gotham bruce wayne vigilante batman

Warning: spoilers ahead for Episode 7 of Gotham Season 4, "A Day in the Narrows."

Everybody who watches Gotham has to know that young Bruce Wayne is destined to someday become Batman, but probably not for a very long time. He was just a boy in the pilot when his parents were killed in the alley, and he's still only a teenager. Still, after the events of "A Day in the Narrows," we have to wonder if maybe Bruce will become Batman a whole lot sooner than we thought.

Of course, Gotham has been introducing more and more elements of the Batman persona into Bruce Wayne in Season 4, so it's not a huge shocker that the latest episode featured some new developments. After all, Season 3 ended with Bruce standing on a rooftop in all black clothing, ready to fight crime as a vigilante with Alfred as backup. In Season 4, Lucius Fox pitched in and delivered some new gear for Bruce to keep him safer while battling the bad guys on the streets of Gotham. Still, there is more to the Batman persona than simply the Dark Knight who haunts rooftops, and "A Day in the Narrows" went a long way to develop another side of the character: the airhead billionaire.

Bruce dabbled in delivering the performance of an airhead billionaire with nothing better to do than spend money and waste time earlier in Season 4, but "A Day in the Narrows" took him much farther very quickly. Reeling from his decision to kill Ra's al Ghul (who will undoubtedly be back among in the living in the not-too-distant future), Bruce is acting out in a pretty dangerous way. The control he maintained over his behavior when he was acting the part of the airhead to bid on Ra's al Ghul's knife was absent in this episode, and he was definitely acting out.

Bailing on his own fundraiser with a girl from his old school, he hooked up with a bunch of kids his age, including one who had bullied him about the deaths of his parents. Bruce came right out and admitted that he was a crime-fighting vigilante when the kids asked him what he does for fun. He even fantasized brutally beating the pulp out of the bully after he made some slightly snarky comments about Alfred. Then he joined them on a trip to a nightclub after one of the boys claimed he could get them all in. He failed to do so, so Bruce decided to use his Wayne name and fortune to show the bully up. Young Bruce went up to the owner and bought the nightclub.

If the extravagancy had stopped there, Bruce's behavior might have been fun rather than somewhat alarming. Instead, Bruce started drinking pretty heavily, and he hit the dance floor. He lost control, and that's a really dangerous thing for somebody with Bruce's abilities, resources, temperament, and destiny. The ability to play at irresponsibility will be essential to him when he becomes Batman, but he'll need to regain control of himself first. The good thing that may come out of Bruce's breakdown is that the experience he'll gain while acting out may come in handy and hasten his transformation into the Dark Knight.

All of this said, Gotham almost certainly won't turn Bruce into the full-fledged Batman until the very end, but we may see him get quite close sooner than we thought. We'll have to wait and see. New episodes of Gotham air on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.

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