Noob Reviews: Gotham (Season 05)
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.
What is Gotham about?
If you have not had a chance to do so already, and you have time, swing by and check out our reviews of the previous seasons. You can find the season one review here. Season two review here. Our season three review here. And last but not least, the penultimate season four review here.
Is season five the last?
At present, the fifth season is the last in the Gotham series, with a sixth season neither been officially cancelled nor renewed at the time of posting this. Many sources are saying it will not return, but as I said, nothing official just yet.
What is the fifth season about?
As with the previous seasons, season five picks up the pieces after all of the bridges between Gotham and the mainland were blown up at the end of season three, trapping the Gothamites on the island. Gotham has descended into multiple territories claimed by various gangs and only the remaining GCPD officers (led by captain James Gordon) keep the green zone safe - an area where the innocent and non-combatants can still seek aid and a level of normality.
You might be able to tell, season five’s primary storyline is survival.
However, survival has many faces, and like the other seasons, the fifth has many a story in store for us. Although only having twelve episodes as opposed to the usual twenty-two, there is a lot crammed in. Some of the storylines, to give you a taste are:
Hugo Strange’s experimentation that leads not only to the creation of Bane but also a small chip that when implanted into the brain, allows mind control over military generals, Bane’s commandos and even The Riddler.
Ivy acts to see James Gordon killed for failing Gotham (in her opinion) and Gotham - given over to the plants and natural balance.
James Gordon’s rise from captain to commissioner whilst fighting to keep Gotham safe from multiple gangs as (at the same time) he and his inner circle try to bring Gotham to a standard where the mainland will allow a reunification. As opposed to keeping them separated and surrounded by a military blockade consisting of water mines, ground forces and political red tape.
Nyssa al Ghul’s arrival in Gotham to seek the destruction of not only Gotham itself, but Bruce Wayne and his loved ones - as revenge for the death of her father.
The arrival of James’ old special operations friend Eduardo Dorrance and his transformation into Bane.
The introduction of Batman and the return of Bruce Wayne to Gotham after ten years of absence.
The realisation that after all of his hard work, Edward Nygma is not entirely in control of his own faculties and The Riddler is operating to undermine Gotham’s reunification. Every time Ed blacks out, various actions are carried out by his alter ego, including hundreds of people being killed at Haven. A GCPD residential area which is full of families and orphaned children.
As I said, there may be fewer episodes, but there is still a lot going on. In addition to the above, many more stories are occurring. And the introduction to new villains too, such as Magpie (a thief with a penchant for explosive decoys). Scarface (a ruthless alternative personality for Arthur Penn, who is a badly scared ventriloquist puppet). And Waylon Jones (who will transform over time to become Killer Croc). A sewer-dwelling cannibal that drags the homeless off into the dark and feasts upon them.
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- The Bane red band trailer linked from the TV Promos YouTube channel -
You can also find the listing on Netflix here.
When was the fifth season released?
The fifth and final season of Gotham (to date) was released between January and April 2019.
How many episodes are there in the fifth season?
There are a total of twelve episodes for season five with each having a run time of around forty minutes.
Who are some of the actors and actresses that we might know?
For a full cast listing, please see the official IMDB page here.
What did you think of the fifth season?
Unlike the other seasons, season five is almost half as long, and unfortunately, at times it shows. The final episode for example (known as The Beginning) seems rushed and haphazard - whereas ideally spread over two episodes it would have worked a lot better. And in general, a lot of the plot twists in the fifth season were predictable and very obvious. Which considering the level of attention and detail paid to the other seasons is a bit disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, some episodes are fantastic as always and overall the season is watchable, but it just seems a bit of an anti-climax in terms of ending. If this is to be the final season to the Gotham series.
My other gripe with this season is how they bring in the new villains, as opposed to a staged introduction, except for Jane Doe (played by Sarah Pidgeon), the villains are brought into an episode and then typically killed in the same episode with no real depth to them. Or explanation as to who they are. It’s a sort of generic bad guy who does terrible things and dies (or gets arrested). After seeing the love and craftsmanship that went into villains (both main and secondary) through the initial seasons - again it is disappointing and no doubt down to how short the series is.
With those two points out of the way, there are some terrific storylines, I thoroughly loved such as:
Episode four (known as Ruin) in which Gordon and Penguin race against one another to capture the charismatic Victor Zsasz who everyone believes was behind the destruction of Haven that saw hundreds of lives snuffed out in a massive explosion in the green zone.
Episode nine (known as The Trial of Jim Gordon) sees captain Gordon shot during a gang meeting where he tries to broker peace. He is then subjected to a fever dream where he is put on trial for what his mind believes to be his destructive need to be seen as a hero.
The introduction to Bane, which, although short, is very sweet. If he (Bane) had been a villain from the start, it would have made season five so much better. But they (the writers) did indeed save the best until the last part of the season. And from his entrance - through to his capture. Does not disappoint. (This is mainly carried out between episodes ten (I Am Bane) and eleven (They Did What?).
Overall the fifth season was a good watch that still ranks highly but was a bit of a let down in places. The last episode, for example, as I said above, felt rushed and too fast-paced with a minimal explanation as to why events that unfold - were unfolding. But it was still easy enough to get your head around. Although I had hoped the series would end on a high, unfortunately, that was not the case, and it should have ended with the Bane story arc, in my opinion. That being said though if a season six is ever announced I will one hundred per cent be watching it.
What rating would you give Gotham (Season 05)?
I would rate Gotham’s fifth season as 4 out of 5 bananas.
Not really the best of endings for the Gotham series and nowhere near as much character development for new villains as we had had in the other seasons. However, season five is still a good watch and does tie up many a loose end for some arcs that have been running for many an episode (if not previous season (s)).
Thank you very much for checking out the review. If you are interested in Gotham (Season 05) or any of its other seasons - and would like to check it out for yourself, to form your own opinion. You can check it out here if you have a Netflix subscription. Alternatively, it will no doubt still be available on many other streaming platforms or available to purchase as a boxset.