Gotham Season 5: An Explosive Journey of Tragedy Breeding Insanity

Ben McKenzie in "Gotham"

And so we bid farewell to the young Bruce Wayne in an explosive final season of Batman’s journey of self-discovery.  This superhero crime drama takes on a rollercoaster ride through the human condition and the exploration of tragedy breeding insanity. To put it in the words of Jerome: “We all could go insane with just one bad day.”

The season begins with Selina paralyzed in a hospital bed, after being stabbed by Jerimiah in season 4. Bruce feels the weight of responsibility for her destiny and will do whatever it takes to rescue her. Throughout the series, we watch Bruce suffer more and more and yet continue to strive to make things better – even when solutions can only come about through such severe self-sacrifice.

As the chaos and destruction unfold, we delve into the minds of much-loved characters and watch with anticipation as personalities develop. We gain insight into characters such as Joker (Jerome), Penguin, Enigma, and even Bane to the extent that we begin to appreciate the shades of grey and ambiguity that formulates both criminal and hero.  The stage is set and we watch interwoven plots build, only to ultimately destroy the foundations of Gotham, in one last revenge-themed machination. The hero becomes criminal and vice versa, bonded by their true love of their home city…Gotham.

Jerome Valeska (played by Cameron Monaghan) continues to excel in his crazed Joker – like role.  His horrific smile coupled with his lunacy leaves the audience terrified – but craving more. When the criminal mobs join forces for last fight to survive and save Gotham, it is Jerome that remains on the outskirts, watching and waiting. It is fitting that he takes on such an important role in the final episode.

We can expect more relationships to form and be ripped apart, reminding us of the fragility in life in Gotham, always hanging on by such a thin thread.  Fuelled by chaos, we watch the heated affair with Barbara and Gordon, producing a new life amongst all the death and destruction. And we once again explore the manipulation of the human mind at the hands of Professor Hugo Strange.  His experimentation appears to know no bounds, culminating in the creation of Bane.

The audience is taken on a crazy journey in the most action-packed season yet.  This culminates in the ultimate surreal concept when we are transported 10 years into the future for the finale. It is strange that the characters do not really appear to age, but our love of the show forgives this and we watch the birth of Batman unfold. The 5-year journey has captivated the audience and even though we mourn the end of the show, we cannot fail to celebrate the wild ride in the most psychologically interesting albeit terrifying season so far.