Gotham first aired way back in 2014, and it’s since spent four seasons chronicling the events that led to the legendary crimefighting partnership between Batman and Commissioner Jim Gordon. The fifth season is now underway, and Fox has confirmed that it will be show’s last – meaning we’re at the point where the continuity of the show should finally dovetail with the canon of the DC Comics source material on which it’s based.
With this in mind, we’ve developed the below round-up of all the big moments that have to go down before Gotham wraps up, in order for the series to gel with the established Batman mythos. But we haven’t stopped there, either. No, we’ve also made sure to note all of the dangling plot threads that the showrunners need to address to ensure a satisfying conclusion to their own narrative, as well. Taken as one combined checklist, it represents everything that true fans of the Dark Knight need to see happen before Gotham ends!
10 Closure Over Bruce's Clone
Gotham started out as a relatively grounded take on the Batman mythos, similar to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, before gradually embracing the comics’ more outlandish elements. No character better encapsulates this tonal shift than Subject 514A (or “Five”) – a malevolent clone of Bruce Wayne unveiled in Season 2.
When we last saw Five, it was strongly implied that the degenerative disease afflicting all clones in the Gotham universe meant he didn’t have long to live. His off-screen demise was later confirmed by Kathryn Monroe, but given her allegiance to the Court of Owls, many fans have speculated Five is still alive and kicking. So it’d be nice if Season 5 could either provide conclusive proof that Five is gone, or better yet, surprise fans by having this disintegrating doppelganger make one final appearance.
9 The Rise Of Two-Face
Disfigured criminal mastermind Two-Face is one of the most recognizable baddies in Batman’s rogues gallery. So the presence of his younger, uncorrupted alter-ego Harvey Dent in Gotham’s first two seasons fanned the flames of expectation that we would eventually witness his tragic descent into villainy.
This anticipation wasn’t exactly unfounded, either. On the contrary, the showrunners dropped numerous tantalizing hints throughout Seasons 1 and 2 that Dent’s downfall was on the narrative horizon…but then the character was unceremoniously dumped in Season 3. And seriously: you don’t introduce someone like Harvey Dent, heavily foreshadow his metamorphosis into Two-Face, and then pull the plug at the last minute. It’s not cool, and long-time viewers deserve to see this character arc pay off in Season 5.
8 One Last Moment With Fish
Love her or hate her, Fish Mooney – created specifically for the show and played with flamboyant relish by Jada Pinkett Smith – was a major player in Gotham’s early seasons. Indeed, this crime boss’s shadow still looms large over the series, even after she was turned into a human shish-kabob in Season 3. Due to this enduring notoriety, we’re plumping for Fish to come back in Season 5.
Sure, she suffered an ostensibly fatal injury – but then, she’s overcome a similar predicament before, shrugging off a multi-story tumble courtesy of the Penguin in Season 1. A full-blown resurrection isn’t even needed, either: a Fish clone would suffice, or she could feature in a flashback sequence or two. Regardless of the execution, re-integrating Fish into Gotham’s swansong would do a lot to bring things full circle.
7 Renee Montoya's Reappearance
The comic book incarnation of Renee Montoya is a pretty big deal, graduating from a key Batman supporting character to a fully-fledged lead in her own right, as vigilante detective the Question. So clearly, Montoya represents fertile storytelling ground for anyone adapting the character in other media – an assessment the Gotham showrunners initially appeared to agree with.
Nevertheless, Montoya was jettisoned from the show without any real explanation in Season 2. Obviously, the limited screen time available in Season 5 means bringing back Montoya won’t ensure her full potential is unlocked in the series. But it would at least pay lip service to her stature in the wider Batman franchise, and give fans a proper opportunity to say goodbye.
6 The Return Of Valerie Vale
You may have noticed a recurring theme among the entries on this list so far, in that many of them call for absent characters to be reinstated to Gotham’s roster of players. There’s a reason for this: the series has developed a bad habit of drafting in new faces only to ditch them without resolving their narrative and emotional arc.
Take poor Valerie Vale: designed solely to serve as a love interest for Jim Gordon, this ace reporter was shoved off the stage as soon as she’d adequately performed this role. Valerie’s abrupt exit ensured that we never really got to see her story properly conclude – a brief cameo in Season 5 could easily address this, though.
5 The Joker's True Identity Confirmed
Gotham’s handling of Batman’s archenemy the Joker is arguably the most frustrating narrative miscalculation of the entire series. First, we were led to believe that disturbed youth Jerome Valeska was poised to become the Clown Prince of Crime, only for Jerome to bite the bullet in Season 4.
Next, we discover that Jerome had a twin brother named Jeremiah, who is promptly driven insane. At the same time as he loses his mind, Jeremiah’s skin is bleached white, his hair turns green and his lips are permanently dyed red. Needless to say, our guy is now the most likely candidate to assume the Joker mantle – and we’d really appreciate it if this issue was settled definitively before the show wraps up.
4 Jim Gordon Becomes Commissioner
On the one hand, it’s hard to see how a cop like Jim Gordon could ever be appointed police commissioner. It’s not that Gordon isn’t a talented officer – it’s just that he’s spent his entire career bouncing from one scandal to another. So let’s face it: in the real world, this controversial reputation would almost certainly preclude him from ever landing the top job.
On the other hand, Gotham isn’t set in the real world – and fans will expect to see Gordon become commissioner before Season 5 ends, in keeping with comic book canon. If this doesn’t happen, the familiar Gordon/Batman dynamic – a key component of the franchise across virtually all media – won’t exist in this universe, and nobody wants that!
3 Barbara Kean's Redemption
OK, we’ll admit it: the idea that Jim Gordon’s ex-fiancée Barbara could turn over a new leaf so late in the game is a bit of a stretch. Over the past four seasons and counting, Babs has evolved into as much of an out-and-out supervillain as the Penguin or the Riddler, and it would take some truly spectacular storytelling gymnastics to sell fans on her redemption.
That said, Barbara and Gordon have rekindled their relationship in recent episodes – she’s even pregnant with his child! – and Jim’s former flame seems determined to win him back. So a Season 5 face-turn by our gal just might be on the cards – which, incidentally, would bring Gotham in-line with comic book continuity, and even foreshadow the eventual emergence of her daughter, Batgirl.
2 The Truth About Isabella Emerges
Of all the loose ends from across Gotham’s entire run, the Isabella plotline is, without a doubt, the most notorious – mostly because it simply doesn’t add up. Let’s take a look at the events involved, shall we? Midway through Season 2, Edward Nygma strangles his unrequited crush Kristen Kringle, and fans logically assumed that this was the last we’d seen of Kringle (and actress Chelsea Spack).
Fast forward to Season 3, though, and Nygma made the acquaintance of a woman named Isabella – a dead ringer for Kringle, and also portrayed by Spack! Isabella was ultimately bumped off before we could learn the true nature of her connection with Kristen – was she her twin, a clone or neither? – so it’d be good form on the showrunners’ part if they could finally lay this mystery to rest.
1 The Dark Knight's Debut
The good news is, this entry is pretty much a lock. Gotham’s producers have gone on the record to confirm that a more mature Bruce Wayne will complete his long-teased transformation into Batman in Season 5 finale “The Beginning…”.
Intriguingly, early indications are that young star David Mazouz’s voice and likeness, and the physique of a much taller, buffer actor will be combined to bring the Dark Knight to life. How that will work is anyone’s guess – presumably Mazouz’s body double will don the cape and cowl for any wide shots – but we’re looking forward to seeing it all come together.
What’s more, unlike Smallville – which only provided a few fleeting glimpses of Superman during the show’s closing moments – apparently, we’ll get to witness Batman in action over the course of the entire episode!