Caution: Spoilers ahead for the Gotham season 5 premiere
Here are all the major questions raised by the season 5 premiere of Gotham. After an extended break away from screens, Gotham finally returned last night with "Year Zero", delivering an action-packed season premiere. As previously announced, Gotham season 5 will act as the show's swansong and consist of a reduced 12 episodes, providing fans with a proper conclusion to this Batman prequel series.
The episode kicked off in unexpected fashion, launching the series ahead by over a year and showing Penguin and Riddler fighting alongside Jim Gordon and the GCPD. After such a colossal swerve, the episode swiftly backtracked to the early days of No Man's Land in order to explore how Gotham City found itself in such a dire situation. Cut off from the outside world and receiving no help from the Government, the city has been split into territories, most of which are controlled by criminal factions. Fortunately, the GCPD still hold a degree control and have created a stronghold to protect the citizens who were unable to evacuate. Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne is continuing his gradual evolution into the Caped Crusader but, for reasons unknown, apparently doesn't feel the need to hide his identity anymore.
With the end of the series in sight and a limited number of episodes in which to wrap up the story, Gotham's season 5 premiere was predictably eventful and set up a number of mysteries to play out across the remainder of the run. With plenty to unpack, here are the biggest points of discussion from Gotham season 5's opening salvo.
- This Page: Questions About Gotham Season 5's Characters
- Page 2: Questions About Gotham Season 5's No Man's Land
Why Do The GCPD Team-Up With Penguin And Riddler?
Of all the question marks hanging over Gotham's final season, perhaps the most significant is the premiere's introductory flash-forward. In this scene, the GCPD have joined forces with both Penguin and Riddler and seem to be defending themselves against an unknown enemy. Given that the bulk of the episode, taking place almost a year prior, focuses on Jim Gordon's battle against Penguin for much-needed supplies, this development is very surprising indeed.
Clearly, both Gotham City's police department and its criminal contingent must be desperate in order to put their differences aside and become allies and the key to this question surely lies in the identity of their common enemy. It can be inferred this greater villain threatens the existence of the entire city, but who could possibly be enough of a threat to Gotham to warrant this odd alliance.
Other than the fact they have access to a tank, the scene itself doesn't offer many clues as to who these soldiers may belong to, but there are a few potential candidates. Jeremiah Valeska has been suspiciously quiet, according to Harvey Bullock, but is evidently still plotting in the background, while Bane has also been confirmed to make his debut this season. Either of these villains could pose enough of a problem to make the rest of the city unite against them.
Alternatively, the unidentified army seen in the flash-forward had a very militaristic appearance. Could it be that the U.S. government decides the best way to deal with Gotham City's predicament is to wipe it out completely, thereby forcing heroes and villains to work together in an attempt to save their home?
What's Happening With Riddler's Blackouts?
The schizophrenic relationship between Edward Nygma and his inner Riddler persona continues in Gotham season 5. Riddler's romantic feelings for Lee Thompkins resulted in his death last season, but nothing stays dead for long with Hugo Strange around, and the deranged scientist was tasked with bringing both Ed and Lee back to life.
As the audience catches up with Riddler this season, the evil genius appears to be living alone and is the dominant of Ed's two personalities, but is also frequently waking up in strange locations after blacking out. Riddler surmises that Nygma's psyche is responsible for these gaps in consciousness but fails to figure out what the ultimate goal could be.
It seems likely that inner-Ed is somehow trying to wrestle control back from Riddler and that whatever he's up to during these blackouts is working towards that end. It's also important to remember that Strange has a habit of resurrecting his subjects with "upgrades" - it's possible that whatever is going on in Riddler's head is a result of the Doctor's internal meddling. The other key question surrounding this Gotham veteran is which version of the character do viewers see in the premiere's flash-forward, the evil Riddler or the slightly less evil Ed Nygma?
Will Selena Be Able To Walk Again?
In the climactic finale of Gotham season 4, Jeremiah Valeska brutally gunned down Selina Kyle, leaving her fate somewhat unclear. As season 5 begins, Selina's life has been spared but, tragically, her paralysis remains. As a fiercely independent and constantly moving young woman, Selina does not react well to the fact that she'll never be able to walk again and desperately attempts to take her own life with an unattended scalpel.
While Selina's condition appears to be both completely genuine and utterly permanent, it does seem somewhat unlikely this will still be the case when the credits roll on this season's finale. After all, Selina is destined to become Catwoman, one of the most agile humans on the DC roster. Gotham's cancellation means that the show doesn't necessarily need to adhere to Batman canon, but it's also unlikely to make any major changes and preventing Selina Kyle from turning into Catwoman would certainly fall into this category. It's perhaps unsurprising then, that the premiere hinted at how Selina could be cured: the mysterious "Witch" recommended to Bruce by a nurse.
Who Is "The Witch"?
As Selina coldly points out, the only reason Jeremiah shot her was because of his feud with Bruce Wayne, and Bruce himself is painfully aware of this fact. As such, the youngster will seek the aid of a mysterious figure known only as the Witch in an attempt to fix Selina and absolve himself of the responsibility for her injuries. The Witch is not a name that Gotham viewers have heard before and it's entirely possible that this is a brand new character introduced specifically for the final season. More likely, though, the Witch will be a character viewers are familiar with.
Morena Baccarin's Lee Thompkins was conspicuous by her absence in Gotham's season 5 premiere and despite her death alongside Riddler previously, fans know that she too was resurrected by Hugo Strange. While little is known about the Witch, it is clear that she has earned a reputation for miraculous healing on the wild streets of No Man's Land and this is remarkably similar to Thompkins' role last season, where she became famous in the Narrows after setting up a clinic to help treat the poor.
This doesn't explain why she'd go by the name of "the Witch" and not simply "Dr. Thompkins" but the spooky name change could once again be attributed to the involvement of Hugo Strange. As previously mentioned, Strange doesn't simply bring people back from the dead, he also gives out superpowers more frequently than Jim Gordon changes love interests. Could Strange have given the revived Lee abilities that make her healing skills indistinguishable from a witch's magic?