Gotham introduced a clone of young Bruce Wayne which set up an intriguing storyline with the Court of Owls. What became of the boy known as 514A?
Gotham wrapped up in 2019 after five seasons but one lingering mystery was left unresolved – the fate of Bruce Wayne’s clone, 514A. Introduced as an experiment by Dr. Hugo Strange (B.D. Wong) in his Indian Hill facility – provided for by funding from the Court of Owls, -514A’s purpose is largely a question mark, but fans were drip-fed enough information to paint a decent picture.
Gotham’s Court of Owls enlisted Hugo Strange to research into the resurrection of the dead. The secret society had been pulling Gotham’s strings since time immemorial, including the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Whether the clone of Bruce – labelled 514A – was created at their behest or was simply Strange on a mad cloning binge is undetermined.
Gotham viewers were introduced to 514A when he and several other experiments were loaded into a prison bus to be moved from Indian Hill. However, the bus is hijacked by Fish Mooney and 514A subsequently escaped into the night. He finds himself at Wayne Manor, where the original Bruce and Alfred Pennyworth are understandably puzzled by his appearance. He explains his origin and name, while Bruce insists on sheltering him. During his time at Wayne Manor, 514A sees Alfred and Bruce sparring and the latter encourages him to take part; he easily dodges Alfred’s jabs and hits him back with a harsh blow. When Alfred finally lands a punch, making 514A’s nose bleed, the young clone doesn’t even feel it.
Bruce begins to investigate the scarring on 514A’s neck when Selina Kyle – the young Catwoman – drops by for a visit. 514A waits in the wings, taking notes on the cadence of Bruce’s voice and develops an attraction to Selina. That night, he leaves Wayne Manor with a fresh haircut and a set of Bruce’s clothes, intent on imitating him. He finds Selina whilst driving one of Bruce’s cars and later saves her from two heavies at a bar and they bond, resulting in a kiss. Bruce and Alfred catch up to him, who accuses Bruce of not knowing what it is that he wants in life. He defends himself, saying that he doesn’t know why he was created, but knows that he doesn’t belong in Gotham. He jumps off a roof and escapes again. He’s later scooped up by the Court of Owls’ Kathryn Monroe and Talon, one of their leading assassins, tell 514A they are his parents and they’ve been looking for him.
Gotham’s Court of Owls prep 514A for a mission by removing his scars and dressing him like Bruce. He’s told he’s to be ‘Gotham’s savior’ and he ends up taking on Bruce and sedating him, imprisoning him somewhere far away. The clone then assumes his place right under Alfred’s nose. He’s soon told by Kathryn he’s slowly dying due to a flaw in his creation and he later reveals his identity to Selina, attempting to get her out of Gotham. She calls him out on his desire to save one person whilst the real Bruce would wish to save everybody.
A fight ensues and Alfred figures out 514A has been posing as Bruce. Before he disappears, 514A tells Alfred that Bruce has a destiny to fulfill. After he leaves, Bruce makes his return with the Sensei of the Court of Owls, witnessing the execution of their leadership by Sensei’s order. Sadly, it can be assumed the wayward clone succumbed to his biological failings as its highly unlikely he managed to find a cure. What’s sadder still is that Gotham fans never received closure to the 514A arc as the storyline kind of puttered out.
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