Wednesday, April 24, 2019

'Gotham' Recap: "They Did What?" (5x11)

Welcome back to another recap of Gotham—or, as I like to call it, my weekly ritual of shouting, screaming, and laughing at my computer screen for an hour.

This week's episode (and the penultimate episode of Gotham overall) is called "They Did What?" It focuses on the fight for Gotham City between Nyssa al Ghul's forces and our beloved heroes (and villains, in the case of Penguin and Riddler). Once again, this week's plot can't really be separated by character or storyline, so it'll all go under Plot A.

Warning: this episode contains heavy violence and one on-screen suicide, and the following recap contains heavy SPOILERS.

Plot A: Domino Effects

Gotham City's remaining citizens flood the streets as they make their way to the GCPD. Inside of the precinct, Gordon tells Lucius and Harvey they need to get ahold of Barbara so they can make sure that she, Lee, and the baby are safe.

Lucius replies that they have their hands full with the refugees pouring into the GCPD. Harvey remarks that Nyssa has them outgunned and suggests that it might be time to surrender. Gordon, however, says the GCPD and its allies are the only ones standing between Nyssa and the city, so they have to keep fighting. He tells Harvey to gather up the refugees and get them to safety below ground.

Over at the clinic, Bruce and Selina watch over a bloodied, unconscious Alfred. Selina tells Bruce that the doctors did everything they did to stabilize him; now all they can do is wait.

Bruce says that Alfred's condition is his fault, since he sent him on the mission to stop Bane. Selina retorts that both she and Alfred knew what they were getting into, but Bruce says that Nyssa is still hell-bent on destroying him, Barbara, and the city because of Ra's' death. Selina replies that Bruce stopped Ra's twice and tells him that they'll stop Nyssa together.

Meanwhile, at City Hall, Nyssa shows Barbara that she has the same infamous dagger from last season—you know, the one that turned Ra's into a pile of ash.

This actually raises a few interesting questions, such as:
  • Where did Nyssa get the dagger? Did Barbara just leave it lying around after she used it at the end of season 4? (If so, that was pretty careless on Barbara and Bruce's part, considering all the trouble that knife caused.) Did one of the league members find it and pass it off to Nyssa?
  • Did Nyssa bring the dagger because she specifically needed it to kill Barbara? (In episode 4x05, Bruce theorized that the knife could be used to kill anyone raised to life by the Lazarus pit.)
  • Or does the dagger only work on the current Demon's Head (as implied in episode 4x04)? 
  • And, in that case, would it be able to kill both Bruce and Barbara (since he treated them both like heirs, and they both helped kill him)?
But I digress. Nyssa cradles Barbara's daughter in her arms. Barbara tells her that if she hurts the baby at all, she'll kill Nyssa. Nyssa replies that it's not fair for the child to get attached to her mother when Barbara won't be alive for much longer. Nyssa says that once the city and Gordon's Green Zone are destroyed, Barbara and Bruce will die. 

Barbara tells Nyssa about the submarine and the treasure onboard and begs her to take it and leave. Nyssa refuses and says she plans to raise Barbara's daughter as her own.

Then General Wade (still mind-controlled) walks in and tells Nyssa that the army has landed and is awaiting his orders. 

Sure enough, army tanks and copters have entered Gotham. One commander questions Wade's orders to destroy the Green Zone, saying they can't just go around killing civilians. Bane responds by relieving the man of his command and snapping his neck. 

Bane then introduces himself to the soldiers as their new commander and orders them to get to work.

Over at the docks, Penguin and Riddler prepare to enter the sub. Before they get onboard, however, Penguin asks if they can really be so cavalier about the city's destruction. 

Riddler is fine with letting Gotham burn, but Penguin says he can't let someone else take over his city. He says that Riddler should want to help stop Nyssa and Bane, especially since they used him to kill innocent people. Riddler, however, is unmoved by this argument.

Penguin replies that he's going to follow his heart and make a stand. Riddler retorts that following his heart has never worked out for Penguin.

Penguin replies that this might be true, but the Riddler should try thinking with his heart for a change. He then tearfully says, "I'm gonna miss you, Edward." Riddler replies that he'll miss him too . . . but it turns out that Penguin was talking to Edward the Bulldog. 

Penguin hands his leash to the Riddler, tells the bulldog to go with Riddler on the submarine, and walks off. Riddler yells that he's going to take both the submarine and the treasure if Penguin doesn't come back. Penguin, however, keeps walking. 

Back at the GCPD, Gordon tells Harvey where he plans to make their last stand. He says the GCPD needs to slow down the army long enough for someone to find Wade and free him from Nyssa's control so that he can reverse the order to destroy Gotham. 

Detective Alvarez tells Gordon that he hasn't had any luck reaching anyone at the Sirens' Club. Gordon wants to go there himself to look for Barbara, Lee, and the baby, but Harvey replies that the GCPD needs a leader. Selina volunteers to search the club in his stead.

Elsewhere, Lucius asks Bruce if he's sure about fighting alongside the GCPD. Bruce replies that he is. Lucius then equips Bruce with an EMP, smoke bombs and signal jammers. Bruce spots one leftover item and asks what it is. Lucius says the tech is from Wayne Enterprises' old "Nightwing" project.

(Nightwing, you say?)

"Portable, next-gen stealth tech," Bruce says, remembering the project. Lucius explains that the technology could make aircrafts invisible to radar, but also had an unintended side effect in that it served as a beacon to certain animals. (Gee, I wonder what those could be?)

Bruce takes the Nightwing beacon, saying that it might prove to be useful later on.

Meanwhile, Penguin enters Gordon's office.

Gordon says he's surprised that Penguin is still in the city. He says that the storm Penguin warned him about has finally come to pass. (Which is a nice callback to Penguin's pleas to Gordon in the very first episode.)

Penguin: "Listen to me. There is a war coming. A terrible war. Falcone is losing his grip and his rivals are hungry. There will be chaos, rivers of blood in the streets! I know it. I can see it coming."

Penguin says that when Gordon spared his life and ordered him never to come back to Gotham, it was the most lost he'd ever been, because he was away from the city. Penguin says that the city is a part of him and a part of Gordon as well.

Penguin adds that he could escape, but then afterward he'd have to watch the city burn to the ground, only to be rebuilt by politicians and industrialists. He insists that his life and blood are a part of the city and says he intends to stay and fight for his legacy.

Harvey then enters. He tells Gordon that the army has busted through a checkpoint and is headed toward the GCPD barricades with 600-700 men—and the GCPD has only 30.

"Make that 31," replies the Riddler, who enters with an assault rifle in hand. He tells Penguin that piloting the sub is a two-man job and adds that he also wants to keep this city the way it is. 

With everyone suited up, Gordon, Harvey, Penguin, Riddler and Bruce roll out with the rest of the GCPD.

When they arrive at the barricade, Gordon tells everyone which flanks to take. From the ground, Bane remarks that Gordon has a "crusader complex." Gordon points out that, once upon a time, Bane would've been fighting for the same side as Gordon, but Bane replies that he's found his "true purpose." Bane then tells his men to fire on his command.

Gordon then orders his men to begin shooting at the army, and the army (and Bane) return the fire (in a scene that finally shows the full context of the flash-forward from 5x01). 

Over at Sirens, Selina finds Lee, who regains consciousness. Selina asks where Barbara and the baby are. Lee replies that Nyssa took them. Lee then sees, from a window, that the Narrows are burning. Selina tells her that the city "never stood a chance" and that any refugees who survived went to the GCPD. 

"Then that's where I'm needed," Lee replies.

Back at the barricade, Bruce throws smoke grenades while the army and GCPD exchange fire. One of the soldiers throws an actual grenade over the barricade. As it lands, Riddler freezes. Penguin gets in front of him, and when the grenade goes off, debris from the explosion flies into his right eye. He clutches it in pain.

Bane then pulls out a humongous RPG and uses it to blow a hole in the barricade. Soldiers go through the hole, and Bane orders them to bring him Gordon and Bruce.

Gordon says they need a way to stop the army. Bruce replies that he has a plan, and Gordon orders his men to fall back. As they retreat, Riddler calls the whole thing a disaster, and Penguin frets that there's nowhere they can hide from the army.

Gordon then gets a radio call from Lucius, who informs him that he was able to track the general's chip to City Hall. Selina adds that Nyssa took Barbara and the baby. Gordon surmises that they're probably at City Hall as well. Lucius tells Gordon how to disable the chip, and Gordon says he'll go to City Hall alone.

After Gordon leaves, Riddler apologizes to Penguin for not reacting to the grenade quickly enough. Penguin replies that saving his friend was "the least he could do." He then asks Riddler if the injury looks bad and pulls off his bandage to reveal a bloody, grotesque wound over his right eye. The Riddler tries to tell him it looks fine but gags before he can finish the lie.

Meanwhile, Bruce re-enters the GCPD and tells Lee that Gordon's okay. He then tells Lucius that they need to get out Jeremiah's old generator, which the GCPD has been using since the bridges blew.

"We need to make it a bomb again," Bruce says. Lucius gets out the Riddler's diagram from season 4 of which buildings Jeremiah originally planned to destroy so that he could build his maze. Bruce's plan? Make the maze and use the buildings as dominoes to cut off the army.

Lucius says that ground zero has to be Wayne Enterprises headquarters, and Bruce agrees that there's no other way. Once WE falls, it will knock down the other buildings and finish the job for them. Lucius then adds that they only need the core and activator to set off the bomb and hands both to Bruce. As he does so, the generator shuts down, and GCPD's lights go out.

Selina says that she'll go with Bruce, and the two of them leave with the bomb. Lee then remarks that she can't believe she and Lucius are letting Bruce and Selina do this.

Over at City Hall, Gordon enters. Barbara distracts one of her guards and kicks him, while Gordon takes out another. He then uncuffs her and asks where the baby is. Barbara replies that she's with Nyssa and the general.

On cue, Nyssa enters, bringing the baby with her, as well as several armed men. Gordon orders her to hand his daughter over, but Nyssa refuses. She then says that he and Barbara should drop their weapons unless they want to risk hurting their child in the crossfire. They comply.

Nyssa gloats that the army is almost inside the Green Zone and that Bane is going after Bruce. She then wonders aloud what she should do with Gordon and Barbara.

At the same time, Bruce and Selina enter Wayne Enterprises. Bruce sets up the bomb and says that it will weaken the support column on top of the building and cause the whole thing to collapse and knock down the other buildings. Selina remarks that it's a little crazy that they're fulfilling Jeremiah's old plan.

Bruce remarks that there's no other way but pauses when he sees a portrait of his parents looking down at him. Selina asks if he's sure he wants to go through with this and points out that he's already lost Wayne Manor.

Bruce replies that he has a lot of memories of this building (especially from before his parents died) but adds that his parents built it to make the city a better place.

"They would have sacrificed everything for this city," he says. "They did sacrifice everything. If that's what it takes, so will I."

This is not only a tearjerking line but also a callback to season 2, when Bruce told Hugo Strange, "My father fought and died for what he believed was right. And if necessary, so will I."

As the light turns red and flashes, Bruce tells Selina that it's time to run. They do, just barely escaping before the bomb goes off and the building falls.

The army runs from it, but some of the soldiers are crushed by the debris.

Back at City Hall, Nyssa decides to kill Gordon herself. She hands the baby off to General Wade and remarks that she'll kill Barbara after the city is destroyed.

She then proceeds to fight Gordon and pretty thoroughly kicks his butt with her League of Assassins training. The fight is briefly interrupted when one of her men gets a radio message from Bane's lieutenant.

"They did what?!" Nyssa yells, apparently after hearing about Bruce and Selina's handiwork. She orders the lieutenant to blast through the wreckage and find another way to the Green Zone.

She then tells Gordon that while his allies bought him time, the Green Zone will still be destroyed. She adds that it's time for him to meet his fate.

"Let's meet it together," he replies, snapping a handcuff around her wrist so that the two of them are chained together.

(Sidenote: This might be a reference to the animated film adaptation of Gotham By Gaslight. The movie features a battle where two characters are fighting each other, and one of them uses the same move to chain his opponent to himself. I don't want to give too much away, but if you've got 75 minutes to spare, happen to enjoy murder mysteries, and don't mind the horror/thriller aspects that come with an R-rated showdown between Batman and Jack the Ripper, I'd definitely recommend this film. It's beautifully animated, the voice actors are wonderful, the plot is brilliant, and the writers do a great job of adapting beloved characters into the Victorian setting.)

A-HEM. Once again, I'm digressing. Perhaps overly long references to past Batman mythology is my coping mechanism for dealing with the approaching end of Gotham.

Gordon then slides the dagger over to Barbara, who joins the fight and takes down Nyssa's guards. Barbara then attacks Nyssa. Nyssa says that Barbara can't defeat her. She insists that she is Ra's al Ghul's daughter and his one true heir. Barbara responds by stabbing her in the chest with the dagger.

Wounded but not defeated, Nyssa commands Wade to "execute the failsafe." He then shoots himself in the head, distracting Gordon and Barbara long enough for Nyssa to get loose. She gloats that once she watches the city's destruction, her legacy will be complete. She then runs off without further ado.

Elsewhere in Gotham, Bane attacks Bruce (though how he found Bruce and Selina is unclear).

(I suppose he just followed the property damage left in their wake.)

Bruce tells Selina to warn the GCPD about Bane, but she refuses, and the two of them fight Bane together. They give it their best, but none of their attacks land successfully and he tosses them both aside with ease.

Bruce says that Bane hurt Alfred. Bane replies that collateral damage is a fact of war. Selina then attacks him, but he grabs her in a chokehold. Bruce begs Bane to let her go, but he replies that "There are no attachments in war." He prepares to kill her, telling Bruce that "an ounce of pressure" is all it will take.

Suddenly, Selina grabs one of the knives from Bane's holsters and uses it to stab him and get loose. Bruce then attaches the Nightwing beacon to Bane's chest and activates it, summoning an army of bats that swarm and blind Bane.

As they fly around him, Bruce looks up at the winged creatures, seemingly inspired by them.

It's not only a classic Batman shot—if I had a nickel for every time bats swarmed Bruce or one of his enemies in a comic book, movie or TV show, I'd be a billionaire too—but also an interesting contrast to last season, when Bruce was terrified of the dark creatures that swarmed him in his toxin-induced hallucination.

Meanwhile, Gordon tells Barbara that with Wade dead, there's no way to reverse the invasion order. Barbara, who holds her reclaimed daughter, introduces the child to Gordon and lets him hold her for the first time with her.

Elsewhere, troops led by a (recovered and bat-less) Bane march through the streets, getting closer to the Green Zone.

Inside the zone itself, Gordon and Barbara enter the GCPD. Barbara assures Lee that the baby is fine, though she needs to be fed. Gordon fills his friends in on what happened with Nyssa and Wade.

Harvey asks what they're supposed to do next. Cops then tell Gordon that the GCPD is surrounded by Bane's forces. Barbara says she needs to get the baby to safety. Gordon agrees and tells her to use the underground tunnels to get their daughter and the refugees to safety while the GCPD holds the army off to buy time.

Lee says she wants to stay with Gordon, but he points out that many of the refugees are from the Narrows and will follow Lee's orders because they know and trust her. She agrees and begins to lead them to the tunnels.

Back at the clinic, Bruce is all suited up for a fight. As Alfred comes to, Bruce tells him to rest. Alfred remarks that he spent a long time trying to protect Bruce, and now the boy has become "a soldier for good."

Bruce replies that it's his turn to protect both Alfred and Gotham, "even if there's nothing left to defend."

At the same time, Barbara and Lee lead the refugees into the tunnels. Lee gives them directions on where to go but says that rather than join them, she's going back above ground to stand by Gordon. The two women share a surprisingly heartfelt goodbye, with Barbara thanking Lee for everything she's done.

Lee tells Barbara to lead the refugees to safety. Barbara starts to walk toward them but then stops and looks back at the GCPD thoughtfully.

Meanwhile, Gordon, Bruce, Selina, Penguin, Riddler, Alvarez, Harvey and Harper meet Bane's army in the street. Gordon tells Bane that all wars come to an end. Bane remarks that this isn't a war but a firing squad.

Suddenly, Lee joins Gordon's line. Bane prepares to open fire, when Gordon hears something: more people. Gotham's citizens flood the streets, led by Barbara. It's Bruce who realizes that they've come to back up Gordon's final stand.

Bane orders the soldiers to fire, but they're clearly having second thoughts about killing so many civilians at once. He orders them again. Gordon tells the soldiers that they have a choice to stand with the people of Gotham or with Bane.

Bane raises his gun to shoot, but several soldiers aim their guns at him. After a few seconds, he surrenders and the crowd cheers.

All's not well that ends well, however. Over at the docks, Nyssa boards the submarine and leaves Gotham with Penguin's treasure (and Edward the Bulldog).

Don't worry, though—according to Tze Chun (writer and producer on Gotham) Nyssa didn't hurt the pooch.

At the GCPD, Lucius tells Gordon that news of what happened has reached the mainland. Now that the truth of is out, the army is going to help rebuild Gotham City with humanitarian aid, supplies and crisis relief.

Gordon takes Lee aside and asks her if the "not listening" thing is going to be a habit.

"You're welcome," she replies. (Gordon, you should know by now that Lee's not big on taking orders.)

Barbara remarks that the day's events will make for "an interesting bedtime story" and lets Gordon hold the baby. Gordon asks if Barbara's settled on a name yet.

"Barbara," she replies. "Barbara Lee Gordon. In this city, it's important that she know who she can rely on." (Which is arguably the sweetest reason EVER to name your daughter after yourself, your ex-fiance, and the woman you've tried to kill a couple of times.)

But not everyone's caught up in the joy of victory. Bruce sits alone on a stairwell at the GCPD, looking somber. Selina sits next to him and asks what's wrong. He replies that Nyssa's still at large and that she and Bane were right: everything that happened to Gotham has been because of him—including Bane almost killing Selina while Bruce was powerless to stop it.

Selina replies that she'll be there for Bruce whenever he needs her. He quietly replies that his parents used to tell him the same thing.

Elsewhere, Penguin furiously rants about how Nyssa escaped with everything he had. Riddler agrees that they're back to square one. Penguin adds that they didn't get any reward for helping save the city (a bit generous, considering their small role in the fight) or any credit.

Riddler replies that he doesn't want any thanks or respect from the citizens of Gotham. He then proceeds to give an absolutely bone-chilling speech about how he felt nothing for those "drab and boring" people and how he used to be one of them back when he was simply the awkward and submissive Edward Nygma working at the GCPD. He briefly glances in a mirror—but only sees himself, with no hallucinations or alter egos (which, as TV Tropes points out, is a devastating sign that every trace of the old Ed is gone).

Riddler adds that he has no intention of being a "common criminal" and that Gotham will bow to him. Penguin agrees, saying that the city has underrated both of them and that if he were still in charge, it wouldn't be in ruins. Riddler says that Gordon will only ever see Penguin as Fish Mooney's umbrella boy. He adds that the only reason he fought for the city is so that he could take it for himself.

Penguin says the two of them would be stronger together and says they should make a pact.

"We take what we want, from who we want, and we suffer no fools," he says.

"Together," Riddler says. He says they should shake on it. Penguin, who holds a knife behind his back, says that they're "brothers" and should hug instead. As they hug, Riddler also holds a knife. Both men point the blades at each other's back, but neither attacks.

As they let go, both men put their knives away.

"Life begins anew," Penguin remarks.

"Shall we get to work?" the Riddler replies.

A little bit later, Gotham's new mayor is introduced as the reunification process begins. The mayor gives Gordon the title of commissioner, and his friends applaud him.

Afterward, Harvey says he'll miss having Gordon around at the GCPD bullpen. Gordon replies that he won't be too far, and their mission is still the same. Harvey remarks that Gordon is "swimming with the sharks now" and tells him to call if he needs anything. Harvey then says he's going to get a drink before Gordon starts to crying (though he himself sniffs a little as he walks off).

In the midst of the celebration, Bruce tells Gordon he's leaving the city.

"My life here is too public," he says. He adds that his mind is made up and that he knows the city's in good hands with Gordon as commissioner. Gordon thanks Bruce for everything he's done for both him and the city. The two of them hug, and Gordon remarks that the city will always be Bruce's home.

Bruce simply nods but says nothing. After he leaves, Lee remarks that Bruce is "all grown-up" and that Gordon has another child to look after now. (Yet another child that will end up fighting crime dressed up as a bat, whether he knows it or not.)

Meanwhile, Selina goes looking for Bruce at the GCPD, but he's not there. Harper hands her a letter that Bruce left for her, and she reads it. Though we (the audience) don't know what it says, it's likely nothing good.

In an airplane hanger at Gotham Airport, Bruce says goodbye to Alfred. He says that the butler knows how to reach him if he needs anything. Alfred remarks that he'll be "self-sufficient" and the reconstruction of both Wayne Enterprises and the manor will keep him busy. He tells Bruce to remember everything Alfred taught him, and Bruce promises that he will.

Alfred then says that while he never tried to replace Bruce's parents, Bruce is the "only son [he'll] ever have" and that he could not be more proud of who the boy has become. The two of them hug, and Bruce boards a Wayne Enterprises private jet.

As the plane takes off, Selina runs out of Gotham's airport and watches it take off. She's visibly distraught at the sight.

From above, Bruce looks down at the city of Gotham—the city where he born in, the city that has shaped him, and the city he will one day protect.

The Verdict

The more I reflect on this episode, the more I love it.

One reason is because it makes a point to focus on legacies. Nyssa thinks that destroying Gotham is her legacy. Penguin is obsessed with leaving a lasting legacy on the city and only defends it to protect said legacy. The same is true of the Riddler.

But Bruce? Bruce has never cared about creating or preserving his own legacy in Gotham. And in this episode, he destroys the last physical vestiges of his life as Bruce Wayne (before and after his parents' death). What's more, he destroys the last physical reminder of his parent's legacy.

In a lot of ways, Bruce has been shorted by this shortened season. There hasn't been much time to focus on his arc, growth, or role as Gotham's defender (as was hinted at at the end of season 4). But this episode summed up one of Bruce's final steps to becoming Batman (apart from traveling the world and training with masters of different subjects).

See, the way I see it, each season is about Bruce acquiring a different trait that will aid him in his future role as Batman:

  • Season 1 was about Bruce becoming a detective.
  • Season 2 was about Bruce learning to think like a criminal.
  • Season 3 was about Bruce becoming a vigilante.
  • Season 4 was about Bruce becoming an actor and stepping into different roles (particularly the guise of Bruce Wayne, billionaire playboy).
Season 5 is about Bruce accepting and making the sacrifices that come with being Batman. Batman has been portrayed and written in various ways throughout the years, but one thing is always the same: being Batman requires sacrifice.

Robin (in Young Justice season 1): "You can't tell Batman. I always wanted, I always expected to grow up and become him. And the hero bit? I'm still all in. But that thing inside of him, the thing that drives him to sacrifice everything for the sake of his mission? That's not me. I don't want to be the Batman anymore."

For 99 episodes, Bruce has grappled with who he is. Over and over again, he's tried to hold onto a relationship with Selina while still pursuing his mission and training—and every time, either the relationship or the mission fell apart.

His decision to leave without saying goodbye to Selina in person was, in essence, a sacrifice. It was him finally accepting that, no matter how much he loves her, the mission comes first.

In this episode, Bruce sacrifices both his relationship with Selina and his parents' legacy.

And that's the beautiful irony of it: Penguin, Riddler and Nyssa are all obsessed with cementing their legacies in Gotham, but Bruce isn't.

And yet, his legacy as Batman will outlive them all.

On an unrelated note, I would be remiss if I didn't discuss the episode's climax. Now, I'm sure some critics are probably going to say that having the army simply stand down, when faced by Gotham's citizens, was anticlimactic.

I disagree. If you think that scene was anticlimactic, then you don't understand Gotham.

The show's name is not a mere stylistic choice or imitation of Smallville. It is a reflection of the show itself: a show anchored by the living, breathing landscape of a chaotic and ever-changing city. Gordon, Bruce, and Penguin may be the central figures in the story, but the show isn't really about any of them.

The show about Gotham itself. There are some video essayists that explain it better than I can (BrownTable and HiTop Films, for instance), but suffice it to say that the show has given Gotham City a certain personality and life of its own. A certain insanity, really.

An assassin who carves tally marks into his skin? That's just Gotham. People coming back from the dead? That's just Gotham. Clown cult based around a resurrected maniac? That's just Gotham. An ecoterrorist who's really a teenager trapped in a thirty-year-old's body? That's just Gotham. A man whose dominant personality manifests itself in the form of a gangster puppet? That's just Gotham.

All that to say, the city itself is the underlying main character of the show. So it's fitting, really, that the final showdown is won by the city itself—or rather, its citizens. All of the unnamed citizens that we (the audience) take for granted. We don't know their lives. We don't know whether they're bad guys, good guys, or somewhere in between.

But whoever they are, whatever they've done, they stand up for Gotham. They stand in line with our heroes and villains, shaken out of apathy and fear, and bound together by one common thread: the city.

That's not an anticlimax. That's Gotham defending itself and taking a united stand for once.

If you ask me, that's the perfect way to end the show's penultimate episode.

So honestly? "They Did What?" gets an A+ in my book. Season 5 hasn't been perfect, and it was definitely hurt by Fox's initial order to only do 10 episodes (it later got extended to 12, but that's still only about half of the show's usual 22 episode run). However, episodes like this one remind me of the care, dedication and love that Gotham's creators have put into the show. This isn't some cash-cow prequel series made to sell merchandise; it's a narrative they've put their blood, sweat and tears into. And it shows.

I'll be back next week with my final recap for Gotham's final episode: "The Beginning."

Until then, have a good week, enjoy seeing Avengers: Endgame, and remember: "However how dark and scary the world might be right now, there will be light."


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