WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for this week's episode of Gotham, "They Did What?," which aired Thursday on Fox.
From Gotham's premiere in 2014, young Bruce Wayne has been on a path that, as viewers well know, will eventually lead him to become Batman. Over the course of the past five years, David Mazouz's character has acquired the skills, and equipment, tactical equipment to help him in his mission, and even (briefly) donned a mask to fight crime. As the drama's fifth, and final, season winds down, Bruce is more closely resembling the Dark Knight, with Lucius Fox even providing him with an arsenal of gadgets. With the way the story has evolved, it certainly seemed as if Bruce would take those last steps to becoming Batman in the final moments of the "No Man's Land"/"Zero Year" crisis to help save the city.
However, that isn't the case. In Gotham's penultimate episode, "They Did What?," Bruce Wayne doesn't become Batman. Instead, he moves far away from the mantle.
At one point, it really looks as if Bruce will become the Batman. Lucius gives him some signature weapons, and then Bruce defeats Bane, with help from a colony of bats. He even dons black body armor for the final confrontation between the Gotham City Police Department and Bane's goons. But then, nothing happens. Gotham is saved thanks to its people, and the crisis is finally over.
As the city begins to recover and rebuild, Bruce decides his life has become too public, and it's time for him to leave Gotham behind. The final scene depicts Bruce, in a Wayne Enterprises airplane, flying away to parts unknown. It would have been an effective ending to the series. However, we know one episode remains. Set 10 years in the future, the series finale will see Batman fight such iconic villains as the Joker and the Riddler.
Yes, we will see Batman on Gotham -- it just wasn't in the episode we expected. We thought Season 5 would crescendo with Bruce becoming the Dark Knight, but now it's clear that will only occur in the epilogue.
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, Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth and Shane West as Bane.