‘Gotham’ series finale recap: 5×12 “The Beginning…”

Gotham series finale recap: Season 5, Episode 12, “The Beginning…” Aired April 25, 2019
Before we get into the sadness of the final episode, happy 100th episode! Also, happy World Penguin Day! Coincidence? I think not.

We spent five years with Gotham, and now it’s come to an end. While it saddens me deeply to say goodbye to these characters, the show did them justice, and the community, I know, will live on.

Ten years later…

A lot has happened since Gotham’s reunification.

Penguin has been in Blackgate, the episode opening with his pending release. Meanwhile, The Riddler has been at Arkham Asylum, locked up with decade-long vegetable Jeremiah Valeska. That is, he was trapped until Echo broke Jeremiah out, letting The Riddler escape with the diversion.

Gotham series finale recap 5x12 The Beginning... Jim Gordon Lee Thompkins Selina Kyle Bruce Wayne

Selina has grown up quite a lot, and she’s turned pretty much full-Catwoman.

In the last ten years, Jim and Barbara worked out a nice co-parenting routine. Also, Barbara Lee calls Harvey “Uncle Harvey,” and that is the best thing.

The worst thing to happen in those ten years was, by far, Commissioner Gordon’s mustache. Seriously, that thing was awful.

Gotham series finale recap 5x12 The Beginning... Barbara Kean Erin Richards Commissioner Gordon Ben McKenzie

And the entire decade, Bruce had been out of Gotham.

He’s been framed.

Something fishy was going on as Harvey watched a man kill himself and then confessed to his murder. Harvey was 100 percent innocent, and Jim was determined to figure out who Harvey was lying to protect.

It was later revealed that Harvey knew that Jeremiah was behind it, and he lied because he knew what Jeremiah was capable of. Ten years later and Jeremiah Valeska is still a name to be feared.

Gotham series finale recap 5x12 The Beginning... Jeremiah Valeska Arkham Asylum Cameron Monaghan

Bruce’s return

Bruce had been away from Gotham for a decade with minimal communication. When this episode takes place, Wayne Tower was opening, and Bruce returned to Gotham for the event. However, our first glimpses of Bruce back in Gotham were cape-rustling, shadow, and silhouette. Even with just flashes, Batman showed up way earlier than I thought.

Gotham series finale recap 5x12 The Beginning... Batman revealed Bruce Wayne

The rest of the episode, Bruce was similarly absent, but his actions hint at the Batman we’re used to – comically capturing Penguin and The Riddler, then saving Jim and Barbara Lee from Jeremiah. We got our first full view of Bruce as Batman at the end, Jim recognizing him immediately as “a friend.” Honestly, it was worth the wait. That was epic!

Gotham series finale recap 5x12 The Beginning... Batman Bruce Wayne

“It’s a callback.”

Gotham series finale recap 5x12 The Beginning... Penguin Oswald Cobblepot Robin Lord Taylor

Penguin took Jim to the very pier where Jim refused to shoot him at Falcone’s demand. In a reversal of roles, Jim ended up in the water, Penguin with the gun.

Gotham series finale recap 5x12 The Beginning... The Riddler Ed Nygma Cory Michael Smith

At the Wayne Tower gala, The Riddler kidnapped the mayor and tried to blow him up – just like old times. He was thwarted easily by Barbara and Selina, but it’s then that Jim realized there was a bigger threat to Gotham than The Riddler. Jim put the pieces together. Oswald didn’t break The Riddler out of Arkham; Jeremiah did. Jeremiah pretended to be brain dead for years awaiting Bruce’s return. Dedication.

It’s enough to drive you mad

Gotham series finale recap 5x12 The Beginning... Joker Jeremiah Valeska Cameron Monaghan

Jeremiah and Echo surprised Barbara at the Sirens club. Barbara told her daughter to stay put, and she didn’t listen. Barbara Lee is firey, going after Jeremiah for hurting her mother, allowing Barbara to get a shot on Echo. Jeremiah murdered Echo, claiming there are other fish in the sea. That was pretty gruesome, and it pretty much ruined the theory that Echo was Harley Quinn. Gotham totally played us.

Gotham series finale recap 5x12 The Beginning... Harley Quinn Echo

Unfortunately, Jeremiah then took Barbara Lee as a means to get to Jim Gordon. There was a close call at Ace Chemicals where Barbara Lee almost met the same fate as Jeremiah, but Jim rescued her, and then Batman rescued him.


First, I love the idea that Gotham was mostly about Jim Gordon as the hero, and in this Gotham series finale, the torch was passed to Batman.

I absolutely teared up at the end of this episode. Also, I think this perfectly set up the Batman lore we all know and love. Everything was left open-ended, so there is lots of room for all the Batman adventures without contradicting events of the show.

It’s been half a decade and 100 episodes, and I am not ready to let this show go. Thanks for joining me on this roller coaster, Gothamites, and I know this isn’t goodbye.


What did you think of “The Beginning…”? Let us know at @PureFandom on Twitter!

(Image: Fox)


Jordan Alperstein

Jordy has a degree in English literature and communication studies. When she isn't attending concerts, she's watching way too much TV for her own good and fangirling over fictional characters. Jordy is a self-proclaimed optimist and bookworm, and she's a sucker for fantasy, superheroes, and good old-fashioned villains.

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