The season three finale of Gotham will return…right now!
The episode begins right where we left off as Bruce realizes that he’s killed Alfred. He pulls out the blade and yells to the disappearing Ra’s the will never be his heir, but Ra’s, impressed that Bruce has broken through his conditioning, is confident that Bruce will be his knight in the darkness. Ra’s, he tells Bruce to use the waters, so Bruce scoops out some water and pours it onto Alfred’s wound, which heals in no time as Alfred is revived.
With a citywide lockdown in effect and the GCPD is still in disarray, Jim receives a call from Leslie, who is packing up to leave Gotham and wants Jim to come with her. Jim tells her that she can’t leave due to checkpoints all over the city, but Leslie sees this as a chance for the two of them to be together. After all they’ve been through, Lee feels that they deserve this and senses that Jim wants this as well.
She’s leaving on the afternoon train and wants the real Jim with her. After Jim agrees to show up, Harvey tells him that Barbara and Nygma have given Mayor James a list of demands. They’ve threatened to kill Jervis Tetch if GCPD tries to take him.
As such, Jim and Harvey have one play left: turn over Penguin to Barbara, as Oswald is the one thing that Nygma cares about, and Jim is confident that Nygma would betray Barbara and exchange Jervis in a heartbeat. Despite having no authority to broker a secret deal, Jim rages at Harvey, saying that he needs to save Leslie, but he also realizes that he himself doesn’t have much time.
At the club, Nygma gets a call from Jim, who has a proposition. Butch, meanwhile, asks Tabitha how long they’ll wait to kill Barbara, given that she’s working with Nygma, but Tabitha wants to get the city’s money first. Even still, Butch feels that Barbara doesn’t deserve Tabitha’s loyalty.
That’s when Barbara enters, only to find Nygma and Jervis Tetch gone. She rages at the two for not being able to do something as simple as watch a man tied to a chair.
Penguin tells Jim that Nygma can’t be trusted, but Jim forces him into the police cruiser anyway. The three arrive at the spot, though Oswald knows that Jim won’t kill him before he can get Jervis Tetch. Inside, they find Nygma with Jervis, who has a grenade around his neck. If anything goes south, kaboom and no hope for an antidote. Jervis immediately realizes that Jim is infected.
Suddenly, Barbara, Butch, and Tabitha arrive, as they found the location because she has many cops on her payroll. Aren’t most of the cops dealing with the madness in the city? Fine, whatever. Nygma throws the grenade and forces Barbara to fall back. Jim and Harvey manage to escape with Jervis, but Penguin has already fled in the police cruiser.
At the hospital, Alfred is wheeled into surgery, though the doctors wonder how Bruce managed to cauterize the wound.
Barbara, Butch, and Tabitha continue to open fire as Jim, Harvey, and Jervis take shelter in a junkyard. Barbara calls for Jim to come out, while Jervis tells Jim that the virus will give him all the strength he needs. That, though, would mean Jim gives into the darkness. Jim is just about to kill Jervis, but he realizes that he doesn’t need all of Jervis-just some of his blood. They get plenty just as Barbara later finds Jervis.
So Harvey and Jim then teleport to the GCPD with a mason jar fill of Jervis’ blood. Either that or they took the Batmobile because Holy Speed Force, Batman. How the hell did they get back to the precinct so fast?
Nygma awakens in the back of the cop car with Oswald as his driver. As Ed begins to use a pin to undo his cuffs, he stalls and asks if Oswald is using this as a chance to gloat, and he is. After all, Nygma’s plan failed since Oswald is alive and Ed can never correct his mistake.
Back at the club, Barbara tells Butch and Tabitha that they’ll split up, and regroup at the safe house. When Barbara storms off, Butch, tired of waiting, tells Tabitha that they should just kill Barbara at the safe house. Tabitha’s fine with this as long as she and Butch do it together.
At the GCPD, Harvey tells Jim that the lab techs are working on antidote. Jim heads to the lab just in time for his dosage. Jim claims to need two, but the doctors only had enough time for one dosage. Jim, unwilling to wait, swipes the one dosage and locks the lab techs and Harvey in the lab.
So Selina somehow heard about Alfred, as she shows up at the hospital. But Bruce doesn’t want her around, as he believes that she doesn’t care about anyone but herself. He wonders why she’s there in the first place, believing that she doesn’t give a damn about Alfred or him. He knows her better than that. Well, Selina at least thought Bruce did.
At least, in her mind, she knows who she is and doesn’t need anyone to tell her. With that, She leaves. Huh. Well, that was a scene.
Jim arrives at Leslie’s place. She finds that Jim is still fighting the virus and wants to help him, as she stops Jim from injecting her with the cure. No, Leslie wants Jim to give into his darkness. The two kiss as Jim drops the antidote.
As Oswald finally goes on his merry way, Nygma asks if Oswald made a mistake by not killing him instead of feeding his ego. He tells Oswald that he will always fail because he’s driven by emotions. Nygma can never love someone like Oswald because he’s a spoiled child, especially when what he wants doesn’t want him back.
Oswald slams on the breaks and tells Ed that at least in a position to rectify his mistake. With that, he pulls out a gun, but Nygma kicks open the door and takes the gun before Oswald can open fire. He tells Oswald that he will always fail, but Oswald at least knows who he is. After all, Nygma was reborn, yet his persona is based on a lie, and there’s nothing he can do to change that. But Nygma believes that maybe there is.
Jim and Leslie arrive at the train station, but Leslie heads on ahead just as Harvey arrives. Harvey refuses to open fire, but Jim rages and yells to Harvey that this is who he is. Even still, Harvey pulls out his badge and tells Jim that he’s the best cop and friend he’s ever known.
If Jim loves Leslie, he should go save her. With that, Jim punches a hole in the train and goes off to join Leslie. But he still has his badge and two vials of the antidote hidden behind the badge. As Jim joins Leslie and professes his love for her, he injects the both of them.
Barbara confronts Butch, saying she knows about the potential betrayal. But Butch says if it wasn’t for Tabitha, he would’ve killed Barbara long before now. He tells Barbara that for all her tough talk, she misses Tabitha’s loyalty and strength. Butch’s last words before Barbara executes him is that she never deserved Tabitha.
At the hospital, Bruce tells a resting Alfred to fight, as he has no idea what he’d do without him.
So Nygma and Penguin are at the pier again, and Nygma asks Oswald if he has any last words. Oswald is fine for now and has no last words. A now hesitant Nygma bids Oswald farewell and fires…but nothing happens, as Oswald took out the bullets when Nygma was knocked out. Right before Oswald could call Ivy and Victor. Turns out the pin Nygma used to unlock his cuffs was Oswald’s tiepin. He figured it should be personal.
But Oswald didn’t know that Barbara would’ve shown up at the warehouse. If it wasn’t for her, Jim would’ve turned him over and he’d be dead. Nygma figures that Oswald knew Ed would bring him to the pier. And that’s because Oswald knows Ed. He may be driven by his emotions, but Ed is driven by something more predictable: a desperate, compulsive need to complete what he’s started in exacting fashion.
Oswald admits that Ed was the one time he let love weaken him, and he wants to keep Ed around as a constant reminder to never make that mistake again. And that’s when Victor freezes Ed.
At the safe house, Tabitha finds a case holding Butch’s hand. From behind, Barbara asks Tabitha if killing Nygma was that important to her. Tabitha doesn’t believe it matters if she was involved with the attempted assassination, and while Barbara wants to put this spat behind them and move forward, Tabitha can’t do so until she finds out if Barbara killed Butch, which she soon admits to doing.
In Barbara’s defense, she had no choice. Tabitha chucks Butch’s hand at Barbara and the two fight. After a kiss, Barbara head-butts Tabitha and soon stabs her, but Barbara still manages to get her gun. Then Tabitha uses the whip to knock over a lamp that falls into a pool of water where Barbara is standing. She’s electrocuted. The end. Well, that was underwhelming.
While the antidote is distributed throughout the city, Alfred awakens and accepts that what Bruce did wasn’t his fault. Bruce admits that he’s been trying to find out who he is and see his true calling, but right now, he doesn’t know who he’s supposed to be. For that, Alfred doesn’t have an answer. Bruce has to find his own path. Alfred says that the two of them have been down some dark paths.
Bruce has to find what guides him. As for what guides Alfred, that’s always been Bruce. But Bruce must find something he cares about and protect it at all cost. When he finds it, he’ll never be lost again.
Selina pops by the club and asks Tabitha if Barbara’s around, but Barbara’s never coming back. Selina is tired of just surviving and wants more. She wants to move up and figured the club was a good place to start. Tabitha is at a crossroads herself, so at least the two can be friends. Selina eyes Tabitha’s whip and decides to give it a whirl. As expected, she’s good at it.
Meanwhile, Penguin makes plans and shows Ivy the logo for his new club, which will be called the Iceberg Longe. Nice. And it will have a grand centerpiece in the form of Ice Cube Nygma.
Jim stops by Leslie’s place and finds a note. In the note, she tells Jim that she finally gets Gotham. It’s a strong where the strongest and most cunning rule. The cost of survival is paid for by others and everyone feels alone. Having the virus showed Leslie how she and everyone is. In many ways, it made her feel reborn. The cure has shown Leslie that there’s hope in a place like Gotham City.
While she doesn’t know if Gotham deserves saving- it doesn’t- she believes Jim is the person who can do that.Leslie believes that Jim can save the city, and one day, it will save him in return. And then maybe it will send him back to her. Until then, Leslie out. Oh, in between this, we learn that Butch’s birth name is Cyrus Gold. So I know a Grundy who will be back real soon. We’ll get back to this.
Back at the precinct, Jim tells Harvey that Leslie has left the city, but Harvey is more interested in having a drink. Tetch, meanwhile, is being patched up and will be sent back to Arkham soon. Jim tells Harvey that he’d like to be a detective work that doesn’t involve the danger he’s seen, but there’s nothing like that available., However, the two can hit the streets like beat cops and stir up some trouble. Sounds like a plan.
That evening, another hapless family is making its way down an alley and are about to be robbed when the assailant is attacked by a small masked figure in all black. After kicking some ass, the figure heads up the ladder and stands a top a building. It is, of course, Bruce Wayne, who stands ready to embrace his destiny as the third season of Gotham comes to a close.
So, continuing from where the first half left off, I think I’d prefer starting with what I found to be the weakest element of the finale, despite having the most prominence: Jim and Leslie’s relationship. With so much going on, I can’t say I felt much, if any, tension here. We knew Jim would be cured, though I thought Leslie would’ve been killed. Here, with her leaving, the door is again left open for her to return anytime.
With her reborn, that hopefully eliminates the pathos between her and Jim, but Leslie didn’t have a ton to do here. The bulk of her job in this finale was to taunt Jim to give into his darker self. She’s been calling Jim a man who leaves destruction in his wake, so asking him to surrender to the darkness isn’t all that new. And really, what would Jim and Leslie have done if they fled together? Live their lives with nothing but anger?
Well, actually, that sounds like the start of a horror sitcom, but I digress.
Despite knowing that Jim would make a recovery, it was interesting to see him war within himself. As a man who likes to operate by the book, this was a massive shift for Jim. But he’s in a desperate state as the virus rages- he’s attacking other officers, taking a ton of Jervis’ blood just to get an antidote, and could have killed Harvey if he wanted.
Given what Jim has done, it’s quite humorous that Harvey would call Jim the best cop he’s known, but at the same time, I like how this friendship has grown over time. Harvey never gave up on Jim and refused to shoot him when given the chance. This is the same Harvey who was a corrupt cop when the series started, but now, in the face of death at Jim’s hands, he’s still willing to call Gordon his friend.
There’s a lot of character growth here. Alfred remains steadfast in his loyalty to Bruce, he doesn’t turn his back on Bruce despite the young boy stabbing him. And in addition to training him, he’s given Bruce the motivation to find something he cares about and protect it at all costs.
Sure, Bruce has received bits of wisdom and inspiration before- hell, he’s already developed his no kill rule in this very season- but seeing the error of his ways after stabbing Alfred seem to have set him down the path to embracing his destiny. And I imagine Ra’s will be a constant presence in trying to steer Bruce in the right direction.
So that scene at the end with Bruce stopping a family from going through what he endured. We’re leaning pretty far on him becoming Batman, or at least a pre-Batman. Hell, he’s dressed in all black, attacking perps in the night, and standing atop buildings with purpose in his eyes. Give him an actual cape, add ears to his mask, and give him a utility belt and you’ve got your Batman.
Of course, there’s no telling just how far this show is allowed to go as far as Batman is concerned. The kid hasn’t even been frightened by a bat yet. Even still, he’s on the right path and I’m curious to see where Bruce’s journey will take him next.
Another area of growth I’ve enjoyed in regards to Bruce is the acting, more so in the scenes between Bruce and Selina. Now, I wasn’t a huge fan of the chemistry between David Mazouz and Camren Bicondova in the first season at all, but they’ve grown on me and I think their scene in the hospital was one of their stronger moments.
Yet, Bruce pushing Selina away has just led her to Tabitha. And now that she’s already been pushed from a window, embraced by cats, and is now crafty with a whip, she’s on the path to becoming Catwoman and has a mentor that is good at playing both sides, so right now, Selina is in good hands.
And at least Tabitha got to kick Barbara’s ass and put her out of commission. With Barbara out of play and Fish dead, who rules the criminal underworld? Is that how she dies or will she also be resurrected?
Folks have already theorized that Barbara could become Harley Quinn- who never did show up, despite David Mazouz saying she would– but let’s put that theory on ice for now.
Heh. I made an actual transition. Now that Penguin has put Nygma on ice and is about to establish the Iceberg Lounge, this is his opportunity to take charge now that Barbara isn’t calling the shots. And I loved him getting the upper hand on Nygma. Penguin is best when he’s crafty and cunning, and he was right when he pointed out that, yes, Nygma must finish what he’s started in exacting fashion.
So as much as Nygma thought he could outsmart Oswald, turns out he was the one trailing him for a change. When he’s presumably thawed out next season, I wonder what will become of Nygma next, now that Barbara’s out of the picture, Tabitha is with Selina, and Butch is…well, probably set to return sometime soon.
Yeah, can we talk about that? Butch’s real name is Cyrus Gold? So Solomon Grundy has been in this universe all this time and the explanation is that he must’ve changed his birth name at some point? Well, curious where his super strength will come from, if Gotham plays with that aspect of his powers. But really, this reveal is almost as bad as John Blake’s legal name being ‘Robin’ in The Dark Knight Rises.
With all that in mind, this was a pretty good finish for Gotham’s third season. There were some missteps along the way, but with things like Bruce taking a step towards becoming Batman, Penguin starting his Iceberg Lounge, and the introduction of Ra’s al Ghul, there’s a lot in store when Gotham returns for Season Four. On Thursday nights this time. See you then.