'Gotham': Five Theories on How the Season Will End

Penguins, Owls and dead ex-fiancees, oh my
Jessica Miglio/FOX


The end is nigh for Fox's Gotham. As the DC Comics take races toward the conclusion of its first season following tonight's episode "The Anvil or the Hammer," it's time to start thinking about what the city will look like by the time the smoke clears from next week's season finale.

We've read all the comics and combined with where the Fox series is and what DC Comics lore dictates, here are five guesses on how the season could conclude.

Oswald Ascendant
If there's been one thing that's seemed clear in Gotham since the beginning, it's that Oswald Cobblepot is on the rise. The first season saw him go from snitch to trusted member of the Falcone family and, even if he's not always been in control of his situation, he's shown the ability to consistently make the most of whatever happens. In the comic books, the Penguin spent a period as the central boss of organized crime in Gotham City. Odds are good that he'll finish the first year of Gotham in the same way.

Families at War
As the season heads toward its conclusion, tensions between the Falcone and Maroni families have risen — helped, in no small part by Oswald stirring the pot. Talking with THR, Cory Michael Smith teased a "war between the factions in Gotham," and the prospect of the two families escalating their animosity into outright warfare would certainly help Oswald's ambition. Could his purposefully-foiled assassination of the Maronis this week really manipulate Gotham's existing crime bosses into wiping each other out, and step in to take control? Judging by the end of this week's episode, it's looking likely.

Bye-Bye Barbara
Even before she ended up in the clutches of the Ogre (Milo Ventimiglia), things weren't looking too good for Barbara Kean (Erin Richards). She might have been the first person survived Gotham's most notorious serial killer, but she definitely didn't look to be in the best place afterwards. With Jim Gordon having apparently found happiness with Leslie Thompkins, his former fiancee feels like a loose end on the show — maybe meaning that she'll end up following her comic book counterpart's example and ending up dead before too long. (Ben McKenzie did promise that not everyone would make it to the end of the season alive, after all.)

The Wrong Waynes
Now that Bruce has learned that his father and grandfather might not have been the upstanding members of society that he believed them to be — although both Alfred and new arrival Lucius Fox (someone who'll turn out to be a very good friend of Bruce in the future, according to Bat-mythology) appear to disagree about Bruce's dad, at least — it might be time to consider that maybe the Waynes aren't who everyone expects them to be this time around. Recent comic book mythology has suggested that at least one alternate-world Thomas Wayne was far from the squeaky-clean figure everyone believed him to be; in the morally ambiguous Gotham of the TV series, could that also be the case? (If so, could a secret society made up of the rich and powerful be behind the scenes of the Wayne family business?) And while we're on the subject of things the Waynes have kept secret: what was with the hidden passageway teased in the recent trailer for the season's final episodes?

Bad News for Jim Gordon
The most vague of predictions is also the one that's almost guaranteed to happen. Gotham isn't a show that's especially nice to its characters, and things have been going a little too well for Jim in recent weeks (Barbara's kidnapping aside). There's almost no way that he'll end the season in good shape, but what does that mean on a practical level? The loss of a loved one, the betrayal of a trusted colleague … or maybe Oswald calling in the debt that Gordon owes at the least opportune time.

"All Happy Families Are Alike," the season finale of Gotham airs Monday at 8 p.m. on Fox. What are your theories?