“Yet in the darkness there will be light.”
“The Beginning” was a beautiful end of Gotham. I am going to be honest about what I would of changed. In my active imagination I would of liked to seen a scene with Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee) with our Gotham Dark Knight. Apart from that I am a very happy Gotham fan who has never felt obliged to keep watching because maybe whatever season I am watching hoping that it will get better. All the seasons have been unique and given us different story arcs leading up to the final moments of Bruce Wayne as the Dark Knight looking down over the city.
The show runners of Gotham have to be praised because they never turned the show silly and they alway said the final scene of Gotham on the last ever episode would be Batman looking over Gotham, that’s exactly what we got. I personally think we got a lot more Bat action then I thought, I know there are people out there thought we would get more. Throughout the episode he was present, watching and protecting.
So what did show runner, director and writer of this episode John Stephens bring with regular Director Rob Bailey. Here is my final spoiler filled recap/review of my favourite DC television show.
This is the last time we see Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) out of his new disguise. He arrives by ship to which I assume is Nanda Parbat. He writes a letter to Alfred saying that he won’t hear from him for some time. But he promises to return when he knows he is able to protect the people he loves. When Gotham needs him he will return. This is a good opening scene to this episode as we see the mountains of where Bruce is headed.
Commissioner James Gordon ( Ben McKenzie) is at city hall with Detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) discussing a new problem someone is attacking the gangs of Gotham. Mayor Aubrey James ( Richard Kind) is in city hall and thinks the attacks could be connected to Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) being released from Black Gate Prison. Jim is planning on resigning from his position as commissioner and yes Jim has the iconic moustache. Mayor James knows Jim means something to the city and doesn’t want him to quit. Jim assumes Major Aubrey wants him to stay around because Wayne Tower is opening and Bruce Wayne is returning to the city after a decade away. The new Wayne Tower represents hope for Gotham. Jim promised he would stay until after the Wayne inaugural. Then he is done as commissioner.
The Mayor leaves Jim and Harvey alone, for Jim it’s been a long ten years and he feels it’s time for someone else to have a chance. Harvey wonders if it’s a coincidence that Jim has waited for Bruce to return. Jim doesn’t respond as he has to meet Barbara. Harvey calls Barbara the queen of Gotham, which is interesting as she brought up all the properties in Gotham after reunification as they were going cheap. Harvey softens when he tells Jim to give his daughter a kiss from her uncle Harvey.
The most striking appearance about Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) is her hair colour, long mane of red. Barbara Lee their daughter is now 10 years old and ecstatic to see her father. Barbara is surprised Jim hasn’t heard from Bruce and she is assuming he will be at the gala for Wayne Tower, Barbara is eager for Bruce to see in three months he won’t have the tallest building in Gotham anymore.
One of my favourite locations on Gotham is the Asylum of all Asylums, Arkham. A guard reads a newspaper which one of the inmates finds interesting especially the front page. Who is one of the residents? Edward “The Riddler” Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) dressed in the familiar Arkham colours, long haired and laughing like a crazy person when he reads that Bruce Wayne is returning to Gotham. In a sulky tone Ed tells the guard that he knew Bruce and they saved Gotham together. As the guard turns the page Ed gasps as he sees an article about Oswald Cobblepot being released from Blackgate prison. The guard uses his truncheon against the metal cage to stop him from reading the paper. Ed proved he could handle being in Arkham back in season 2 and stops one of his inmates painting the head of someone in a wheelchair. Ed snatches the paintbrush and asks “do you know who that is? Jeremiah Valeska.” Ed considers Jeremiah to be a legend. In an unexpected moment he breaks the paintbrush in half and stabs Jeremiah in the thigh. With being in Arkham for ten years and a vegetable he can’t feel no pain. Jeremiah sits motionless in the wheelchair and we get to see the scars and what is left of his hair when he fell into the chemicals at Ace Chemicals. Cameron Monaghan has put so many different performances to make Gotham’s take on Mr.J I am so impressed with his final outing as this crazy, disfigured emotionally broken, sadistic character. Alarm bells start ringing which send the inmates crazy, guards run in and one of them approaches Ed and puts a sack over his head and gets taken away. A nurse removes the broken paint brush from Jeremiah’s leg, she also looks familiar and she pushes Jeremiah away from the chaos.
We get a glimpse into what is life like for Jim and Doctor Leslie Thompkins (Morena Baccarin) Lee checks on sleeping Barbara Lee and Jim is getting used to having no moustache. It a nice light moment where Jim admits he tried it out and it doesn’t suit him. Lee jokes that at least Bruce will now recognise Jim. Lee wonders how much Bruce has changed, because they have not, Lee is still a Doctor and Jim a cop….well for not much longer. Lee does question if Jim is having second thoughts about retiring, he just smiles as she is all for it. Lee does understand how much being a cop means to Jim and the city does look to him. It always has. Jim was hoping Gotham would outgrow him but that has not happened no has stepped forward to take over as Commissioner. Lee is curious what Bruce will think of Selina as she has become the it girl around Gotham.
Camren Bicondova made the decision not to be in the finale episode as Selina Kyle. In a letter explaining to the fans she expressed that she felt deeply that having played the teen Selina Kyle for the last five years she wanted to pass the torch on to an older actress. Lili Simmons was cast and Camren spent a lot of time with Lili talking about her crafting the character of Selina. I for one was disappointed when I read Camren’s letter but I fully understand her decision. Casting has been done incredibly well and which is one of Gotham’s strengths, Lili fits the role of adult Selina very well. Her mannerisms and directness definitely shadows Camren Bicondova.
I really enjoyed this scene of watching a thief which oozed every inch of a sleek cat. Our Catwoman is out to steal a diamond and the way she manoeuvres is very impressive almost hypnotic. Removing her mask Selina carefully removes the diamond from its glass box, she gasps as a large dark movement causes a quick shadow. Selina isn’t phased by what she has seen as she knows it’s Bruce watching her. As she leaves we get our first confirmation that a dark figure is watching the known criminals in the city.
Harvey has been given information by Detective Harper ( Kelcy Griffin ) that Nygma has gone from his cell in Arkham and the address of the guard who has not turned up for work. Harvey parks across from an apartment block. As he enters the apartment Harvey calls out “GCPD” the guard is waiting and punches Harvey and aims his gun at him. The guard aggressively tells Harvey to shut up and gives him a cellphone and tells Harvey to talk to someone on the other end. Harvey is horrified as the guard keeps asking him if he understands what he has to do and shoots himself in front of Harvey. Whoever is talking to Harvey on the cellphone certainly has him terrified.
Bullock is back at the GCPD in one of the interrogation rooms. Jim wants to know what happened? Harvey asks what Harper has told Jim but Jim wants to hear it from Harvey. Bullock is claiming he shot the guard, Jim confused and not completely believing Harvey is confessing to killing an unarmed suspect in cold blood. Harvey is convincing in making you believe that’s what happened but as viewers we know this isn’t true. Jim doesn’t know if he’s protecting himself or someone but if he doesn’t change his story he will be going to Blackgate Prison which isn’t a good place for cops. Harvey isn’t changing his story. Jim walks back into the precinct where there is chatter and stares amongst the officers. Jim gives the option, if anyone at the GCPD doesn’t believe Harvey Bullock is innocent can leave. No one leaves. Harper inquires if Jim thinks Nygma is behind this, Jim thinks it’s possible as he has been in Arkham for a decade and he must had help to break out. With Penguin’s release from Blackgate imminent Jim asks Detective Alvarez (J.W. Cortes ) to put a tail on him. Jims order is in the meantime is every other cop in the city is to look for Edward Nygma.
Sat alone with the sack over his head Ed pulls it off and calls out to see if anyone is around. A large case has been left with a letter, it claims to be from Oswald. In the letter it explains that half of Gotham thinks Ed is a madman, the other half have forgotten him. It’s time to remind Gotham who the Riddler is! Oswald has given Ed everything he needs and some instructions to follow. Opening the lid of the case it is full of C4 explosives, Ed laughs hysterically and asks aloud “Oswald what are you planning?”
Probably the most anticipated part of this final episode for me personally is to see what Oswald Cobblepot looks like after our time jump. Robin Lord Taylor, never fails to impress me as The Penguin and his new persona definitely has the wow factor. Oswald is getting ready to leave Blackgate, his familiar theme tune plays in the background as he ties his shoes, puts on his gloves and places a monocle over his new blue eye. In a glorious artistic silhouette his nose is even more beak like and he places a top hat on his head. As he leaves through the front doors of Blackgate the press are waiting for him. His new thicker around the middle stature is visible as Oswald makes his way to a waiting car. What I think is brilliant as he leaves Blackgate he hesitates as he walks down the steps as the presence of the press is not something that makes him comfortable. The press are eager to know what is the first thing Oswald will do as a free man? Another reporter is eager to know will Oswald seek revenge against Jim Gordon? The best revenge against Jim Gordon for Oswald is life serving the city he loves. As Oswald goes to get into his waiting car he notices two men across the road which he knows is two cops put there by Jim. Oswald offers an exclusive to a reporter. Oswald is in the car with the reporter and demands his jacket and hat. The reporter is confused, Oswald loud and viscously demands it “now!”
Harper has a lead to the warehouse where the security guard used to hang out when he was part of the south side gang. There are dead bodies on the floor. Before Jim and Harper arrived our Dark Knight was looking at some plans of a clock tower. Jim notices some creates with U.S Army markings on them, a noise distracts them. Harper is asked by Jim to find the back stairs, Jim walks up the stairs in front of him and calls out. A distorted voice, which is very good and clear and it’s David Mazouz voice, tells Jim that he isn’t his enemy. Batman tells Jim to not touch the bodies as he throws a smoke grenade to make his escape crashing through a window. This is first time we see our Dark Knight running in the smoke. Jim looks out the window but this stranger is nowhere to be see, Jim stands for a moment to take it all in.
Harper can see whoever that person was just saved their lives, but she also suggests that he didn’t kill the two gang members. Jim thinks he could be hunting the same person they are and maybe he is on the GCPD side. The creates of C4 has to been stolen from the government warehouse, which some of it is still missing. An officer approaches with information that Major James has vanished and they have lost their tail on Penguin. Harper can’t understand what is going on? First Nygma and then Penguin. Jim has seen the obvious in keep it simple, he asks Harper to imagine all that C4 and what the biggest target in Gotham is right now? Jim doubles the security of the Wayne Inauguration as he needs to talk to Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth.
Jim gets an unexpected visitor in his car. Oswald gets in the back seat at the same time “hello old friend” with a gun pointed at him Penguin orders Jim to drive. They are back at the pier where Jim brought Oswald under Don Carmine Falcone orders 99 episodes ago. Oswald doesn’t want Jim to talk and tells him to turn around. Oswald wonders if Jim had wished he shot him when he had the chance. If Oswald shoots Jim everyone will know he done it, Oswald laughs as he’s willing to let them. This moment with Jim has been a long time coming. Oswald considers his story with Jim over. With trying to reason with Oswald, Jim is fine with Oswald killing him but he asks there is no need to attack the Wayne gala. This is clever detective work as soon as Oswald admits he doesn’t know what Jim is talking about he can eliminate Penguin from his suspect list. Oswald continues with a broken emotional voice he stood with Jim shoulder to shoulder on the barricades ready to die for the city. Six months later Jim locks Oswald up in Blackgate. Question, what did Penguin and Nygma do to get themselves locked up or was it a case when reunification happened Jim would lock them up. As Oswald cocks the gun and tells Jim to turn around Jim points out Oswald made a mistake bringing him to the pier. Jim dives into the water and Oswald fires shots into the water out of anger.
Alfred Pennyworth is stood by a 3D map of Bruce’s new Gotham, as Selina calls it, she likes the old one. Alfred turns tentatively and is pleasantly surprised to see Miss Kyle. Selina asks where Bruce is and the forever loyal Alfred makes a joke about Master Wayne’s travels have not improved or gained respect in his punctuality. Selina came to the gala to tell Bruce to stop spying on her, but Alfred does a good job of pretending he doesn’t understand. Selina knows it was Bruce spying on her the other night whilst she was on a job. Alfred thinks this all makes perfect sense as Selina has come to the Wayne Gala dressed in a beautiful gown to tell Bruce she doesn’t want anything to do with him. Selina tones changes and she is still angry and hurt at Bruce leaving after everything they went through. She doesn’t think he deserves the right to come back after 10 years and act like nothing has happened. Alfred agrees but he feels Selina should tell Bruce this herself. Selina walks towards the other side of the room and spots Nygma disappearing into a back room. Barbara gives Selina a compliment on her appearance which Selina ignores and takes Barbara with her to where Ed has gone.
The Riddler is impressed with the catering at the gala and takes a plate of food to where he has Major James tied up, Ed has the television on and a reporter is eagerly awaiting the arrival of Bruce Wayne.
Leslie Thompkins sees Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk) who asks about Harvey and how Jim is? Lee doesn’t know as she was hoping Jim was already here at Wayne Towers. Alfred Thaddeus Crane Pennyworth welcomes everyone on behalf of Wayne Enterprises and Bruce Wayne, to the future of Gotham. Ed watches on the television and becomes impatient as Barbara startles him. Ed is surprised to Barbara as a red head, he has guessed and a little disappointed that Barbara is there to stop him. In his usual theatrical over the top ways he asks Barbara if she remembers how amazing she used to be. Barbara considers herself still amazing she just made a choice. This stops Ed laughing as he didn’t get the chance to make a choice as he is The Riddler and on this night Gotham will remember that. Barbara points to Major James and asks “didn’t you do that already?” Ed answers with a fantastic line “it’s a callback.” Ed was waiting for Bruce to come out and do his speech then Ed would come out and present a riddle. As Ed decides he might have to improvise as Bruce is a no show Selina steps out and knocks him over the head with a metal bar.
Alfred continues his speech as Lucius and Lee see Jim enter with the GCPD to evacuate the building. Major James comes running shouting “help” the crowd scream as they saw the C4 strapped to him. Jim asks Ed where the rest of the C4 is but that was all Ed was given. When Jim tells Ed it wasn’t Penguin who broke him out of Arkham he seems quite disappointed. With Penguin not even being a threat Jim looks at the 3D model on the table and looks underneath as that’s where the missing C4 explosives are.
With time short Jim knows Wayne Towers if blown up will kill hundreds of people and he wants everyone to leave. Lee will not leave Jim on his own. They all decided to defuse the bomb, Lucius knows how as they need to sever the connectors which the bomber must of hidden inside the model. Jim remembers the plans on the table at the warehouse where the gang members had been murdered, the clock tower. Lucius and Jim carefully lift the clock tower model, Lucius notices this particular detonator has a gyroscope. Someone will have to hold it steady whilst someone cuts the wires from below. Lee puts herself forward as she has doctors hands, Jim hands her knife and Lucius holds the detonator still. Lee can see two green wires which are the only different colour from the other ones, Lee picks one and they all agree. She cuts it and stops the countdown in which everyone sighs with relief, but with all good edge of your seat moments the countdown speeds up its the other green wire that needs to be cut. With 1 second to spare the bomb is diffused. Lucius realises that the model of the clock tower is the old one not the new one they designed. Jim now knows who is behind this but he considers it not to be possible. Harper comes rushing in as Nygma has vanished and Major James has ordered Bullock to go Blackgate.
Jim shouts stop to a guard escorting Harvey to a police car. Jim knows the person who framed Harvey also got Nygma out of Arkham and he has been faking it. Harvey begs Jim not to say his name as the officer looks between Jim and Harvey. As Jim says “Jeremiah Valeska” The Officer pulls a gun, Harvey knocks him out and breaks Harvey from the hypnosis he was under. Harvey still handcuffed tells Jim to look for a wire under the officers shirt.
Jeremiah is talking to two orderlies in his cell when Ecco delivers news that their cover has now been blown to the sky. Jeremiah bows his head and chuckles uncontrollably.
The Riddler gets into the back of black limousine and is genuinely surprised to see his co passenger is Penguin. Oswald greets Edward as he is very happy to see him. Ed straight away admits he thought Oswald was behind his escape from Arkham and the attempt to blow up Wayne Towers. Oswald confirms he isn’t and just thought Ed needed some help. They exchange pleasantries as Oswald tells Ed he looks well. Ed tells Oswald he does too especially as he is a little thicker around the middle. Oswald is slightly embarrassed at his new appearance. Ed admits its really good to Oswald and they both laugh as something heavy lands on the roof of the limousine. If there was ever a moment that was Batman 66 in this episode it’s this next moment where Penguin is screaming “what the hell was that” there is a whooshing sound and Riddler and Penguin both look up and start screaming.
One of my favourite scenes in this episode which makes this episode feel like Gotham’s version of Batman Begins is when Lucius is having a conversation with Alfred. Bruce went to Lucius the day he arrived back with details of what he was planning. Lucius didn’t hesitate as he believes in what Bruce is doing but he feels strongly that Bruce will need some help. Lucius asks Alfred if Bruce is considering telling Commissioner Gordon? Alfred stops walking and looks up and tells his old friend Lucius whoever Bruce decides to take on his journey with him it’s his decision. Alfred sees his and Lucius role is to serve. Another nice Batman 66 moment, Alfred and Lucius look up where Riddler and Penguin are tied together hanging from a lamppost.
Barbara Kean returns to her old club The Sirens with her daughter who asks questions about the nights events. Barbara has returned to get her gun from a secret drawer in her desk. Music starts to play, Barbara walks to the bar with her gun raised. Ecco stands with her back to her, she refuses to turn around when asked. Jeremiah surprises Barbara from behind and Ecco puts a knife to her throat. Jeremiah wants her to take it easy because it’s a surprise party as he is impressed that Barbara is queen of Gotham, business Titan but Jeremiah remembers the other Barbara as there was also another him. Jeremiah thinks it’s so hard hanging onto what is real it’s enough to drive you mad, he chuckles deeply. Barbara Lee being brave runs out of the office to help her mom, Jeremiah thinks it cute. He notices Barbara Lee has Barbara’s eyes for now. In what I thought originally after watching the episode the first time I thought was predictable but good Jeremiah kidnapping the daughter of Jim and Barbara maybe wasn’t so predictable after my second and third viewing. Ecco has been stabbed by Barbara in a fantastic last performance from Francesca Root-Dodson. Jeremiah calls her his sweet Ecco as there will never be one like you. She smiles in pain and Jeremiah shoots Ecco, which is visually bloody and disturbing as blood spills out of her mouth while she smiles for the last time. Jeremiah coldly comments “but I suppose there are other fish in the sea.” Jeremiah puts his gun to Barbara’s throat as he wants her to deliver a message to Jim. The message for Jim when he arrives with Harvey is that Jim has to go to Jeremiah, the place where he was born again. Jim knows this is Ace Chemicals, a broken Barbara makes Jim promise that their daughter will return safely.
Jeremiah encourages the commissioner as they are waiting for him. Jeremiah has Barbara Lee hung by a rope over a container of chemicals. He finds it funny being back at Ace Chemicals as he still feel his flesh sizzle as it melted away. Jim is close enough and ensures his daughter everything will be fine. Jeremiah chuckles to himself about being in a funny farm for the last ten years. Jim wants to know what he wants? Jim calls him Jeremiah, he then looks over his shoulder as he doesn’t does see a Jeremiah. So what does Jim call him? He thinks for a moment “Jack” which instantly made me think of Jack Nicholson from Batman 89. Maybe “Joseph, Jon…J.” He isn’t sure but he feels something new calling.
One of my favourite lines from this episode is when Jim asks Mr. J how has he been pretending to be brain dead? In which Mr.J answers “How long have you been pretending”? That he calls a joke as he knows Jim isn’t pretending. Jim is getting closer to J but he warns Jim that he is close enough. Jim asks again why J kept pretending? J was waiting for him to come home. J doesn’t mention Bruce’s name but he still feels they are bound together. The one thing he knew for certain, he knew was true. Then he abandoned them. J asks Jim “do you know how it feels to have the one, The only thing you love ripped away from you. It feels like this.” J drops the rope so Barbara Lee is closer to falling into the chemicals. Jim grabs the rope and falls to the floor. J stabs Jim in the hand and tells him he is looking forward to carving him up. A Bata-rang flies through the air knocking the knife out of Mr.J’s hand. With a whooshing sound our Dark Knight shows himself to Mr.J, and he starts hysterically laughing. Another Bata-rang knocks the gun and lands in the back of his hand, again more hysterical laughter. The final Bata-rang is aimed at J’s head and knocks him out. Jim pulls on the rope to bring Barbara Lee to safety. Batman watches as Jim hugs his daughter but soon disappears as Jim looks up for him.
Jim is up on the roof of the GCPD with Harvey, he is asking if this disappearing dude is on their side. Jim believes he is. They are stood in front of the covered up flood light which Harvey thought they got rid off. Jim has them dig it out for old times sake. With a note sent to Wayne Manor, Jim thought maybe Bruce would of liked to be here when he lights it up again.
Alfred arrives sending his apologies from Master Bruce, he is otherwise engaged. Jim mentions how busy Bruce has been since he came back to Gotham. Alfred changes the subject slightly as he heard Jim is retiring, but Jim has decided to stick around for a while. Beautiful cinematic music plays whilst Jim removes the cover of the flood light.
Selina finally gets her chance to talk to Bruce, whilst looking down over Gotham. The cinematography is atmospheric as Selina doesn’t turn around to talk to him. Selina asks if Bruce had any idea what he did just leaving. He was all Selina had, she understood that that he wanted to protect her. But Selina didn’t want to be protected she wanted Bruce. A deeper David Mazouz voice explains that he had to go, but he assures Selina he will never leave Gotham again. Before our Dark Knight whooshes away he tells Selina to return the diamond. She smiles “like hell.”
Penguin and Riddler are in the back of transport prisoner van. Penguin is ranting in his usual unique way, “i did not spend ten years in Blackgate to give my city to a man dressed like a bat!” This is another favourite line of mine from the episode and our only reference to Batman. Ed has managed to break them free and they jump out of the moving vehicle. They both agree that they need to find who this person is and that the city belongs to them. Penguin and Riddler see the Bat shaped figure jump from skyscraper to another and decide in another funny moment they will do it tomorrow.
For our final scene of the final ever episode Alfred, Jim and Harvey are still on the rooftop. Alfred repeats what Jim said to Bruce in the ally after his parents were murdered, Alfred considers these words as saving Bruce’s life. Jim smiles with pride, Harvey looking up a The skyscrapers “Holy mother.” There looking down upon them what we have always been promised Gotham’s Dark Knight. Jim looks up as Harvey asks “who is he?” Jim knows he is “a friend.”
The final ever shot is beautiful and it’s memorable as the camera pans in on the Batman.
I am not sure i can express in words just how extraordinary this final ever episode was. I felt we certainly got an extra treat in seeing how Gotham city looks after it’s time jump. It balanced drama, comedy and brought Gotham city into a stylish time that seemed new but familiar. If this episode was a love letter to the Gotham fans then I am one extremely happy Gothamite. I will certainly look back at all 100 episodes with fondness. I rate this episode 10/10.
Thank you to Gotham for bringing out a passion which I thought died years ago. Thank you to all the Dc World followers and readers who have been reading my very detailed and spoiler filled reviews since the season 4.
Claire Payne @GothamiteClaire
Who’s ready for Pennyworth?….