Gotham: What’s Next For Bruce Wayne?


The Ball of Mud and Meanness” saw Bruce Wayne meet his goal of finding the man who murdered his parents. However, the meeting was very unceremonious. He was nothing like how Bruce had imagined. There was a lot of build-up in Bruce’s mind — exacting revenge, things he would say — but it all went out the door when he actually saw the perpetrator’s face.

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Most of Bruce’s storyline in Gotham has been dedicated to finding the killer. From his interest in fear to his desire to learn how to fight, every activity has been focused on bringing justice to the murders of Thomas and Martha. The huge break in Bruce’s investigation arrived in “The Son of Gotham” when Silver St. Cloud — under duress — gave the killer’s name as “M. Malone.” It was soon learned that “M” stood for “Matches.” In “A Dead Man Feels No Cold,” Bruce tells Selina that he plans to find and kill Malone.

This Monday, Bruce found his goal — and he discovered that the man was just that … a man, and not the monster he visualized. On top of that, Malone was someone quite pathetic — an aging hitman who wanted Bruce to kill him. Why? Malone thought he deserved to pay for his past transgressions. With a willing target, Bruce was faced with a heavy decision: fulfill his need to exact revenge and sacrifice the core of who he is; or allow Malone to live and know that his parents’ killer has gone unpunished.

Bruce makes the decision to not only walk away, but put the gun on the table right in front of Malone. The hitman soon takes his own life. Later, in a goodbye letter to Alfred, Bruce explains that he now knows he can’t “kill” murder, and vows to learn what it’s like to live on the streets. Of course, he’s not doing this alone. He has street-smart Selina to guide him. The question now is: what will Bruce learn and what exactly is his next goal? Yes, we all know the “finish line” is him becoming Batman. However, large goals are always made up of small milestones. Where will this journey take him? And how will that affect the next stage of his evolution?

Bruce Wayne’s years of absence, in his twenties, and being trained by Ra’s al Ghul was something that was portrayed in detail in Batman Begins (2005). What some people don’t know is that Gotham may actually be following its comics source material faithfully … for once (well, he didn’t hang out with Selina in the comics, but we’ll take what we can get). In print, Bruce’s training actually started at the age of fourteen, where he began to hone both his body and mind to perfection. Seeking out the best fighters, warriors, and mercenaries, Bruce built up an impressive repertoire of survival and hand-to-hand combat skills. Could his shacking up with the future Catwoman, Selina, be the start of this? Who will be his first “mentor”?

Bruce has already gotten a pretty good foundation via Alfred’s tough-love. The good butler has also trained him in some rudimentary fighting skills. However, it always seemed that Alfred was holding back — trying not to encourage the young Bruce to go down a dark path. And that’s probably the reason why Bruce had to leave Wayne Manor.

In various comic continuities, we learned that Bruce had a variety of mentors in his training to become Batman: Ted Grant, a.k.a. Wildcat; Zatara, the famous magician and Zatanna’s father; Henry Ducard; Harvey Harris; Kirigi; David Cain; and Willie Doggett. My bet is that Bruce will most likely run into Ted Grant or Harvey Harris.

Ted Grant, in the comics, taught Bruce a variety of fighting skills, with a specialty in boxing. He also mentored Bruce in various fitness and conditioning methods. Introducing Grant wouldn’t be that far-fetched, and would actually make the show a bit more interesting. Harvey Harris, though, would be a bit more difficult to introduce — but still not out of the question. Why the difficulty? Harris is supposedly one of the best detectives in Gotham City. He’s also the one who trains Bruce to become one of the best detectives in the world. Someone that good would’ve been sought out by Gordon or Barnes already, especially if he already works in the GCPD. However, there is a way around this problem — the show could introduce him as a new transfer. And then have Bruce learn from him after Gordon turns the young Batman-in-training down.

Next: Catch up on Gotham with a recap of 'The Ball of Mud and Meanness'

With Bruce now on a new journey, Gotham‘s tired old story of him seeking revenge can finally be put to rest, and the show can go in a new direction. Let’s hope Gotham doesn’t remove Bruce from this new environment too soon. If Bruce wants to understand crime and what Gotham City’s worst has to offer, let him. Bruce now has a newfound determination driven by a need to understand versus a need for vengeance.

Fox’s Gotham airs on Mondays at 8:00PM EST.