Why Batman Can’t Save Gotham

Why Batman Can’t Save Gotham

This article was published at Speculative Faith on January 25, 2019.

Jeremiah Valeska (Cameron Monaghan) and Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), Gotham, Season 4.
Jeremiah Valeska (Cameron Monaghan) and Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), Gotham, Season 4.

What Gotham needs is not a dark knight, but a hero who operates by a different code.

Fox’s Batman origin series, Gotham, has returned for its fifth and final season.

The show features a bevy of proto-villains from the future Dark Knight’s Rogues Gallery—Poison Ivy, the Joker, Penguin, the Riddler. And new this season, Bane. Over the course of five seasons, these villains have risen, fallen, and risen again, each time bringing a fresh round of scheming to the metropolis, hell-bent on either revenge, terror, seizing power—or all three.

Also rising is the not-yet-Batman, Bruce Wayne (played earnestly by David Mazouz). The favored son of Gotham’s elite has evolved from being preyed on and held hostage by bad guys to picking fights with villains far more savvy in the streetwise ways of darkness.

In its debut season, it appeared Gotham would tread familiar genre territory as a run-of-the-mill detective drama. But, a couple of episodes in, the series that was expected to be a crime procedural inspired by comic book events took a long look into the abyss of madness and never blinked.

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