The earth will quake, blood will flow, all will tremble before the demon’s head.”

Dr. Winthrop says the demon’s head is a person who cannot die. He and Alex are familiar with the story of Ra’s al Ghul, but Alex thinks the tales are made up. Dr. Winthrop is sure Bruce has stumbled into something incredibly dangerous.

As they’re talking, there’s a knock on the door. Dr. Winthrop opens it and Ra’s al Ghul (Alexander Siddig) is standing there. He knows who Dr. Winthrop is, calling him by name. Dr. Winthrop, however, doesn’t recognize Ra’s al Ghul. Ra’s informs him he’s looking for a knife, but Dr. Winthrop doesn’t give away its location. Ra’s kills him by breaking his neck while Alex and the knife remain hidden.

Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) joins Detective Harper (Kelcy Griffin) at the crime scene and they examine Dr. Winthrop’s body. Bruce arrives during the investigation and he’s stunned to see Winthrop is dead. Bruce’s name is in the log book and he explains he’d asked Dr. Winthrop to examine the knife. He was just stopping by to check in, and then Bruce reveals Alex was with Dr. Winthrop when he dropped off the knife.

Jim wonders if someone would kill for the knife, and Bruce agrees to tell Jim what he knows if he’s allowed to accompany him on the investigation. Bruce admits he feels responsible, however Jim presses him on the knife. Bruce says Barbara was also aggressively bidding on the knife and Jim says he’ll deal with Barbara.

Ra’s shows up at Barbara’s and she asks him about the knife, which she failed to acquire. Ra’s has brought Anubis, who Barbara (Erin Richards) calls Dog Boy, to fetch the knife. Ra’s lets Anubis sniff the knife’s pouch and promises him after he finds it, he can kill Alex.

Sofia Falcone (Crystal Reed) pays a visit to Oswald (Robin Lord Taylor) and they start off friendly enough. She informs him she’s not interested in Carmine’s businesses, she’s just there to attend to the family charities. He needn’t worry about what she’s up to, but he knows she’s up to something. He knows Carmine’s men are still around and he’s going to take Carmine’s old advice and be careful. If she tries to rebuild Carmine’s empire, he’ll kill her.

She tears up as she says this is her home and that’s why she’s there. Oswald agrees they have nothing to worry about then and tells her to give Carmine his best.

Jim shows up at Barbara’s and she wonders if he likes this new her. He cuts straight to the chase and asks about the knife and why she wanted it. She doesn’t give any straight answers and doesn’t give away who’s bankrolling her new operation. That’s when Bruce shows up and asks if her partner is Ra’s al Ghul. She acts innocent, saying she doesn’t know who he’s talking about.

Outside, Bruce and Jim argue over Bruce’s intrusion into the investigation. Jim’s angry Bruce didn’t mention Ra’s al Ghul before and demands to know who he is. Bruce tries to lie but Jim calls him on it. Finally, Bruce admits Ra’s leads the Court of Owls and had him kidnapped. Jim can’t believe Bruce didn’t mention this before. Bruce also reveals he doesn’t why Ra’s wants the knife, and then Bruce figures out Alex could be hiding at the Gotham Central Library. His grandfather had a key to a room there.

Ed Nygma sends a rapping duo to Oswald to deliver a riddle and a challenge to meet that evening. Nygma found them on the street and when Oswald asks, they can’t tell him where Nygma is because they honestly don’t know. The Penguin agrees to meeting The Riddler, but will have Victor Zsasz (Anthony Carrigan) and the men there to back him up.

Jim and Bruce find the door to the Historical Records room at the library locked. Bruce knocks and tells Alex it’s safe, saying they just want to help him. Alex reluctantly lets them in and Bruce apologizes for his grandfather’s death. Alex says his grandfather was killed because of the knife, but he didn’t see the killer’s face. Just as Alex confesses he hid the knife, Ra’s al Ghul’s Anubis and his handler arrive at the library and attack Jim. Jim fights the henchman but Anubis catches up with Alex. Another fight ensues, this time with Bruce taking on Anubis. By the time Jim makes it to their location in the library, Bruce and Alex are gone.

Back at the station, Ra’s al Ghul introduces himself to Jim Gordon as the Minister of Antiquities attached to the consulate of Nanda Parbat in the Himalayas. Jim invites him into Harvey Bullock’s office. Without giving anything away, Jim has figured out Ra’s might think Alex has given them the knife.

Bruce bandages Alex’s arm and Alex admits he’s ashamed for freezing while Bruce fought the men. Bruce recalls being terrified years ago when his parents were murdered, adding that fear is normal and you can act once you realize that.

Alex admits the kids at school talk about Bruce, how he lives alone in a huge mansion and flies around in jets. Alex says the kids make him sound weird, but he’s actually weirdly cool. Bruce smiles, and Alex says he’ll take him to the knife.

Gotham Season 4 Episode 4
Robin Lord Taylor as The Penguin (Photo by Jeff Neumann/FOX)

Back at the station, Ra’s tells Jim Barbara was acting on behalf of his government to procure the knife. Jim wonders why he didn’t bid himself, and Ra’s makes it sound politically motivated. They discuss Dr. Winthrop’s murder and then Ra’s claims the knife belongs to his country. Jim tells him to explain, and Ra’s tells his own story (without mentioning it’s his story) about how much the knife means to his country and what it symbolizes.

Jim’s worried Alex is being hunted and tells Ra’s that could be because the killer thinks he saw something. Jim teases the release of the knife if Alex is guaranteed to be safe from harm. Ra’s asks to see the knife.

Alfred barges into Harvey’s office, demanding to know where Bruce is. He sees Ra’s and punches him in the face before Jim shoves him out of the room. Jim tries to get Alfred to calm down while Ra’s mysteriously disappears. Jim realizes Ra’s knows they don’t have the knife, and that they must find Bruce immediately.

Sofia’s dad’s men show up at her house and she tells them to leave. As she’s telling them it’s Penguin’s city and she doesn’t want their help, Penguin, Zsasz, and Penguin’s henchmen interrupt the conversation. They kill Carmine’s men and Sofia understands Penguin used her to get her dad’s men to show themselves. The good thing is Penguin now trusts Sofia. Sofia points out her dad would have handled the situation much differently, getting the men to change allegiances instead of killing them.

Back at the museum, Alex has been hiding the knife in plain sight. He tells Bruce about the legend associated with the knife and Bruce swears he won’t let the man who killed his grandfather have it.

Bruce and Alex are forced to flee as Anubis and his handler have tracked them to the museum. Anubis sniffs his way through the exhibits.

Jim can’t get into the consulate without a warrant and Alfred yells at him about getting Bruce into this situation. Jim says he’s on their side, but they have been plotting something and not telling him. They continue to argue about Bruce being in danger, and they assume Bruce is taking Alex to get the knife. Alfred shows Jim a box that was with the knife, and Jim takes off warning Alfred he’ll be charged with something if he tries to leave the station.

Penguin brings the rappers back in because Ed Nygma didn’t show up where he thought he’d be. They have another riddle from Ed, and this time The Penguin doesn’t understand it. Frustrated, he allows Victor to torture them.

Over at the museum, Bruce drops the knife and Anubis spots them. Jim arrives as Bruce is being attacked, shooting at Anubis to free Bruce. He tells Bruce and Alex to run as Anubis attacks again, along with his handler. The boys don’t listen and take on the handler. Meanwhile, Jim gets up from the dinosaur exhibit he’s smashed into and when Anubis is ready to attack, Jim holds up a bone. That distracts Anubis and when Jim throws it out a window, Anubis follows! Jim then uses a piece of glass to stab the handler.

Jim demands to know why people are dying for his knife. Unfortunately, Ra’s has arrived and holds a knife to Alex’s throat. He’ll release the boy in exchange for the special knife. Jim tells Bruce to hand him the knife, but Bruce hesitates. Bruce then reveals Ra’s killed Alfred and brought him back to life. He adds that Alex was afraid of Ra’s after reading the engraving on the knife. Bruce says he can’t give it to Ra’s, even if it means Alex dies.

Ra’s compliments Bruce, telling him he’s finally seeing things clearly. He then slices Alex’s throat. Bruce runs to Alex’s body while Jim arrests Ra’s.

Back at the station, Jim says Ra’s is on his way to Blackgate. Jim also tells Bruce he’s not responsible for Ra’s al Ghul’s actions. Jim wants the real story, not one with magical waters and people coming back to life, but Alfred says that’s why they didn’t tell Jim in the first place. Bruce says this is all his fault and that he killed Alex.

Ed heads to Oswald’s club, angry he never showed up at their meeting place and calling Oswald a coward. However, Oswald says he didn’t show because Ed’s riddles suck. “This place may make some people lie, some people speak, and some people cry – that could mean anything. Lying, speaking, crying, you’re just describing a range of human behavior!” says Oswald. Ed believes the riddle is perfectly clear, that is until he says it out loud and tries to explain what he meant. The answer was supposed to be the cemetery, calling Oswald an idiot for not getting it.

Oswald tells Ed his number one fan was right; Ed can no longer make riddles. Oswald adds that Ed isn’t smart anymore and wonders how long it took him to come up with the riddles. Ed admits it took him six hours and maybe that’s because he’s recovering from being frozen in a block of ice.

Ed’s ready for his revenge, but Oswald doesn’t seem worried. He says the real Ed, the one who doesn’t write idiotic riddles, won’t get revenge. It will just be this lesser version who shoots him. The Riddler is gone and so is the real Ed Nygma. Mr. Freeze arrives to return Ed to a block of ice, and Ed begs him not to. He agrees with Oswald that he’s not The Riddler and then gives in and asks Mr. Freeze to go ahead and freeze him again.

Oswald changes his mind. This “Ed Nygma” isn’t worth it. No one cares about this version. Instead, he’ll let Ed live knowing he isn’t himself anymore and never will be.

Sofia tells Jim she remembers watching her father stab a man in his neck. They had breakfast the next morning at the same table. She thinks this city, this house, is in her blood. She’s home. She also confirms Penguin used her as bait to draw her father’s men out of hiding. She won’t tell Jim her plan, but promises Jim she’ll get the city back from Penguin. After she tells him he has to trust her, they share a passionate kiss.

Ra’s is delivered to Blackgate in chains. He smiles as he enters the prison.

More on Gotham:
Recap of Gotham Season 4 Episode 1
Recap of Gotham Season 4 Episode 2
Recap of Gotham Season 4 Episode 6
Erin Richards Interview
Cory Michael Smith Interview
Jessica Lucas Interview
John Stephens Interview
Alexander Siddig Interview