Water Under Troubled Bridges.
Warning: Full spoilers for the episode follow…
Woo hoo! Man-Bat!
And was that, there at the end, something to do with Ventriloquist and Scarface? There was that creepy doll on the bed. Or were these altered versions of Mother and Orphan, who like Ventriloquist and Scarface are rumored to be headed to the show in the fifth and final season? We’ll have to see. Or, you know, wait for some official word from the producers regarding the matter.
That was definitely the
bat signal though, hah. As well as the show’s official huge set up for a very “No Man’s Land” (hence the title) arc in the final season. Now that Jim’s stayed behind – along with Bruce, Alfred, Lucius, Harvey, and a dozen expendable cops meant to be fed to Penguin’s Place, the Fire Factory, the Ice Tunnels, the Siren Sanctuary, and Scarecrow’s – um – Scanctuary – chaos will rain down on the city so that Ra’s Al Ghul’s prophecy of Bruce rising up as a “Dark Knight” hero can be fulfilled.
This season finale was filled with the usual Gotham hallmarks. Firstly, it had people really wanting other people to change and become what they’re meant to be. We saw it with Ed and Lee and then with Ra’s, Jeremiah and Bruce. Secondly, we got a mish-mash of DC/Batman lore. A mix tape, if you will, blending a bunch of comic stories with new insane arcs. And man, they really followed through on the “Killing Joke”ness of last week’s episode by having Selina suffer spinal trauma after her gunshot wound to the abdomen. Doe this mean she’ll become the show’s Oracle instead of Catwoman?
Thirdly, and this is counting last week’s episode as part of the endgame, we got huge acts of violence in both Bruce Wayne’s den and Jim Gordon’s precinct. The aforementioned gunshot to Selina’s gut and, this week, the League’s attack and slaughter of cops and soldiers. It never fails. These two locations are the least safe in the entire city.
Fourthly, though almost part of that the third trait, both Bruce and Jim got kidnapped. This is the cornerstone of the entire series, these two getting taken.
Now, here’s an interesting bit to chew on. So often the characters on Gotham, because all the outrageous twists and turns over the years, have very complicated interpersonal histories. So much so that sometimes it’s hard to keep track. Kudos to the show for remembering that Tabby killed Oswald’s mom. Yup, Penguin played the extreme long game here and cured Butch just so he could kill him in front of her.
But, with regard to that very same idea, Lee and Ed’s relationship makes even less sense given their history. When she stabbed Ed, I was sure it was because Ed had sent Jim to prison, costing both of them their future together – and their baby! That was all Ed. I thought she was getting revenge for that. But nope, it was because she just knew Ed was crazy and would one day kill her. Because that’s basically his track record with the women he loves. Isabella doesn’t count because I’m still pretty sure she was created in a lab by Hugo.
I mean, she’s not wrong. He’s nuts and would have probably turned on her violently at some point, but I really wanted her to bring up that past ugliness between them. Especially on an episode that was all about her and Jim finally reconciling, as much as they can given the circumstances, and moving on with their lives.
“No Man’s Land” was sort of a loud mess, overall, sloppily juggling all the characters and giving us, once a gain, a fairly unimpressive and not-all-that formidable Ra’s Al Ghul. As far as next year’s final season goes, this feels like a big and fitting story as we’ll no longer have to care about how ineffective the GCPD is or how many laws are getting broken every episode, because it’s all going to be a free-for-all war zone. Still, had this been the final hurrah for the show, if had been canceled, it wouldn’t have been much to hang one’s hat on. You can’t always judge a season finale like that, I’m aware, but given the move to Thursdays and the bubble status of the show, you couldn’t help but hope for a better bang/buck ratio.