Gotham's Season 4 Premiere Just Proved Bruce Will Have A Hard Time Becoming Batman

bruce wayne in hood on gotham season 4

Spoiler warning for everyone who hasn't yet watched the Season 4 premiere of Gotham.

Gotham fans lucked out in comparison to other primetime dramas' fanbases, as Season 3 ended in June, weeks later than most shows had, and Season 4's premiere arrived the week before most broadcast networks unveiled their full fall season lineups. Bruce Wayne's proto-Batman wasn't quite as lucky as fans were, though, as his first big foray into vigilantism offered some big setbacks that showed him just how difficult it'll be stopping crime is in Gotham City. And it was mostly his own fault, too.

The Season 4 premiere began much as the Season 3 finale ended, with Bruce standing atop a building and looking out over a city in which the criminal underworld has become the over-world, thanks to The Penguin's new vaguely official deal to license out crime in Gotham. (That Rick-rolling cover was admittedly new, though.) While masked, Bruce managed to stop another random alley mugging -- Gotham citizens should definitely not walk down alleyways at night, shortcuts or not -- and he discovered one of those licenses on one of the muggers. But for whatever reason, he decided to take his mask off to look at the license, and it led to one of several different times he was identified while dressed in his dark garb.

During this first instance, he's eyed from afar by none other than Ra's al Ghul, who has a particular look on his face that crosses pure menace with menace-sourced enjoyment. Ra's already knows that Bruce could be turned into the kind of person that straight murders the only person in the city that truly loves him. And now that he's witnessed the youth striking out on hero missions, you can bet that he'll neither let it slide without interfering, nor forget this particular act in later years once Batman becomes a thing.

Later, after making a dinner date with Jim and showcasing Batman's ability to disappear on a whim, Bruce makes a blatant appearance at The Iceberg Lounge and earns more than a bit of suspicion from The Penguin. Not only he did ask the villain too many questions about the licensing process, but he also got all vocal about not wanting Penguin to put a permanent end to the gang who usurped the fear toxin from Jonathan Crane. As we all know, Batman has a no-kill policy throughout most of the character's iterations, but he also has this thing about not making his detective work embarrassingly obvious to the people he's looking into. Plus, he didn't even disguise his voice when taking the license list from Penguin's bespectacled goon. Don't be shocked if Zsasz makes a point to show up inside Wayne Manor during some inappropriate moment soon.

But none of those were Bruce's biggest mistake, somehow. No, that came whenever he was spying on a robbery-in-progress and misjudged how well a skylight would be able to support his weight. He literally crashed the party, and instead of taking a minute to just adjust to his surroundings, he immediately took his mask off and showed the thieves what he looked like. Of course, that's when the GCPD barged in and caught Bruce in the act of snooping, and I bet it won't do him any good to not have a crime license in his pockets. Would have been a really good time to have a grapple gun handy, but that'll possibly come later.

While he may be getting closer to crafting Batman's signature look, Gotham's Bruce Wayne has a long way to go before becoming the kind of hero that Gotham City deserves. But hey, at least he got to have a moment with Selina, whose coy smile said everything about how the increasingly talented future-villain felt. As well, we all got to watch Alfred do a small amount of ass-kicking, which is always great.

Gotham Season 4 will continue airing on Fox on Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m. ET. To see what else we can expect to see in the early part of the season, check out our Season 4 prep. If you need to know everything else that's coming to the small screen soon, head to our fall premiere schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.