Wrapping Up A Five Year Vacation To Gotham City
This week brought an end to my wonderful vacation in Gotham City, meeting the likes of Penguin, Riddler, Selina Kyle, Jim Gordon, Harvey Bullock, Bane and a slew of other faces which came and went, then came again, and possibly went again over the course of five years.
When Gotham first aired in September of 2014, I admittedly wasn't all that interested in the show. I felt like they were taking established characters, and implanting them into a time before they were interesting. Two bit thugs, if nothing else. I actually stopped watching after just a few episodes, and went about my life. I called it, "Just another cop drama, but this time set in Gotham."
On a night of boredom, I was surfing through Netflix's streaming material, and came across season one and two of Gotham. I was just enough in the right mood to try it again that I fired up the first episode. Twenty-two binged episodes later, I was jumping into season two. My favorite character was easily Mad Hatter, as portrayed by Benedict Samuel. He nailed it, and stole every show he was in.
Season three was currently airing, and I waited impatiently for it to appear on Netflix. At this point, I was hooked. The zigs and zags that each episode took kept me on the edge of my seat, and the new lore of the characters equally invested me. What was Gotham's take on Joker or Mr. Freeze? How will other characters such as Ra's Al Ghul and Dr. Strange (not to be confused with Marvel's character of the same name) be introduced? With each passing episode these answers came without disappointment.
Of course, with me currently catching up on season three via streaming, that meant season four was passing me by. Fortunately by this point, I had also gotten Hulu. Immediately upon finishing up season three, I jumped straight into four. As I was catching up on episodes, I heard the terrible news. Season five would be the last, and the show would be wrapped up.
Well, as of today, I've finished watching the show, and I've go t to say, it was a pretty lackluster ending. The finale felt shorter than the rest of the series, and really didn't serve much purpose.
One of the things I enjoyed the most about the show as a whole was that it constantly kept me in suspense, guess as to what would happen next. Meanwhile, "...The Beginning", as the final episode was entitled, felt all to predictable. Plot points were seen from miles away, and while it was fun to see the villains being introduced to Batman from afar, the show really didn't offer much.
Within the first fifteen minutes we're told five times that ten years have passed. However, one really has to suspend disbelief on this one. None of the characters look like they've aged a day. Well, with the exception of Selina Kyle, thanks to a new actress stepping in to play the older version of the character. Quite frankly, I didn't buy it, and the weight of the episode crumbled on that alone. By the third or fourth time hearing, "It's been ten years," I looked at my girlfriend and said, "It sounds like they're trying to convince themselves more than us that it's been a decade."
Overall, it wasn't a climactic ending to a series which delivered so much over the course of five years. It was simply just fan service to say, "Hey, thanks for watching. Here's Batman for all of your time invested." But, here's the thing. After five years, I was invested in the characters, and I didn't necessarily need Batman to wrap things up for me. Instead, I would have preferred seeing a finale surrounding the characters they built for half a decade. Let's see Penguin rise from the ashes of Gotham and become a crime lord again. Let's see Riddler stump Gordon with his first riddle. Heck, let's see Lee removed from the picture, and re-establish Jim and Barbra as a couple.
This show had so much potential to go out with a bang, and instead it left me feeling like I was watching a two part episode that got cancelled before the second could air. Look, we all know that the future of Gotham was Batman. We didn't need this conveniently wrapped up in a bow for us. But, I suppose if they didn't, then the other half of the fans would be just as upset. No win situation I suppose...
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