After watching Karen sacrifice herself in Season 2, Episode 18 of Gotham, titled "Pinewood," Bruce, Jim and Alfred returned to Bruce's study at Wayne Manor, discussing what had transpired.
Only the light of the fire illuminated the room and much of the details, like the mood of the characters’, was shrouded in darkness.
During the course of the conversation, I caught sight of a painting on the wall, and I was struck by how it reflects the action in the scene and the story arcs of Bruce, Jim, Alfred and Lucius Fox in Gotham. Here it is in the show:
And here is the full version:
The painting in question is the Oath of the Horatii, painted by Jacques-Louis David in 1784. The painting depicts a rather obscure scene that dates back to the Roman age.
As the story has it, the city-states of Rome and Alba were at war. To spare the lives of as many people as possible, the cities agreed to pit their best fighters against one another. A trio of brothers from the Horatius clan agreed to represent Rome and were willing to sacrifice themselves to bring peace to the city.
David captures the exact moment when the three men issue their pledge to win or die to their father, who clutches the swords that they will carry into battle. The women from their family weep off to the right, certain the men will perish.
Similarly in Gotham, Bruce has called upon the help of three men--Alfred, Lucius and Jim--to help him undertake the dangerous task of finding his parents' killer and bring himm to justice. Each risks something great--
Jim admits that he has probably already lost his job as a detective, saying:
Alfred stands to lose Bruce who he loves like a son, and Lucius could be jeopardizing his position at Wayne Enterprises depending on how things go down.
Plus, all of them could be killed taking on The Philosopher, who is revealed to be Hugo Strange in the episode
But there is something bigger at stake than getting justice for Bruce.
By fighting for his cause, Jim, Alfred and Lucius are also fighting for Gotham itself, risking everything to try and save the city that has been corrupted by an evil that right now is centered on Arkham, and the madman who runs it.
Just like the Horatii in David's painting, these three men, now united as brothers in solidarity for a cause, are ready to launch into battle.
It's interesting to note that while the Horatii were victorious, only one of them survived. Could the painting foreshadow the death of one of these three characters? After all, Alfred himself said:
We'll just have to keep watching to find out. And in the meantime, be sure to follow me on Twitter to keep updated on my latest posts.