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Review: ‘Gotham Knights’ Reaches Its Conclusion

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Another year, another DC series casualty over at the CW. Over the past couple of years, the station has canceled a slew of DC shows, beginning with Legends of Tomorrow and Batwoman. Some series made it to natural conclusions, such as The Flash and Supergirl. However, others weren’t so lucky. And it’s in the not-so-lucky camp that Gotham Knights falls. The series was nixed long before the finale, sealing its fate at one season, 13 episodes. Gone before it could even find its stride, the Gotham Knight finale has finally arrived, bringing the series to a close.

Gotham Knights struggled from the get-go to find its audiences, with significantly decreasing viewership as the series continued on. It also didn’t help that the series was blasted by negative reviews across the board by critics and viewers alike. Regardless of the why, the series has reached its end, so does the Gotham Knights wrap up the story well, or does it leave even more lingering questions? Let’s dive into what the finale and the series have to offer fans of Gotham City and those who protect its citizens.

[Warning: Spoilers from the Gotham Knights finale are below!]

The Gotham Knights are in trouble

After dodging the authorities all season, the Gotham Knights fall into one of the most easily identifiable traps by the Court of Owls and end up behind bars at the end of the penultimate episode. With the exception of Duela (Olivia Rose Keegan), the rest of the team begins this episode being grilled for the murder of not just Batman, but everyone who died at the Court of Owls ceremony. 

The cards are stacked against them, as no one believes the Gotham Knights that they weren’t involved, as the evidence stacked against them is pretty damning. The Court of Owls have had decades to perfect their villainous craft, much longer than this new team of Bat-Brats did, so it’s impossible to fight the system. However, if legal trouble isn’t enough, there’s scarier trouble headed their way.

Rebecca March (Lauren Stamile), who was revealed late in the series to be the “big bad” as the immortal leader of the Court of Owls, decides to clean up her mess, sending the resurrected Talons to eliminate the Gotham Knights. It seems like a simple plan, send in the calvary while the heroes are trapped in a jail cell, but the heroes of Gotham are not ones to take a fight lying down.

Being released from their cells by the commissioner, the heroes fight for their lives and those still present in the police precinct. However, not everyone makes it out unscathed, as Carrie’s (Navia Robinson) mother is stabbed by one of the Talons, attempting to be as heroic as she finally understands her daughter to be. Defeating the Talon should have been enough, however, the trouble is far from over, and this part involves the missing member of the Gotham Knights.

The Gotham Knight finale goes out with a bang

Having left the group an episode or two earlier, Duela finds herself strapped to a bomb in the finale. However, she’s not alone. Tied down beside her is Harvey Dent (Misha Collins), who she recently discovered is her father and not the Joker. Using the phone attached to the bomb, Duela is able to call the other knights, and together they figure out Rebecca’s ultimate plan. To bring down all the buildings designed by Alan Wayne, erasing the Court of Owls and her devious actions from the face of the Earth.

Gotham Knights- Misha Collins
Misha Collins as Harvey Dent from the finale. Gotham Knights (CW).

Together, as an organized team (finally) the group stops Rebecca and the plan to blow up half of Gotham, however, are unable to stop the bomb in the building they are in. It looks like all members will make it out alive, except sentimental Turner decides he wants Bruce’s journals, disappearing in the rubble as the building collapses. His friends may think he’s gone, but the end shows Turner healthy, meeting Henri Ducard, Bruce Wayne’s teacher who has a new plan for Turner’s life.

The good and bad of Gotham Knights

There’s a lot I liked about Gotham Knights, but there’s also equally as much stuff that doesn’t work. One of the biggest strikes against the series is the juvenile writing that plagues many of the episodes. Of all the CW DC series, this one felt the most aimed at high school students, with stories and dialogue aimed at that population. Gotham Knights doesn’t attempt to be overly smart or complicated, hoping to appeal to the general population of teenagers who like comic books.

The series also suffers from the lack of easily identifiable characters from the DC mythos, which seems to have turned some off from viewing it. At least with Batwoman, there were characters that passive DC comic fans could recognize, but Gotham Knights failed to capture that aspect of the DC universe. That being said, having characters that don’t have years of comic baggage associated with them means, as a creator, you have a blank canvas on which to build your characters and show.

As teenage as this show was, I didn’t mind that aspect of it. It felt young in the same way Riverdale does, yes it might be a trainwreck but it’s fun to watch. You can’t help but get involved in the messy relationships that crop up haphazardly and without warning. The overall story was enjoyable, with the Rebecca twist something I didn’t see coming, even if the “strong woman is the villain” is entirely overdone and problematic.

Gotham Knights- Cullen
Tyler DiChiara as Cullen Row. Gotham Knights (CW).

I also loved the representation of the LGBTQ+ Gotham Knights provided. Not only does the series star a transgender individual, but one of the core relationships is between two women. Again, perhaps they are attempting to appeal to a younger audience, but the representation in mainstream media is important and long overdue.

Misha Collins was superb as Harvey Dent, who began the season as a do-gooder who slowly descends into madness. By the end, he becomes the villain we all know him to be, although there’s almost not enough time utilized as Two-Face. Collins has a wicked addictive energy as Two-Face, the other Harvey hiding below the surface waiting to come out. It’s clear that he’s the expert among the inexperienced young actors, but he’s not the only one that stands out among the cast.

Navia Robinson is a fantastic Robin and an even better Carrie Kelley. She’s clearly the most experienced of the Gotham Knights, having the intellect and fighting skills associated with Batman’s companion. Robinson brings an exciting energy to the character, giving it her all in every second that she’s on screen.

Though perhaps my favorite characters are the Row siblings, Harper and Cullen. Tyler DiChiara, who plays Cullen, is kind of the “jack of everything”, the muscle, the scientist, the one who can hide in plain sight. DiChiara shines in this role and the one I found myself looking forward to seeing the most when he popped up on screen. Fallon Smythe (Harper) is nothing short of badass in this role, stealing almost every scene she’s in. Together the siblings have a wonderful dynamic, going to the ends of the Earth to protect one another.

Final thoughts on this DC series

Gotham Knights is a show about family at its core, a message that beats you over the head while also waiting too long to bring them together. This series is not my least favorite of the DC offerings, however, it also isn’t my favorite. It’s a great series to throw on if you’re looking for something mindless to watch and don’t mind low-quality CW material from recent years.

The Gotham Knights finale is streaming on the CW App. Are you going to watch it? Let us know on Twitter or in The Cosmic Circus Discord!

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Brian Kitson

Working hard to bring you the latest news and thoughtful analysis of all things nerdy!

Brian Kitson has 365 posts and counting. See all posts by Brian Kitson