With a finale that consisted of two episodes, “Destiny Calling” and “Heavydirtysoul”, Gotham showed once again how it has always been better dealing with villains than heroes, which might explain why the heroes becoming villains worked out so well. The dark side has always been Gotham’s strength and thankfully they went to that well over and over again to make this the best season finale the has had yet.
The two episodes took some time to go over all the plots, both big and small, but the central figures were once again Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon. Watching them go through their own personal hell was fascinating, as was how they managed to crawl back out and get a grip on reality.
Bruce, after his timely escape from the police station, tracks down the location given to him by the Shaman before he died and it is here that we finally meet R’as al Ghul. Alexander Siddig does a fine job as R’as, but it was far too short for my liking. He is around long enough however, to convince Bruce to put a sword through Alfred and then amazingly, pointing Bruce in the direction of the Lazurus Pit to save him. This was a puzzling move that I’m sure will be explained next season, not that I thought Alfred was really going to die, but it was a curious moment to be sure.
The scenes between Bruce and Alfred, both at the Pit and in the hospital later, were emotional, important and very believable. These two actors have built a wonderful chemistry together that make this relationship very believable, which is especially important now as we move forward. Bruce breaks through the Shaman’s conditioning, but it almost cost him dearly, making me wonder just what R’as al Ghul has in store for him come season four.
Speaking of emotional moments, Gordon had some himself, but the most telling ones did not involve Lee but instead Harvey. These two have always had a mutual respect for one another but it is Harvey who tells Jim how he really feels about him, both as a person and a cop, that leads to Gordon’s decision to administer the antidote for the Tech virus to both Lee and himself. This was a big moment for the show and I’m hoping it helps develop a bigger and better relationship between these two. As for Lee, I enjoyed her a lot more with the virus in her but maybe her exit will leave her out of season four for a while, as it did with Fish Mooney this season.
It was ironic that Bruce killed Fish by accident, as I’ve been waiting for someone to do this for a long time. I never liked her character and thought the show was much better off without her around. But seriously, is she really dead? Is Butch really dead, taking a bullet in the head from Barbara? (that scene in the hospital leads me to think no) And is Barbara really dead, electrocuted after an extended fight scene with Tabitha? Gotham seems to have a hard time making it’s characters permanently dead, so I’ll believe it when I see it.
The dynamic between Riddler and Penguin continued, with a great back and forth between them that lead to Riddler getting frozen from Mr. Freeze and taking his place as a showpiece in Penguins new digs. Amazingly though, this was the weakest part of the episode as nothing new happened between these two. I guess I’ve been spoiled with they’re great scenes this year but hopefully they ramp things up next year as these two are fantastic together.
There was also some great foreshadowing concerning Catwoman and Batman, and the last image we are left with was pretty iconic. It was not surprising to be sure, especially after Alfred’s speech to Bruce in the hospital but it still was a wonderful way to end the season.
Gotham had some duds this year, episodes that were confusing and without real direction, but when they concentrated on the darkness of Gotham and all of those who live there, it was a great show to watch. Here’s hoping season four stays in the shadows because ironically, that is where Gotham really shines.
Four and a half stars out of five
- The dark side of Gotham and all who live here made for a great atmosphere and story
- Wonderful scenes between Bruce/Alfred and Gordon/Bullock
- Great foreshadowing for next season
- The wonderful Penguin/Riddler dynamic didn't offer anything new