If there was ever a time to feel emotional about Gotham this is the time! The 97th episode has just aired but this is the final ever episode they filmed. With thanks to the Gotham cast and crew they have given us sneak peaks into what scenes characters/actors filmed last. When this weeks episode director Erin Richards called it a wrap on the episode it also meant filming had finished overall on the season.
Keeping the writing and directing in the Gotham family was a visual and storyline treat. Ben McKenzie penning his second episode of Gotham, really expanded on the conscience of Captain James Gordon. Detective Harvey Bullock again played a central character in the story, which is always welcomed. The return of Victor Zsasz and Ivy Pepper certainly put a whole new meaning of falling in love. Ben McKenzie words also brought a lot of truth and cleverly allowed some characters to share their own experiences in comforting another characters.
This may be Erin Richards first time directing an episode of Gotham but she directed and wrote her own short film “Hot Girl”. Erin also shadowed one of my favourite directors on Gotham TJ Scott, who is currently directing an episode of The Doom Patrol. It is quickly obvious Erin has a unique eye for style, angles and getting the best out of the cast.
This episode has a rare thing in the history of Gotham, a happy ending. But will it last?
Captain James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) needs the gangs of Gotham to agree on a cease fire other wise reunification of the city could be put into jeopardy. Jim always needing to be the hero is very apparent. In a heated discussion with Leslie Thompkins ( Morena Baccarin), she thinks Jim he just putting himself in a crossfire.
Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) is hosting Jims gang land get together at city hall. Barbara Kean ( Erin Richards) is growing impatient as the submarine isn’t ready. Barbara’s pregnancy is progressing and she wants to leave the island as soon as possible. Oswald reminds her that Nygma is building it by himself and does require patience and if they are are going to leave Gotham they need to keep Gordon happy.
The first sentimental moment in this episode for me as fan of Gotham happens in this scene. Jim arrives looking the most determined and walks through the centre of the gangs. Oswald calls down to Jim to let him know its his show “Mi casa, su casa.” This is last line Robin Lord Taylor said as Oswald Cobblepot.
The gangs have a choice between life and death. Jim knows the government won’t support a war zone. With the drinking water supply running low, a cease fire is the only solution to guarantee reunification. With a discussion amongst the gangs they agree just as a gun shot is fired. Harvey asks Jim if he can see where it came from. Jim is stood quiet on the steps, opens his jacket the bullet hit him and in a visual dramatic slow moment he falls to the ground.
For Leslie seeing Jim being carried into the GCPD is her worse fear come true. The amount of blood loss and not having done general surgery for a long time panics her. Lee successfully removes the bullet and now it’s a waiting game for Jim to regain consciousness. Behind the closed eyes of Jim the start of a hallucinogenic trial of Jim Gordon begins. A couple of very cool additions to these scenes would of been if we could of had the return of Harvey Dent played Nicholas D’Agosto to be Jim’s prosecutor. But after watching the episode a couple of times and reflecting on why Jim was prosecuting himself it made complete sense. A bleeding, sweating and in pain Jim having to stand in the witness box to listen how many more people must die in his need to be a hero? The judge is not a judge we have seen on Gotham before but again it would of been great to see Don Carmine Falcone played by John Doman to decide if the people in Jim Gordons life are better of with him alive or dead?, considering their rocky history.
Leslie Thompkins is the first witness called to give evidence, dressed in black with a black veil covering her face. Jim broke her heart, broke up their enagement and suffered the loss of their child but yet Lee is still willing to be with him. It’s definitely true love but the prosecution asks the question “would you, Dr. Lee Thompkins, be better off if Jim Gordon were dead?” Lee answers “I am sorry. Everything he touches dies.” The prosecution takes this as an honourable answer. Ghosts of people on fire from Haven stand in the gallery as another example where Jim failed people that believed and trusted him.
Probably the funniest part of Jims hallucinogenic journey is his wake. Jim is behind bars and Harvey is drinking a cocktail made by Alfred. There are criminals and acquaintances from his past all stood around singing for he is a jolly good fellow. Nygma is on the piano, Penguin by his side leading the chorus. The prisms of light shine through the scene beautifully as we see glimpses of Scarecrow, Professor Pyg, The Court of Owls and Arkham Asylum inmates. Jim is confused as he isn’t dead yet, but Harvey thinks it would be a bit of bummer to have it after you die. The second witness appears as Jim asks himself how can be a father when everything around him dies? Will Thomas the orphan from early in the season who did die in Haven returns. He guides Jim out of the cell and to an old execution electric chair. Will tells Jim it’s time as Leslie appears in front of Jim again holding a baby. Jim doesn’t know whether he can hold the baby which disappoints Lee and she drops the baby (fake doll) in front of him. Screaming he wants to live, Will tells Jim it’s too late and pulls the lever to electrocute him.
Bruce Wayne ( David Mazouz) serves Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) probably her best tin canned food dinner date. The empty mansion Bruce has taken her to has an impressive dinning room table with candles ready to make this an extra special evening. I have been longing for these two move on with their relationship but I won’t deny their brutal honesty which each as been fun to watch. Bruce is thinking of leaving Gotham especially now Wayne Manor is gone. He also feels so many terrible things have happened because of him. Selina being his voice of reason doesn’t agree as it was Jeremiah who blew up his home. Unknown to them Ivy Pepper is watching from a far room and she waits until the time is right to make an appearance and agrees with Bruce maybe it is time for billionaire boy to leave Gotham.
Ivy Pepper (Peyton List) is one of my stand out characters in this episode for many reasons. The hostility between Ivy and Selina is still fresh since their last scenes in season 4. Ivy needs Bruce to come with her because he loves her a lot, or he will do. Selina doesn’t like the way Ivy is messing with Bruce. Ivy predicted this and she brought a friend that Selina will recognise. The Mutant leader, Selina attacked is alive, a bit more scared and well. Ivy manages to grab Bruce as he lunges at her. Ivy has her hand around Bruce’s throat and she heard his discussion about the future of Gotham. Ivy has decided Gotham is going to be a green world. Bruce now fully under Ivy’s powers, she takes the opportunity to tell Selina that she has alway thought she was better then Ivy. But without Ivy’s plants Selina would have never walked again, Ivy believes she made Selina strong again.
Selina has been left with the mutant leader. He complains about what she did to his face. Selina doesn’t see it as a problem as he has never been much of a looker. Mutant man asks Selina as he is beating her up why would Selina hurt Ivy’s feelings because she is so sweet. Looks like Ivy has another male under her influence. With an impressive use of her whip, Selina gets Mutant leader in a head lock and tells him that Ivy didn’t make her strong. Selina did it all by herself.
Another good thing about having an extra episode in this final season, Detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) is again central in this story. Undoubtedly shocked by Jim being shot he reassures the GCPD that Jim is going to be fine but it felt like he was saying it aloud to reassure himself. Informing the officers he is now acting Captain he needs the gangs to know that he will not tolerate them running wild. Detective Harper (Kelcy Griffin) is put in charge as she has proved time and time again to Jim and Harvey she is strong and dependable. As the only thing that Harvey is concentrating on is who shot his partner.
Harvey storms city hall just as Penguin tells Barbara he thinks Jim being shot is a good thing for Barbara as she will get to keep her baby. Bullock doesn’t wait and punches Oswald and wants Information on who shot Jim. Oswald hysterical as ever and he genuinely doesn’t know who is responsible he just supplied the venue for Jim. Penguin receives another punch to the stomach. Harvey decides to ask Barbara about her involvement in the shooting of Jim as her budding up with Penguin hasn’t gone unnoticed. Whatever Harvey thinks of Barbara she would not plot to have the father of her child killed. Someone in that room shot Jim and Harvey isn’t leaving until he finds out who. Harvey is wrong and Penguin is glad to tell him this as the shooter wasn’t in the room, it came from the outside. From the angle of the trajectory the remains of the bullet is still in the handrail of the stairs. Barbara asks if there is anything she can do, Harvey wants her to stop the gangs from tearing the city apart.
Bullock checks on Jims progress but also wants the other half of the bullet. The initials VZ are engraved and only one assassin goes by these initials, Victor Zsasz. Zsasz (Anthony Carrigan) is another Gotham character that is always engaging to watch. His unique optimism before assassinating someone is very likeable but it shouldn’t be, but hey it’s Gotham! Zsasz is ready to boogie as he has arrived at the GCPD to kill Jim Gordon. A fantastic single moment from Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee) takes Zsasz out and stamps on his face.
Harvey wants to see the look on Zsasz face when Jim walks through the interrogation room door. Zsasz is probably a bit more cheerful then he normally is as he tells Harvey he is a vegan now. To Harvey it makes no sense why Zsasz would want to kill Jim now after he saved Zsasz from Penguin’s guillotine. Zsasz should really be going after Penguin, but it’s not up to Zsasz who is goes after. Harvey realises he is working for someone, with a headbutt and a punch to the mouth Harvey wants a name. Zsasz mentions roses and I automatically thought maybe Sofia Falcone has woken from her coma, but then it’s quite obvious Ivy and her influencing plant powers has Zsasz under a spell. Harvey quickly works it out and leaves Zsasz repeating the name of the lady he thinks he is in love with. Mrs Ivy Pepper Zsasz has the most beautiful sound to it.
The way Ivy Pepper quicky influences people under her plant spell is absolutely fascinating and destructive that even Jeremiah would be impressed. Zsasz still chained to the desk tells Jeff the GCPD Officer guarding him that he will find someone special one day. Like all good surprises another GCPD Officer enters through the door and shoots poor Jeff, but she is under the influence of Ivy. Zsasz’s can feel Ivy’s presence and it’s fascinating to watch these two interact. Ivy caresses Zsasz head like they are actually a couple in love. Ivy having decided to kill Jim herself Zsasz just needs to keep the cops busy.
Harvey makes an announcement to the precinct about Ivy and how she is on the loose. Zsasz enters firing his guns and talks about how Ivy freed him and that’s true love. Zsasz mouth is probably a bit loose whilst under Ivy’s hypnotic state as he tells everyone he is a distraction so Ivy can kill Jim herself.
Jim goes into cardiac arrest and Lee needs her adrenaline. Ivy is pleased as it looks like Victor succeeded after all. Lee holds a scalpel blade to warn Ivy off but Ivy decides to kill Lee as well. As with all good medical room fights scenes Lee holds her own and wants to know why Ivy targeted Jim. Ivy wants Gotham to be born a new and return to what it was before the trees where ripped from the earth. Jim is fighting for death where Ivy is promising life in its purest form. Ivy has Lee by the throat and Lee apologises for what it’s worth and shoots Ivy in the left side of her abdomen. Ivy wants Lee to feel the worst pain ever and smashes the vile of adrenaline that could save Jim’s life.
Harvey needs to get to the store room and asks Alfred and Alvarez cover him. Harvey returns in the famous bomb disposal suit that Ed wore a few episodes back and its hilarious. Zsasz fires at Harvey and watches him fall to the ground. Harvey gets up and charges at him and knocks Zsasz out with great satisfaction as you get the sense he’s always wanted to do that.
Bruce Wayne under Ivy powers is a great comedic moment. His mission is to convince Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk) to shut down the plant so he isn’t filtering the water anymore. Immediately Lucius is delighted that Bruce is taking an interest and what he is doing but when mentioned that they can save hundreds of people life’s, Bruce’s reaction is not what he expected. Bruce rolls his eyes “People, Ugh.” Bruce sprays Lucius with Ivy’s perfume and he becomes giddy with delight and now Lucius is willing do anything for Ivy.
Lucius is overiding the system so all the toxins will be released back into the river and the overload will destroy the filters. It’s the ridiculous huge grins on Bruce and Lucius faces as they watch all the good work being undone. Bruce knows Ivy will be so happy, as a security breach is announced. Selina is seen on the camera and Bruce goes to deal with her.
Another amazing fight scene between young Bruce and Selina. Selina doesn’t actually want to fight Bruce. She tries to reason with Bruce about why he would want to kill everyone in Gotham. Selina’s nose is bleeding but she should not be surprised as Bruce doesn’t care as he is already going to leave Gotham. Her true feelings about Bruce leaving Gotham come out as she continually punches him in the face as Selina doesn’t want to be stuck in Gotham without Bruce and this knocks Bruce out of his hypnotic state. Lucius is still stood grinning ridiculously watching the toxins going back into the river. Bruce tries to convince Lucius he is under Ivy’s influence but a kick to the head from Selina is the only solution to snap Lucius out of his joy for Ivy.
Leslie Thompkins doesn’t leave Jims side and she is heroic in her own way. The way the scenes for Lee have been written takes Lee on her own personal emontial journey of watching her love fight for his life. Alfred brings her a coffee as he heard on the grapevine herself and Jim had an argument. Alfred certainly feels she has misgivings about the arrival of Jim and Barbara’s child. Lee questions what she is getting herself into, how is she supposed to raise a child along side a psychopath like Barbara Kean? Lee also worries that she doesn’t know what’s going on inside of Jim head. Alfred thinks Jim needs Lee a lot more then Jim lets on. Lee needs to hear this from Jim and she never thought her life was going to be this way.
Alfred giving advice and sharing his own personal thoughts on how he has brought up Master Bruce is my favourite scene in this episode. He had no interest in being a father, Alfred always presumed that he would be unfit. Alfred recalling the night he saw young Bruce down an alley way quite literally shaking with fear. Alfred is aware that he is not Master Bruce’s flesh and blood, but it the moments of little things like when he uses a skill that Alfred once taught him. Or they laugh at a joke they both share. For Alfred these moments are the most ecstatic moments of his life. He is confident Lee will figure out the hows and the what’s and Alfred knows Lee will make an exquisite mother and the child will be extraordinary because of her.
Barbara Kean does what Harvey has asked of her. The gangs are now gathered at The Sirens and she pours them all a drink. They toast to Jim bring at deaths door. Penguin doesn’t understand what Babs is doing but this is her way of keeping the city from ripping itself apart. Oswald questions Barbara’s feelings for Jim but what if Ed fails at making the submarine and they could be stuck here. This could put them in Gordon’s good books and Barbara considers this a back up plan.
Barbara confesses to the gangs why she really brought them to the club as she wants them to agree on immediate truce. They laugh as they are willing to shoot Barbara and take her club. In her usual confident way Barbara reveals the drinks were poisoned and the leader had two extra shots before everyone got there. Like clockwork he starts frothing at the mouth, Oswald who is stood to the side smiles in disbelief as he watches. The leader dies, and the rest of the gangs have 48 hours before they need the antidote which Barbara promises to deliver. The deal is they all go back to their territories, play nice and send Barbara all their guns. Barbara agrees with what Penguin said earlier “keep your friends close, and keep your enemies closer.”
When Jim awoke from his hallucinations he knew he almost died. Lee was there to reassure him that it’s okay to be scared. Jim also confessed that bringing up a child without Lee is the scariest thing and he can do it without her. Lee moves in close as Jim asks Lee something and we get another time jump to one month later.
The GCPD is decorated with flowers and candles. Jim and Harvey stand in front of seated guests as the officers of the GCPD stand and watch. Bruce comments on how nervous Jim looks. Leslie walks down the stairs in an elegant white dress and Harvey asks everyone to sit. It’s not going to be a long drawn out wedding, a nice short one so everyone can get to the bar. The sound of laughter is rare in Gotham city and this is probably one of the most romantic moments in Gotham’s history. Harvey is perfect to officiate the wedding as he reminisces about a young Jim Gordon being moralistic and a pain in the ass. Now Jim is Captain and nothing has changed. Another tissue grabbing moment is when Harvey tells everyone Jim is his best friend and only friend. Lee has always had Jims back, apart from the time she had the Tetch virus and tried to kill Jim. Harvey sees this as true love. I think what is so touching about this wedding is that Ben and Morena are married in real life and met and fell in love during the first season of Gotham. They keep their private life as private as they wish, quite rightly too. But I felt like we had as an audience been invited to their second wedding. The other incredibly emotional part of this scene is this was the last ever scene filmed on Gotham. Nuptials exchanged between Jim and Lee has a good effect on everyone as Bruce romantically goes in for that BatCat kiss we have been waiting for. Alfred and Lucius look at each other amused by what they witnessed.
It’s no surprise that Oswald and Barbara were not invited to the wedding. Oswald being Oswald congratulates Barbara for holding the city together so this blessed moment could take place. Oswald saw through Barbara’s plan as controlling the gangs was not a back up plan but a way to convince James Gordon that she had changed. Jim will always see Barbara as a dangerous woman keeping his child away from him. Barbara wants to leave Gotham as soon as possible and Oswald finds it’s amusing that Jim will hunt her down to the ends of the earth.
This is a good episode of Gotham. I do admit I am incredibly biased when it’s comes to this incredible show and I will defend it in every way I can. It does stick out as being the episode that was added in extra unlike “Nothing’s Shocking” slotted in perfectly. It’s an easy episode to watch, fun and poignant.
Overall I would score this episode 8.5/10