GOTHAM is ending. The FOX series has been on the air since 2014 with 4 full seasons. Now, GOTHAM has begun its fifth and final season. Despite the show’s flaws, here’s why you should watch GOTHAM’s final season, regardless of whether or not you’ve seen the prior seasons.

GOTHAM: Some Of Its More Glaring Problems

For those who don’t know, or for those who intentionally forgot and I’m now forcing to remember, GOTHAM has some serious problems. It has become a very chaotic and non-sensical mess at times, with its writers seemingly attempting to correct story arcs that weren’t working with new arcs while still trying to maintain GOTHAM’s narrative logic. For example, Poison Ivy has been played by 3 different actresses throughout the series’ run.

It’s been justified via the narrative that it’s all part of the evolution of her character. Her transformation from Ivy Pepper to the familiar Poison Ivy from the comics. However, when watching GOTHAM, it seems incredibly forced. One has to assume/guess that one or all of those recasts was due to non-narrative reasons (like one of the actresses moving to other projects).

GOTHAM's Final Season
Image from DC/FOX

Another example would be the pre-Joker character Jerome having a twin brother, Jeremiah. I’m confident this reveal was done so that Jerome, who had done too much too early (like have his face ripped off and stapled back on) could die but still have someone else to be a fresh pre-Joker without all the baggage the writers put on him. Jeremiah even looks more like Jack Nicholson’s Joker than Jerome ever did. It’s soap opera-esque and is the result of ridiculous, lazy, and then course-corrective writing.

GOTHAM Has Left Its Original Design & Goal Which Is Problematic

Another thing that’s a bother is that the show was intended to be about Jim Gordon and his career as a Gotham detective before the Batman comes onto the scene. This is a great idea, however, the focus has spread onto so many different other characters and aspects of Gotham City.

GOTHAM's Final Season
Image from DC/FOX

Jim Gordon has now become the least interesting part of GOTHAM. It’s much more entertaining to see Bruce grow into the vigilante we know he’ll be. Or, watching all of these iconic Batman villains evolve and come into contact with each other like Penguin, Riddler, or Catwoman. It’s not like Gordon becomes any different from when we first see him on the show to what he is in the comics. He’s a good cop who believes in justice. This isn’t a bad thing, but with everything else that’s happening on the show, he’s comparatively boring. Perhaps there will be a shake-up for Gordon in GOTHAM’s final season. I kinda doubt it.

Another issue is how close in contact Bruce has become with all these characters and vice versa. The way Bruce behaves and acts around Gordon presently (obvious pre-vigilante stuff), Gordon should have no problem knowing that Batman is Bruce Wayne later on, which is problematic. Gordon isn’t the only character this is a problem for. The romance/relationship between Bruce and Selina has been consistent throughout the series. How could she not figure out he’s Batman later on? He’s too close to people he shouldn’t be at this point in his life with his true identity.

What’s Happening On GOTHAM’s Final Season

All that being said, GOTHAM’s fourth season finale left the show with a pretty interesting opportunity to take advantage of. The season four finale saw Ra’s Al Ghul and Jeremiah teaming up. Ra’s was defeated and killed, but not before Jeremiah set off bombs all across Gotham City, including its bridges, cutting the city off from the rest of the world. This brings us to GOTHAM’s final season premiere. It’s been two months since Jeremiah blew the bridges. The U.S government has abandoned Gotham, much to Gordon’s frustration. The city has been carved into territories by its more prominent criminals.

GOTHAM's Final Season
Image from DC/FOX

The Penguin has City Hall, where he manufactures and sells bullets. Barbara has the blocks surrounding the Siren club and controls the majority of the food. Scarecrow has his realm, spreading chaos and fear. Gordon also mentions that Mr. Freeze has the north areas of the city, where he’s consistently fighting Firefly. Gordon himself is operating at the precinct with what’s left of the GCPD, taking in as many refugees as they can. Bruce is working with the GCPD as well, offering aid and helping Selina recover from her injured spine. The Riddler keeps waking up in random places around the city, unsure of what he did the previous evenings. Jeremiah, however, is staying under the radar…for now.

Why The Final Season Will Be Worthwhile

Essentially, GOTHAM’s final season will be a combination of the NO MAN’S LAND and ZERO YEAR comic arcs. Not only that, but these characters will evolve and finally become the comic characters we know them to be. It’s something that has taken too long, but we’re finally getting it. The producers are promising closure and a satisfying end for all arcs and characters. This includes Bruce Wayne becoming the Batman, which we’re already seeing in the premiere. Bruce meets with Gordon on a rooftop with a spotlight. He even fights some Scarecrow goons off using night vision goggles courtesy of Lucius Fox. He’s well on his way to being the Batman.

GOTHAM's Final Season
Image from DC/FOX

GOTHAM’s final season will only be 12 episodes long, which is only about half the amount of episodes the other seasons have. This is a good thing, as it means that the wrapping up won’t be over-extended. It’s just enough time to provide that much needed satisfying conclusion. The last season of GOTHAM will be worthwhile not because it will do what it originally intended. It will be worthwhile because it has now become something new and something it perhaps should have been from the beginning: a short, mini-series showcasing the characters of Gotham just before the Batman’s arrival. Their evolution from prototype to final comic book form.

No Need To Catch Up, Just Enjoy It

GOTHAM’s final season take the series into such a new field, I would argue that if you haven’t seen the previous seasons and are wondering if you should: don’t. It really doesn’t seem necessary as a lot of it is chaotic and messy. Sure there will be some arcs that reference past events in prior seasons, but I’m confident there will be enough context to eliminate any confusion.

You’ll only really need the “Previously, on GOTHAM” opener at the start of the final season premiere. Despite its craziness, GOTHAM’s final season may just be the redemption arc we’ve been looking for.

GOTHAM’s final season is now airing on FOX.

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