When Will Bruce Become Batman On 'Gotham'? The Shaman Pushes Him To Embrace His Destiny

Jeff Neumann/FOX
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Gotham is burning through the "prequel" part of the Batman mythology rather quickly, with Riddler, Ivy, and Selina all going through their villainous transformations this season and Bruce Wayne receiving training from a Zen master/kidnapper while his clone takes his place. And in one of the show's boldest moves yet, the Shaman erases Bruce's grief about his parents' death with no more than the prick of an acupuncture needle, bringing him even closer to becoming Batman. It's actually a bit unsettling to hear Bruce say that he feels "nothing" about the death of his parents, as opposed to a far more emotionally healthy "I'm sad, but it no longer consumes the majority of my waking hours," but after all, the Shaman is a part of the Court of Owls. And they're nefarious bad guys.

The Court loses a member in this episode, too. Before Jim can subdue Barnes, Barnes kills Kathryn Monroe, the white-haired woman who, until this point, has operated as one of the Court of Owls' main representatives. But, as she confirms to Jim in a key scene, she's not the leader of the Court of Owls. The show cuts from Kathryn to the Shaman after she mentions leadership, suggesting that perhaps he's the leader. But maybe he also wants to destroy the Court because of how they killed Bruce's parents. Between the Shaman, the Waynes, and Jim and Frank Gordon, it seems that the Court has as many members who want to destroy the Court as ones who believe that "cleansing" Gotham with a pathogen-based genocide is a reasonable idea.

Jeff Neumann/FOX

The Shaman specifically conceals his true identity, delaying Bruce's discovery of who he is for another week. Unless he turns out to be someone from Bruce's past, the secrecy is a little weird. My guess is still that he will turn out to be Ra's al Ghul. (Alexander Siddig was cast as the character, according to Deadline. But he has the power of rejuvenating himself with the help of chemical deposits called the Lazarus Pit in the comics, which means he could shed this older visage.) But no matter who the Shaman is, it seems there's some real division between different members of the Court. In fact, I don't see how the Alice Tetch virus bomb passed so easily with a unanimous vote.

But I suppose it doesn't really matter, because the Shaman ultimately has exactly what he wants. Bruce seems to finally buy into what he's telling him, accepts his parents' deaths and agrees to become Gotham City's avenging angel. Could a villain be responsible for Bruce's transformation into Batman? If so, that'll be the biggest change to canon yet — Gotham's first vigilante could be a teen.