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“Gotham’s” McKenzie & Mazouz Answer Burning Questions From the Season Finale

by  in TV News Comment
“Gotham’s” McKenzie & Mazouz Answer Burning Questions From the Season Finale

The original 1960s “Batman” series loved its cliffhangers, but “Gotham” just took it to a whole new level, wrapping up some long-simmering storylines while blowing open so many more burning questions.

The Fox hit left it all out on the field for its season finale, “All Happy Families Are Alike,” dropping some game-changing big moments the show been building to, both overtly and subtly, throughout its freshman run, and its two leading men have a few things to say about the closer’s major reveals, twists and turns — and what they mean for the second season ahead.

“Gotham’s” McKenzie & Mazouz Talk Finale, Bruce & Jim’s Relationship

Before you go any further if you haven’t yet seen the finale, there’s going to be nothing but spoilers ahead as Ben McKenzie, who plays the resolute and incorruptible cop Jim Gordon, and David Mazouz, who plays the grieving but increasingly resourceful young Bruce Wayne, sound off to CBR News about ending the first season on a high note and what’s next for the pre-Batman TV series.

On the big reveal of the secret passageway, apparently installed by Thomas Wayne, that Bruce and Alfred discover in Wayne Manor:

David Mazouz: I actually found out what was going to happen in the finale: Sean had told me — Sean Pertwee, who plays Alfred, because Danny [Cannon] had told him about a month before. And I was very, very excited! I was just really excited — that’s really the step that I wanted Bruce Wayne to have, to take at this point in the show. And I thought it was perfectly placed. I thought everything about how the scene was played out and how they led up to this massive discovery, I think it’s really, really cool, really perfect the way they did it.

On just what might be waiting for Bruce on the other side:

Mazouz: I don’t really know much, but I’m so excited. There’s just endless possibilities that can happen. Will the Batcave just be a massive Batcave? I mean, of course, that was his father’s work place, but what exactly will be in there? Just a room with a desk and there are some papers, and he’ll actually not have any more clues? Or will it be a massive treasury of clues, to his whole father’s life work? I don’t know. I’m very excited.

On where things stand for Jim Gordon after his first year with the GCPD:

Ben McKenzie: You’ve seen him evolve from the fresh-faced, somewhat naïve rookie, to the much more seasoned and cynical law enforcement officer. And the sort of metaphor that we’re going for at the end — with Falcone giving him the knife that belonged to his father, and his father had given to Falcone — is fairly obvious, but it’s a literal, physical manifestation of the danger that surrounds Jim. And it’s the Mafioso knighting the lawman and saying “You’re the guy who can guide this city through the next chapter until we have Batman. You’re the one who has to fight back and maintain order.” And to have this guy who was his antagonist at the beginning of the season, Falcone, almost have a camaraderie with Jim is an awfully, I think, significant evolution in where he is and where he’s headed that will only continue next season.

“Gotham’s” Butch Talks Shifting Allegiances and the Explosive Season Finale

On whether Jim has realized the dark, potentially morally compromising places his single-mindedness has nearly taken him:

McKenzie: I don’t think he’s going to become — he’s a hero at the end of the day. So I don’t think he’s going to become evil in any way. The rings surrounding him get tighter and tighter and his ability to maneuver within it, gets more and more difficult. So he has to bend and break rules that he wouldn’t have otherwise done. So that’s the best I can give you right now. I think the hope and despair, the rise and the fall, will sort of continue throughout. At times, he will feel as though he made significant headway, only to have it all fall apart again.

On whether the bond between Bruce and Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) is permanently severed by her turn to Fish Mooney’s side:

Mazouz: It’s a very interesting relationship. Bruce feels something for Selina. He knows that there’s things that she does he doesn’t approve of. But for some reason, he still likes to hang out with her, still likes to be with her, still likes to be friends with her. And so I will be really curious to see in Season Two, when he finds out all this stuff that she’s done, what his reaction will be.

On how Barbara’s experience will affect Jim:

McKenzie: Not well. It’s not going to impact him well. Obviously, there will be feelings of guilt associated with his role in her entire undoing. She would not have suffered what she suffered if he was not who he is, if he had not gone after The Ogre and courted disaster. This is the clearest indication we’ve had, thus far, that there’s a price to be paid for doing your job, for being honorable, and doing the right thing. I mean, in the pilot, it was saving Penguin’s life, only to have him come back to become the criminal mastermind that he’s become. Now the love of his life is mentally unhinged. This is going to have a really profound effect on his psyche and on his relationships, I would imagine, with Dr. Thompkins and everyone else.

On whether Ed Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) will continue to work under Jim Gordon’s nose as his growing psychosis continues to emerge:

McKenzie: I don’t know what the plan is as to when people in the GCPD are going to be aware of his activities, but I think that we’ll probably continue to build that as the audience sees how much further he goes in his own personal life while remaining hidden from the very cops he serves with and under. So I think we’ll play with that and play with that, but yeah, The Riddler will definitely be a significant character. Whether he is technically Riddler yet or not in Season Two, he’s going to be a major character.

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On the biggest lessons learned while shooting the first season:

McKenzie: No bad guys that aren’t from the mythology. Bad guys are only going to be from the mythology. Doesn’t mean they’re actually the villains. They could be the sons or daughters or the relatives, or you think they’re The Joker, but they’re not The Joker — things like that. But none of this made-up bad guys. I think the fans, rightly, don’t really appreciate that. Full serialization. Cases take much longer, are much more complicated, have much more interaction between the cops and the villains. [And] I think in that second season — we’re just now talking about it — you’re going to see Bruce evolve much more into a sort of the man he will become and take on the cases involving his company and all the nefarious activities around them.

Mazouz: I’m really excited to kick some butt, do some martial arts stuff. And I’m really excited to play that public persona that Batman has, that Bruce Wayne persona where he’s more party boy, kind of playboy attitude and personality… I think one thing that I did learn is Bruce’s darkness, the level of darkness that he has and kind of how his journey from being just really, really depressed about his parents’ murder — because Batman is very dark, and so it’s kind of finding the difference between Batman’s darkness and the darkness that Bruce has in the beginning of the season, where he’s just depressed and grieving.

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