When the makers of Stargirl were finishing up the show’s third season, they knew they probably weren’t going to get renewed and set up a fitting ending. The team behind Gotham Knights, meanwhile, had higher hopes. What turns out to be the show’s series finale sets up a second season that will never be. Spoilers follow for Gotham Knights, Season 1, Episode 13, “Night of the Owls.”
“City of Owls”
Faced with their most dangerous rescue yet, the Gotham Knights realize that trusting each other may be the only way to save themselves and the city of Gotham. Meanwhile, Harvey (Misha Collins) is faced with an impossible decision that could have devastating consequences.
If there’s one way to get out of jail fast, it’s for a bunch of masked assassins to attack the police precinct right as you’re insisting that it was a bunch of masked assassins, and not you, that did all the bad things that you’ve been accused of. After all of her clever planning, Rebecca March–actually Rebecca Leviticus–really screwed the pooch by having her team of immortal killers lay siege to Gotham PD headquarters before the Knights were taken care of.
The Talons’ attack on Gotham PD takes up the first part of the episode. It’s truly a season finale fight, which calls to mind Arrowverse moments like Arrow‘s Season 2 finale that had Oliver Queen fighting off Deathstroke’s army of soldiers. It doesn’t quite get there with the choreography, but it’s still a lot of fun to watch.
It does require even more suspension of disbelief than the show previously asked, though. Stephanie Brown, who was afraid to fight just a few weeks ago, whips out a bo staff and goes fearlessly to town on a Talon. Cullen Row, who acts primarily as the team’s disguise and forgery expert, rescues the police sergeant that he’d been lying to for weeks. The show didn’t do very much throughout its short run to establish how the kids all got so good at fighting; the limited runtime of the show may have kept the creators from including things like Arrow‘s many practice scenes that helped establish how characters like Laurel Lance and the like became top-tier fighters.
If you can get past that, there’s a lot of fun to be had. After a tenuous relationship with her mother throughout the series, Carrie is able to show her mother that she’s a capable fighter and vigilante, and it brings their relationship to a satisfying place.
While all this is going on, Harvey and Duela end up chained to chairs on either side of a bomb, with Rebecca hoping to use the dramatic situation to bring out Harvey’s more fun side. This pits the show’s most responsible and least reliable characters against each other, but now Duela is the one trying to do the right thing, while Harvey is willing to do anything to save his daughter.
During a later melee, Rebecca smashes a flask of acid across Harvey’s face, giving him the proper Two-Face look; we last see Harv in full Two-Face makeup stopping by Duela’s mother’s trailer to flip a coin and deciding her fate. This is a setup that I wish we could’ve seen more of. We don’t have Batman’s guilt to pair with Two-Face’s insanity, but instead, we would’ve gotten Duela’s. She would likely have felt responsible for everything that happened to him, and it could’ve set up a great dynamic between the two characters.
I was also impressed with how gnarly Harvey’s makeup was for these short scenes. It would’ve gone a long way to making Misha Collins work as Two-Face and would’ve been fun to see for more than a couple of minutes.
Turner’s ending, too, sets up the next season. He ends up standing before the man that trained his parents–apparently assassins who were attempting to kill Batman–as well as Bruce himself. This moment again felt very reminiscent of old-school Arrowverse, and would’ve done exactly what I complained about earlier–give us a reason to believe the main character is an expert fighter.
With Gotham Knights canceled, though, this is all set up for a season that will never come. I’m a little disappointed–I would like to have seen what they could’ve done with more time.