Gotham is a Fox Broadcasting Company production which captures the times in Gotham as Batman emerges from a young Bruce Wayne. After following the characters’ journey for seasons and seasons, the show has finally given us the first and last look at Batman, an entity that Bruce Wayne has spent all the last seasons becoming. The series finale follows the story ten years after Bruce Wayne, played by David Mazouz, leaves Gotham but just before his eventual return as the dark caped crusader. The finale begins at the moment where resident villain Oswald Cobblepot, played by Robin Lord Taylor, is about to be released from jail.
The story of the show follows Jim Gordon, a Gotham City Police Department investigator, as he follows the trail of resident villains and trouble makers in the city, interacting with a young Bruce Wayne along the way. With this episode in particular, the emphasis is on the final stages of development of the characters, good and bad, present in Gotham, just as Batman is about to make his entry to the Gotham City stage.
So the episode goes, Oswald Cobblepot is getting out and he’s already reeled together his infamous Penguin ensemble; resident officer of the law, Jim Gordon, has been out and about investigating a weird creature flying around the city whilst simultaneously fighting the battle of clearing his buddy, Harvey Bullock’s name from being framed for murder. Through all this, the super star of a police officer is also fighting to save his daughter from the unlabeled Joke who hung her over the same cripplingly burning acid that gave him his own new face.
With the episode taking a scene from ten years beyond when Bruce Wayne left Gotham City, while we’ve seen many of the other characters age and be recast (as is done in the case of Selena Kyle as well), we wonder why Bruce Wayne hasn’t been recast from David Mazouz to a bit of an older actor. The answer to that becomes clear once you follow through with the episode. Firstly, the motive of the finale isn’t to focus on Batman himself, but to set the stage of Gotham City for Batman’s entry. This means that the episode truly cultivates all the other characters of the Batman story, such as all the villains and helpers in the city, as was the aim of the show throughout its few seasons: to focus on the coming of Batman and not on Batman himself.
In the development of the other characters, we see that Oswald Cobblepot has broken the Riddler and old friend, Ed, out of prison as well. Jeremiah (who we know as the Joker in the story of Batman) has apparently spent a decade in a vegetative state, only to be nursed back to health by his nurse and potential love interest Harley Quinn. Another fantastic duo taking its final form in the show is the pair of Barbara Kean, Jim Gordon’s loco ex-girlfriend, and Selina Kyle, better known as Catwoman.
The series finale definitely delivers as many Batman legacy fans would agree in terms of truly cultivating all the characters and setting the prelude for Batman’s official entry into the Gotham Cityscape. While it was a little bit of a let down to not see more of Batman once the show gave a glimpse of him, it is justified as the show’s purpose remains to explore the development of Gotham pre-Batman and leading up to Batman-era, and not to dwell on the happenings in the city once Batman is present and active. To watch on about what Batman gets up to, we’ve got tons of other movies and films out there, but the show has definitely made its mark in capturing the developments before the arrival of the infamous superhero.