It’s the penultimate episode of Gotham. Nyssa al Ghul and Bane have control of the army and there are orders in place to destroy Gotham City. Gordon and Barbara’s daughter is in the hands of the villains. Alfred is broken. We’re in the final stretch now and I am fully prepared for “They Did What?” to wreck me.
Newly displaced refugees pour into Haven. Gordon’s still ready to take on Nyssa al Ghul and Bane. Bruce and Selina wait with a badly injured Alfred in the clinic. He’s alive, but barely. Nyssa, who as I noted last week, gets more attractive every time she’s on camera and I can’t explain how that’s even possible, taunts Barbara with the knife that killed Ra’s and even does her variation on the “then I will allow you to die” from Dark Knight Rises. Barbara tries to make a deal, offering the gold in the submarine. Nyssa ignores the offer and talks about raising Barbara’s daughter as an al Ghul.
General Wade orders his men to destroy the Green Zone. When the commander refuses, Bane kills him and announces that he’s in charge now.
Penguin and Riddler prepare to leave Gotham for good, but Oswald has a change of heart. This is his city and he’s not going to let anybody destroy it. He heads off to join the fight. Ed tries to talk him out of it, but Penguin says goodbye to his dog and leaves Riddler behind.
Gordon and Bullock make a plan – the army can only come from one direction, and they just need to slow them down long enough to crack the General’s mind control so he can reverse the order. But. They also can’t reach Sirens’, so Gordon is going to go down there to check on Barbara and Lee. He’s got a lot on his plate. Bullock says they need him here, so Selina volunteers to go. Lucius outfits Bruce with a bunch of Wayne Tech, including a beacon called “The Nightwing Project” that’s supposed to make planes invisible to radar but has a bad habit of attracting animals. We all know what they’re doing right? Also, we know it’s going to be awesome.
Penguin arrives at GCPD, offering his services. He and Gordon reminisce for a moment about their long history and it’s a great scene for Robin Lord Taylor. Bullock reports that Bane is leading 700 men through the barricade and they have maybe 30 guys. Well, 31. Riddler had a change of heart and he’s going to join the fight. And that gets us to the rad scene that opened the season. They all assemble atop the barricade to fight Bane and his army. Bullock points out there are a lot of innocent soldiers just following orders, which historically is not a great argument. The cops and the villains open fire. Bane’s army starts shooting back and it’s getting excessively violent.
Selina finds Lee, who’s pretty shook up. And then she sees the devastation outside the window and decides they need her at GCPD. The firefight continues. Somebody lobs a grenade onto the barricade and Penguin tries to shield Ed and ends up losing an eye. And then Bane launches a rocket to punch a hole through the barricade. That means they have a straight shot toward the GCPD and Haven, but Bruce has a way to stop them. The cops fall back. Lucius radios in to let Gordon know that Nyssa, Wade, Barbara, and the baby are at City Hall, so Gordon decides he’s going to head there. Penguin asks Riddler if his wound looks bad and Ed almost throws up. Lee treats the wounded and Bruce explains his plan. They’re going to turn the power batteries that Jeremiah tried to use as a bomb and turn it back into a bomb. But they need to plant one in the Wayne Enterprises building. If they do that, buildings will topple in a way that will box in Bane’s army. They’re using Jeremiah’s plan!
Over at City Hall, Barbara manages to fake out one of her guards and kill him, while handcuffed. That gives Gordon a chance to get in and release her. But Nyssa spots them and she’s holding the baby. She tells them the Green Zone will be wiped out and then she just has to deal with the two of them.
Bruce and Selina plant the bomb in Wayne Enterprises, in full view of a portrait of his parents. And Bruce thinks that even though they spent their lives building the company, they’d sacrifice it to save the city. He plants the bomb and they run, barely clearing the building before it collapses. And sure enough, it crashes right into the army’s path, sending them scattering.
Back at City Hall, Nyssa passes off the baby to one of her men and decides to kill Gordon with her bare hands so Barbara can watch. She beats the hell out of him, but he keeps getting up. She’s distracted by the news about the building collapse and then she tries to kill Gordon with the knife that killed her father. He manages to kick it over to Barbara who stabs a guard to get his gun and then shoots the rest of the guards. I’m going to miss her so much. And while Nyssa’s busy with Gordon, Barbara stabs her. Nyssa yells to the General to execute the failsafe and he promptly commits suicide, so there’s no way to call off Protocol 10, and Nyssa limps away in the confusion.
Bruce and Selina race back to GCPD and in the middle of the street, they run into Bane. And they fight, and it’s great. They’re faster than he is, but every time he gets a hand on one of them, it sounds like he’s cracking them in half. And during the fight, Bruce plants the beacon on him. You know, the one that had the unfortunate effect of attracting certain animals. Specifically, bats. Thousands of bats descend on Bane, and I think it would be great if he was just gone when they cleared, but no such luck. But they’re a good diversion.
Barbara is reunited with her baby and Gordon gets to hold her for the first time. Man, I want to see more of the world’s most dysfunctional parents. Can this run for four more seasons? Bane, sporting some nasty bites and scratches, and the army have found the way to the Green Zone. In GCPD, Penguin is surprised to find out that Bruce and Selina knocked over the buildings because he has not been following the plot. The army has them surrounded and now our whole cast is assembled there. Gordon instructs Lee and Barbara to take the baby and lead the refugees through the tunnels to get to safety. Gordon and the cops are going to try to buy them some time.
Bruce checks in on Alfred, who’s conscious now. He’s impressed that Bruce has become a force for good, and Bruce says he’ll defend Gotham even if there’s nothing left. Well, I’m ready to cry.
Lee directs the refugees but turns back to be with Gordon. She tells them “Survive. Make sure this was all worth it.” Barbara gives her a hug before she goes. Lee joins Gordon on the front line alongside Bullock, Bruce, Selina, Penguin, and Riddler. They can’t possibly survive and they’re lined up like it’s a firing squad. And then, just before Bane gives the order, the refugees circle back. They surround the army, making a stand. Bane orders the army to fire, but nobody wants to start shooting innocent people. Gordon tells the gunmen they can still stand with them, and at that point, they turn their guns on Bane. He has to surrender now. They won. This motley group won and this is a story element I love. I love a community pulling together. It’s one of those devices that legitimately makes me think the world might be OK after all. I’m in tears, guys.
Nyssa al Ghul makes her way to the submarine, and a foreshadowing shot accompanied by barking makes me think Ed the Dog is going to eat her. Lucius reports that they’ve reached the mainland and the army has been repurposed for humanitarian efforts. The rebuilding has begun. Barbara tells Gordon the baby’s name is “Barbara Lee Gordon”. “In this city, it’s important she knows who she can rely on.” Oh, I’m a mess.
Selina finds Bruce, who’s in a dark mood. Nyssa is still out there and he thinks this all happened because of him. And it actually sort of did. Selina promises to be there for him.
Penguin and Riddler complain about how Nyssa stole their submarine, and apparently Ed the Dog. They’re complaining about how they saved the city and they’re left with nothing. This is a really fun scene where they realize that what they got from doing the right thing – thanks and respect – is garbage and they hate everybody even more than they did before. They’re recommitting to villainy. They decide to reaffirm their commitment with a hug and both of them pull a knife but then each chooses not to stab the other. I could watch these two forever.
The new Mayor honors the heroes of Gotham at a ceremony. Riddler and Penguin are there, which is very funny to me. She names Gordon the new Commissioner and I’m so proud of my guy. Bullock promises he’ll be there whenever Gordon needs anything. And then Bruce tells Gordon he’s leaving. His life is too public, and Gotham is in good hands now. He also leaves a letter for Selina, which she does not appreciate. Bruce says goodbye to Alfred, who’s walking with a cane and is still pretty bruised, but he’s OK. Alfred is going to oversee the rebuilding of Wayne Manor and Enterprises. Alfred says he can never replace his parents, but Bruce is the only son he’ll ever have and he couldn’t be prouder. I’ve been crying for like 20 minutes at this point. Bruce heads out to a private jet and Selina gets there in time just to watch him take off.
–Well, that was the end of Gotham proper. Next episode is the ten years later epilogue, and I’ll save my thoughts for then. But holy smokes, did I love this episode and season. I’m not ready to say goodbye.