Gotham finale has come at the perfect time – why the Batman saga shouldnt run past season 5
Gotham is coming to an end in 2019, and it will leave behind a fantastic piece of Batman folklore when it completes a story spanning five seasons and 100 episodes. And it will be perfect.
When the series launched in 2014 it promised to delve into the Caped Crusaders origin like never before on the big or small screen, giving comic book aficionados a look at what really made young Bruce Wayne become the citys Dark Knight.
OK, so everyone knows the tale of DC Comics iconic superhero. He saw his parents Thomas and Martha Wayne shot down by a criminal in an alley, and it inspired him to do whats right for Gotham City and protect its citizens from the crooks in the underworld.
As dark as Batman and its setting has been – not so much Adam Wests turn in the classic 1966 series, but we digress – its the colourful cast of rogues that keep viewers and readers gripped.
So, back to Gotham – Bruno Hellers crime drama on FOX which took a step back and decided to show us not just how Bruce became the big, bad Bat, but how the entire world shaped and grew around him.
As much as viewers have enjoyed seeing David Mazouzs journey as a young Bruce, where the series has succeed has been weaving in the likes of Oswald The Penguin Cobblepot (played incredibly by the talented Robin Lord Taylor) and rising cop James Gordon years before he became the Commissioner Jim we all know and love.
No, its not stuck to the source material exactly, but honestly, were not sure that matters. Does anyone REALLY care that Cory Michael Smiths Ed Nygma – AKA The Riddler – worked at the GCPD here instead of Wayne Enterprises, when weve seen such incredible stories told over the four series so far?
Technically this is a Batman show, absolutely. But its become so much more over the 88 episodes and counting, with so many characters being brought to life with such depth that just isnt an option on the big screen without a standalone film.
Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, The Scarecrow and more favourites from the gallery of rogues have been given a real reason for existing in Batmans Gotham City, and the show has done an incredible way of setting it all up.
Even Bruces relationship with Catwomans alter ego Selena Kyle has been done impeccably, with some fantastic references to who they will both become one day. The romance between them – and their wildly different views on whether its acceptable to take a life to save one – has been a perfect nod to a future where they will become bitter rivals.
Not every backstory has been exactly how fans know it from the comics – or other adventures on TV or in Hollywood – but the way each character has been dealt with so lovingly will ensure it becomes a vital part of the history of Batman and his foes. Need some more evidence? Lets take a look at Jerome Valeska (and later his brother Jeremiah).
One thrilling part of The Joker as a character is that no one really knows why hes become the Clown Prince of Crime, and why hes as twisted and obsessed with Batman as he is. Theres an ambiguity to it all, with different filmmakers and comic book writers offering their own takes over the years (Mark Hamill is the best, fight us).
Where Gotham has made an impression here is adding to the mystery of The Joker without taking away from any other interpretation. Despite Jeromes story spanning almost the entire series (well, from his mysterious first appearance at the end of season one at least), its been kept vague.
We know hes meant to be The Joker – or at least he seemed to be, until he died, sparking a cult following where it looked like one of his fanatical admirers would take on the mantel. But then he came back to life, and suddenly it seemed like Gotham was going to give a firm origin to an enigmatic character.
Except no, because then he REALLY died this time, leaving a trap for his twin Jeremiah and turning him into a monster. Except we still dont know if thats the end of the story – but thankfully we may not have to.
With Bruce finally embracing his destiny at the end of season four, its clear the tale has almost been told. And honestly, its coming at the right time.
The whole cast is becoming more recognisable, their relationships slowly moulding into the ones we know and love.
In turn, 100 episodes is a perfect time for Gotham to reach its conclusion, giving us an unrivalled – and to date untold insight at how this world came to be.
We dont need to see what happens next. We kind of already have. But Gotham has succeeded in giving us the origin story we didnt realise we needed, and one we undoubtedly deserved.
Gotham season 5 comes to Fox on January 3.
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