Gotham season 5, episode 10 review: I Am Bane


Bane finally made his long-awaited debut on Gotham in this week’s episode. But was it worth the wait? Here’s everything that went down in “I Am Bane”.

With the rise of the “No Man’s Land,” the return of Jeremiah Valeska and the reveal that Barbara Kean is carrying Jim’s child, Gotham has been winning some major points with its comic book fanbase, as it heads towards it series finale. With the end in sight, the writers have been upping the ante each week and now, after a brief absence, the show has returned to screens in a huge way, introducing us to another legendary Batman villain: Bane.

That’s right, the imposing force made his presence felt on the streets of Gotham this week, as Jim’s former friend, Eduardo Dorrance, returned from the dead and was, for lack of a better term, super-charged. However, he wasn’t the only major Batman character to make an unexpected debut this week. But did these original interpretations live up to expectations? Let’s find out.

The Bane Of Their Existence

When it comes to Gotham City’s reunification with the main land, the show has employed a so-near-yet-so-far approach all season (to tremendous success). “I Am Bane” continued that trend with the arrival of the U.S. Army to test the toxicity level of the water and ensure that it’s safe to merge with Gotham once more. They couldn’t just take the word of Bruce Wayne and his highly-esteemed company though (of course not!) – they had to do it themselves. However, in spite of making us wait, they officially declared it safe and, just like that, Gotham could reunify. Well, at least it was supposed to, until Bane showed up.

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Stomping and wheezing his way onto our screens, Eduardo Dorrance’s Bane was a lot more intimidating than the previously-released pictures suggested, and he wasted no time making an impression as he kidnapped Gordon, Bruce and General Wade. He brought them to see Walker who, after some violent mind games, revealed that she was actually Nyssa Al Ghul – the daughter of Ra’s! – and that she wanted to exact revenge on Gotham, specifically Bruce, for all of the crimes perpetrated against her father.

In the end, Bruce and Gordon managed to escape and save the general, completely unaware that he had been programmed by Hugo Strange to be one of Nyssa’s drones. And so they safely took him back to the army’s temporary base, expecting him to finally authorize the reunification of Gotham with the mainland, and were utterly devastated when he, at Nyssa’s behest, ordered its destruction instead. With that, aircrafts flew overhead and began shooting up everything below.

In one painfully brilliant cliffhanger, they were once again so near, yet so far.

Welcome To The World, Batgirl

As Jim found himself on the wrong end of yet another kidnapping, Barbara Kean wasn’t exactly having the time of her life, either. About to leave Gotham for good on the submarine that Ed built, she went into labor and had to return to the hospital, secretly taking an integral part of the sub’s engine with her to ensure that he and Oswald didn’t flee without her.

As Lee attempted to make her comfortable, she was confronted by her co-conspirators just as Bane showed up as well, seeking to kill Barbara because of the role she played in killing Ra’s Al Ghul. Thus, Lee escorted Babs from the hospital in a wheelchair and, in a surprisingly selfless act from both of them, Ed and Oswald agreed to draw the fire of the intruders to allow the two ladies to escape. And we all know how effective The Penguin and Riddler can be when they’re on the same page.

Using flammable gas, they managed to slow Bane down a little before Ed revealed that he had actually procured the piece of the submarine already, insinuating that he didn’t help them because he wanted to escape Gotham, but actually did so because he still cared about Lee. Either way, it made for one heck of an epic moment.

Meanwhile, Barbara and Lee managed to make it out of the hospital before the former actually started giving birth. The situation gave the two women a chance to iron out their differences, as Lee managed to convince Barbara that Jim would never take her baby away from her and that he, and yes, even Lee herself, would be there to help with the baby whenever she needed it. In this weird and unusual world, it was the most sane thing she had heard, setting the stage for a genuinely heart-warming moment between the two former enemies as they welcomed Barbara’s daughter into the world.

A New Life For Alfred?

When is your purpose as a guardian truly served? It’s a question that many parents find themselves asking when their child has grown, fearing that they will no longer be needed. It also seemed to be an underlying theme of this week’s installment, as Alfred seemed desperate to rebuild Wayne Manor exactly as it was, suggesting that it could be one last parental gift to Bruce now that he’s fully grown. But was he suggesting that he was retiring? Selina wondered. Not at all, as he told her that he would do what he always did – stand guard and watch over it.

It was a moving sentiment from the man who had protected, loved and cared for Bruce all his life and a deeper-than-usual glimpse into just how faithful a servant Alfred truly was. We couldn’t help but smile, as his concerns over Bruce’s maturity sounded like any parent’s because, yes he is a father to him, and also because he has no idea of the crazy adventures that await the pair.

The poignant character journey took a brutal turn, as Alfred and Selina rescued Lee, Barbara and her newborn daughter from Bane, before battling the monster himself. As Selina was swatted away, Alfred went one-on-one with him and, although he landed a few strikes, he was quickly overpowered. In a shocking twist, he was then lifted by the venom-powered villain and forced against a post – the impact of which appeared to snap his back.

As Selina cradled the unconscious Alfred in her arms, there was a sense of finality about it all. Due to the future that awaits him, we know that he isn’t dead – but given the character’s recent musings and this seemingly life-changing injury, could we see Alfred give up the crime-fighting life for good. It certainly appears that, after all this time, Mr. Pennyworth will indeed become the stay-at-home butler that we see in the comics, with a renewed sense of purpose, leaving the crime-fighting to his son, his Master, his Dark Knight.

We’re rooting for you, Alfred!

Gothic Getaways

  • With all hell breaking loose (well, more hell than usual), you can really sense that Gotham is coming to an end. The creative team is upping the ante every single week, and this took the madness to new heights. Brilliant.
  • Lee revealed that Barbara’s baby is indeed a girl, confirming that the future Batgirl has been born.
  • Nyssa killed all of Barbara’s Sirens in one of the episode’s closing scenes, before walking towards her threateningly. You better leave her and her baby alone, darn you!
  • Shane West did a great job as Bane and was every bit as intimidating as we hoped he would be. Bravo, sir!
  • That’s twice now that Nyssa Al Ghul has appeared on TV this week, as Katrina Law brought her beloved iteration back to Arrow in a well-received cameo appearance.
  • The scene of Alfred getting hoisted up by Bane before his back was seemingly broken undoubtedly sent a chill down the spines of all the comic book fans watching, as it was clearly a nod to the infamous Batman: Knightfall story, in which Bane breaks Batman’s back over his knee. This was later adapted on screen in Christopher Nolan’s 2012 masterpiece The Dark Knight Rises.
  • Speaking of The Dark Knight Rises, the union between Nyssa and Bane was reminiscent of the latter’s alliance with Nyssa’s sister, Talia Al Ghul, in the 2012 film.
  • Lee wheeling a heavily-pregnant Barbara around, as she shot anyone and everyone that came their way, was easily one of the most brilliant scenes the show has ever orchestrated. It was perfectly in line with Babs’ behavior and brought a lot of levity to a heart-racing sequence. The team-up we never knew we needed!
  • Ed and Oswald literally light up every scene they’re in. The ultimate dream team. I’m glad they finally worked out their differences to allow for some mischief before the show’s conclusion.
  • The title of the episode, “I Am Bane”, may be a reference to a line from Bane’s debut appearance in Batman: The Animated Series where, after having his venom tube pulled out by Batman, he bellows “You can’t do this to me! I. AM. BANE!”.
  • This week’s MVPs were undoubtedly Erin Richards and Sean Pertwee, who both stole the show in each of their respective scenes, moving us beyond words.

Next. Gotham season 5, episode 9 review: The Trial of Jim Gordon. dark

Gotham will be taking one final hiatus from Fox before returning on Thursday, April 18 at 8:00 p.m. ET to air its penultimate episode . Are you excited? Let us know in the comments below!