‘Gotham’ finale only complicates Batman’s story

Katherine Daly, Staff Writer

The Fox television series “Gotham,” which tells the origin story of Bruce Wayne becoming Batman, aired its final episode on April 25. The series finale, entitled “The Beginning,” makes you realize that “Gotham” has been wasting your time for the last five years. This show will most likely be forgotten as a truly bizarre addition to the Batman canon.

The episode’s title alludes to something way more interesting than the rest of the show – it feels more like a season premiere than a series finale. It is a clever wink towards Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins,” a project much more put together than this mess. The entire structure of the episode feels clunky and slow. The episode begins 10 years after the events of the last episode, where the villains and heroes came together to save Gotham and Bruce Wayne is taking his final steps towards becoming Batman.

The show had been building up to this moment for the past four seasons, but this flash-forward is the episode’s biggest problem. It has been way too long since Bruce left Gotham, and it leaves the show with too many events to cover in a single episode. Apparently, Jim Gordon is retiring from the police force, The Riddler has broken out of prison, Penguin is being let out of prison, Barbara has become a successful entrepreneur and Selina has truly become Catwoman.

Also, Jeremiah is faking his mental and physical illness and has a crazy plan to blow up the new Wayne Tower. All of this is happening while whispers of a Batman begin to surface. All of these plot points give a sense of what the finale felt like. It attempts to cram every character in rather than having anything close to a cohesive storyline. This simple “stop the bad guys” plot feels very weak for a series finale. When Gotham is threatened yet again, Gordon must get his butt in gear because the city needs him. But everyone acts like this exact scenario has not happened before and are super unhelpful, just because it is Batman’s time to shine as the Gotham’s protector.

The real problem is that there was nothing at stake and there were no consequences. Nothing felt meaningful, as most of the characters seemed to be on autopilot. The one genuine and well-performed scene was done by newcomer Lili Simmons who plays a grown-up Selina Kyle. She confronts Bruce’s butler, Alfred, and emotionally snarls at him, explaining how she was betrayed and left in the dark. Alfred does nothing but agree with her.

“Gotham” was about how a city full of insane criminals inspires a kid to use his privilege for good. Instead, the finale focused on the side stories which were not that interesting.

“Gotham” has always been too engrossed with the idea of shoving Batman down people’s throats. The show has spent almost five years hoping that the final shot of Batman would make everything worth it. They hoped they could get off scot-free without pissing off Batman fans. Sadly, their only accomplishment was complicating the story of Batman.