(WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD FOR GOTHAM SEASON 5 EPISODE 11)
I'm not crying, you're crying. Gotham may have one more episode to go, but this week's offering certainly had a finale feel to it. Gotham has been bombed, the Army is moving in and it's time to make a final stand. So let's talk about what they did exactly.
The episode begins with a very similar theme to the season. Refugees are pouring in to the GCPD, they are scared and they are looking to Jim Gordon for answers. Meanwhile, Jim has yet to meet his baby, and has no idea where any of the women in his life are. As he is racing off to find them, Bullock stops him and says these people need a leader. In true Jim Gordon fashion, he stays to defend the masses and Selina goes to look for Barbara. I can't say I would have made the same choice, but that is one of those things that makes Jim Gordon who he is. Don't worry, he'll get his chance soon enough.
We then see Oswald and Ed getting ready to leave in the sub, but Oswald has second thoughts. He can't leave the city behind and let it be taken. Whether it be the comics or this show, Penguin always wanted Gotham. His vision might be twisted, but he still loves the city. Ed pretty much lets Oswald go, but not before a tearful goodbye from Oswald to his dog, Edward. I do really get a kick out of that relationship.
I don't want to get bogged down in too many specific details about this episode, because things start moving pretty quickly at this point. Oswald shows up to help Gordon, and Ed isn't too far behind him. At this point, they know Nyssa's army, with Bane, have breached the gates and are headed their way. They are outnumbered, but they rarely have the upper hand anyway. There is a shootout which results in Oswald getting hit in the eye, but they survive. Selina also manages to find Lee at Sirens, so now she can assist in the efforts and eventual evacuation. This also means that Jim can now go after Barbara and the baby. In case you're wondering, yes Bruce is involved in the effort, but I'll get to him a bit later.
In true Jim Gordon fashion, he goes after Barbara alone. Nyssa is telling Barbara that she is going to destroy Gotham, kill her and raise the baby as an al Ghul. I know Nyssa is well trained, but it's a good thing Barbara is tied up. She's already feisty, I can only imagine how she would be in protective mom mode. Once Gordon does show up, it seems far too easy for him to get to Barbara. Surprise, it's a trap. Nyssa really gives Gordon a beat down and makes him looks like he has no skills at all. A distraction allows him to get the drop on her, and Barbara gets free. Not only that, Barbara stabs Nyssa with the very knife that her father was stabbed with. No dust this time, but Nyssa gets away. I cannot express how much I love what Erin Richards has done with Barbara Kean. She has reinvented herself so many times. Then we get a moment where Jim gets to meet his baby with Barbara, which was a very nice moment in a season full of heavy ones.
Before I get to the conclusion, let's talk about Bruce. He basically thinks that everything is his fault. What's happened to Gotham, Alfred and what almost happened to Selina. It almost feels like the show is giving Bruce a bit of a different motivation to become Batman. His parents are less of a focus in this evolution now it seems. It's easy to get mad about that if you're a Batman fan, but I actually appreciate the show giving him a different path. I mean, come on, we got to see a young Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle fight together against Bane! How can you not enjoy that? We also get to see Bruce use some tech to get the drop on Bane. If that's not classic Batman, I don't know what is!
A lot of this was brought about by Bruce's plan to save the city from this onslaught. He wants to use Jeremiah's plan to level buildings to slow them down. Ground zero was Wayne Enterprises. So now Bruce will lose Wayne Manor AND Enterprises in one season. Again, in true Batman fashion, he presses on for the greater good. The makers of Gotham also give us some great imagery and subtle camera angles that just scream Batman. It's like an easter egg and a tease rolled into one.
Let's jump to the conclusion as Bane marches his army to the doors of the GCPD. Gordon thinks that Lee and Barbara have taken the refugees out. What he doesn't know, is that everyone would show back up to make one final stand against Bane. Not only that, but Jim Gordon gives one of those classic speeches that just rallies the troops and gets everyone on his side. So when Bane orders the Army to fire, they won't. Now outnumbered, the only option Bane has is to surrender. Not only have they survived, but Gotham appears to be saved.
There were a couple of obstacles I left out, but it was the conclusion that really mattered more than a few minor ways that they got there. This is when we get a flurry of emotional moments. We get to see Gordon officially named Commissioner. Bruce says his goodbyes to Gordon, saying he is leaving Gotham. I will say that I was fighting back tears when he said goodbye to Alfred. There is something special between Sean Pertwee and David Mazouz that will always be one of the best parts about this show. What's interesting is, Bruce does not say goodbye to Selina. He leaves her a note. Does this lead her to a life of crime in his absence?
Speaking of criminals, we see Ed and Oswald right back where they were. There's a real bitter and underappreciated feeling for what they helped acccomplish. This is when Cory Michael Smith gives a GREAT speech about how much Riddler hates the people of Gotham. This was real origin of a supervillain kind of stuff here. I got chills! Oswald suggests that they vow to join forces. Both hold knives behind their back before embracing without incident. This was a friendship that I was really hoping would sustain itself to the end. Villain or not, Oswald needed a win. He needed this to work, probably more than Ed did. It might not last, but at least we had that moment.
While this felt like closing the book on the story, we know there is a chapter left to be written. We know Batman is coming, we know we are getting a full Joker reveal and there are sure to be even more surprises before Gotham turns off their signal for the final time. This is one finale I am really looking forward to.