Gotham is finally off the bubble. Among news of the many TV show cancellations and renewals announced over the weekend, FOX came through with an eleventh hour decision to renew Gotham for a fifth and final season. It’s rumored to air in midseason and focus on Bruce Wayne’s transformation into Batman, wrapping up the arc started in Season 1. No word yet on the exact number of episodes left, but the series only needs thirteen more episodes for syndication.
As for which storylines from the comics those final episodes will incorporate, we’ve already had several hints provided by trailers for this season’s finale (tellingly titled “No Man’s Land”) and interviews with the cast and crew. Gotham showrunner Danny Cannon has said Season 5 is “completely different” and “almost a reboot” due to a “cataclysmic event” happening in this Thursday’s episode. We know from the promo video below that Ra’s al Ghul and Jeremiah Valeska are likely behind the event, and al Ghul said to Bruce Wayne earlier this season, “I saw a vision of a cataclysmic event molding you into a dark knight of Gotham.” Molding Bruce into Batman was also hinted at by a couple of promo photos for the finale:
Look who got themselves a batsignal starter kit.
The promo photos also hint at Jeremiah escaping from police custody. In one photo he’s seen handcuffed in Gotham PD headquarters (the eyes spray painted on the wall are seen at the headquarters in a previous episode), but he’s free and out of the police station in the other photos:
They’re still not calling him the Joker, in part because they’re portraying the character as an ideology instead of one person, but also — as actor Cameron Monaghan revealed on Twitter over the weekend — they weren’t allowed to use the name or dye his hair green:
They ended up settling on the black dye:
It’s a much better look than green dye and face tattoos, one could argue.
Monaghan also spoke to Comic Book about how this version of the story is playing around with the comic trope of Bruce creating the Joker. In this version, both characters push each other into becoming who they become:
“I like how the comic, depending on what [Joker] origin story we’re talking about, […] generally they somehow revolve around Bruce creating him […]. I think there is something really interesting about how Gotham has composed this symbiosis where one is creating the other and the other is also creating him, too. In a sense, the Joker is escalating the crimes in Gotham and creating a necessity for things to escalate the vigilantes. Bruce’s escalation keeps pushing Joker more towards his identity too.
Monaghan talked about how Bruce saved Jerome’s life twice, paving the way for Jerome to later draw out Jeremiah. “By saving him, he’s had a direct influence on the creation of Jeremiah. Now there’s continued symbiotic relationship between these two characters.”