Gotham: They Did What?


Beyond the barricades, is there a world you long to see?

Gotham is almost over. This is the penultimate episode, and it wraps up a lot of things. It looks desperately bad for the heroes, and even villains, of Gotham. Some surprising alliances spin out of the chaos. With the lengths the characters are forced to go to, the title actually makes perfect sense, as one of the characters asks part way through it, “They Did What?”

The city is under attack from the military, under the command of General Wade. Wade has been put under the sway of Nyssa al-Ghul, and isn’t exactly in his right mind. The people flee to the GCPD in hopes of safety. Gordon is torn between warning Barbara about Nyssa’s plan and protecting the people. Bullock and Fox, loyally by his side, are both worried about what’s coming.

In the clinic, Alfred lies bloody and battered, with Bruce and Selina by his side. Bruce blames himself for sending Alfred into danger, and Selina says they both knew what they signed up for. Bruce also blames himself for Nyssa’s reign of terror in the city, and Selina points out they stopped Ra’s and believes they will stop Nyssa as well. Gordon’s warning would be a bit late, as Barbara has already been captured by Nyssa, and is handcuffed to a pole in City Hall as Nyssa gloats, holds Barbara’s captured baby, and displays the special knife Barbara and Bruce killed Ra’s with. Nyssa boasts about what’s coming, Barbara tries to bribe her, and Nyssa’s answer both horrifies and angers Barbara. Wade issues Nyssa’s orders, and Bane takes over the troops in bloody, decisive action.

At the docks, Riddler and Penguin debate what to do. After a lot of agonizing, Penguin decides he can’t leave Gotham, and walks away, despite Riddler threatening to leave without him. Gordon’s plan isn’t so much to win as to give the refugees time to flee in the tunnels below GCPD. Selina offers to play messenger to Sirens for Gordon, and Bruce loads up on special toys from Lucius Fox for the coming fight. Interestingly, one is a “Nightwing” project that, among other things, acts as a beacon to certain animals. I bet we can all guess which ones.

Preparing for battle, Gordon gets a surprise visit from Penguin, who is throwing in his lot with the police. The two reminisce about what they’ve seen, and even Penguin seems surprised he’s staying. Their numbers are ridiculously low, but they bump up just a bit when Riddler shows up, also having reconsidered fleeing. Gordon gets everyone armed and organized and they go to make their stand.

The troops facing them are, of course, led by Bane, who is in full supervillain mode. He and Gordon exchange words, and then bullets. Selina gets to Sirens just as Lee is coming around, and they fill each other in on what’s going on. The Narrows is aflame, and Selina offers a grim assessment of what she’s seen on the way here. The GCPD and allies keep up the best defense they can, horribly outnumbered and outgunned. One of them can’t resist smarting off to Bane, and suffers a wound that explains a fashion choice in later years. As they fall back, Fox has managed to locate General Wade’s signal, and Gordon embarks on a desperate plan, made more high-stakes when he hears what Lee and Selina have to say. Fox and Bruce have come up with a desperate plan to slow the advance of the army. Selina goes with Bruce, and Fox and Lee reflect on so many unbelievable things happening at once.

Gordon gets pretty far in his rescue attempt, but it’s a trap, of course, and things aren’t looking good for the Captain and his ex. After a lot of reminiscing about where they are, Bruce and Selina succeed in their mission, taking out the scene of many memorable moments in Bruce’s life and past episodes. Nyssa boasts more about what she’s going to do, and starts beating on Gordon. Jim has always been a decent fighter, but he’s doing horribly here. It’s not just that she’s better, that happens. He’s throwing bad punches. About this time, Nyssa gets a call, we hear the title, and she orders her army to press on. Finally, Jim and Barbara manage to team up for a bloody bit of combat that tips the scales. Nyssa has a failsafe that throws a wrench in Gordon’s plan and manages to slither off. Bruce and Selina run into Bane, and they get in some good team up fighting against this monster. Finally, Bruce pulls a trick they hinted at before that’s almost a scene right out of Batman Year One. Gordon and Barbara get a moment of calm amidst the chaos and have a weird family first.

Bane, recovering remarkably quickly from the earlier fight, leads the men on, and Gordon sends Lee and Barbara to the tunnels to lead the refugees to as much safety as is left in Gotham. Bruce and Alfred have a touching moment as the young man makes a promise he’ll keep for the rest of his life. Lee, of course, doesn’t do what she’s told, but she and Barbara have a moment of friendship, possibly the first one between them. Things look utterly desperate for the GCPD, even as they are joined by Lee and Barbara, then there’s a big uprising and some of the soldiers come to their senses. About damn time!

Nyssa makes her escape, costing two characters dearly. The city is finally getting the help they need and relief efforts are under way. The baby gets a very symbolic name that makes a few people happy, and points her more towards her future in Gotham. Bruce and Selina have a warm moment, even though Bruce is full of sadness and loss. Riddler and Penguin bond over their losses and swear revenge on the city. Things almost get really interesting between them, but they both relent at the last moment.

Mayor Chang (any bets on how long until she’s kidnapped, murdered , or mind controlled?) gives medals to the various surviving GCPD officers, and gives Jim a promotion that pushes him towards his proper place in Batman lore. He and Bullock have a chat about their future. Bruce comes to a fateful decision that starts another piece of Batman’s legend. Alfred is left with some important jobs to do. Selina is left a note and left behind and is clearly saddened. This essentially ends the series as we know it. There is one more episode, but it’s a several year jump into the future to wrap things up and start something else.

What I liked: There were some surprising alliances that made a great deal of sense when you think about them. Nyssa’s failsafe was simple but highly effective. Penguin and Riddler got some great moments, as did Bruce and Selina. I really enjoyed the baby’s name and the reasons behind it. It was an interesting place to leave things, and actually would have worked as a series finale.

What I didn’t: Gordon’s fight with Nyssa was badly done. I get why to an extent, but the way Bruce treated Selina at the end was just wrong. I feel bad for Edward. The soldiers went along with Bane for too long, even if they did snap out of it near the end.

It was a well done episode that brought things together better than I would have thought. I’ll give it a 4 out of 5. One more to go…