While Bruce Wayne has certainly come a long way from the sheltered, somewhat naive boy he was during the early episodes of Gotham, many fans continue to wonder just how far he is from putting on the iconic cape and cowl of his crime-fighting alter ego Batman. To be fair, a lot of these concerns are probably just based on viewers' desire to actually see Batman, because, well, Batman as a character is always interesting to watch. Still, it's a valid question, as Gotham begins season 3.
Another likely reason so many are wondering when Batman will finally emerge from Bruce's psyche is just how advanced in the development process many of the Dark Knight's most infamous villains are at this point in Gotham's run. After all, in most depictions of the Batman universe, villains like The Joker, The Penguin, Catwoman, The Riddler, etc. don't appear on the scene until there is already a Caped Crusader to deal with. It's admittedly a bit of an odd trajectory for DC fans to witness a world in which Batman doesn't yet exist, yet Penguin is already a crime boss, Edward Nygma has already killed people, and Joker (aka Jerome) has already slaughtered police officers on TV.
That said, there may be reasons for those wondering when Bruce will finally begin his metamorphosis into Batman to be extra excited for Gotham season 3. According to series producer Ken Woodruff (as told to EW), Gotham's third year "lays the foundation" for Bruce's evolution into a superhero:
"Our actor [is] turning 16, so he’s getting close. We’re not quite getting to the point of Batman, but we’re really focusing on trying to get to see different sides of Bruce Wayne and to lay the foundation for all those Batman things. He’s going to be much more active. Near the end of last season, he spent time on the streets with Selina Kyle. We didn’t show a lot of that, but this year we’re going to show what the gains from that experience were — learning how to pick locks, break into things, be silent like a bat. We definitely wanted to show that progression for Bruce."
While Bruce is clearly still at least a few years away from suiting up to kick criminal butt on the streets of Gotham, many would argue that it's about time the series began to show more of a glimpse at the (Bat)man the young billionaire will one day become. Sure, he's already shown some of the intelligence that goes into being the "World's Greatest Detective" in the past, but at this point, Bruce still arguably seems far too soft both mentally and psychically to wage the never-ending crusade against crime that he will eventually embark on. Based on Woodruff's statements, it seems that season 3 will make a good effort to change that perception.
How many seasons will it take Bruce Wayne to become Batman on Gotham? The reality is probably as many as it takes for the series to end, at least based on what happened with Smallville over on The CW. Of course, that won't stop dedicated fans from looking forward to every little defining character moment that points Bruce toward his ultimate destiny of cleaning up the city.
Gotham season 3 premieres Monday, September 19 on FOX.