Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Gotham - No Man's Land - Review

SpoilerTV - TV Spoilers

Gotham - No Man's Land - Review

Share on Reddit

For a season finale, “No Man’s Land” takes a little time to kick into gear. But once it does, it’s an exciting end to this season of “Gotham” and a great setup for the next.

The main players have barely had time to catch their breaths after the events of last week’s episode – the GCPD’s finishing rounding up the bombs, Selina’s going into surgery, Jeremiah’s cooling his heels in a jail cell – when a bomb that’s not on the schematic explodes, taking out the mayor. Jeremiah stuns Gordon by claiming to have a whole backup network of bombs ready to blow, and then refuses to say any more unless it’s to Bruce. Gordon’s not trying to hear that, but he’s interrupted by the arrival of the military, led by Major Harlan (Malik Yoba of “New York Undercover” and “Designated Survivor”), who announces that military law has been declared and that he’s in charge. Major Harlan’s there to be a strawman, but his take-no-bullshit attitude is kinda fun, as he has Gordon arrested when he refuses to follow his command, and does the same to Bruce and Alfred to get them to leave Selina’s sickbed and help with Jeremiah.

When they come face-to-face, Jeremiah is quick to reveal that there aren’t any more bombs, that all he and his collaborator needed was the one to get Bruce where they wanted him. Bruce is horrified when he realizes Jeremiah means Ra’s al Ghul, but before Alfred and Bullock can do anything, Ra’s pulls a disappearing act with both hero and villain. He and Jeremiah bring Bruce to a vantage point where he can watch the “full majesty of Gotham’s destruction” and both pontificate that they’re doing all this for Bruce’s benefit, to make him and the city what they’re destined to be. It’s a great scene that feels quite grand, these two classic villains teamed up and nudging them all closer to their comic book destinies. And while I’ve liked Cameron Monaghan’s performances since the switch, it was here where the Jeremiah “Joker” really clicked for me.

Things get even more entertaining when an unorthodox rescue party intervenes. After Bruce is abducted, Alfred storms into Barbara and Tabitha’s club looking for Ra’s. Lucky for him, Babs and Tabs are both motivated to help. Ra’s had already stopped by to make an offer to Barbara – leave Gotham with him and rule the League of Shadows together – but Barbara is certain what he really wants is to kill her and reclaim whatever part of the Demon’s Head still lingers within her. And Tabitha is super pissed when she learns about Jeremiah shooting Selina. So with their goals aligned, they – with Penguin in tow, more on him in a bit – team up to rescue Bruce and take on Ra’s and Jeremiah. It’s a fun, kinetic fight sequence (my favorite part is when Alfred and Barbara tag team Ra’s) that ends with Barbara grabbing Bruce’s hands and them stabbing Ra’s in unison with that ceremonial dagger.

So where is Gordon during all of this? Well, he’s waking up in the Narrows, having been kidnapped from military custody by a jealous Riddler. Having put him in another deathtrap straight out of the 1960’s “Batman” TV series – a giant press that’s slowly crushing his chest –, Nygma declares that Gordon must die so Leslie can be free to be the person she’s meant to be. Leslie herself eventually swans in and, to her credit, announces that neither man gets to decide who she is. And while she negotiates Gordon’s freedom and makes promises to leave the city with Riddler, it’s clear she’s done with both men. But maybe she and Ed are meant to be, as these two idiots have a final confrontation where they both fatally stab the other, sinking to the floor to die after sharing one last gross kiss.

On to a relationship I actually care about, Butch and Tabitha's. Penguin was indeed able to locate Dr. Strange (welcome back, B.D. Wong!) and he’s in the process of flushing the Grundy toxins out of Butch when all the Ra’s/Jeremiah mayhem breaks out. I kept expecting Butch to show up still Grundy-fied to back Tabitha up, but instead, she makes it back to Strange’s place to find him fully cured. And they’re super cute as they declare their love for one another. So, of course, that’s when Oswald shoots and kills Butch (and it looks like it’s gonna stick this time. Bye, Drew Powell, your line readings and reaction shots were always the best). It’s funny – during the earlier fight at Ra’s hideout, there’s a moment where Penguin intervenes to save Tabitha from Jeremiah and I noted how far they’d come since Tabitha killed his mom. But apparently, Oswald had not forgiven or forgotten and had been playing a long game of revenge, wanting to kill the person Tabitha loved most in front of her the way she did to him. The two basically declare war on each other and, despite the odds not being in Tabs’ favor given their respective places in the pantheon of Batman characters, I think it’s gonna be entertaining to watch.

Back to the big picture, even as Ra’s and Jeremiah lose, they win, because Jeremiah’s bombs still go off. But instead of blowing up sections of the city, in another well-done effect, they demolish all of the bridges, turning Gotham into a “dark island.” And in a move you might have seen coming if you knew the Batman comic book storyline the episode gets its title from, the government declares the city off-limits, ready to throw in the towel and abandon it to the monsters. And indeed, we see the show’s villains carving up territory. There’s the regulars, Penguin and Barbara/Tabitha (who, after their recent experiences with Ra’s and Penguin, decide to make their territory a man-free zone). There’s recurring players such as Mr. Freeze, Firefly, and Scarecrow. There’s wild cards in Jeremiah and Dr. Strange (who is gifted Ed and Leslie’s corpses by Oswald so who knows what he’s going to turn them into). There’s even teases of new threats, like Man-Bat!

But Gordon isn’t ready to give up on the city and – backed up by Bullock, Lucius, and a dozen other cops – announces his intention to stay and reclaim it block by block. Also not going anywhere is Bruce. Sending Alfred out of the city with Selina (and sidebar – we hear that Selina is paralyzed, a la Barbara Gordon in “The Killing Joke,” but I assume that will be undone somehow and she’ll come roaring back into Gotham to take up the Catwoman mantle, and possibly punch Bruce for breaking his promise not to leave her), he declares that he’s making Gotham his responsibility. And so, in a very foreshadow-y moment, the episode ends with Gordon and Bruce on the GCPD rooftop, staring up at a proto-Bat-Signal shining in the sky. Like I said at the start of this review, it’s a thrilling note to end on and really has me excited for next season.

And with that, it’s a wrap on season four of “Gotham!” Where would you rank “No Man’s Land” among the show’s season finales? Please come share any and all questions and thoughts in the comments section.

Sign Up for the SpoilerTV Newsletter where we talk all things TV!


SpoilerTV Available Ad-Free!

Support SpoilerTV is now available ad-free to for all subscribers. Thank you for considering becoming a SpoilerTV premmium member!
Latest News