Four weeks later…
The episode begins with Gotham’s citizens filing into the overcrowded GCPD. Inside the precinct, Jim tells Lucius and Harvey that Nyssa is gunning for Barbara, so he needs to get in touch with her. The sooner Barbara and Leslie return with the baby, the better. Nyssa doesn’t want to just conquer Gotham, but destroy it. Only thing standing in-between her and the people are the GCPD.
As such, there’s no time to quit. Jim tells Harvey to assemble the team and get every able-bodied person into the bunker.
Nearby in the medical examiner’s office, Bruce and Selina stand next to an injured Alfred, with Selina telling Bruce that medics did all they could to stabilize Alfred. Now all they can do is wait. Bruce blames himself for Alfred’s misfortune, but Selina reminds him that everyone signed up for this. Bruce knows that Nyssa and Bane are coming after him because of what he did to Ra’s
While Bruce stopped Ra’s twice, Selina assures him that they can stop his daughter.
Speaking of, we cut to Nyssa, who holds the blade that was plunged into Ra’s. A nearby Barbara warns Nyssa to not harm the baby, but Nyssa promises that Barbara and Bruce will see Gotham City destroyed. Only then will Barbara have Nyssa’s permission to die- I mean, only then will Nyssa allow Barbara to die. Ra’s made his name destroying empires, and now it’s Nyssa’s turn.
Barbara tells Nyssa about Penguin’s submarine and just wants her to leave the city as long as the baby is safe, but Nyssa will hold onto the child and raise her as an al Ghul.
In enters General Wade, who tells Nyssa that the army has arrived and is awaiting his orders.
Indeed, the army is steadily approaching Gotham. A soldier questions General Wade’s decision and doesn’t want to be responsible for the death of innocent citizens, but then Bane arrives as he snaps the soldier’s neck. He asks if anyone else has a problem with the general’s orders. As you’d expect, none do.
At the submarine, Oswald wonders why he and Ed can be so nonchalant about Gotham’s destruction. Oswald calls Gotham his home and won’t allow the city to be taken. More than that, he thinks that Nygma should agree with him. After all, these are the same people who made him blow up Haven and murder innocent civilians. Yes, Ed was planning on letting them get away with that. Oswald, though, will follow his heart.
Ed reminds Oswald that following his heart before has never worked out of him. But then Oswald tells Ed to listen to his heart instead of his mind. Oswald then tells Ed that he will miss him. As in Ed the pit bull, not Nygma. Oswald then walks off, with Ed promising that he’ll take the submarine and treasure.
Back at the precinct, Jim, Harvey, and Selina go over a battle plan. The army has to follow the western corridor in order to get to the GCPD, so that is where the officers will stand their ground. Harvey reminds Jim that they’re vastly outnumbered, but they just have to slow the army down long enough to get Wade out of Nyssa’s control. Then he can reverse the order.
Alvarez arrives and informs the three that he’s tried to contact someone at the Sirens’ club, but has gotten no response so far. So Jim will go to the club himself. Harvey reminds Jim that the GCPD needs a leader and the officers look to him, so Selina volunteers to go to the Sirens’ club herself.
Where is Bruce, though? He’s with Lucius as the two look over some of his items. It won’t take two of them to track the general’s signal. The tools aren’t enough to even the odds, but it will help. Bruce then picks up an item from the Nightwing project- ha- portable next-generation stealth tech.
If you put it on any aircraft and it’s invisible to radar, then it’s also a beacon to certain animals. Bruce decides to pocket it, figuring it could come in handy.
Oswald arrives at the precinct and heads to the captain’s office, where Jim is already expecting him. Jim is surprised that Oswald is still in the city. After all, the storm Oswald spoke of has finally arrived. The two reflect on the times they’ve shared, as far back as when Jim spared Oswald on the pier. Oswald was lost, as he was literally banished from the city. Gotham is a part of him, as it is with Jim.
Yes, Oswald could leave, but then what? Watch the army destroy Gotham City and then see it rebuilt? Oswald’s life is etched into Gotham City and his blood lives in the broken concrete. He’s staying to fight for his legacy.
Harvey enters and informs them that the two that the army, led by Bane, has broken through the GCPD checkpoint. There’s about 6 or 700, while the GCPD has 30. Well, more like 31, now that Ed has arrived. It takes two to operate the submarine, so Ed the dog couldn’t help. Plus, Ed also has his life in Gotham City, so he’s willing to fight to protect it.
With that, Gotham’s finest assemble, with Jim, Bruce, Oswald, Harvey, and Ed leading the soldiers onto the roof. While Alvarez, Harper, and Bruce take the left flank, Jim and Harvey will take the right.
Indeed, Bane has assembled his army. Jim remembers that there was a time Eduardo would be with him, but now Eduardo has found his true purpose. Harvey points out that there are a lot of innocent soldiers down there just following orders. Even still, for Gotham’s sake, the officers of Gotham City open fire as the battle for the city’s soul begins.
Selina arrives at the Sirens’ club and finds Leslie, but no Barbara or baby. While the two realize that they must inform Jim, Leslie is surprised to see a building in flames. Leslie then decides that she’s needed at the GCPD.
The firefight continues, with Bane ordering the soldiers to open fire on Jim Gordon. After Oswald gets in a quick taunt, karma catches up to him when a grenade lands in front of him and Ed. It soon detonates, as shrapnel damages his face.
Bane then brings out the literal big guns when he brings out a rocket launcher. He blows a hole into the barricade, allowing the army to enter in search of Jim and Bruce. Up above, Bruce reminds Jim that if the army gets through the barricades, it will have a straight shot to the GCPD. Bruce, thus, may have a way to slow them down. At the same time, the officers decide to fall back.
As the officers head back down, Jim receives a transmission from Lucius: the general’s signal is coming from City Hall. However, there’s a bigger problem, as Selina has informed Lucius that Barbara and the baby have been taken by Nyssa al Ghul. Jim figures that Wade, Barbara, and Nyssa are probably all at City Hall. The best bet is for Jim to sneak into City Hall.
One electrical zap should short out the general’s chip, allow him to reverse the attack. Jim parts way while the officers continue the fight.
Oswald, meanwhile, is still in pain. Ed apologizes for freezing when he saw the grenade, but Oswald just wants to know how bad it looks…it’s pretty damn bad.
Leslie has arrived at the precinct in record time as she tries to tend to the wounded. Bruce informs her that Jim is fine, but they need Jeremiah’s battery from the basement.
The two, along with Lucius and Selina, go over how Lucius remodified Jeremiah’s bombs as batteries after the bridges were destroyed. However, they need to make it a bomb again. Jeremiah knew where to put his bombs to turn Gotham into a maze. While Jeremiah knew where to place the bombs in order to topple buildings and make Gotham a maze, now they need to use part of that plan to trap the army.
To do that, though, a bomb would also need to be put in ground zero for the blast: Wayne Enterprises. Bruce accepts that there’s no other way. Luckily, they only need the core and activator for the bomb. That’s all. Bruce knows where to place the bomb, and Selina will accompany him. Leslie can’t believe they’re letting the two of them do this, but that’s just one thing hard to believe.
Jim arrives at City Hall and manages to free Barbara, who tells him that Nyssa won’t stop until Gotham City is destroyed. As if on cue, Nyssa- carrying the baby- steps out with General Wade. She orders Jim and Barbara to drop their guns unless they want the baby to be hurt in the crossfire. The army is headed to the Green Zone while Bane huts Bruce Wayne. But what to do about Jim, though?
Bruce and Selina arrive at Wayne Enterprises, with Selina still finding it crazy that they’re using part of Jeremiah’s plan to stop the army. Not to mention Wayne Manor has already been destroyed. Bruce recognizes the memories this building has brought him. This building was built to make Gotham a better place, and Bruce knows that his parents would have- and did- sacrificed everything for the city.
If that’s what it takes, so will Bruce. So Bruce sets the bomb…and then tells Selina that it’s time to run like hell. They do and escape just as the bomb detonates, catching the army off guard.
The standoff at City Hall continues, with Jim telling Nyssa that he doesn’t need help to take her down. Nyssa will achieve what Ra’s could not- kill Jim Gordon. Barbara, though, will be dealt with when Gotham is destroyed. But she wants her to see one thing.
That thing being a fight between Nyssa and Jim, with Nyssa easily gaining the upper hand over Jim. Then Nyssa receives a transmission from a lieutenant. She learns of the Wayne Enterprises explosion and tells the army to blast themselves through. The Green Zone’s destruction is only delayed.
Before Nyssa can go in for the killing blow, Jim handcuffs himself to her. The blade drops, allowing Jim to pass it to Barbara. When Barbara manages to overtake the guards, she joins in the fight with Nyssa manages to overtake them both. Soon enough, like with Ra’s, the two manages to force the blade into Nyssa’s gut.
General Wade descends the stairs, though instead of executing the order, he blows out his brains. This gives Nyssa an opportunity to slip out of the room, sealing Jim and Barbara inside.
As Bruce and Selina make their way back to the precinct, they’re intercepted by Bane. Combined, the two are quicker, but nowhere near as strong. Bane manages to get ahold of Selina, who plunges her blade into Bane. Bruce then goes in and plants the cloaking device on Bane.
So what mammals are attracted to the device? None other than bats. What did you expect? Anyway, the bats swarm Bane.
At City Hall, the baby is secure with Jim and Barbara, but there’s still no way to reverse the invasion order, so they’ll need another way. Barbara allows Jim to hold their daughter.
So Bane is still alive and with what remains of the army. More than that, he’s back to normal.
Oh, okay. Back to Jim and Barbara, as the two arrive with the baby back at the precinct. Lucius informs them that the army has broken through, while Jim tells him that General Wade is dead and Nyssa escaped. There’s no way to tell the army to stand down. As Oswald and Ed enter, Harper tells them that the army is blocked from every direction. As such, they’re surrounded.
The citizens still need a way to escape, and Barbara needs to get the baby out of the precinct. Underneath the GCPD, there are tunnels and a vent shaft that connects to the subway line. Any refugees are to be taken away from enemy lines. Jim, meanwhile, will hold off the army. He tells Leslie that many of the refugees are from the Narrows, so they will trust Leslie. Well, that’s awfully convenient.
Bruce rests by Alfred, who slowly comes back to consciousness. Alfred realizes that all this time he tried to protect Bruce, but it’s Bruce who is serving as a soldier. Now it’s time for Bruce to protect not just Alfred, but Gotham City as well, even if there’s nothing left to defend.
Leslie leads the citizens through the tunnels, but she won’t be going with them. She has to stay with Jim and make a stand. Barbara hugs Leslie, thanking her for all she did for the baby. With that, the two part ways as Barbara prepares to lead the people to safety.
What’s left of Gotham’s finest meet Bane and his army on the streets, and they are easily outnumbered. Bane tells Jim that this isn’t a war, but a firing squad. Leslie joins Jim, but it turns out that she’s not the only one who stayed behind. All of Gotham’s remaining citizens join the ranks of the GCPD.
Bane orders the soldiers to open fire, but the soldiers refuse. Jim tells the soldiers that they can stand with Bane or the GCPD. As Bane holds his gun, all of the soldiers turn their guns on him instead. Soon enough, Bane and the soldiers all lower their weapons.
While Nyssa manages to find the submarine, Lucius tells Harvey and Harper that the army is being repurposed with a humanitarian process to help rebuild the city. Jim asks Leslie if her not listening to him will become a habit, but it’s close enough to a thank you.
Jim then goes to Barbara and holds their daughter again, unsure what to call her. Barbara settles on the name Barbara Lee Gordon. In the city, it helps that she knows who she can rely on. I’m not even going to touch that one.
Selina joins a solemn Bruce, who is still focused on the fact that Nyssa is still out there. Everything that has happened is because of him. When Bane had Selina, he thought that he was going to kill her and there was nothing he could do. But Selina will be there whenever Bruce needs him. But that’s exactly what Thomas and Martha used to say, too.
Oswald- still wearing a bandage over his damaged eye- and Ed are livid to know that Nyssa has made off with the submarine and treasure. After all the progress, the two are once again left with nothing and back to square one as common criminals. The two have received no credit for their help, but Ed doesn’t want thanks or respect. When he stood shoulder to shoulder with the people, Ed felt nothing at all.
He doesn’t feel for the people of Gotham. He used to be one of those people, working for minimum wage at the GCPD. He was a shy and awkward Ed, but he will show the people of Gotham who he really is. The people will bow to the Riddler. Oswald agrees. Their accomplishments have been erased. If Oswald had been allowed to run the city the way he wanted to, then would not have happened.
But Jim took Oswald’s power, as he still sees him as Fish Mooney’s umbrella boy. Ed came to save the city so he could eventually take it for himself. Oswald proposes a pact: the two will take what they want from who they want and suffer no fools. Together.
Ed proposes to shake, but as brothers, Oswald wants to hug. As the two embrace, both bring their knives close to each other’s backs, but hold back on doing the deed. Life officially begins anew, so it’s time for the two to get to work.
The next day at City Hall, the mayor bestows Captain Jim Gordon with the title of Commissioner. I could see that catching on.
Later on, Harvey tells Jim that he’ll miss him at the precinct, but the mission doesn’t change. He warns Jim to be careful, as he’s swimming with the sharks now. If Jim ever needs anything, he knows who to call. At the same time, Harvey knows that Jim deserves this. He then goes to get a drink before Jim gets teary-eyed on him.
With Bane in prison, the trouble seems to be over. Even still, Bruce tells Jim that he plans to leave Gotham. His life here is too public. Gotham is still in good hands, though. The two shake as Jim thanks Bruce for everything he has done for the city. Gotham will always be his home. With that, the two part ways.
At the precinct, Selina asks Harper about where Bruce is, but all he left her was a note. We don’t know what the letter says- we just get Selina’s reaction.
Then we join Bruce and Alfred at a hangar, with Bruce reminding Alfred how to reach him. But Alfred knows how to keep himself busy, especially now that the reconstruction of Wayne Manor has begun. Alfred wants Bruce to remember everything that he’s taught him, and Bruce most definitely will.
Alfred tells Bruce that he never tried to replace Thomas and Martha, but he wants Bruce to know that he’s the only son he ever had, and he could not be prouder. The two hug and part ways as Bruce Wayne heads toward the plane that will take him away from the city that raised him.
At the same time, Selina arrives at the airport. However, by this time, Bruce has already boarded the plane and she’s too late to wish him farewell.
With that, Bruce Wayne heads off to parts unknown and leaves Gotham City behind.
Welcome back to Gotham. Four years after the fact, even. In a way, “They Did What?” felt like somewhat of a send-off for the series. Jim becomes commissioner, the reunification can begin, Barbara and the baby are safe, the war is over, and Bruce Wayne has decided to leave Gotham City.
You have everything set in place for the series finale flash-forward where we’ll see how Gotham City has changed in the years to come, but also what will bring about the true rise of the Dark Knight. But let’s stick with this episode.
This was about the battle for Gotham City’s soul. The comparisons to The Dark Knight Rises continue, with Bruce and Jim both contributing to the fight in their own way. While they aren’t together through a chunk of the episode, we continue to see the seeds planted for how their relationship will develop in the future. How that may change when Bruce dons the cowl remains to be seen, though.
“They Did What?” was the last stand for Gotham’s finest. While Bane did provide a great physical challenge for just about everyone, we see that here, just like in Rises, that all citizens would band together to fight for their home. I was hoping we’d get to see some sort of brawl between both sides, but I suppose the firefight earlier on more than made up for it.
Did it feel easy for the battle to end with Bane and the army surrendering? Yes. Felt a bit too easy, in my opinion, for there to be nothing more than that. At the same time, there’s a lot left unresolved that could play out in the future. Sure, Bane is imprisoned, but you know how well the prison system works in Gotham City. He won’t be behind bars forever.
Not to mention that Nyssa actually escapes in the submarine. Though Ed mentions that the submarine needs two people to pilot it, so it’s not like she would get far. Either way, she’s still out there.
She ended up doing the typical villain thing of talking too much and not kicking enough ass. She did kick Jim’s ass for a little bit, yes, but rather than just killing him outright, she had to monologue. Sure, killing Jim wouldn’t have affected Bruce destroying Wayne Enterprises, but Nyssa didn’t do herself any favors by not finishing the job early, whether that was killing Jim or Barbara.
Perhaps this is another symptom of a much shorter season, but the reveal of Nyssa felt too little, too late. I’m happy that she’s a part of Gotham’s lore and, to be fair, this is the final season. She can’t be the focus when there’s a lot of other things to wrap up before the series finale. Given her connection to Ra’s and the League, though, Nyssa makes herself out to be a bigger deal than the show allows her to be.
If there were more episodes to this season, maybe we could spend a bit more time with Nyssa. She only revealed her true self one episode ago and we’re already out of the way with her. But hey, she at least got away, rather than Gotham killing her in one episode. She and Bane could have future battles with Gotham’s Dark Knight in the future.
Speaking of Bruce, he had a good send-off here. He was willing to sacrifice Wayne Enterprises for the sake of the city, used his tech to help Selina in a pinch, and realized that he needs to remove himself from the equation. Bruce realizes and accepts that many problems in Gotham City can be traced back to the Wayne name and legacy. Not all of them, but a good number of criminals have gunned for him specifically.
So what option is there for him but to leave the city? He’s wanted to help Gotham City, but his presence makes it feel like the opposite is happening. That’s no fault of his own, yes, but I like that Bruce arrives at this point of his own volition, not because someone told him that he should leave.
He ends on good terms with Alfred and Selina, even though Selina did not make it to the airport in order to give him a proper goodbye. While I wasn’t big on the chemistry between David Mazouz and Camren Bicondova in the first season, they have really grown into these characters and it is touching to see how this relationship has evolved.
It’s a little bittersweet, though, that this episode also served as the send-off for Camren Bicondova in particular, since she stated that she made the decision to not play Selina Kyle in the series finale.
In a way, this does make sense. The finale will take place 10 years from now, and the show can’t exactly age Camren Bicondova up that fast for one episode. So a recast here makes more sense than replacing Maggie Geha with Peyton List as Ivy. Bicondova was a hell of a Cat and I’m interested to see where her career goes next. As for Gotham, we’ll see how Lili Simmons does for the finale.
Oswald and Ed staying behind to fight for Gotham worked for me. As much as they loathe the city’s citizens, they have roots in Gotham that can never just be uprooted. Given how the two have been willing to work with Jim before, them fighting to protect Gotham here is perfectly in-character, even though they apparently were not credited for their help.
So at this point, the only thing for them to do is go back down the villain path. I love this. Cory Michael Smith and Robin Lord Taylor have had such great chemistry since the first season and it’s only gotten better with each season. Now the two old friends have made the decision to devote themselves to a life of crime and take what they want.
Jim receives the promotion that we’ve all been waiting for as he becomes Police Commissioner. Now all that’s left is the mustache, but this is a development five seasons in the making. I appreciate that this isn’t just a result of Jim leading the charge in this final fight, but also buildup of all the work he’s done helping the GCPD in line ever since Sarah Essen’s death.
As Harvey said, if anyone deserved the title of commissioner, and would do it justice, it’s Jim. He’s back on good terms with Leslie and Barbara, is able to spend time with his child, and is ready to bring Gotham back to some semblance of normalcy. Not too bad for the optimistic rookie who spared Oswald Cobblepot’s life back in the pilot.
So things are back to normal in Gotham City. Jim Gordon is the man in charge, evil has been defeated for the moment, and young Bruce Wayne is heading off for the final leg of his journey that will turn him into the Batman. The caped crusader is headed to Gotham City soon as we head into the final episode of Gotham. See you soon.