By Deanna Destito

Fox’s Gotham is delivering its fifth and final season this year. At New York Comic Con, the cast and showrunner John Stephens shared some tidbits about what fans can expect for the show’s final act, namely: some recognizable villains (Bane!) as well as Bruce (David Mazouz) becoming the Batman we know and love.

Stephens explained, “I think the idea of identity and duality is so integral to the Batman myth both with Bruce being both Batman and Bruce Wayne to the point we’re saying, wait is he Batman pretending to be Bruce Wayne or is he Bruce Wayne pretending to be Batman? The decision to tell the growing up story of Bruce Wayne…you actually see someone make the decision of who they’re going to be when they’re growing up. He’s making the decision to go from being a kid to being a superhero.”

The cast was both excited and saddened by the show coming to an end, especially because there are only 10 episodes on the schedule. The shortened season forced the production to squeeze a lot of story into a small space. Stephens noted that it wasn’t ideal since some story ideas had to be narrowed down to fit the parameters, but in the end he was satisfied with the result and is positive the big finale will please fans.

Chris Chalk, who plays Lucius Fox, commented that the thing he’ll miss most is the camaraderie among the cast.

“The thing that will be most missed easily is the mandatory friendships that come from television shows,” Chalk says. “These people have been such an integral part of these last four years, like with my father passing, with different traumas in each of our lives. We’ve been each other’s support system and that’s nobody’s job. Nobody has to do that. Nobody brings their problems in, but people genuinely care. Our cast genuinely cares about each other. It is a family.”

While a few actors lamented the end of the series and expressed being open to more for their characters, Sean Pertwee’s Alfred is already slated to have his own spin-off, Pennyworth. Pertwee’s version of Bruce’s loyal butler has developed quite a following, mainly due to the revelation that he’s more than a servant in Wayne Manor. The series will explore the titular character’s past and how he learned all of the skills and knowledge he would eventually use to train Bruce to be Batman.

“You’ve never seen an Alfred be physical before,” Pertwee said. “Who taught [Bruce] how to fight? And cook? And dance? And throw knives? Basically, what I’m trying to say is Alfred is Batman.”

Robin Lord Taylor also shared an interest in keeping his version of Oswald Cobblepot alive, especially since Gotham’s Penguin has become one of the most complicated personalities on the show.

“The story I feel that Gotham is telling is about how this city, Gotham City, corrupts and how it destroys love,” Taylor explains. “And when we start the show with Oswald there’s a shred of humanity there. And there’s something sympathetic there. So by the end I think that humanity, that gentleness, that deep down underneath if everything had gone right for him, he would be a good person, I believe. But by the end of this story that we’re telling…he’s a monster. Gotham City and the people who live there have beaten out every shred of humanity.”

And what about the Riddler and Catwoman? Both Cory Michael Smith and Camren Bicondova explained that their characters have gone through quite a journey, which will eventually lead them to the Bat villains fans recognize from the comics.

According to Smith, “[Gotham] breeds crazy and then it requires crazy to survive.”

For Bicondova’s Selina, the actress commented that the finale brings “a lot of trauma. A lot of self-work. A lot of really working through things, or attempting to. We’ve seen Selina fight these inner demons with herself in the past, but we’ve never seen them. And this season you get to actually see them. We get to see Selina in this raw state that we’ve never seen her before.”

Gotham’s last season is set to premier mid-season, with episode 1 scheduled for March 2019.