8:15am PT by Sydney Bucksbaum
DC TV Watch: 'Gotham' Introduces Batgirl in Penultimate Episode
Welcome back to The Hollywood Reporter's weekly DC TV Watch, a rundown of all things DC Comics on the small screen. Every Saturday, we round up the major twists, epic fights, new mysteries and anything else that goes down on The CW's Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl and Black Lightning and Fox's Gotham. This week, Gotham introduces a long-teased female superhero in a surprising way. Note: Supergirl did not air a new episode this week.
The big news: Batgirl has officially arrived on Gotham.
What it means: While fans have speculated since the series premiere five years ago that Barbara (Erin Richards) would eventually become Batgirl, the past five seasons have made it clear that she was on her own path, separate from Barbara Gordon's in the comics. And Thursday's penultimate episode proved that Barbara was never meant to become Batgirl herself. It's actually her newborn daughter, christened Barbara Lee Gordon by Barbara to a shocked Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie), who is destined to take up the Batgirl moniker. With next week's series finale jumping ahead 10 years, it's possible fans might get to see Batgirl's origins on Gotham. But regardless of what happens during that flash-forward, at least one loose end has finally been tied up and explained.
Other noteworthy moments: That wasn't the only epic moment that took place in the last episode before the series finale. Gordon also fulfilled his comic book destiny by becoming the commissioner. After all he's done for Gotham over the past five years, it was hard to imagine why he hadn't already gotten that promotion but by saving the city from Bane (Shane West) and Nyssa al Ghul (Jaime Murray) and getting the government to finally step in and help rebuild the city, the new title was well deserved. Now all Gordon needs is his mustache and he'll be the Commissioner Gordon that Batman fans know and love.
One of the only remaining loose ends still left dangling by the hour's end is Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), who decided to leave Gotham to live a less public life. He had just blown up Wayne Enterprises to help save the day and felt like he had no more ties to the city ... at least, for now. Alfred (Sean Pertwee) stayed behind to oversee the building of the new Wayne Enterprises building and Wayne Manor, so in 10 years time when Bruce returns, he'll have all the tools at his disposal to become both Bruce Wayne and Batman from the comics. The seeds have been planted, and now all Gotham has to do is bring it home in next week's finale.
Plus, check out the first look at Batman in Gotham's 10-year flash-forward in the series finale trailer below.
The big news: The highly anticipated Birds of Prey-inspired episode put Earth-2 Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) back on the path of redemption while serving up an episode full of badass female stunts and fights.
What it means: While the conclusion of the episode saw Laurel deciding to go "home," aka back to Earth-2, to finally right some wrongs she had been running from this whole time, Arrow made sure to let fans know that Cassidy wasn't leaving the show. The final flash-forward in the hour revealed that not only does Laurel return to Earth-1, she's officially become Black Canary, honoring Earth-1's Laurel's legacy. When Laurel returns from Earth-2 is unclear, so it could be a few weeks into the future, a few months, a few years or maybe not for another 30 years. But this definitely isn't Cassidy's swan song. And executive producer Beth Schwartz confirmed that fact, telling TVLine, “Katie does not leave the show; she comes back this season. It appears like [she leaves], but it’s not true. She’s still [part of the show]."
Other noteworthy moments: While this week's hour was mostly female-centric, a smaller B-storyline saw Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Diggle (David Ramsey) tracking down Emiko's (Sea Shimooka) mother's killer: Dante (Adrian Paul), aka the man who has been Emiko's mentor for a decade. When Emiko learns that the man who has been training her all this time was the one responsible for her mother's death, that will surely bring her back to the good side...or at least that's what Oliver thinks. Who wants to bet that she's a lot farther gone from the path of redemption than Oliver thinks? She's proved time and time again that she likes being a villain. She's made her choices. What's it going to take for Oliver to recognize that?
The big news: History repeated itself in a powerful way as The Flash finally revealed Nora's (Jessica Parker Kennedy) origin story with Eobard Thawne (Tom Cavanagh).
What it means: Just like her father, Nora's journey toward becoming the speedster she is today happened because she lost the person closest to her: her best friend. A run-in with Velocity-9 enhanced speedster Godspeed (voiced by B.D. Wong) turned deadly, and while Nora was just starting to get used to her speed, she ran into tragedy. That, coupled with the revelation that Iris (Candice Patton) had dampened her powers and kept Barry's (Grant Gustin) identity as The Flash a secret, was why she turned to Thawne as her mentor. Finally sharing her story with Team Flash helped a lot of them understand why she had been working with Thawne, but Barry still couldn't get over the ultimate betrayal. Just as he had decided on his own to put Nora into the pipeline prison, he took her back to the future and left her there, saying that he couldn't trust her anymore. This definitely won't be the last we've seen of Nora, as Iris never got to say goodbye (and made it clear that she was ready to give Nora a second chance as well) and there's a lot of loose ends she still has to accomplish in the present day timeline, but it's going to take a lot for Barry to learn how to trust Nora again.
Other noteworthy moments: Thawne's execution is now less than 10 minutes away in the future timeline. Barry seemed satisfied with that knowledge, but there's no way Thawne is going to accept his fate. Nora might try and interfere, which will only further strain her relationship with Barry. But this is the only mentor she's ever known and he has actually helped try to do the right thing (if only in this particular storyline). How many twists will The Flash throw at this arc before Thawne's fate is sealed? Expect some last minute curveballs.
Legends of Tomorrow
The big news: Hank Heywood's (Tom Wilson) death in the last episode turned out to be even more heartbreaking when Nate (Nick Zano) learned his dad wasn't a villain after all in this week's episode.
What it means: While this season of Legends has so far implied that Hank was working with the demon Neron (Christian Keyes) for some shady reason, it turns out that he actually was doing it all for his son. In the most wholesome reveal ever, Nate found a video of his late father explaining his plans to create a theme park right out of young Nate's dreams: where humans can interact with real magical creatures. It was so sweet and innocent that it twisted the knife that much deeper knowing how Nate turned on his father in his final moments, thinking he was doing something nefarious. This is going to be a hard road for Nate to come back from, especially since he still thinks Nora (Courtney Ford) is the one who killed Hank.
Other noteworthy moments: Making things even more awkward is the fact that Nora and Ray (Brandon Routh) just consummated their relationship for the first time as Ray believes that Nora didn't kill Hank. Former BFFs Ray and Nate are headed for an epic falling out as they each take sides in the debate for Nora's redemption. In a season already so full of heartbreak, can the team survive another fight between former members? Or is this going to be the last straw?
Supergirl finally returns with a new episode Sunday, as Kara (Melissa Benoist) goes up against not only the government, but also the public opinion after Red Daughter (Benoist) attacked the White House dressed as Supergirl. See how quickly everyone turns on her in the trailer below.
Note: Supergirl airs Sundays, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow air Mondays, The Flash airs Tuesdays and Black Lightning will return for season three on The CW. Gotham airs Thursdays on Fox.