It’s a new season of Gotham and I’m already behind! But not to worry, I’ll be caught up by the end of next week. It’s the final season, it’s their version of “No Man’s Land”, and everything is nuts. Let’s get straight to “Year Zero”.

OK, this is rad. We kick off Season Five in No Man’s Land, Day 391. So this is clearly a flash forward. Riddler is getting into his costume and picking up a big gun. Cut to Penguin who’s having his aides powder and outfit him with an even bigger gun. Bullock pours out a shot in a bar. Gordon suits up in his GCPD finery. Bullock leaves the drink behind and picks up a shotgun and all four men move out. And then they’re all in the GCPD building, walking toward the door as a group. Flanked by more cops, Gordon gives the order to fire and they’re just blasting away into a crowd of cops and rioters below and I can not wait to see how we get to this point.


Cut back to Day 87. Gordon is communicating via radio with somebody on the mainland. The voice refuses to give him any help, but Gordon says it’s gotten bad. Penguin controls City Hall and not only has most of the weapons, but can make ammunition. Barbara and the Sirens have all the food and booze and deal in information. Men can only enter their territory if they buy a window of time. Scarecrow controls the West Side and we see Scarecrow, in his proper Scarecrow costume, crucifying somebody. Mr. Freeze and Firefly are warring to the North and Jeremiah is still missing. The GCPD controls a ten-block area giving sanctuary to those who couldn’t get out. The voice on the radio says that anybody who stayed after the evacuation order is no longer an American citizen. Hey, the U.S. is unwilling to help refugees outside its border. Guys? Gotham got political!

A doctor tells Bruce and Alfred that Selina’s spine is badly damaged and without a proper operation, she’ll never walk again. Guess Alfred didn’t get her out before the bridges blew. Selina doesn’t care either way – she’s clearly deeply depressed at this point. Back at the GCPD area, people are demanding more food and Lucius has to explain that they will run out if they don’t ration carefully. Some punks don’t take this well and head out.

Lucius figures they have a month of food left and Gordon insists that sooner or later the government will do the right thing. Bullock reminds him that they’re almost out of ammo and they won’t survive if Penguin tries to make a move.

A disheveled Ed wakes up on the roof of a trashed building. Back home, he’s got a map of places he’s been waking up and he has no idea how he’s getting there. He even tries to call out Mirror Ed. Which means he thinks of himself as Riddler now, which might or might not be an important distinction. He thinks Ed is controlling him at night.

Gordon turns on the spotlight and Bruce joins him on the roof. He turns it on every night as a reminder that there’s still light. Gordon tells Bruce more than he should probably lay on a teenager, but desperate times and all. Bruce says Lucius can take whatever they can use from the Wayne R&D labs. I really like this idea that they head up here to commiserate every night. I think I’ve said it before, but the friendship between Batman and Gordon is one of my favorite relationships in comics. But also? Gordon and Bruce being friends is pretty cool, too. Heck, the very first Batman story is Gordon telling Bruce this amazing story of this Bat-Man who busted up the Chemical Syndicate. Anyway, they agree they’re not sorry they stayed and this season is already amazing.

Over at Barbara’s office, Penguin’s wormy accountant guy is offering 1,000 rounds of 9mm ammunition for 1,000 pounds of steak. Barbara takes this to mean Penguin’s territory is running out of food. Tabitha refuses to deal, so Barbara says to make it 2,000 rounds. She assures Tabitha that they have to protect the women who came to them for safety. Tabitha takes the one bullet the accountant set out and says Penguin will regret giving it to her.

Cops patrolling the gates at the edge of GCPD territory see something moving. One opens up the window in the gate to get a better look. Scarecrow pops up and gasses him, telling him the only way to stop the fear is to open the gate. That works, and Scarecrow’s gang pours in.

Over at GCPD, Gordon is going over some maps with Harper when the lights go out. Gordon goes to meet Lucius at the generator. Oh, the lights also go out during Selina’s surgery. The backup generator kicks in, but a nurse reports that there are men in the basement stealing all of the medicine. Bruce heads down to check it out.

Scarecrow attacks Gordon, who narrowly dodges. He says they came for the supplies, but he might as well kill Gordon. There’s a pretty great scythe vs. pipe fight that ends with Scarecrow rupturing a steam pipe and apparently getting badly burned if his screams are an indication. Meanwhile, his men raid the food stocks. Bruce watches a gang through night vision goggles and starts to take them down one by one. They only get away because the lights come on and blow out Bruce’s vision.

Lucius figures they’re down to a week with the supplies they have left. Bruce comes in and says he’s arranged for a supply copter from the mainland. They can only get away with it once, but this seems like the time to take that shot.

Back at the clinic, Selina tells Bruce that the surgery was a success in the sense that they saved her spine and she’ll live, but she’ll never walk again. She notes that she saved Bruce from Jeremiah and so the one thing that finally got her was being his friend. Luckily Bruce Wayne of all people can process that guilt in a healthy way. A nurse tells Bruce that doctors can’t help and she needs “the witch”. I guessed who the witch was, but now that the recap is behind there’s no point in announcing my guess since it’s already been answered and you have no reason to believe me.

Back at City Hall, Penguin is testing a new leg brace. No more limp! His accountant reports that a factory worker fainted from hunger and fell into some machinery. Penguin has a steak on his plate while this is happening. The steak displeases him, so he tosses it to a bulldog named Edward. Hee! Oh, also there’s quality problem at the ammunition factory and they’re having more misfires. Penguin tries to prove how good his product is and the gun misfires. Then he hears something.

Barbara explains to Tabitha that she can’t go after Penguin without getting killed. Then they hear something. It’s the helicopter! You will not be surprised that somebody shoots down that helicopter. Gordon mobilizes a team to get to the crash site.

He explains that the chopper went down in “Low Boy’s Territory” and it’s going to be a fight. Gordon leaves Alfred in charge and wonders why Bruce is nowhere to seen. Some punks have already brought the copter into a warehouse where they’re stripping it for parts. Penguin strides in, but they’re not willing to hand it over, so Penguin has his guys shoot everybody. The cops arrive at that point, and we see Bruce is sneaking around on the catwalk above.

Penguin insists he didn’t shoot down the copter, since he didn’t know it was coming. It’s Jeremiah, right? That seems like his thing. It’s a standoff and then somebody shoots arrows through two of Penguin’s guys. It’s Tabitha and a crossbow! She manages to get to Penguin and puts her gun, with the one bullet to his head. Penguin thinks Gordon will protect him and it sure doesn’t seem that way. Finally he accepts his fate and says that Tabitha’s really the one who’s responsible for Butch’s death, what with her killing Penguin’s mother. Tabitha pull the trigger and…. it’s a misfire. Penguin tells her to say hello to Butch and stabs her in the heart. Barbara runs in at that exact moment and starts shooting.

RIP Tabitha. You were awesome. But there’s going to be a body count this season and anybody who’s not a major player in Batman comics is pretty much waiting to meet the reaper. We’ll miss you and I hope you get on another show soon.

Things deteriorate from there and the bullets start flying. The cops run out of ammo immediately and Penguin taunts them. Bruce attacks the guys outside guarding Penguin’s supply truck. Which has Penguin’s picture on it, by the way. I love this show. Barbara pops out of cover and Penguin shoots her in the arm. Bruce rushes some ammo to the cops. Penguin asks Barbara if they can move this past this. She threatens to feed him to the rats and so he decides they’re done. Gordon offers an arrangement where they split the supplies 50/50 and Penguin spares Barbara.

Penguin’s counteroffer is that he takes everything and kills Barbara and Gordon gets to leave alive. So that’s when Bullock resumes shooting. Gordon puts a bullet in Penguin’s leg and his men stand down. The cops take all the supplies. Back at GCPD, Bullock suggests that Gordon should have killed Penguin while he had the chance. Bruce heads out to the clinic to check on Selina. Then we see there’s an intruder at GCPD – Jeremiah’s cohort, Ecco. She’s studying Gordon’s map but disappears when a call comes over the radio. The call brings Gordon running – a woman who identifies as “a friend” say they’re trying to find a way to help him, but then he loses the signal. And then he sees that Ecco left a Joker smile across the map. That would have been spookier if we hadn’t seen her.

Later, Riddler wakes up in a dumpster, once again surprised to be there. He heads home to have a meltdown. Barbara says goodbye to Tabitha and then declares that she’ll kill Penguin if it’s the last thing she does. Penguin screams while an employee digs the bullet out of his leg and then be puts a bounty on Gordon’s head. At the clinic, Selina crawls for a stray scalpel to try and kill herself. Bruce arrives just in time to help the doctor get her back to bed and sedate her. The nurse tells him again he has to go to the witch.

Back at GCPD, Lucius reports that they have six weeks of food now. And then a cop brings in a scared kid, he’s exhausted and sick but manages to get out that somebody is killing his brothers and sisters and they need help. He rallies the troops and they get ready to move out.


I’ll have another recap in a couple of days, and once I’m caught up, we can really dig in.

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