Gotham season 5, episode 11 recap: They Did What?


The battle for Gotham was decided tonight in the series’ sentimental penultimate episode. Who joined the fight and who came out on top?

The fate of Gotham looks grim as Bane leads the U.S. Army into the Green Zone, but as Jim leads the resistance, he finds himself backed by surprising allies. Meanwhile, Nyssa kidnaps Baby Thompkins-Gordon-Kean and plans to murder Babs once she destroys the city. Plus, Bruce wrestles with a life-changing decision. Here’s a look at what went down in “They Did What?”

GOTHAM: Shane West in the “They Did What?” episode of GOTHAM airing Thursday, April 18 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2019 Fox Media LLC Cr: Barbara Nitke/FOX

The battle

As was teased in the season premiere, Jim, Harvey, Bruce, Penguin, Ed, and the GCPD face off against Bane and the U.S. army in a barricade fire fight. Despite having their submarine and treasure all ready to go, Penguin decides to “follow his heart” and fight for his city and his legacy, and Ed ultimately changes his mind as well.

Gotham season 5, episode 10 recap: I Am Bane. light. More

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Unfortunately, the fight doesn’t go very well for Team Gotham with Penguin losing an eye to a grenade that he shields Ed from (aww) and Bane using a rocket launcher to blow a hole in the barricade, making an entrance for the army.

Fortunately, Bruce has a shocking Plan B. He wants to use one of Jeremiah’s bombs, which the GCPD had been using as a battery, to blow up… Wayne Enterprises, knowing the explosion will also topple surrounding buildings and slow down the army.

Knowing how much the building means to Bruce, Selina double checks that Bruce really wants to go through the bombing, and Bruce explains that he’s willing to sacrifice everything for Gotham like his parents did.

Meanwhile, Jim goes to City Hall to free the baby and Barbara, who quite impressively snap a guard’s neck with her thigh. Nyssa proves to be a much tougher adversary, but teamwork makes the dream work. Jim flings Nyssa into Barbara’s path, and Barbara delights in stabbing a second member of the al Ghul family.

Unfortunately, Nyssa doesn’t have the decency to die and manages to escape, but not before ordering General Wade to kill himself since he’s the only person who could’ve ordered the army to stand down. On the bright side, the baby is safe, and Jim gets to hold his daughter for the first time.

GOTHAM: L-R: David Mazouz, Camren Bicondova and Shane West in the “They Did What?” episode of GOTHAM airing Thursday, April 18 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2019 Fox Media LLC Cr: Barbara Nitke/FOX

Out on the streets, Bane attacks Bruce and Selina. To Bruce’s horror, Bane almost kills Selina, but she saves herself by stabbing him in the leg. Then, Bruce plants a “nightwing” stealth device on Bane that has a handy defect: it attracts bats.

Back at the GCPD, it’s time for Team Gotham’s last stand. Barbara, wanting to protect the baby, leads fellow refugees into the tunnels below the city, so they can get behind enemy lines. Lee helps direct the refugees but opts to stay behind, and Barbara hugs her goodbye (aww!).

Back on the surface, Team Gotham is still badly outnumbered and now with no barricade, they have no chance against Bane and the army… until Babs and the refugees make a triumphant return. Unwilling to fire on civilians, the soldiers turn their guns on Bane, who surrenders.

The aftermath

Given that Gotham‘s fifth season has been an extended doomsday scenario with one tragic setback after the next, the penultimate episode finally shining the light at the end of the tunnel was actually somewhat surprising.

Naturally, there had to be some kind of resolution ahead of next week’s ten-year time jump, but I was frankly expecting more bloodshed and heartbreak. The mostly happy endings were certainly a welcome change of pace, though.

Like many fans, I was expecting Barbara to tragically die protecting the baby since that would explain the baby being named after her. But in a hilarious twist, Babs, being her wonderful narcissistic self, straight-up names the baby after herself! But she also very sweetly honors Lee as well, and Baby Thompkins-Gordon-Kean becomes Barbara Lee Gordon.

GOTHAM: Erin Richards in the “They Did What?” episode of GOTHAM airing Thursday, April 18 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2019 Fox Media LLC Cr: Barbara Nitke/FOX

In other good news, Jim is finally appointed Gotham’s Police Commissioner. (He doesn’t have the mustache yet, though.)

Meanwhile, Penguin and Ed (transforming back into Riddler mode) have a fittingly diabolical happy ending of their own. Feeling dejected and resentful that they’re back to square one, despite heroically fighting for the city, the dynamic duo plot to rule Gotham, taking “what we want from who we want… together.”

But can they actually work as a team? Well, they almost stab each other in the back (literally) but ultimately agree to be partners-in-crime (literally).

Heartbreakingly, Bat-Cat doesn’t end the episode on a good note. Selina tells Bruce she’ll always be there for him, representing a huge step forward for her considering how many years she’s spent battling abandonment and commitment issues. But Bruce eventually decides he can’t do the same and leaves Selina hanging once again.

While he says goodbye to Alfred, who’s rebuilding Wayne Manor, and to Jim in-person, he leaves a note for Selina at the GCPD. She rushes to catch him at the airport, but she’s too late and looks on in despair as his jet flies away.

Bat-Cat, of course, has an infamously rocky relationship in the comics, and Bruce leaving Gotham does make sense. However, fans surely deserved a proper goodbye scene between David Mazouz and Camren Bicondova (especially since Selina will allegedly be played by a different actress in the finale), or at the very least, a voice over of Bruce’s note.

GOTHAM: L-R: David Mazouz and Camren Bicondova in the “They Did What?” episode of GOTHAM airing Thursday, April 18 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2019 Fox Media LLC Cr: Barbara Nitke/FOX

Next. Gotham finale: 5 things we want to see (and 5 we really don’t want). dark

Questions for the finale

  • Where is Edward the dog? Is he okay?
  • How are Jim, Lee and the newly-ginger Barbara handling co-parenting? What will ten-year-old Barbara Lee Gordon’s storyline be?
  • Assuming Bruce and Selina reunite as their alter egos, will they realize or reveal each other’s true identities?
  • Likewise, will Jim realize that Bruce is Batman, or will Bruce reveal his true identity to Jim?
  • How will The Joker made his long-awaited grand debut?
  • Where did Nyssa go in the submarine? Is she coming back?
  • Is Bane in jail now? Will he break out?