WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the latest episode of Gotham, “To Our Deaths and Beyond.”
After being roped up in the mania of twin brothers (and proto-Jokers) Jerome and Jeremiah for the past three episodes, Gotham is scaling back on the madness and returning to the dark journey of Bruce Wayne. After recently going through a downward spiral sparked by the murder of Ra’s al Ghul, Bruce recently renewed his war on Gotham City’s criminals after going through a spiritual awakening of sorts.
However, tonight’s episode of Gotham completely rewrote Bruce’s heroic journey throughout Season 4 by bringing Ra’s al Ghul back to life at the start of the episode. Not only does this twist bring back one of Batman’s biggest villains on the board, it also undoes the one mistake young Bruce Wayne made early on in the fourth season of the series.
Earlier this season, longtime Batman fans were left surprised to learn that Ra’s al Ghul had had enough of his long immortal life, and that he was ready to see it come to an end. The Demon’s Head found Bruce Wayne and ensured the young hero would be the one to do him in with a mystical knife. Viewers were left shocked to see Bruce Wayne, the future Batman, commit the one crime he has sworn never to do. Essentially, before his superhero career even began, Bruce broke his one rule. The act had devastating psychological effects on Bruce, whose shattered self-confidence sent him down a dark path.
But, now that Bruce is back on the straight and narrow, now that his resolve has returned stronger than ever (and now that he has a sparkling proto-Batmobile to ride around in), the young hero has caught a break. The men of the League of Shadows, who operate separately from the female assassins who answer to Barbara Kean, sought to bring their deceased leader back to life to overthrow the new Demon’s Head and assume control of the League again. All it took was a few drops of Bruce’s blood spilled on his decaying carcass, and Ra’s al Ghul returned to life.
Though he spent the better part of the episode walking around as a creepy zombie-like monster, Ra’s eventually faced Barbara and reclaimed the power of the Demon’s Head, reverting back to his pristine human form. After breaking the only knife that can kill him, Ra’s al Ghul declares that he has now returned, and that he no longer wishes his life to be over. It would then seem that Bruce is not the only one that has gone through a spiritual awakening.
Bruce’s act was undone, but it came at a cost: One of his most terrible foes is back, and we know the villain will plague the hero’s life for a very long time to come. That is, if Bruce doesn’t train under him in Nanda Parbat first.
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.
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