GOTHAM – SEASON 5 / CERT: 15 / SHOWRUNNER: JOHN STEPHENS / STARRING: BEN McKENZIE, DAVID MAZOUZ, SEAN PERTWEE, ERIN RICHARDS, CAMREN BICONDOVA, MORENA BACCARIN / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Special Features: Villains: Modes of Persuasion / Three featurettes / Unaired scenes
After five seasons, FOX’s Gotham has now finally come to an end. What started off as the story of a young Jim Gordon (McKenzie) looking to clean up the streets of Gotham City, ultimately ended up being so much more – for better or for worse – than fans were originally promised when the series began back in 2014. With the final season now on home release, let’s take a look and see how Gotham’s swansong fared.
Picking up where Season 4 left off, we see a Gotham City that’s essentially cut off from the mainland thanks to the crazed antics of Jeremiah Valeska (Monaghan). Clearly pulling inspiration from the No Man’s Land comic arc of 1999, this isolated Gotham becomes the playground for the city’s villains as a turf war of sorts plays out. In amongst the gangland action, of course, there are familiar nefarious faces such as Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) and Riddler (Cory Michael Smith), while a new rogue rears his head in the form of Bane (Shane West). As Gotham looks to somehow survive in these gone-to-the-dogs times, it’s left to Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) and Gordon to fight the good fight and put an end to the spiralling violence and crime that surrounds them.
As far as final seasons go, Gotham’s fifth year moves along at a brisk pace as it delivers a shorter 12-episode season that looks to tie up certain loose ends while similarly serving up questions as to what lies ahead for these characters. While the likes of McKenzie, Mazouz, Camren Bicondova, Sean Pertwee and Donal Logue are all fantastic here, mind, the real stars of the season are Cameron Monaghan and Francesca Root-Dodson. Sure, Root Dodson’s Ecco is for all intents and purposes simply Harley Quinn-lite on the surface, yet the talented actress brings an adorably sinister edge to the character that Harley on her best day would struggle to top.
Of course, while the first 11 episodes of this season focus on the No Man’s Land-esque scenario of a destroyed Gotham that’s been left to eat itself from the inside out, the final episode jumps forwards ten years into the future and to the arrival of a certain suited-up Caped Crusader in Gotham City. Said finale is the money shot that so many Gotham fans have been waiting for, and it’s a blast to see how things line up a decade down the line.
All in all, Season 5 was a great way to close Gotham out, and it was a season that largely hit the right beats and gave a satisfying conclusion for fans who’ve stuck with the show and embraced its alt-world tone and unique characterisations.
Making this home release even more enjoyable, is the fantastic Villains: Made of Persuasion piece that’s included as part of the bonus material. Not just focussing on Gotham, this offering explores the infamous rogues from across a slew of DC TV shows. Likewise, the Gotham: A Modern Mythology featurette is another impressive addition that looks back on Gotham and the world created for the series.
Gotham may not have been for everyone and may have at times deviated from what people know and love from the pages of DC Comics, yet as a five-season piece of television completely in its own bubble, the series was impressive on so many levels – and the series’ fifth and final season followed suit.