WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for this week's episode of Gotham, "The Trial of Jim Gordon," which aired Thursday on Fox.
Ever since Bruce Wayne lost his parents in Gotham's pilot episode, he's been slowly evolving into the man that will eventually become the Batman. Throughout the years, Bruce has picked up many skills, learning how to fight, how to survive in the streets, and how to use a variety of useful gadgets. He's taken to the shadows and even put on a mask a few times, but he still has a way to go before he becomes a full-fledged caped crusader.
Longtime Bat-fans have wondered if the show would find the time to acknowledge a key part of Batman's origin: Bruce leaving Gotham City behind to complete his training, and return with a clear purpose and mission. But at every turn, it seemed like Gotham would do away with Bruce's formative departure from his homestead.
But the latest episode, "The Trial of Jim Gordon," appears to have set the stage for Bruce to leave Gotham City (temporarily) behind.
In the episode, Bruce finds a bit of time to stop fighting and go on a quiet date with Selina Kyle. Over a candlelit diner of canned goods (the city is still cut off from the rest of the world, after all, so there's no lobster thermidor to be found), the young crimefighter reveals that he is considering leaving Gotham City behind, once the No Man's Land crisis is finally over. At the end of the episode, the subject is brought up once again, with no clear conclusion. It's not exactly a done deal, but Bruce is seriously considering a sabbatical.
He believes leaving is the best option, both because he has lost his home and because it may be ultimately what is best for him. This could easily lead to him traveling the world and picking up even more skills, only to return to Gotham City older, much more refined, and ready to declare war on the city's criminals.
Of course, with so few episodes left, such a trip would have to happen off-screen. But since we already know that the series finale will take place a decade into the future, with a fully-formed Batman taking on the likes of Penguin, Joker and Riddler, the 10-year time-jump offers the perfect window for Bruce to have completed his transformation into the Dark Knight.
We've assumed that Bruce would become the Batman during the No Man's Land crisis, it seems instead that NML is what will drive him away... and then drive him to become better, stronger and more determined to protect Gotham City than ever before.
Airing Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox, Gotham stars Ben McKenzie as James Gordon, Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock, David Mazouz as Bruce Wayne, Robin Lord Taylor as Penguin, Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle, Erin Richards as Barbara Kean and Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth.