As the camera zooms out, Bruce is standing over the entire city, and a spotlight waves between the buildings ahead of him. End Season 3.
Oh, Gotham, you left us wanting more.
At the Indigo Ballroom of SDCC 2017, the cast and crew of the hit FOX show shined a new light on what to expect for the coming season.
* 3:00pm PT *
Hot dang, the panel actually started EARLY!
Sizzle reel from last season with a couple teases for this coming season.
Big bad will be SCARECROW, from the tease!
Panel includes: Alexander Siddig, Erin Taylor, Ben McKenzie, Robin Lord Taylor, Cory Michael Smith, Sean Pertee, Camren Bicondova, Drew Powell, Morena Baccarin
"How would you rate Cory's rise as the Riddler?"
RLT, "Long overdue. My character was launched in the pilot but then you saw in Season 3 you saw what we went through together. It was really good to see someone who can always match intellegence and cunning."
"What will it be like for Riddler coming out of the Big Freeeze?"
CMS, "What are the effects of being on ice? It is going to mess up his trajectory and he isnt going to operate the same way. So he needs to find a new path and a new identity."
"Can Penguin and Riddler repair their relationship?"
RLT, "Enemies and friends are not too far removed on this show. A lot of characters fall in and out of relationships with one another. The are all connected with one another. Friends and enemies are more similar than people think in Gotham."
"Did you think, are they really going to off me..."
Sean, "Episode 21 I took one straight through the chest from ol' Bruce, but seemingly things are all good."
Erin, "It is an actors greater fear to be killed off, but the communication is so keen with us on this team. And so I was scared as always, but John told me that things were going to be okay."
Drew, "I got a call at about 930 from John, and I told my wife that 'this is where my job ends' but it wasnt like that."
* 3:09 pm PT *
"Can Tabitha and Babs make up?"
Sarah, "I dont know. I think the question is more like where is their relationship is going to go next. I dont think Tabitha is ever going to be a second fiddle for them... but maybe someone at this table may help with that ...
Cameron, "Selena goes to Sirens and looks for Barbara, but Tabitha is there and so Selena falls under Tabitha wings. And we see how their relatonship evolves over the next six months. And Barbara finds her way to Tabitha and ultimately Selena... and then in 4-01, Selena starts to become the stitch that can sew up the torn fabric of their relationship."
Sarah, "Camren is crushing the stunts, doing her own stunts, cracking the whip... really doing great things."
"How painful was you cats in the alley scene?"
Camren, "It was winter in NY, raining at like 10 at night, and I made the artistic decision to keep my eyes open when I dead, little fact that it means it was painful, and I had my contacts in and they had to bring the cats out.... they had real cats... and I didnt have gloves on and they put cat food in my hands, and around my ears, but one of them -- I call him Savage Cat -- and he was hungry and he didnt just sniff the food or lick it off but bite it off my finger. And so then I had to go to the hospital and get a rabies shot..... It was great... so most of them CGI."
* 3:15 pm PT *
"There is going ot be a very different Barbara after this..."
Erin, "This isnt a whig (flashes her really short, blonde hair) ... "
"Will a different Barbara be attractive to a different Jim?"
Ben, "There is supposed to be a daughter born out of this relationship, right. So.. never say never."
"What is the Gotham version of Solomon Grundy like..."
John Stephens, "We hold a lot to canon, so he gets dumped ito the swamp, and when he comes out and walks through Gotham, he takes his name like the nursery ryhmes. He has no memory of working for Penguin, or hating Nygma, which is great because it is the first person he meets and they become... best friends."
"I hear that Ra'S is really going to be stuck on believing that Bruce is his heir."
Alex, "It has been about 2000 years of chasing what he bleives to be his heir and he believes that to be Bruce and so his is sort of singularly focused on that."
* 3:22 pm PT *
Ben, "Ra'S bringing Bruce over to the dark side is so paramount to this storyline. I mean if he is going to keep pushing his character forward and move into the role he is supposed to be, he can't be a naive boy anymore."
"How deeply can you go into the Batman story in Season 4..."
John, "In season four Bruce will have body armour, and have grappling hooks, and wear a mask, but he wont be Batman. He will spend a lot of time with Ra'S and begin that transition but we have so many things to explore and move into the role. For David to get to do so many transitions and go to some very dark places that no one has ever seen that character go before in any of the other interpretations. But he won't make that full transition. He won't BE Batman, yet."
"Scarecrow. He comes in early. First episode. Tell us more."
Ben, "We met his father, Dr. Craine in Season 1. Taken our time and come back now to his son. Circumstances that we cant describe now, but he takes on his father's mantle and becomes the full Scarecrow."
* 3:28 pm PT *
"Will we see any other characters coming back?"
John, "Lee Tompkins is coming back, but it is a much harder and much darker Lee Tompkins. It is not your parents Lee. She has to deal with the fact that she was instrumental in the spread of the virus and she has to come to grips with that and she does it in a very unique way.
"She is going to form up a family, of sorts, and it will be with Riddler, Solomon, and her."
"If Batman came up do you think you have the same relationship since you arent the same Gordon?"
Ben, "If he were a fully realized Batman right now, it would be curious to see how Bruce wins from both Jim's failures and successes. So how Bruce sees his humanity and that relationship will be crucial in the show. How Bruce sees both a father figure but also a noble failure. A man who cant quite keep the city together."
"How far in advance to make a choice to turn Butch into Solomon?"
John, "We have had ideas to do it for about a season but you want to let stories to unfold and some thing go quickly, like Ra'S ... we wanted to do him at the top of Season 4, but we made it very quickly, about two episodes before we wanted to. It is nice to plan things out but we let the story decide."
"How much interpretation can you actually add as an actor?"
Ben, "I think none of these characters could be who they are without the actors. Now it is based on the script but we are allwoed to work through that."
RLT, "John knows our voice so well and he allows us to use our voices to it. They know how Barbara speaks and how Alfred speaks and they let us go for it."
* 3:37 pm PT *
"How hard was it to direct an episode you are in..."
Ben, "In this instance, we have such talented people invovled inthe show and I got a terrific script and we have an amazing crew and this cast of actors is amazing. In my head I had amazing ideas and Id go get a coffee and then the DP came back and set up a better shot and I took credit for it. So, my advice, is to listen and listen to your actors. It was a delight."
One of the consistent criticisms of Gotham, ever since the pilot episode, is that it is a show that sometimes feels like it doesn't know what it wants to be: a prequel series that dabbles so freely in the tropes and characters of stories that wouldn't happen for years in-universe, the show has aggravated hardcore comic book fans in its desire to embrace the trappings of being a Batman show before Bruce ever puts on the cape and cowl.
On the other hand, audiences less familiar with the source material expect moresupervillains, and more of what makes Gotham City both crazy and special in the adaptations they recognize and the comic book stories they enjoy.
While it might seem like tonight's aggressive steps forward for Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, in particular, might further alienate some of the hardcore comic book fans, it occurred to us that the episode might actually solve more problems than it creates even for those most critical viewers.
How so? Well...
With the absence of Lee, it seems likely that Jim's life will become even more centered on the police department.
Meanwhile, his comment at the end of the finale -- that he wished he could go back to being a "normal" detective -- is something that's unlikely to happen for him, considering that the finale featured Penguin, Riddler, Freeze, Ivy, and other future Bat-villains in their best-known forms, as well as a proto-Batman and Catwoman, and plenty more.
Comic book fans, upon hearing about Gotham in the first place, had hoped for a closer adaptation of Gotham Central, a comic that dealt with how hard it is to be a cop in a city where both the good guys and the bad guys are masked lunatics with way more power than you.
It seems, especially as the "good guys" are starting to come out of the woodwork, that Gotham is coming closer than ever to that high concept -- something that could very well win over some of the people who were frustrated with the story bringing in so many Batman-esque elements without actually committing to beinga show that has vigilantes in it.
It seems like every character on the show underwent a significant status quo change in the finale, except for Bullock -- and that's likely to attract people who maybe don't love Gotham but loved the finale.
The series essentially got a bit of a soft reboot in tonight's finale, setting up so much new stuff while closing so many old doors that it's difficult to imagine anyone who has even a passing interest in the Batman mythology not giving season 4 at least a chance when it comes back in the fall.
That includes the revelation that Butch is actually Cyrus Gold, the villain known as Solomon Grundy -- one of the only characters not appearing in TV or film who made an appearance on the recently-altered DC Films animation/logo.
There's also both Bruce and Selina officially on the road to becoming Batman and Catwoman now -- something that pushes the show more into Smallville territory. This is kind of a distinction without much of a difference, of course, but it's something that will combat the frequent criticisms that FOX wanted to have its cake and eat it too by incorporating Batman elements without actually showing a ton of change in the characters themselves.
The end of some long-running subplots like the Barbara/Tabitha partnership and the Fish Mooney character will also likely open up some real estate to try some cool new stuff in the coming season, potentially injecting some fresh blood into the series.