The past five seasons of Gotham on Fox have been a wild ride. The show that started out feeling more or less like a crime procedural set in a comic book city is now arguably the most bonkers comic TV show on broadcast television, in the best way. Telling a serialized origin story of Bruce Wayne into Batman with most of his most iconic allies and enemies, Gotham has become the Batman show few could have imagined all those years ago. Sadly, Gotham is ending, and sooner than fans knew.
After the most recent installment, which finally unleashed Bane in all his villainous glory and broke somebody's back, fans who have kept track of the episode count knew that only two more hours of the show were left before the final credits roll. Now, Gotham confirmed via tweet that those two final episodes will air back-to-back as one big event in April.
The downside is that Gotham ends a week earlier than it would if the episodes were split. The upside is that the two-hour event could be the Batman movie fans truly deserve but never really expected. Even though the majority of the show has actually followed Jim Gordon rather than Bruce Wayne, Gotham isn't exactly hiding that the Dark Knight is just about ready to seize his destiny. Take a look at how the show announced the two-episode finale event:
I spy a bat-cowl in that image! Between the back of Batman's head and the promise that "The Dark Knight Is Upon Us," it's probably safe to say that the two-hour series finale isn't going to skimp on finishing Bruce's transformation into the man ready for the cape and the cowl.
Of course, Bruce being ready for the cape and the cowl doesn't necessarily mean young David Mazouz is ready for it. The show had to get creative to allow Mazouz to play Batman, which is only fair after he spent five years telling the origin story of Bruce-to-Bat! Why does this mean that the finale will basically be an epic Batman movie? Well, the finale will be able to deliver the best of the best of Batman mythos while keeping the Gotham twist that has made this adaptation stand out.
Gotham has already done the legwork of developing all of the heroes and villains that are poised to come together for the climactic showdown teased way back in the Season 5 premiere. Viewers can already be emotionally invested in these characters, and they have reasons to connect with and root for this version of Bruce Wayne, who almost certainly will not be branding any criminals before sending them to prison.
And Bruce isn't the only one. There are other heroes and even anti-heroes to root for by this point in the series. Every plot twist can be the culmination of arcs that have been developing for up to half a decade. In a way, the Gotham finale could be a bit like the first Avengers movie.
Before The Avengers, the MCU had already introduced and developed Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Nick Fury, so the stakes were high and fans cared. Everything led to that point, and it was a smash success. (Contrast this with Justice League, which really only had Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman as developed major characters by the time it premiered.) If Gotham can pull off the same thing that Avengers did, it could make for a truly remarkable ending.
The Gotham finale can deliver Batman as well as all the side characters who make Batman who he is. Villains like Penguin and the Riddler will apparently have a key part to play in the battle against Bane, and they'll hopefully be snarking at each other the entire time. Despite her dark turn that has pushed her closer to Catwoman than ever before, Selina is firmly on Bruce's side.
Alfred is presumably down for the count until a time jump thanks to what Bane did to him, but he's certainly going to be a key part of Bruce becoming Batman. And then there's the future Commissioner Gordon, if Gotham follows the comics with regard to Jim's future position. Jim and Barbara just had a baby girl who will grow up to be none other than the future Batgirl.
I'm not quite sure what will happen that Jim will agree to name his daughter after the woman who had tried to kill him and Lee on several separate occasions, even if that woman is the mother of his child. Will my early prediction come true, and Barbara Kean will bite the dust? It wouldn't be the first prediction to come true, and that would give Jim a decent reason to want to name their daughter after his crazy former fiancee.
Then there's Walker (now revealed to be Nyssa al Ghul) and Bane to be defeated, and then the flash-forward that will hopefully deliver the Bat-climax that fans have been waiting for. After five seasons of build and a group of characters played by actors who absolutely inhabit their roles, can't you just imagine the satisfaction of an ending with the Dark Knight standing on a rooftop, cape billowing behind him, with the Bat-Signal shining into the night sky?
Admittedly, that may not exactly be how the show ends, but Ben McKenzie did tease years ago that the final scene would involve Bruce in the cape, and the promo for the finale is positively batty. Check it out:
If the show does indeed end on an iconic shot of Batman after the time jump, perhaps he'll have a sidekick with him. Since the time jump is ten years, the sidekick presumably wouldn't be Batgirl unless Jim, Barbara, and Lee all bite the dust and left young Babs Gordon an orphan who could be fostered by Bruce Wayne.
But why not a Robin? Season 1 introduced John Grayson and his future wife Mary, and they'll have had plenty of time to have a son and then die traumatizing deaths in front of him. Bruce as Batman could have conceivably taken in Dick Grayson and turned him into the first Robin by the end of the time jump, and wouldn't it be fitting for Gotham to end with another young boy starting out on a hero's journey, with Batman by his side?
Ending on the impression that the good fight will continue could be a bit like the end of The Dark Knight Rises, except with Dick Grayson as Boy Wonder by Batman's side rather than Joseph Gordon-Levitt as an adult whose first name turns out to be "Robin." So, a better ending, right?
An ending like that would allow fans to dream happy -- if somewhat unrealistic -- dreams of a Gotham sequel series. Give David Mazouz a full-grown stunt double, slap a fake mustache on Ben McKenzie, let Robin Lord Taylor and Cory Michael Smith continue bickering as two of Gotham's longest-running baddies, and cast some young actors as Dick Grayson and Babs Gordon! I would watch that.
Sadly, a sequel series is pretty unlikely, but the two-hour series finale could be a perfectly cinematic way to wrap up the saga that has been Gotham. Be sure to tune in to Fox on Thursday, April 18 at 8 p.m. ET to see the final installment.