Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) has been descending into darkness throughout "Gotham" Season 2. In episode 15, Nygma started to hit his stride in finding his identity as the Riddler when he put Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) through a series of games that ended with Gordon getting arrested for murder. It now looks like he will very soon evolve into the popular Batman villain on the Fox drama.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Smith said Monday night's episode was "the birth of the Riddler," but Nygma "doesn't know it yet." The character will continue to learn that puzzles and riddles are the things that will eventually become signatures of the villain.
"He's embraced the idea of being a criminal — and also, this episode shows that he doesn't understand that he's exploring his trademark yet. It's not like he's decided, 'Oh, I am the Riddler, I'm going to be famous for puzzles and I'm going to use a question mark as my calling card.' It just kind of happens," Smith dished.
Smith also added that he likes the version of the Riddler "who's creating puzzles and kind of mocking people" rather than the one that's a pure murderer. He feels the joking-kind of Riddler is the one that appeals more to what the show is going for.
In a previous interview with International Business Times, Smith said he turned to the Batman comic "The Riddle Factory" for motivation. He found the way that the Riddler uses puzzles and words to be "disturbing."
"He shows no remorse for what he’s done and goes onto the next person he targets. That level of terror and how much fun he has doing it is pretty dark," Smith said.
While Smith may have been inspired by the comic, he has also been able to make the character his own. After being a laughing stock at the GCPD for most of the series, Nygma is now a force to be reckoned with after getting Gordon locked up. What will the future green question mark villain have up his sleeve next this season?
Watch a video clip of the transformation of Nygma below:
"Gotham" airs Mondays on Fox at 8 p.m. EDT.