Edward Nygma earned his degree at Gotham University, and won the Whippleburn Prize for excellence in criminal science writing for an article titled "What’s Wrong With This Right? Preventing False Positives at Crime Scenes". He later got employment at the Gotham City Police Department working on forensics.
Start of Darkness
Possessing a crush on his co-worker Kristen Kringle, towards the end of the season he discovers that her boyfriend, Tom Dougherty, is abusive. Confronting him to stop him from seeing her again, he ends up stabbing Dougherty multiple times. This event causes him to have a simultaneous remorse and breakdown. Using his position he manages to destroy Tom's body before anyone can find out that he is dead and creates his first ever Riddle, a forged note from Tom claiming he had just left town. However, if only the first letter of every line is read it spells out "NYGMA".
After Kristen solves the riddle and asks Edward if he knows anything about it Edward realizes that he has almost been discovered.
At the beginning of the season it appears he has a split personality and has conversations with a darker version of himself in the mirror. Ed gets upset by his alter egos presence and warns him to leave Kringle alone.
When Jerome Valeska and his teammates attack the Police Department, Ed saves Kringle by tackling her to the ground out of the way of the gunfire and ends up taking a bullet in his arm. Kringle appears to show appreciation to end and is later seen giving him medication after the bloody incident is over and as a doctor is wrapping up Ed's arm treating his wounded arm.
To confess his love to her, he practices his speech in the police archives. However, due to his split personality his evil part gains more and more influence over him. When telling Nygma that she owes him for saving her life, Edward walks to Kringle while she speaks to three other officers. He invites her to dinner and she agrees, saying that she would like that, much to the astonishment of the other cops.
When Kristen arrives at Nygma's house, she tells Edward that when his invite said "chez moi" she expected a restaurant. Edward apologized for being so unclear and tells her that he loves to cook. While inviting her in, she tells him to call her Kristen. While their dates continues, Kristen apologizes to Edward for being mean to him the whole time to which Edward replies by apologizing for annoying her for so long. Kirsten does not accept the apology, saying that she was mean while all he was was sweet. She also apologizes for implying that he wrote Dougherty's goodbye letter to her. While Kristen talks about Dougherty, Edward accidentally says that he is glad that Dougherty is dead. A confused Kristen replies that he only left town. Edward saves himself by stating that it was only a figure of speech, meaning that he is "dead to her". While Kristen apologizes and goes to the bathroom, the evil Edward congratulates Nygma for blowing it up. Edward tells his evil self to leave him alone, which Kristen hears and thinks that he meant her. She prepares to leave, but Edward admits that he is talking to himself and that the stronger version of himself inside his head prevents him from botching up everything. Kristen answers that she can understand that and tells him that they all have a voice like that. When Edward tells her that his inner voice was angry for spoiling the mood, she kisses him.
After dinner with Edward and Kristen, Leslie tells Gordon that strangely Nygma seems to maintains a sense of coolness, which Gordon cannot believe.
Edward later overhears Kristen talking to Leslie saying she wished he would be more open. Later that evening after having sex, Edward ends up confessing that he was responsible for killing Dougherty. Kristin gets angry and sees Edward as a sicko, however he insists he did it for her and didn't want her to be abused by him. When she tries to escape, he covers her mouth to stop her screaming in order to explain himself, however ends up strangling her to death unintentionally when holding her by the neck. Edward breaks down and cradles her body and screams in anguish.
The New Nygma
Edward awakens the next morning to discover Kringle's body gone. His split personality appears again via hallucination, where it is now revealed it is able to take over his body. The alternative personality took over Edward's body when he was unconscious and has now hidden Kringle's body, and gives Edward the task of finding it at the G.C.P.D. Edward heads over there and follows the clues and discovers Kringle's severed hand inside a vending machine.
Edward heads to the morgue, where he discovers her corpse. He attempts to remove it however Leslie walks in on him. Edward quickly explains he was trying to look for her, and claims that Kringle left him after an argument and he wants relationship advice over coffee. Leslie, taking sympathy, agrees and they both leave.
Later on Edward returns to the morgue alone. His hallucination appears and Edward asks him why he is doing this. The hallucination asks him how he felt about Leslie walking in and Edward admits he was terrified as she could have discovered the body. The hallucination continues on, telling Edward about how much a rush it was and tells him how it feels. Although previously conflicted, Edward replies "beautiful". Embracing his darker side, he begins to smile and proceeds to dismember Kringle's corpse.
Edward took her remains to a remote woodland and put the body in a type of coffin and dug a grave. He had prepared sandwiches and drinks in order to say a proper goodbye to Kringle. When a hunter came across him, Edward killed the man with a spade. Edward then noticed someone had taken his sandwiches and followed a blood trail. A while passes and Edward comes across a caravan in the woods, and when he approaches it the door flings open and he falls to the ground. Edward puts his glasses back on and is surprised to see it is Oswald Cobblepot (who he had briefly met some months prior at the GCPD headquarters) and is badly injured. Oswald begs Edward for help, before collapsing.
Teaming up with Penguin
|“||Remember I mentioned fate? Recently, I've been going through a sort of change... "What kind of change?" you ask....I started murdering people!||„|
|~ Edward Nygma to Oswald Cobblepot.|
Edward brings Penguin to his home and nurses him back to health. When Penguin wakes up, he at first thinks that Nygma wants to kill him, but Edward assures that he has no ill will towards him. He tells Penguin that he has recently started murdering people, three in total. He asks Penguin, whom he sees as one of the best killers in town. However Penguin does not plan to stay because he sees his empire in ruins. While walking towards the door, Penguin faints.
When Penguin wakes up again, he sees that Edward has kidnapped a man. Nygma tells him that this man, named Mr. Leonard, worked for Theo Galavan before the latter was sent to prison. He tells Penguin that he kidnapped him as a gift for Penguin, as a kind of revenge. However, Penguin tells Nygma that he's "done" and will leave Gotham after a nap. After Penguin has gone to bed, Edward addresses Leonard, telling him that he really expected Penguin to like him. He then drags the tied up Leonard out of the room while humming.
Later, when Penguin awakens once again Nygma plays the piano and sings a song which he thinks has meaning for Penguin as he was humming it under his sheets. Penguin admits that his mother sang this song for him when he was small. Nygma then shows him the glasses of Kristen Kringle and says that these are the only things he has left of her. Penguin once again plans to leave but is stopped by Nygma who coldly tells him that his mother died because of his weakness because he did not realize his weakness was her. Penguin grabs a knife and puts it at Nygma's throat, tearfully exclaiming that his mother was a saint and was the only person who truly cared about him and she was everything he had. Nygma replies that a man who has nothing to lose can not be betrayed and will answer to no one but himself. He says that this man, a free man, is whom he sees before him. Penguin then sobbingly hands him the knife.
Later, while having dinner, Penguin asks Edward where he kept the lackey of Galavan he kidnapped. Edward smiles and pulls Leonard out of the cupboard.
Planning against Gordon
After some time, Leslie finds out that Kristin's last paychecks haven't been cashed in. Gordon promises to investigate and visits Nygma in the GCPD morgue. Nygma claims that he hasn't heard from Kristin in a while and that while she left him a goodbye note, he did not keep it. Gordon accepts this, but Nygma grows paranoid, believing that Gordon is on to him.
After the Malone case, Gordon returns to the GCPD. He is greeted by Nygma who asks if there are any news about Kristin. Gordon says that he was busy but will look into it. While Gordon returns to his office, Nygma viciously looks at him, saying to himself that Gordon surely must think that Nygma is a fool and tries to lure him into a false sense of security. He claims that while Gordon may plan against him, he can also make plans of his own. The same night, Nygma heads home to his flat and paints a green question mark on a newspaper article about Gordon.
Attack on Gordon
Nygma carries out his plans the next day. After forcing the evacuation of a museum due to a bomb threat, Nygma steals the painting "Mad Grey Dawn". When the police arrive they find a question mark sprayed to the wall in green paint. They also find that two much more valuable paintings were sprayed with the same paint. Once the police is alerted, Gordon and Bullock are sent to investigate. While the two policemen are leaving the precinct, they are approached by Edward who claims that he is ready to be interviewed by Gordon about Kringle's disappearance. Once more, Gordon brushes him off and heads to the museum with Bullock.From the names of the artists who painted the two defiled paintings, Gordon gets the name "Market Street". As the stolen painting depicted a railway explosion, Gordon is worried that the culprit might blow up Union Station, which is located at Market Street. Indeed, Nygma is at the station and has placed a bomb in a locker. When Gordon and Bullock arrive they do not see him and walk right past him. Watching them from some distance, he sees Gordon find a locker sprayed with another question mark. He activates the bomb inside manually and watches Gordon break open the locker, grab the bomb and throw it inside an opening in a marble statue. The blast is reduced by the statue and while knocking down Gordon, does not deal too much damage. After Commissioner Barnes arrives, Gordon tells him that he thinks that the bomber is playing a game and wanted them to find the bomb.
Meanwhile, Nygma has a GCPD officer sign a custody form. He walks towards Gordon, congratulating him for saving the day. Gordon reveals to him that he is worried because he has no idea what the bomber might attempt next, much to the amusement of Nygma. Back at his apartment, Nygma is visited by Penguin who has been declared sane and released from Arkham Asylum. Nygma swiftly finds out that the doctors at Arkham did a good job on Penguin. While Penguin appeals to Nygma to change, Nygma reveals that he is thankful for everything Penguin taught him about Jim Gordon.At night, Nygma visits the police officer whose signature he took earlier, claiming that Gordon will arrive soon and explain everything. After the policemen has invited him in, Nygma beats him to death with a crowbar. Gordon indeed arrives at the flat, having been told that the call activating the bomb at Union Station came from there. He finds his dead colleague and is faced by Commissioner Barnes, who had also been alerted by Nygma. Barnes, whom Nygma send a message from the officers phone, arrests Gordon believing him to be the murderer of Officer Pinkney. While Barnes interrogates Gordon, it is revealed how Nygma set up the trap from Gordon: He used the crowbar Gordon used to break up the locker at Union Station to kill Pinkney, thus securing Gordon's fingerprints on the murder weapon. He also stole the file about the phone call from the flat from Bullock's desk, thus erasing any reason for Gordon to be there. It is revealed that the form Nygma had Pinkney sign was a witness statement, claiming that Pinkney saw Gordon kill Theo Galavan.
With all odds against him, Gordon is arrested for killing Officer Pinkney in the intention to get rid of a witness. Gleefully, Nygma watches as Gordon is led out of the Police Precinct and brought to prison. Gordon is later found guilty and sentenced to forty years at Blackgate.
After Gordon has been imprisoned, Bullock desperately tries to find a way to get him back. After another failed attempt to schedule a retrial, Bullock talks to Nygma, revealing that he thinks that Gordon was set up. Nygma asks what Bullock intends to do but Bullock says that he wished he would know.
Caught outAfter Gordon manages to escape from Blackgate in order to clear his name, he returns to Gotham where he manages to acquire a tape which recorded the person who had made the call saying Gordon was responsible for killing Theo. The tape is distorted but Gordon is able to filter out a chirping sound. He heads to Nygma's apartment, hoping that Nygma is able to clear the tape and identify the culprit. Although Nygma is horrified to see Gordon in his apartment, he agrees to help after he realizes that Gordon is still oblivious to his involvement. However, Nygma begins to get agitated and flustered, especially when Gordon refers to the suspect who killed Pinkney a "psychopath". When the tape is cleared, Gordon realizes that the chirping sound is in truth a cuckoo clock. From the sound and Nygma's odd behavior Gordon deduces that Nygma was the one to frame him. Having foreseen that Gordon would come to this conclusion, Nygma activates a trap he set beforehand and electrocutes the chair Gordon, thereby knocking him out. He drags Gordon towards his car, intending on taking him to the woods and burying him, but Gordon managed to escape. Nygma manages to shoot him in the leg and track him down to a warehouse. There Nygma tries to locate Gordon by revealing that he killed Kristen, hoping for a response. However, Gordon escapes and furthermore is now aware that Nygma killed Kristen.
Knowing that no one at GCPD would believe Gordon's story, Nygma returns to work. He watches when Selina Kyle arrives, claiming she has information that Jim is going to look for Penguin, who had information on the location of Kringle's body. Nygma heads to the wash room, begins talking to himself in the mirror, and calculates there is an 80% chance Gordon will find Penguin, an 80% chance Penguin will blab about the location of Kringle's body, and a 60% chance that Gordon will find the corpse.Nygma heads to the woods intending on digging up the body and moving it before Gordon can find it. Gordon arrives and an amused Nygma believes Penguin had indeed told on him. But Gordon reveals that he had in fact tailed him, and Nygma realizes that the whole thing with Selina was a set up to make Nygma rush to the body's location. Nygma points his gun at Jim and reveals there is a monster in all of them, and that Jim wasn't truly his friend but only pitied him. Before Nygma can shoot Gordon however, Captain Nathaniel Barnes and the police arrive from their hideout behind the trees. They order Nygma to put the gun down. Nygma tries to fool them into thinking that he caught Jim but Barnes reveals that they overheard his entire confession. Nygma tries to run away but he trips on the snow and the officers surround Nygma and take him into custody.
Nygma is tried for the murders of Kristen Kringle and Carl Pickney, but because he shows obvious signs of insanity, he is sent to Arkham Asylum.
ArkhamAt Arkham, Nygma de-escalates a fight between Aaron Helzinger and another inmate. After having done so, he sees Jim Gordon who has just finished a meeting with Hugo Strange. Nygma approaches the fence, much to Jim's disgust. Although Jim is confident that Nygma will rot in prison, Nygma reveals to him that he will be back soon as the prison is just a giant riddle - Nygma's specialty. After Gordon walks off, Nygma hears Strange and Peabody walking past and talking about Gordon. Nygma interrupts the discussion and Strange tells him that eavesdropping is unwise. Nygma immediately realizes that the conversation about Gordon has something to do with the release of Cobblepot and Barbara Kean. He offers Strange help in taking down Gordon but Strange refuses. Before Strange can walk of, Nygma reveals that he could be an asset as he can manipulate people, demonstrating it on various inmates including Helzinger. Listening to Nygma's explanations, Strange eventually realizes how he can solve another problem. He storms off, leaving a baffled Nygma behind.
Nygma is indeed able to escape the group cell mere hours later by putting his newspaper between the closing doors. He decides to find out what Strange is hiding and follows Ms. Peabody down the hallway leading to Indian Hills. He realizes that there is a hidden elevator and plans to use it to break out of Arkham. With help from the inmates he manipulated, Nygma manages to break into the elevator and enters Indian Hill, being utterly overwhelmed with his discovery.
After returning from the lab, he is discovered by a staff member and returned to his cell. There, he realizes that his cell has an air vent. While climbing through the ventilation shafts he meets Selina who is currently breaking into the asylum. The two recognize each other and Nygma tells her about the basement. In exchange for directions to the way out, Nygma tells her about the secret elevator. With the details provided by Selina, Nygma indeed manages to find the way out of the vents but is recaptured the moment he leaves them.As a punishment for his escape attempt, Nygma is locked in a cell with a cannibalistic inmate. Nygma tries to appeal to Ms. Peabody and Strange's favor by telling them how to stop Jim Gordon, since he's been to Arkham twice and probably knows about the monsters being made in Indian Hill. Nygma tells Peabody if Strange wants to stop Gordon and the GCPD, he will need the former's help. Strange accepts Nygma's offer to provide a helping hand and when Bruce Wayne, Lucius Fox and Jim Gordon come to Indian Hill, Strange is able to capture them all and puts Bruce and Lucius in a secret room. Nygma tells the two that he's been appointed by Strange to interrogate them and find out how much they know about what Strange is doing and who they've told, threatening to release poisonous gas into the room if they don't comply.
Nygma decides to interrogate Bruce and Lucius through a game of "life or death". The first question Nygma asks is who runs Indian Hill. Bruce and Lucius answers that Wayne Enterprises runs Indian Hill, which Nygma deems correct. Nygma's second is who runs Wayne Enterprises. Bruce and Lucius struggle with this question. Lucius believes the answer is the Board of director, but Bruce thinks it's something else. With no other answer they go with Lucius' answer, but Nygma deems it wrong and releases gas into the room. It's revealed that the gas Nygma pumped into the room was just knockout gas and Bruce and Lucius are still alive. Nygma asks Strange who really runs Wayne Enterprises, but Strange chooses not to answer that question and puts Nygma back in his cell. When Hugo Strange sets a bomb to explode Indian Hill and possibly kill thousands of people. Jim and Lucius go down into Indian Hill and use Nygma's help to get activate the elevator. Nygma tries to negotiate with Jim for his service, but Jim says the only thing he'll get is his life and proceeds. Nygma is put back in his cell, completely unaware of what has transpired.
6 months later, Nygma is visited by Oswald Cobblepot. Oswald brings Edward a gift, a puzzle box which Oswald claims is incredibly hard to open. While Oswald talks, Edward swiftly opens the box, much to Oswald's surprise. Oswald then confides in his old friend, claiming that he is worried about Fish and wonders, why she did not kill him when she had the chance. Edward tells Oswald not to worry, creates an origami penguin from the gift wrap, and reminds Oswald that penguins eat fish.
Edward is later released from Arkham when Oswald, due to his mayor candidacy in need for his old friend, blackmails the warden. When he is declared sane, Edward is suspicious but is delighted nonetheless when Penguin arrives to pick him up. Edward then joins Oswald's campaign for mayorship where he briefly clashes with Butch. He also reveals to Oswald that he believes that Arkham made both of them stronger.Later, during a speech of Penguin, Edward watches Butch giving an envelope to a henchman. WIth Oswald's authority, Edward forces the man to show him the envelope which contains a lot of money. Edward in turn is watched by Butch, who orders a henchman to keep an eye on Nygma for the day. However, Nygma evades the henchman. Edward then heads to every city official bribed by Oswald and demands the money back, claiming that Oswald will run a clean election. When this is revealed, Butch grabs Nygma and throttles him, telling Oswald that Nygma just cost him the election. Oswald is disappointed in his friend but Nygma then points to the television, where it is revealed that Oswald won the election by a landslide. Oswald later appoints Nygma to his Chief of Staff, which Butch is not taking lightly.
After the Red Hood Gang has defiled a statue of Oswald's mother, Penguin sends Nygma to the GCPD to coordinate the search. The policemen in the precinct are shocked when they see their former colleague, who laughs confidently and claims that he missed all of them. Although Captain Barnes refuses, claiming that Nygma is a cop-killer and belongs into an asylum, Nygma threatens that Barnes will be fired should he continue to refuse.Nygma visits Lucius Fox in the GCPD morgue and Fox dryly refers to the time Nygma threatened to poison him and Bruce with gas. Nygma replies that it was a sleeping agent but Fox interrupts, threatening to murder Nygma should he ever harm him or Bruce again. Nygma then looks into files on Red Hood evidence. When Leslie Thompkins crosses his way, she angrily hits him in the face for murdering Kristen. Nygma loses his confident demeanor for a moment, claiming that she should not have done this. Leslie tells him that she isn't afraid of him only because he works for Penguin. She reveals that she is engaged to the son of Carmine Falcone and that Falcone would end Nygma if Leslie would ask him for it.
Nygma later deduces the location of the warehouse where the Red Hood Gang are hiding. Penguin and his gang head there, but see that Butch has already killed all of the members. Although Penguin is more than happy, Nygma remains suspicious. Nygma continues his own investigation and is eventually able to link the suits of the Red Hood Gang and Butch's suits to the same tailor. He visits the tailor and finds out that the suits of the Red Hood Gang were bought by a big man with a metal hand. Having enough evidence, Nygma confronts Butch at Oswald's victory party. To Butch's surprise, Nygma offers Butch that he will remain silent and also reveals to Butch that he wants to kill Penguin as well, stating that he was not made to be number two. Nygma offers Butch to run Gotham together with him, hands Butch one of the hoods and tells him to kill Penguin, claiming that he will help Butch escape afterwards. Butch, however, declines, as he never wanted to harm Penguin in the first place. Nygma then brings Butch to the club's kitchens, revealing that some of Penguin's henchmen, including Zsasz, are on his side now and have also captured Tabitha. Once more, Nygma makes the offer to Butch.After Butch, who cares for Tabitha too much, has agreed to kill Oswald, Nygma heads to the stage where Oswald is about to give his victory speech. Nygma wishes Oswald good luck and when Butch, now wearing the red hood, appears, Nygma grabs Oswald. However, when Butch shoots at Oswald, the gun he got from Zsasz is revealed to be filled with blanks. Nygma then loudly claims that the last member of the Red Hood gang has been caught red-handed, revealing that he only feigned his treason to manipulate Butch. Butch is shot down by Zsasz instead. While Butch is on his knees, Nygma approached him, calls him an idiot for believing Nygma and removes the hood. An outraged Penguin calls for the death of Butch. Penguin heads back to the stage, claiming that he is shocked and disturbed that he has been betrayed by one of his closest friends. His hate speech is interrupted when Tabitha storms the room, having escaped her captors. Without the leverage, Butch attacks Nygma and is nearly strangled him to death, but is stopped by Oswald who hits him over the head with a glass bottle, knocking him unconscious. Nygma was unconscious for a few minutes but woke up much to Penguin relief. The injured Nygma is brought to Penguin Manor where it is revealed that Nygma told Penguin about his ruse with Butch. Nygma tells him that Penguin's shock to see Butch's betrayal had to be genuine and that now, Penguin once more is seen as a hero.
He later falls in love with a librarian named Isabella, much to Oswald's disagreement. Oswald secretly contacts Isabella in her library, revealing her what he has done to Kringle, and suggesting that he will kill her as well. Isabella later told him that she knows what happen. Edward said it was not from intention or any bad means, but only from anger. Isabella told him how much she loves him, and they started kissing, just as Oswald came into the scene. Oswald made an excuse he is tired, thus he went out of the scene, scheming how to separate Nygma and Isabella.
Facing his fears
Nygma makes a surprise breakfast for Isabella. Isabella tells Nygma that she'll be at a book council for two days, but Nygma makes out that she'll be gone for 42 hours which is less than two days. The pair enjoy their morning together, until Isabella puts on her reading glasses. Nygma is frightened by this because they look almost exactly like the pair Kringle used to wear. Nygma runs to the bathroom to calm himself down, but is haunted by a hallucination of Kristen Kringle in the bathroom mirror. Kringle tells Edward that he is falling for a woman that is almost exactly like her and it will only be a matter of time until Nygma kills Isabella. Nygma goes to Oswald to talk to about his situation. Oswald tries to convince Nygma to break up with Isabella and agrees to tell her for him. Despite telling Isabella the news that Nygma wants to end the relationship, Isabella knows that he's just saying that because he doesn't want to repeat what happened to his previous girlfriend and is determined to stay by Nygma's side. Nygma gets a letter from Isabella to come see her. Nygma tries to explain that breaking up would be for the best, but Isabella says that it isn't, knowing that Nygma is only afraid. Isabella walks into the room, thanks to old newspapers and photographs, Isabella made herself look like the spitting image of the late Kristen Kringle. Shocked at this, Nygma tries to leave, but Isabella stops him assuring him that he won't repeat the same actions he did in his previous relationship. Isabella puts Nygma's hand by her throat and proves to Edward that he is no longer the killer he once was. Now free of his past, Edward and Isabella embrace with a kiss now putting Kristen Kringle's memory behind him.
When Nygma grows increasingly impatient for Isabella to call, Oswald assures him that Isabella would call soon. Nygma receives a call from the GCPD, telling him to come to the precinct, but not explaining why. After arriving, Edward and Oswald are told that Isabella is dead and see her lifeless body on the M.E. table. Oswald then revealed Ed that Isabella blew through a red light and crashed into an incoming train, most likely from falling asleep behind the wheel. Nygma cries on Oswald's shoulder assuring Nygma that he would be there for him. In trust and in much of sadness, Ed falls into a deep depression having once again lost the love of his life and decides to go to the railroad tracks where she was killed. After paying his respects, Nygma realizes that Isabella was only four blocks away from her apartment making it unbelievable that she doused off before she was hit by the train. Nygma then hears from a blind homeless man that he heard Isabella screaming for help before she was hit the previous night. He went to the crushed car and investigated it's pieces, as he saw the breaks were cut down, proving that Isabella's death was no accident. Nygma goes to Oswald, and tells him he sees Butch as the main suspect, as payback for exposing him as leader of The Red Hood Gang. Oswald fortunately agrees to help Edward in his quest for finding Butch promising to make him pay for what he's done.
Nygma eventually tracks Butch and Tabitha down to the apartment they've been staying at and drugs the food that was delivered to their place so he could kidnap them. Ed later receives a phone call from Oswald. Oswald warns Edward that Barbara Kean is now looking for Tabitha and that he needs to kill the two and get things over with, but Nygma tells Oswald that he needed to work through his grief his own way and hangs up. After Butch tells Nygma to have Oswald to settle the score face to face instead of using his friend to do it, Nygma tells Butch that the latter's feud with Oswald have nothing to do with why the former is torturing them as he is trying to avenge Isabella's murder, Butch replies that he has no idea who Isabella is, to which Nygma doesn't believe. Nygma begins to electrocute Butch as Tabitha, who is strapped in a chair remains powerless to stop it.
Tabitha demands for what Nygma wants to gain from this ordeal. Nygma tells Tabitha that before he kills Butch, he wants to break Butch's heart in order to spread the same pain he felt when Isabella was killed. Nygma decides as a way to test Butch and Tabitha's love, he put's Tabitha's hand in a mini guillotine. Nygma tells Tabitha that he has set a timer for the guillotine to let it's blade go and chop off, Tabitha's hand, but Nygma gives her a switch that will stop the blade from cutting her, but she'll have to sacrifice Butch because the when Tabitha presses the switch to save herself, it'll send enough shockwaves inside Butch to kill him. Butch persuades Nygma to change the situation as the latter is just going to kill the former regardless of what choice is made. Nygma decides that if Tabitha loves Butch enough to sacrifice her own hand, he'll set them both free, but only changes the deal because he knows Tabitha would be reluctant to chop her hand for Butch. Butch accepts the possibility that Tabitha will push the switch, telling her that he still loves her even if she doesn't feel the same. As a final taunt, Butch tells Edward that before he put a bullet in Isabella's head, she wished she had been with a real man. Upon hearing what Butch said Nygma realizes that he was not behind Isabella's accident, since her death was not by gunfire. Although Tabitha didn't share the same romantic feelings for Butch anymore, she drops the switch, saving Butch's life, but leaving Tabitha handless. As Barbara arrives to save Butch and Tabitha , Edward hardly responds to her presence and relinquishes Butch and Tabitha to Barbara as he ponders on who actually killed Isabella.
Nygma then meets Barbara, who tells him how Oswald had assassinated Isabella. Nygma pretends to ignore the truth, just so he could find out himself. Oswald, who doesn't want Nygma to realize the truth, pretends to encourage him. Nygma then resigns from his job for the the good of Isabella's library, however, Oswald manipulates him into staying. Nygma then gets shocked and asks Oswald to hire him as a partner, however, Oswald doesn't really agree. Later, Nygma thinks about killing Oswald, but as Oswald tells Nygma he is truly a friend, Nygma hugs him, and says that he was also a good friend once. Nygma then comes to apologize to Tabitha and to Butch, and teams up with them, under Barbara's leadership, to stop Oswald and destroy him completely.
Scheming against Penguin
|“||I loved her, Oswald...and you killed her!||„|
|~ Nygma before shooting Oswald|
Nygma quickly devices an elaborate scheme to destroy Oswald and his legacy. Aware of Oswald's relation to his deceased father, Elijah van Dahl, Edward hires the shape-shifter Basil Karlo to haunt Oswald as the ghost of Elijah. Successfully manipulating Penguin into believing that his father's ghost cannot rest, Edward then breaks into the Gotham City cemetery and digs up the corpse of Elijah. He hides the corpse in the office of Oswald's new chief of staff. Through the hints he gets by "Elijah", Oswald is tricked into believing that the chief of staff stole the corpse of his father and, as a result, brutally murders the man.
Minutes later, Oswald has a live interview for national TV. During the interview, Nygma sends Karlo, again disguised as Elijah, into the room, causing Oswald to panic and break down on live TV. Afterwards, Karlo meets with Nygma, Tabitha and Barbara who congratulate him on his performance.
As part of the plan, he phones Oswald and claims he is captive in a chemical factory, and that he managed to sneak to a phone, and call him for help. Oswald immediately starts worrying about Nygma and intends to save him. Oswald and two henchmen immediately head to the warehouse Edward claims he's held. With his two henchmen, Oswald heads to the warehouse where they encounter Nygma. Oswald is overjoyed to see him, but when he tells Nygma that they've come alone Nygma shoots both of Oswald's guards. Oswald is shocked and claims that he doesn't understand to which Nygma replies that that has been half the fun. Nygma then reveals that he only staged his kidnapping and drags Oswald into a corner, where the destroyed car of Isabella is stored. Nygma angrily shouts that Isabella was his "everything" and that this is the reason why he took everything from Oswald except his life. Edward adds that he will take that too in the very night.
While preparing for Oswald's demise, Edward reveals to him how exactly he staged everything, including hiring Karlo. He also adds that he disposed of Elijah's remains in a dumpster behind a restaurant. When Oswald admits to having had Isabella killed, Nygma angrily accuses him of destroying his life, believing he would have lived a happy life with Isabella. Oswald replies that he did Nygma a favor because both of them know that, had Oswald not killed Isabella, Nygma would have done so. When Oswald then claims that Oswald did what he did because of his love for Edward, Edward angrily shuts him up by claiming that Oswald would sacrifice everything - even Nygma - to save his own life. Edward then fixes the ropes tying Oswald to the wreckage and reveals the trap he has put Oswald into. Over Oswald hangs a vat of acid which will pour down on him the moment the ice block which contains a frozen chain, melts. While Oswald screams that he will change, Edward walks away to leave Oswald alone in his last moments. However, just before the vat turns over, Oswald is saved by a policeman who happens to be nearby.
Back at his manor, Oswald is confronted by Butch and Tabitha who have come to dispose of Nygma. Capturing him with his whip, Tabitha then taunts Oswald about the death of his mother before Butch knocks him out. The two decide to take him with them. Oswald is brought before Barbara, Tabitha and Butch who are now after Nygma, who was outlived his usefulness. They want to make a deal with Oswald, promising his life if he calls Nygma and convinces him to meet. However, remembering what Edward accused him of, Oswald refuses. After Oswald refuses to give up Nygma, Nygma reveals himself - having been in the room the entire time. Oswald realizes that all four of them have plotted against him and Nygma confirms this, adding that he wanted Oswald to die knowing that he was not capable of loving anything.
Nygma brings Oswald to the harbor, where he is supposed to shoot Oswald. However, by claiming that he was the one who created the true Oswald, and that the two cannot exist without each other, Oswald attempts to talk his way out of it. Despite this, Nygma shoots Oswald into the chest and pushes him into the harbor where Oswald sinks to the ground.
Seeking a master
A few nights later, Edward takes hallucinogenic pills, and has a hallucination of Oswald. The hallucination tells him that there is no Ed Nygma without The Penguin. Later at night, Nygma ambushes a professor in his laboratory. Although the man screams for help, Nygma holds him at gunpoint and claims that the entire building is empty save the two of them. He then asks the puzzled man a riddle. When the frightened man gives the wrong answer, Nygma screams from frustration, claiming that he would have expected the chair of a scientific faculty to be more intelligent. He then apologizes for his angry outburst, claiming that he has not been himself the last days. He asks the man another riddle which the scientist answers wrong again. Edward is disappointed once again, stating that he expected more. He reveals to the scientist that "the others" were unable to answer his riddle as well. When the professor asks who the others were, Nygma reveals that he already visited an artist, a writer and a philosopher and despite their status as intellectual people none of them was able to appease Nygma.Nygma tells the professor that after Penguin's death, Nygma is now searching for an individual to take Oswald's place as a kind of mentor. However, as the man has proven to be no match for Nygma's riddles, Nygma locks the man in his own laboratory while activating gas pipes. Nygma also activates a bunsen burner before he flees the building, causing the entire building to be ripped to shreds in an explosion moments later.
Back at Oswald's former manor, which Nygma is using as his headquarter now, Nygma takes more hallucinogenic pills in order to see another hallucination. The hallucination congratulates Edward for his training, but makes a sarcastic joke, and tells Nygma to drop the riddles if he ever means to be successful in his search. Nygma refuses and claims that only someone who can solve his riddles can help him in order to completely become a villain. The hallucination claims that no one can "teach" Nygma to become a villain, and that villains create themselves. He gives his own story as an example, as he killed Fish Mooney by throwing her off a rooftop in order to fully become the Penguin. Nygma, however, misinterprets this and starts believing that he needs a nemesis in order to become a true villain. Oswald is deeply annoyed, realizing that Nygma will go after Gordon again.
Indeed, Nygma sends a henchman to deliver a riddle to the GCPD, knowing that it will attract Gordon's attention. However, Gordon is not at the GCPD and Harvey Bullock and Lucius Fox, both men having been suspicious because the deaths of Gotham's intellectual individuals anyhow, receive the message instead. The riddle, warning of another murder, is accompanied by a map.
Seeking a nemesis
Meanwhile, Nygma has arrived at a chess tournament, the place his riddle led to. He uses a remote control to activate devices under the chess tables. To keep him company, Nygma throws in another pill in order to see Oswald. Oswald reveals Nygma that as a hallucination, he knows everything that Nygma knows. Oswald tries to convince Edward into doing things in the way of the Penguin, however, Edward disagrees. When he looks back onto the tournament, he finds that the police has arrived. He is interested, as he believed that only Gordon could have solved his riddle. He realizes that Fox must be responsible and arms his device. The device underneath one of the tables creates an electric shock, blasting one tournament member off his chair. When another tries to move, she is hit by electricity as well. Amused by the situation, Nygma leaves and lets the GCPD figure out a way to defuse his machine and to find his next riddle which is a phone number hidden underneath the chess figures.
Fox eventually finds the number and calls. Nygma takes up the phone and claims that he expected the call seven minutes ago. He adds that it has been rude by Fox to intercept other person's mail. Nygma tells Fox that he killed the six people because they failed his test. He tells Fox to keep solving his clues, as this will lead Fox to pass the test. Fox asks what happens if he declines but Nygma tells him that innocent lives will be at stakes. Nygma gives Fox another riddle and then hangs up the phone, muttering that he himself will get another step closer to revealing his true self to Gotham. It is revealed that he started using a light green question mark as his new sign.
Back at his base, Nygma has another headed argument with a hallucination of Oswald. This leads to Nygma spitefully admitting that by killing Oswald he killed a piece of himself. However, he claims that he will move forward nonetheless and leave Oswald's memory behind.
Meanwhile, Fox has figured out that the riddle means that Bullock will be the killer's next target. Indeed, Nygma approaches Bullock who is about to welcome new recruits into the GCPD. When the two meet behind the stage, Nygma claims that he has come because Bullock and his police force seem unable to locate the "missing" Mayor Cobblepot. He states that he has come to address the cadets in Cobblepot's place. Harvey is then called by Fox and Nygma realizes that Fox will warn Bullock. While Bullock takes the phone, Nygma attacks him and renders him unconscious.
He then addresses the cadets anyhow, telling them one of his riddles. He throws several gas grenades into the group, intending to suffocate them. When Fox, who has deduced that Nygma is the killer, calls Nygma to confront him, Nygma reveals that he had the cadets poisoned but that he is ready to play a game for the antidote. Fox agrees and heads into the building alone. When he comes up the staircase, he realizes that Nygma has Bullock tied to a chair and has the chair dangling above the staircase. Nygma tells Fox that he will give Fox three riddles. For every riddle Fox answers wrong, Nygma will cut one of the ropes holding Bullock. If all three riddles have been answered wrongly, all ropes will be cut and Bullock, along with the antidote he is carrying in a phial around his neck, will plummet to his death. This means that if Fox answers just one riddle correct, he wins. Fox tries to solve Nygma's riddle but answers wrong two times. Nygma is aghast, having believed that Fox was more intelligent than that. He cuts two of the ropes holding Bullock and poses his last riddle. Fox is unhappy, as per definition Fox' answer was correct. Nygma, however, gets more and more unhinged. He screams that Fox is supposed to give the answer Nygma wants and laments that Cobblepot seems to have been right. However, he quickly discards the thought, screaming that Fox is just not good enough to be his enemy. Nygma draws his gun and holds it into Fox' face. Nonetheless he does not shoot as he still has another riddle to give. However, Fox does not concentrate on the riddle anymore, as he has deduced from Nygma's outburst and comments that Nygma murdered Oswald.Fox then answers Nygma's last riddle correctly, getting him an evil smile from Nygma. However, Nygma reveals that he previously partly cut the last rope. The rope snaps and Fox desperately jumps forward to save Bullock. He gets hold of Bullock and is able to save both Bullock and the antidote. However, the incident allows Nygma to escape. After his attack on Bullock, Nygma is a fugitive once more. The GCPD storms Cobblepot's manor in order to arrest him but they find the manor abandoned, only a portrait of Oswald left which has a green question mark sprayed on it. While the GCPD is at the manor, Nygma ambushes Fox in his car. Fox states that they found out that the anti-dote was grape juice and the deadly gas was just knock-out gas. Nygma states that the point was not killing the cadets but having Fox play his game. Fox then manipulates Nygma into revealing why he had murdered Oswald and to reveal his general motivation. Fox tries to appeal to Nygma in order to have him turn himself in and Nygma realizes that his actions seem mad to Fox. Fox confirms this, claiming that Nygma seems mad to everyone. Nygma realizes that his search for a mentor or an enemy was just in order to cling to the memory of Oswald for just a little bit more. However, he states that Fox helped him realize how to be his own man. Fox asks who exactly Nygma believes to be and Nygma answers that he is the Riddler. He then knocks out Fox and leaves him in his car.
Nygma later invites Penguin's hallucination to the docks of the river, and starts telling him that their friendship has really meant something. Edward reveals to Oswald that he misses him very much. The hallucination reveals that he forgives Nygma and Nygma throws the pills into the river, as he believes that he is fully motivated, and that causes the Penguin's hallucination to dissolve. Nygma, however, does not know that Oswald was saved by Ivy Pepper, and that he is now planning to kill the newborn Riddler.
Provoking the Court of Owls
|“||I have a question! What is this mysterious Court that controls the levers of power her ein Gotham?||„|
|~ Nygma during his broadcast|
Under his new identity, Nygma reveals himself to Gotham by a string of robberies - robbing three banks in just one night. Back in his lair, he is visited by Barbara. When she calls him "Edd", he lets it slide because they are old friends. However, he states that his name is "the Riddler". Barbara reveals that she is investigating the Court of Owls and Nygma is intrigued. He remembers something Strange told him during his time in Indian Hill and, seeing the Court as the one riddle he could not solve, promises that he will solve it. He claims that he will do so in his own way and that he would need someone from Gotham's elite to make an impact strong enough to challenge the Court. In order to do so, Nygma later storms a theater where a great amount of Gotham's elite is enjoying the show. He claims that he will kidnap and torture one of them in order to expose the secret group leading Gotham. After making his threat, Nygma stabs the main actor with a sword and then leaves the stage. He leaves a box imprinted with a question mark. In this box, he leaves a riddle in which he describes which victim he will kidnap.
Later, he heads to the Sirens where he reveals his plan to Barbara and Tabitha. Tabitha is still angry with him for kidnapping her and Barbara chides him for making such a show of his investigation. Nygma, however, is not worried at all because he still thinks he can outsmart everyone. He also smugly reveals that he left a message to the GCPD in order to fully embarrass them when they fail to save the victim. The victim, he reveals, is to be mayor Aubrey James who, after running Gotham for over ten years, should be aware of a secret organization leading the city. Barbara asks him what will happen when the mayor does not know anything but Nygma reveals that he has a plan to smoke them out. He also tells Barbara and Tabitha that in order for his plan to work, he needs them to blow up a bomb in a nearby biker bar. When Tabitha asks Nygma how he plans to get hold of James now that the GCPD is warned, Nygma reveals that the GCPD will deliver James to him. Indeed, Nygma's plan works out perfectly.
After having poisoned Aubrey James, Nygma heads to the hospital he knows James will be delivered to. When the GCPD deliver James to the exact same hospital, Nygma distracts Gordon by playing a tape over the hospital's speaker system. Meanwhile, dozens of injured bikers are brought into the hospital as a result of the bomb Nygma had Barbara deliver. The remaining bikers who are not injures swiftly provoke a fight with the GCPD when the police refuses to let them into the hospital and during the chaos, Nygma who is disguised as a police officer confronts Aubrey James. He kills James' two guards and flees with the mayor while the police is still fighting the bikers. Nygma brings James to his lair where he and Barbara interrogate him. Although James only knows the name of the organization - the Court - this is enough for Nygma as he now knows the Court exists. He then reveals to Barbara and Tabitha, who has arrived as well, that he has a plan to force the Court to reveal themselves. He does so by hijacking a public television broadcast and openly talking about a secret Court leading Gotham.
To stop him, Gordon calls Nygma and claims that he knows who runs Gotham and that he will tell Nygma if he comes to the GCPD and turns himself in. Nygma at first refuses but then realizes that he will never know the truth if he does not play Gordon's game. However, he demands that everyone except Gordon leaves the GCPD precinct and the police indeed evacuate the building. He and James enter the building but James has a bomb strapped to his neck to which Nygma holds the trigger. Nygma orders Gordon to tell him what he wants to know, threatening to blow up James should Gordon refuses, but Gordon just tells Nygma to go through with it and kill the mayor. Nygma does not believe that Jim is being serious and once again threatens to blow up James. When Gordon still does not reveal anything, Nygma presses the trigger but nothing happens. Gordon then reveals to Nygma that there is a radio frequency jamming the signal of Nygma's trigger. Gordon also reveals that Nygma was betrayed by Tabitha who informed Gordona about the bomb.
Although temporarily set back, Nygma regains his composure and claims that this changes nothing. He aims his gun at James, still threatening to kill the mayor if he does not get answers about the Court. Gordon pulls a car key out of his pocket and tells Nygma that if Nygma lets the mayor go, Gordon will drive Nygma to the Court. Although Nygma senses a trap, he is not able to let the riddle go unsolved, thus agreeing to Gordon's proposal.
Captive of the Court of Owls
Having driven out of Gotham, Gordon and Nygma await the agents of the Court. While waiting, both men remember the dinner they had together with Lee and Kristen. Gordon claims that he considered Nygma a friend back then, but Nygma states that every friendship ends with betrayal. A car then drives up and Kathryn exits it. Although Nygma is skeptical at first, Kathryn convinces him eventually. She tells Nygma to enter her car and all his questions will be answered. Nygma enters Kathryn's car and the Court drives off with him. At the Court's headquarter, Nygma is imprisoned and locked up in a cage. A few days later, Oswald is captured by the Court as well and locked up in the cell next to Nygma, horrifying both men and revealing to Nygma that Oswald survived.
Both men are shocked but Oswald immediately tries to grab Nygma. When Nygma asks him how he survived, Oswald reveals that when Nygma shot him he gave him something to live for - revenge. When Oswald calls Nygma "Ed", Nygma screams that Penguin has no right to call him that. He states that he is the Riddler now and that he became that when he killed Penguin. Although they are caged up, both men make it clear to each other that they plan to murder the other once they have come free. The two keep arguing, with Penguin making a shiv which Nygma claims to be to thin. Oswald replies by constantly mentioning the name "Edward", which causes Nygma to rage eventually.
Nygma also reveals that he stole a blow dart from the guards a few days ago. Claiming that he initially planned to use it on the guards, he blows it into Penguin's throat instead. While Penguin starts to lose consciousness, he manages to slam his food tablet to the floor, causing enough noise to alert the guards who arrive in time to see Nygma, who has already picked the lock of his cell, trying to escape. While Nygma is beaten up by the guards and returns to his cell, Penguin loses consciousness completely. After Oswald regains consciousness, Edward angrily screams at him because his lock-pick was confiscated. A brief conversation between the two starts and Edward reveals that he overheard the guards talking about an imminent attack on Gotham. Eventually, Penguin decides that antagonizing each other will not help. The two agree that if they want to escape, they need to work together. The two make some rules for the project, one being that they cannot kill each other immediately after but will have a six-hour-window for both men to escape and prepare. Both agree to the rules and shake hands, sealing their pact.
The two manage to open Oswald's cell and then act as if Nygma took Oswald hostage. Oswald calls in the guards and Nygma seemingly slices his throat, but Oswald then suddenly gets back up and attacks the Guards. After both men are dead, Oswald opens Nygma's cell. The two escape the building and flee into the streets of Gotham. There, both men drop their weapons as their agreement still gives them five hours. There, Nygma asks Oswald how he plans to win as Nygma is an ally of Barbara and thus of the entire Gotham mafia. Oswald replies that he has an army of Hugo Strange's monsters and that he would take down Nygma even if he were alone.
After escaping, Edward returns to the Sirens where he informs Barbara, Tabitha and Butch that Oswald is still alive. Tabitha doesn't believe him and accuses him of planning to lure them into a trap. Barbara, however, who still has not forgiven Tabitha for selling out Nygma to Gordon, believes Nygma. Nygma also reveals to Barbara, whom he tells everything he found out about the Court. He then turns back to the matter at hand, revealing to the three that Penguin must believe them all equally guilty and that they need to work together to take him out. He states that Penguin will most likely not be in his mansion so sending a hit team won't make any sense. He claims that Penguin will most likely be in one of his hideouts but that he knows where they all are. As he leaves, he adds that Penguin has an army of Strange's experiments.
Together with Butch, Nygma starts storming Penguin's safehouses and in one of them, he actually finds Penguin who has been abandoned by his army. As they break into the room, the two find only Penguin and Ivy Pepper. When they approach Oswald, Butch asks whether he can kill Penguin but Nygma realizes something is wrong. He is proven right when Penguin hits a button on a trigger which causes all blends to slam shut, dousing the room in darkness. Oswald and Ivy escape through a hidden door while Nygma and Butch are trapped inside the safehouse. Nygma screams after Oswald that he is only delaying the inevitable.
When Selina Kyle is captured and delivered to him and Barbara, Nygma realizes that Oswald has been abandoned by his allies and that he wants Selina to find them for him again. He devises a plan and orders Selina to call Oswald and tell that she found the monsters and wants to meet. She actually does so and calls Ivy who willingly reveals their location. Selina informs Nygma and his group who turn up at Oswald's location in full force. However, before he wants to kill Oswald, Nygma wants Oswald to call him "the Riddler". Much to Nygma's anger, Oswald refuses and Nygma prepares to torture Oswald until he says the name. The situation is further disturbed when suddenly a third group led by Fish Mooney turns up, armed to the teeth. Fish takes Oswald with her and then sarcastically tells the rest of the group to "carry on" with whatever they were doing.
When the virus of the Court has successfully affected the city, Nygma and Barbara watch the chaos from the Sirens nightclub. Nygma states that despite their insanity, the Court of Owls sure has style. Barbara replies that the Court also handed them an opportunity to consolidate power but Nygma reminds her that he has no interest in ruling Gotham, he only wants Oswald dead. Barbara, however, is no longer willing to assist Nygma if he does not help her taking full control of the City.
Nygma actually devices a plan for Barbara, which heavily relies on Jervis Tetch. Barbara has Butch break Tetch out of Arkham during a prison transfer. They plan to use Tetch, who is vital for an antidote for the Tetch virus, as a hostage and demand a large ransome, half of the city in fact, for returning him. However, Nygma is called by Gordon who proposes an exchange - Tetch for Oswald. Without Barbara's knowledge, Nygma agrees to the deal and takes Tetch and drives off.
Nygma awaits Bullock, Gordon and Oswald in an abandoned warehouse. He has a grenade strapped to Tetch and claims that he will pull the pin if anyone tries to trick him. He then arrogantly assures Oswald that his demise at Nygma's hands was inevitable but Oswald replies that Nygma said the same thing the last time.
Before the exchange can take place, Barbara, Butch and Tabitha show up and demand Tetch. Nygma uses the grenade he pinned to Tetch and throws it at the trio. They manage to take cover and a gunfight breaks out. During the gunfight, Oswald manages to run out of the warehouse, pursued by Nygma. Outside, he waits for Nygma and ambushes him from behind and knocks him out. He throws the unconscious Nygma in the GCPD car Jim and Bullock brought him to the warehouse with and drives off.
When Nygma regains consciousness, he finds himself to be captured in the back of the police car. Oswald reveals to him that he is improvising and that he does not yet know where he will take Nygma to. He makes it clear that he plans to draw out the moment. Oswald then wonders whether it is killing Nygma to know that he is not as smart as he thinks. Nygma claims that his plan was perfect, Oswald denies it. He does not realize, however, that Nygma is already picking the lock of his handcuffs.
While they drive on, Edward asks Oswald whether he isn't tired of making the same mistake over and over again - feeding his ego instead of killing the opponent when he has the chance. Oswald, however, laughs and asks Edward if he, as the self proclaimed Riddler, is the right person to lecture others about their ego. Nygma states that Oswald will always fail because he will always let his base emotions drive him. He provokes Oswald by stating that he could never have loved Oswald because Oswald is a spoiled child who throws a tantrum whenever things do not go his way. Fed up with Nygma's provocations, Oswald drives the car to the side of the road, draws his gun and tells Nygma to prepare for a massive tantrum. However, once he tries to open the back door, Nygma kicks it open, jumps out of the car and grabs the gun Oswald dropped. When he aims the gun at Oswald, Oswald actuallly throws a tantrum and screams that everything is not fair and that it was his time to kill Nygma. Nygma replies that Oswald will always fail because he will never change. Oswald spitefully replies that at least he knows who he is and states that Nygma's rebirth as the Riddler was a lie because the entire personna is based on a lie. Oswald loudly states that there is nothing Nygma can do about this but Nygma smiles and claims that actually, there might be a way.
Nygma drives Oswald back to the docks where he previously shot him. Nygma states that it is really great to be back and asks Oswald whether he has any last words. Oswald replies that he is fine for now, which surprises Nygma. He states that he is about to kill Oswald so there will be no "later". If Oswald has anything to say he should do so now. Oswald only replies "Duly noted!". Nygma starts to get tense and he states that Oswald will not ruin this moment for him. He claims that while Oswald has nothing to say, he has. He tells Oswald goodbye and pulls the trigger but nothing happens.
Oswald only nods and reveals to Nygma that he emptied the gun while Edward was unconscious. He adds that he also called Ivy and Mr. Freeze and the same moment, the two reveal themselves. Oswald also tells Nygma that the pin he found on the backseat and used to free himself from the handcuffs was Oswald's tie pin; he wanted to make it personal. Nygma realizes that he has been played and that Oswald wanted him to think that he had the upper hand. Nygma then asks why Oswald did not just kill him. Oswald replies that Nygma was the one time Oswald let love weaken him. He states that he wants Nygma as a constant reminder not to make that mistake again. Freeze then steps forward and blasts his freeze ray at Nygma, freezing him whole as Oswald watches in glee.
After returning to his mansion, Penguin reveals to Ivy that he has plans for a new nightclub, the "Iceberg Lounge", where the main attraction will be the ice block Nygma is frozen in. Three months later, the ice block is actually set up in the Iceberg Lounge. Penguin claims to the public that Nygma had a rare brain disease and had to be frozen until a cure can be found.
Although he is displayed in the Iceberg Lounge, an unknown woman manages to break into the Lounge and melt Nygma out of the ice. She brings the unconscious Nygma to her apartment where she waits for him to wake up. Once Nygma has regained consciousness, the woman happily acknowledges the fact and introduces herself as Myrtle Jenkins, an old classmate of Nygma's from elementary school and a fanatic Riddler fan. She claims that she is Nygma's number one fan. Nygma accepts this and claims that he needs to be going. However, he then panicks when he realizes that he cannot move his body. Myrtle reveals to him that his muscles have atrophied from being on ice. She also reveals that Penguin has displayed him at the Iceberg Lounge for three months. She tells Nygma that she plans to nurse Nygma back to health so that he can usurp Penguin and become Gothams top villain - with her as his sidekick. Listening to all this, Nygma grows more and more shocked.
While she waits for Nygma to recover, Jenkins shows Nygma the outfit she has created for her sidekick personna - The Riddlette - but Nygma is not really convinced. He is, however, intrigued that she managed to outsmart Oswald. When Jenkins asks Nygma how he would have planned the escape out of the Iceberg Lounge, Nygma is horrified to realize that he cannot come up with a plan on the spot. As Jenkins leaves to get him some soup, Nygma realizes that after being molten out of the ice, Nygma is not nearly as smart as he was before.
When Myrtle later returns to continue "helping" Nygma, Jenkins now plans to stimulate Nygma's brain in order to help his brain to move Nygma's muscles. For this to work, she has created some riddles and Nygma gladly accepts the challenge, claiming that this is what he needs to feel like himself again. However, to his and her distress he cannot answer even the simplest riddle correctly. When Myrtle tries to explain that it seems something is wrong with Nygma's brain, he angrily replies that there is nothing wrong with his brain - the problem are her riddles. He demands that she brings him a riddle worthy of his name and Myrtle trundles off to find a riddle book. After Nygma cannot even solve the riddles from a children's book, Myrtle angrily claims that Nygma's brilliant mind is as damaged as the rest of his body. This causes Nygma to jump up - having regained power over his body - and knock out Myrtle with the heavy book. He then dresses himself and heads out into Gotham - which is now completely controled by Penguin.
Nygma continues trying to solve riddles but his intelligence seems to be still gone. Nygma also makes preparations to kill Oswald Cobblepot. Later that day, Penguin is visited by two street performers. They claim that Nygma has sent them and that they have a message for Penguin. After they have performed their message, in which Nygma invites Penguin to a meeting, Penguin sends the two away and decides to accept Nygma's invitation. However, he wants to take Zsasz and his men with him, wo are to ambush Nygma during the meeting and capture him alive so that Victor Fries can deep-freeze him once more. Although Penguin has been at the location described in Nygma's message, Nygma was nowhere to be found. Nygma's messengers arrive with a new message in which Nygma calls Penguin a coward and gives him a chance to make it right. The message contains a new riddle for a location and this time, Penguin decides just to torture the two to get the location.
After waiting for Oswald to turn up without success once more, Nygma then storms into the Iceberg Lounge and screams that he waited. He calls Oswald a coward and demands that Oswald show himself. Oswald then steps out of the shadow and claims that he is not a coward, Nygma's riddles just suck. When Nygma starts explaining his riddle, Oswald realizes that what Myrtle Jennings said is true - Nygma is not smart anymore. Nygma refuses to listen but Oswald asks how long it took to create this riddles. Nygma admits that it took him six hours and Oswald laughs. Nygma then threatens to shoot Oswald but Oswald claims that while Nygma might kill him, only the Riddler can get revenge on him - and Nygma clearly is not the Riddler anymore. Oswald claims that the Riddler is gone and Nygma is currently even less than Ed Nygma, because the real Ed Nygma would have realized something. At that point, Victor Fries reveals himself and shoots Nygma's gun out of his hand. Oswald gleefully explains to Nygma that he will freeze Nygma once more. Fries asks whether Nygma wants "the same pose" or a different one. Nygma tries to beg but Victor merely replies "Same pose, got it!" and prepares to fire his freeze ray. However, when Nygma sees that he is indeed not the Riddler anymore and accepts his fate, Oswald stops Fries and claims that he made up his mind. Instead of freezing Nygma, Oswald will let him go because it is far better revenge to have Nygma live his life without intelligence than to simply have him frozen. As Oswald turns away from Nygma, Nygma asks himself who he is now that he isn't the Riddler anymore.
Partnership with Solomon Grundy
In order to find some way to make him smart again, Nygma robs a pharmacy but the pharmacist reveals to him that there is no pill that can fix Nygma's rather specific condition. When Nygma lashes out at the man, the pharmacist tricks him by telling him to search a certain drawer. Once Nygma does so, the pharmacist impales Nygma's hand with a memo clip. He picks up the gun Nygma dropped but soon realizes that it is fake. As the pharmacist turns to leave and call the police, he also reveals to Nygma that the pills he tricked him into searching are merely sugar pills. Nygma escapes into a side alley once the pharmacist is gone, where - to his horror - he stumbles into the resurrected Butch Gilzean.
Frightened, Nygma stumbles back and claims that he never had any issue with Butch, blaming it all on Barbara Kean, and does not realize that Butch has no memory of his past and thinks of himself as "Solomon Grundy". When Nygma doesn't stop talking, Grundy knocks him out and carries him away. Nygma wakes up back on a truck in the same alley and angrily throws away the sugar pills he stole. Believing Butch's return to be nothing more but a dream, Nygma is only the more frightened when Grundy suddenly appears next to him. Nygma soon realizes that Butch cannot remember any of his past and has a child-like mind Grundy wants Nygma's help in remembering his past and Nygma reveals that he cannot help Grundy as he cannot even help himself. He reveals that he used to be smart but not cannot even rob a pharmacy, but Grundy is not deterred by that and offers him a hot dog as a sign of friendship, which Nygma accepts.
After the two have eaten their hot dog, they are suddenly ambushed by several thugs Grundy encountered early. They attack but Grundy uses his superhuman strength to eliminate all of them with ease. During the battle, one of the thugs lights Grundy's arm on fire, which causes Grundy to panick. He screams at Nygma for help and Nygma seemingly abandons him, only to come back with a bucket of water and using it to extinguish the fire. Realizing what Nygma has done, Grundy comments that Nygma is smart after all.
As they walk through Gotham, Nygma makes plans to use Grundy for his own good. He reveals to Grundy that they used to be best friends and that with Grundy's strength, they can make money and use this money to make Nygma smart again. The two head to an underground fightclub, where they look for the owner. Once Nygma has found her, he claims that he is Grundy's manager. The owner agrees to use Grundy in her fights but first sends him to the doctor to have Grundy's burn wound patched up. This doctor is revealed to be none other than Leslie Thompkins.
Lee is still cold towards Nygma, resenting him for murdering Kristen Kringle and framing Jim for it. She wants to slap him for it but Grundy stops her. She is shocked to see Butch and after sending Grundy away, Nygma truthfully explains that he has no idea what happened to Butch, only that he is freakishly strong now and has no memory of his past life. He also reveals that he wants Lee's help to get smart again but Lee refuses. Nygma tries to convince her and promises her to help her in return but Lee coldly brushes him off and states that she will never help him.
In the ring, Grundy is soon revealed to be a strong fighter and easily defeats his combatants. While Lee is patching up Grundy after a battle, she tries to convince Grundy that Nygma is not his friend and only using him, but Grundy doesn't listen. Nygma enters the room soon after and tries once more to convince Lee to help him, even going as far as trying to bribe her with money from the victory. When Lee leaves the club soon after, Nygma follows her and realizes that Lee has opened a makeshift clinic for the poor and homeless people of Gotham. Witnessing this, Nygma smiles as he has now found a way to blackmail Lee. The next day, he approaches Lee and reveals that the clinic makes Lee vulnerable. However, Lee soon realizes that Nygma has no idea what exactly he will do if Lee keeps refusing and thus simply laughs at Nygma and walks off.
However, Lee is eventually forced to take Nygma's offer as she has no more antibiotics in her clinic. Thus, she agrees to help Nygma if he hands her his money, although she won't make any promises that she will be successful.
Confrontation at the Fight Club
Nygma and Grundy keep working at the Fight Club. However, in addition to Grundy's fighting, Nygma also sets up an act mocking the Penguin. The act primarily preys on the hate of the citizens of the Narrows for Penguin, while also providing Nygma with something to do. After one of his performances, Nygma tells Lee that the people of the Narrows seem to hate Penguin almost as much as he does. Lee advises him to be cautious, as Penguin surely won't let this insult stand once he hears about it.
Indeed, Penguin sends Barbara, Tabitha and Selina to kidnap Nygma from the fight club. While there, Barbara recognizes Lee and starts talking to her, while Tabitha recognizes Butch and goes after him. This leaves Selina to follow Nygma behind the stage, where she knocks him out easily. After her conversation with Lee, Barbara comes down behind the stage as well, only to find that Nygma has already been captured by Selina. The two bring Nygma upstairs and stumble upon Butch. Using the opportunity, Nygma orders Grundy to rip them all to pieces. The situation is defused when Selina proposes that they settle their differences in the ring. Realizing that Selina wants to pit one of them against Grundy, Nygma easily accepts the offer. He once more dons the Penguin attire and prepares the people in the fight club for the upcoming match.
The fight is broken up when Firefly appears, having orders from Penguin to burn everyone inside the club. In addition, the club's guests are not willing to let Penguin's lackeys take their friends. In the ensuing chaos, Firefly is defeated and the Sirens are forced to flee unsuccessful while Nygma gleefully laughs at his victory. While Lee is later tending to Grundy, Nygma informs her that the people of the Narrows are now looking up to her as their new leader, much to the shock of Lee. Nygma also seems to assume an advisory role to Lee now, as she has no idea how to run the fight club, much less the Narrows.