Gotham season 5, episode 2 review: Trespassers


One of Batman’s most iconic characters was finally born in this week’s episode of Gotham, but just what went down in “Trespassers”?

Gotham‘s final season is well underway and, as we saw in last week’s explosive season opener, the show is intent on going out with bang. Adapting the iconic Batman: No Man’s Land arc from the comics, it has gone down a more ambitious route than ever before, with the city cut off from the rest of the world and its villains reigning supreme within those walls.

As we saw last week, the remnants of Gotham has been fragmented, with the GCPD, the Penguin, the Scarecrow and the Sirens all running their own unique sector. But with supplies limited and the threats becoming more prominent, it’s clear that all of the characters, especially Jim Gordon’s GCPD, are being pushed to their breaking point. However, the opportunity to protect children outside of their own zone presented Gordon with an opportunity to remind everyone that there are still heroes left in Gotham. But just how did the mission go? Here’s what went down in “Trespassers”:

Overcoming The Odds

Following last week’s showdown with Oswald, Gordon was well-aware of the fact that The Penguin had placed a bounty on his head and yet, he was still willing to stop at nothing to save the children from the barbaric work they were being forced to do by Sykes and his Soothsayers. As a result, he turned to Barbara – who reluctantly allowed him to take her armored cars.

Venturing into the Badlands certainly opened the show up and allowed us to fully grasp the scale and terror of the entire No Man’s Land situation. With hanging corpses, burning trash cans and an army of face-painted assassins (who wanted Gordon for themselves), the status quo of the show had been well and truly smashed and, in its place, was a reflection of what Gotham always looked like below the surface. Like we said last week, it was visually stunning. Twisted, but stunning nonetheless.

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Writer Danny Cannon did a great job reminding us how Gordon’s life was hanging in the balance and, whether it was from the bounty on his head to the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it encounter with Mother, we were admittedly on the edges of our seats throughout the stripped-back installment.

The real star of the episode, however, proved to be Barbara Kean herself as she rode into battle with her own canon, saving Jim – who was literally caught between a rock and a hard place – along with Harvey and three of the children. Though she claimed that she wanted him to return to the favor and help her kill Penguin, it was clear that a small part of her was happy to have made it on time – just like a small part of Jim was glad that she made the save.

As far as the main arc goes, it did exactly what it set out to do – allowing us to see a more up-close view of the remnants of the city while once again reinforcing that, at this stage at least, Jim Gordon is Gotham’s true hero, as he managed to successfully overcome the odds, save the children and inspire the city’s remaining residents with hope.

Riddle Me This?

When it wasn’t focused on Gotham’s heroes, “Trespassers” also saw the continuation of The Riddler’s struggles with his inner-Ed. What I mean by this is that, once again, Mr. Nygma woke up to find that he had been sleepwalking (despite literally locking himself in bed!). However, this time, he had brutally assaulted a member of the Street Demons biker gang and, unfortunately for the gang member, he didn’t remember. So – Yup, you guessed it! – he had to suffer through it all over again.

But the real kicker came when Ed and the biker showed up at the Street Demons’ lair to discover that all of them, even their infamous leader, had been murdered. And above all the carnage was a notice that read “Penguin was here”. However, Ed was unconvinced that Oswald was responsible and, it left us (and the biker) all wondering as to who is trying to start a war by using Penguin’s name.

Again, the confusing scenes were far and few between, adding a little comic relief to the otherwise grim episode and, it was rather enjoyable to see Ed and the biker be kind-of civil towards each other (you know, after the beating was over!). However, it’s still difficult to really see where this one is going. In one sense, it doesn’t feel like an awful lot of progress was made here. But then again, isn’t that exactly like The Riddler’s M.O.? The writers are teasing us with the story, seducing us with confusion and leaving us with more questions than answers. And, with a bit of luck, perhaps all will be revealed sooner rather than later.

Catwoman Is Born

The most important developments took place in the episode’s other secondary arc and revolved around Bruce’s quest to find “The Witch” and cure Selina. That would, of course, be easier said than done as he soon discovered that the witch in question was none other than friend-turned-foe Ivy – who had killed so many people that certain Gothamites retaliated and imprisoned her.

After he freed her, Ivy unnecessarily killed her captors and almost killed him too, before he was able to convince her to help Selina. With that, she gave him a sacred root from Gotham’s park (which had gained unexpected vitality since the rise of No Man’s Land) that would theoretically heal her former friend. However, according to Ivy, it could also awaken more of whatever is inside her.

Shortly after ingesting the root, Selina regained the power of her legs. However, just like Ivy had said, it was clear to everyone (except Bruce apparently) that she was different. She was more radiant, more seductive and more thrilled to be alive than ever before and, after telling Bruce how great she felt, her eyes turned to slits. Just like that – Catwoman was born.

Regardless of where this intriguing story takes us next, we can’t overlook how monumental the episode’s closing moments were. With the end of Gotham on the horizon, we were finally gifted with a sight that we had been waiting for. It’s the culmination of one story and the beginning of another. Selina is no longer just Selina, she’s no longer just Cat. No, after all this time, Catwoman has finally arrived.

Gothic Getaways

  • Barbara Kean is a Queen. That is all.
  • After thrilling us with turf wars, explosions and a tease of the outside world in the premiere, this episode took things back to the nitty-gritty, primarily focusing on one particular area of the city, and it was successful in highlighting just how bad things had gotten in the nightmarish landscape.
  • The gang in the Badlands were wearing neon skull facepaint – a neat little nod to the neon-skull gang that collided with Dick Grayson in 1995’s Batman Forever.
  • I’m glad they went down the supernatural route for Catwoman. Whether she was scaling walls or jumping from rooftops, Selina has been a joy to watch over the last five years, but this will be the perfect enhancement to finally push her into Catwoman territory. Moreover, given how Gotham thrives with the supernatural (and how much it has in common with Tim Burton’s Batman films), this was undoubtedly the right way to progress the story.
  • It was nice to see Ivy back. She’s one of the few fully-bloomed (pun intended) Batman villains on the show and, given their history, it made sense to tie her to Selina’s ascent to becoming Catwoman.
  • Speaking of their relationship, the scene in which Selina tearfully recalled how she protected Ivy as a youngster was a beautiful nod to the pair’s five-year journey on the show. I won’t lie, it had me a little tearful too.
  • Still no sign of Lee this week. Paging Dr. Thompkins!
  • With Penguin, Riddler, Ivy, Scarecrow, Jeremiah and now Catwoman in the mix – not to mention the impending debut of Bane, it really does feel like the legend of Batman is becoming more of a reality. And it’s destined to continue in the next episode, with the introduction of two more iconic Batman characters.
  • Gotham’s final journey continues next week, folks. Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.

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Gotham returns to Fox next Thursday, January 17 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Are you excited to see what Catwoman has in store for Jeremiah? Let us know in the comments below!