Spoilers ahead for the April 12 episode of Gotham on Fox.
Gotham has kickstarted Bruce Wayne's transformation into Batman in Season 4, and recent developments almost give the impression that he's only one growth spurt away from being ready for the cape and the cowl. Of course, Batman isn't Batman without his array of gadgets, and Bruce hasn't made use of too many toys beyond the bare essentials at this point. The latest episode finally gave Bruce a certain something that should help him out a great deal as he continues his transformation: the first Batmobile. Check it out!
Okay, so the car technically wasn't called the Batmobile in the episode, but it's totally the Batmobile 1.0, and it was a gift from Alfred to Bruce for his birthday. Admittedly, this first Batmobile is a far cry from the tank-esque Batmobiles that tend to appear in the movies; it's at least one that could blend in on the streets if nobody looks too closely at it. In fact, at first glance, the car looks like a Ford Mustang that just happens to be very black.
If somebody does happen to look closely at the car, they'll realize that it's much more than just an expensive Mustang that any boy billionaire could get for his birthday. Bruce himself didn't realize how special it is until Alfred started describing its many features, and they're not features that come standard on many sportscars. Here's how Alfred described the proto-Batmobile:
V8, 5 liter, 460 horsepower engine. Painted matte black, anti-reflective. Very difficult to see at night. Oh, and of course, this! 100% bulletproof. Best be prepared, eh?
Can I just say now that Bruce had better not throw any more temper tantrums and kick Alfred out of the house? I'm not sure how Alfred procured (or afforded) the Batmobile 1.0, but even Bruce was astonished by it, and not just because his beloved butler drew a sidearm and fired two shots at his birthday present. The car is a big gift that will probably save Bruce's life many times, at least until he inevitably upgrades to a bigger and more distinctly Bat-like 'mobile.
Given that the majority of the episode's focus was on Jerome's crazy plan for Gotham and the subsequent transformation of Jeremiah into the Joker, we didn't get to see too much of Bruce and Batmobile 1.0. Fortunately, photos for the next episode have already been released, and one image indicates that the Batmobile will be in action sooner rather than later. Take a look!
Bruce isn't wearing his cape and cowl to drive the Batmobile at this point and he's clearly taking passengers, but racing around the city in a very nonstandard vehicle to (presumably) fight crime is still another major step toward Bruce becoming Batman. The timing really couldn't be better, all things considered. The birth of the Joker almost certainly means that more murder and mayhem is on the way for the folks of Gotham, and the good guys will need all the help they can get. If that help comes in the form of a boy billionaire and his fancy car, who is Jim to complain? Depending on how Gotham adapts that classic Batman comics storyline, the Batmobile may be incredibly helpful overall.