Gotham: 6 Unanswered Questions From Season 5, Episode 2
Warning: SPOILERS ahead for Gotham season 5
Gotham continued this week with the second episode of its fifth and final season, "Trespassers," and while some mysteries from last week were developed further, plenty of questions still remain. In last week's premiere, a flashforward scene showed the GCPD, Penguin and Riddler teaming up against an unknown enemy in a 'last stand' style battle for the city of Gotham. The bulk of the episode, however, was set months prior to that event and found the city just beginning its No Man's Land period of lawlessness and chaos.
The GCPD are protecting Gotham's remaining citizens but running dangerously low on supplies - a matter made considerably worse by a surprise attack from Scarecrow. Penguin is the city's main supplier of weapons and ammunition, the Sirens hold most of the food and drink stores and Jerome is nowhere to be seen. After Bruce Wayne managed to organize a supply drop into the city, his helicopter was shot down by an unseen assailant, sparking a fight over the goods within and ultimately resulting in the death of Tabitha at the hands of Penguin.
This week's offering introduced a new batch of enemies, turned Selina Kyle into Catwoman and saw Jim Gordon ally with an old flame to take down some would-be assassins. Here are all the unanswered questions coming out of Gotham's "Trespassers."
- This Page: The Soothsayers, Nygma, and Jim's Promise to Barbara
- Page 2: Catwoman and Mother
Who Are The Soothsayers?
At the end of last week's season 5 premiere, a young child appeared at the Gotham City safe zone requesting that Jim Gordon apprehend a group of kidnappers that had been abducting youngsters. Never one to say refuse a plea for aid, Jim and his small band of loyal GCPD officers ride to the rescue against a group known as the Soothsayers. The episode reveals that these baddies are planning to dig a tunnel from Gotham to the mainland in order to create a supply line that they can exploit. Unfortunately, the group's work ethic doesn't match their ambition, and the Soothsayers have forcefully hired children to excavate the proposed route for them.
In a later scene, many of the group are massacred at the hands of Barbara Kean and, given that the Soothsayers don't seem to have a link to the Batman comics, they could absolutely be a one-episode wonder. Despite their brief tenure on screen however, it's possible that the Soothsayers could hold a larger role in season 5's overall story. During a scene at the gang's digging site, the head Soothsayer explains that the group wear masks that automatically feed energy-boosting smoke into their airways, while also telling one of his captors: "I had such high hopes for you, that one day you would wear the mask."
Both this line and the Soothsayers' mask design hint at a link to a major villain confirmed to appear this season: Bane. The Soothsayer's use of drugged smoke seems remarkably similar to Bane's use of the Venom super- steroid and, in some incarnations of this classic villain, Bane's mask helps administer the chemical - much like those worn by the Soothsayers. It's possible that Bane will be revealed as the group's true leader in a future episode and come for revenge on Jim Gordon, or perhaps Gotham's Bane will simply adopt the Soothsayers' technology for his own purposes.
Is Nygma Trying To Kill Penguin...Again?
One of the biggest mysteries established last week was the ongoing struggle between Edward Nygma and his Riddler persona. While Riddler is currently the dominant personality, Ed has been taking over at night and appears to have some sort of plan in motion. "Trespassers" revealed more about this particular arc and saw Riddler waking up to find a burly biker in his bathtub. Desperate to find out why Ed had captured this thug, Riddler sets about torturing the man and discovers what his alternate self had been up to overnight.
It's heavily suggested that Ed had paid a visit to the headquarters of the Street Demons gang, brutally killed their leader and attempted to frame Penguin for the act. This perhaps isn't surprising as Nygma and Cobblepot have a long, bloody and complicated history with each other and ever since Penguin's romantic feelings were spurned, the pair have tried to hurt each other in a variety of inventive ways.
However, this doesn't explain why Ed is carrying out his anti-Penguin campaign behind Riddler's back. After all, a deep hatred for Penguin is likely the only thing Nygma's two selves have in common. The most likely reason is that Ed is trying to kill two birds with one stone. While he certainly holds plenty of animosity toward Penguin, Ed also hates the supervillain within him and, in trying to provoke Penguin's wrath, he's perhaps attempting to take out both his nemesis and himself.
Will Jim Keep His Promise To Barbara?
When Jim Gordon found himself down to two bullets and caught between a gang of angry Soothsayers and a gang of angry Mad Max fans, it seemed as if Gotham's protagonist had finally met his match. With ten episodes still to go however, this wasn't the case and Jim's ex-girlfriend Barbara Kean rode in on a gun-mounted monster truck to save the day. Never a woman to work for free, Barbara demanded that Jim help her get revenge against Penguin to repay his debt, and Gotham City's hero duly agreed.
However, Jim has always appeared to have a soft spot for Penguin. This can be traced back to the time he tried to bump Oswald off at the orders of Carmine Falcone in Gotham's very first episode, immediately regretting that he had compromised his strong morals. The strange dynamic between Jim Gordon and Penguin has been a recurring theme in Gotham and, only last week, Jim deliberately chose to shoot the gangster in the leg, despite having a clear shot.
Aside from Jim's reluctance to kill Penguin, Gotham confirmed in last week's flash-forward that the two men will be working together at some point this season and, perhaps tellingly, Barbara was nowhere to be seen in that sequence. Jim Gordon prides himself on being both trustworthy and honest, but all signs are pointing to him breaking his latest pact.
Page 2: Catwoman and Mother
Does Gotham's Catwoman Have Superpowers?
Undoubtedly the strangest moment in "Trespassers" came during the episode's closing moments. After being told last week that the only way to cure Selina Kyle's paralysis was with the help of "The Witch" (who actually turned out to be Poison Ivy), Bruce managed to procure a magic seed grown from human blood that Ivy claimed could cure Selina's condition, but at the risk of unpredictable side effects.
Selina swallowed down the seed and, miraculously, was able to walk again, but as the camera lingered on the young girl's face while she embraced Bruce, Selina's pupils began to morph into vertical slits until they resembled those of an actual cat. Most versions of Catwoman do not actually depict her as a cat-human hybrid.
This controversial alteration raises a couple of key questions. Firstly, has Selina's body changed in other ways? Catwoman's feline nickname traditionally comes from her agility and propensity for stealing but could Gotham's version of the character have more literal cat-like traits like retractable claws, heightened senses or an innate sense of superiority.
The second question is just how the Batman fandom will react to this wild deviation from the source material. Gotham has made changes to its villains before, but has kept the core elements of its most famous characters intact. Giving Catwoman cat-like features, or indeed turning her into a meta-human, will likely prove divisive among viewers and demonstrates the crazy things a show will try to get away with after it's already been cancelled.
Who Was Mother?
"Trespassers" had already introduced one enemy with the Soothsayers but soon added another to the mix: the mask-wearing "Mother" and her creepy schoolboy sidekick. After Jim, Bullock and three rescued children took shelter in a hotel, they soon realized that the building wasn't quite as abandoned as they thought and the two cops became trapped by a murderous old woman and a young boy in a school uniform. Eventually, Jim and Harvey manage to escape, but do so without apprehending the woman inside and, more importantly, without saving the boy.
On the surface, this excursion only served to add some action and tension to the episode, while also demonstrating the danger and insanity of No Man's Land. However, Mother's contribution to the episode was perhaps more important than it initially seemed. Jim Gordon is notorious for his dogged determination to save every single person in any given situation. The fact that Gordon decided to leave the young boy behind in order to get the other three kids to safety speaks volumes about the character's mindset and the way that No Man's Land is changing his approach, forcing even the Saint-like Jim Gordon to sacrifice the few for the sake of the many.
Despite her brief appearance, Mother actually has history in the Batman universe. The villain and her child assistant were teased back in Gotham season 4, where she was seen watching on as the youngster attacked a prone body, however the character is actually taken directly from the comic books. Here, Mother is a Prague-based villain who trains children to act as her soldiers. It isn't yet clear whether Mother will become a bigger threat in Gotham, or whether her inclusion was more of an Easter egg for comic fans.
Does Bruce Wayne Create Catwoman?
Giving Catwoman weird eyes wasn't the only change Gotham made to Selina Kyle in this episode, as the show also altered her backstory to suggest that Bruce Wayne is partially responsible for her becoming a villain. Even after hearing Ivy's warning that the miracle-cure seed could open up Selina's darkness, Bruce takes the medicine to his bedridden friend.
Throughout Gotham, Selina has flitted between good and evil and it could be argued that she had already become Catwoman and set off down a path of villainy. Some might also say that since Selina overheard Bruce explaining the seed's effects to Alfred and insisted he give it to her, that the young man's culpability is diminished, and that Selina made her own choice.
Nevertheless, recent seasons have seen Bruce and Selina's relationship slowly grow, with the girl showing more empathy and morality as a result. If, by bringing her Ivy's seed, Bruce has opened up Selina's darker nature, he is surely somewhat responsible for the her future crimes.
While this is another drastic alteration from Catwoman's traditional origins, it perhaps makes more sense than the mutated eyes. In both the DC comics and on film, Batman and Catwoman have shared a love/hate relationship and it's not always clear why the Caped Crusader continues to look past Selina's wrongdoing. In Gotham's continuity however, any future relationship between Bruce and Selina could always be justified by the guilt Bruce would feel for pushing his friend towards her Catwoman alter-ego.
Gotham set a fast and frantic pace with its season premiere, but this week's installment certainly took a step backwards in intensity and instead focused on some short-term villains and Selina's literal transformation into Catwoman. Questions such as the whereabouts of Jerome, the mystery woman calling Jim's radio and the flash-forward scene remain unanswered this week, but with ten more episodes to go until Gotham finally bids viewers farewell, there's plenty of time for that to change.
Gotham season 5 continues with "Penguin, Our Hero" January 17th on Fox.