REVIEW – Gotham Season 5 Episode 10 – “I Am Bane”


It's a great day in Gotham City...kind of.  With a major crisis avoided, reunification day is at hand and it only seems like a matter of hours before Gotham rejoins the mainland.  Ed and Oswald also seem like they have their submarine ready to go.  IF that's not enough, there's a baby on the way!  Even though that seems like it's all good news, the episode is still titled "I Am Bane" for a reason.  Let's find out why, shall we?

Just as Gordon gets the call from Lee that he is about to be a father, a general is testing the water quality of Gotham to find out whether or not reunification will move forward.  At first, the trio of Gordon, Bullock and Bruce Wayne are upset that they have to pass yet another test.  As it turns out, they didn't need to worry at all.  That was short lived, because right after the General announces that reunification will commence, a huge truck drives up with smoke grenades and a sea of gunfire.  Out comes the new Eduardo, who has now gone full Bane.  He definitely gives off quite the indestructable vibe, and the GCPD provides little resistance.  In all of the chaos, Bane ends up kidnapping the General, Bruce and Gordon, then driving off with them.  This is when one of the biggest revelations of the season happens.

We know that Walker saved Eduardo to create Bane.  We also saw that she was working with Hugo Strange in order to do that.  There is one very critical detail about Walker that we had yet to find out.  We see Bruce and Gordon tied to a chair, with Walker starting to spell out her evil plan.  Bane starts to torture Gordon, but it was all to torture Bruce.  She wants him to say the name of the person that she is there to avenge.  Long story short, it's Ra's al Ghul.  Oh yeah, Walker also just happens to be Nyssa al Ghul.  She also knows that Bruce isn't the only one responsible for her father's death.  She now has Bane set his sights on Barbara.  Gordon tells them she is pregnant, which of course does nothing.  Looking back and finding out that Walker is Nyssa explains a lot about how things went early on in the season, leading to the continuation of No Man's Land.  It also makes things a lot more personal.

It doesn't get much more personal than a baby, where it looks like Barbara could give birth at any moment.  Lee may get the award for "Most Understanding Wife" ever, as she not only gets to work on prepping Barbara for delivery, but also reassures Barbara that no one is trying to keep her from her baby.  Barbara also confides in Lee that she was going to leave Gotham with Oswald and Ed, when the two of them show up at the clinic.  Barbara swiped a very important component to the sub to keep them from leaving without her.  Things quickly accelerate when Bane arrives at the same time Barbara is about to give birth.  Ed and Oswald try to create a diversion in order for Lee to get Barbara out.  We'll get back to this in a minute.

It's time to take a quick sidebar, but an important one, with Alfred and Selina.  An odd combination, granted, but they are looking at plans for a new Wayne Manor once the reunification is complete.  Alfred makes a great speech about the importance of the Manor and how he will always be there to protect Bruce.  Well, Bruce managed to escape captivity and radio to the GCPD.  He reaches Alfred and tells him about Bane's attack.  Instead of coming to save him, Bruce tells him to go to the clinic to protect Lee and Barbara.  You can almost see Bruce get closer and closer to his Batman persona.  How David Mazouz has been able to do this in such a short amount of time is pretty incredible.  This particular moment will lead to a twist one one of the most iconic moments in Batman lore.

Alfred shows up with Selina, and they do slow Bane down enough to help Lee and Barbara escape with that beautiful baby girl.  Alfred has no idea what they are dealing with, and tries to take Bane out with simple hand to hand combat.  While Alfred is tough, he's not that tough.  In the fight, Bane hoists Alfred above his head and slams his back into a pillar.  Could this be the back breaking moment that we know so well from the comics?  The repercussions of this will be very interesting, as it was Bruce who asked Alfred to go there.

Don't think I forgot about what's happening with Gordon.  Nyssa wanted to use Hugo Strange to turn Gordon into another Bane-like solider in her army.  When Strange pumps Gordon full of the serum, he is able to free himself and knock Strange down.  He also frees the General, and they head back to the GCPD.  This seems WAY too easy when dealing with an al Ghul, right?  Remember that technology that let Nyssa conrol Ed?  Well, now it's in the General's head.  She uses the General to radio in the order for a contingency plan to level Gotham instead of moving forward with reunification.  So they did exactly what Nyssa wanted them to do.  Despite being a new father, Gordon races to try and do whatever he can do stop it.  They get outside just in time to see the bombs and missiles striking all over the city.  Question is, are they already too late?

There are a couple of ways to look at what is going on here.  With precious few episodes of Gotham left, this seems like quite a major event that needs to be tied up in a short amount of time.  I'm not saying that it can't be done, I'm saying it might be tough to do so quickly.  Another way to look at it is, this makes the anticipation for the final episodes even greater and ramps up the intensity for the final episodes.  I tend to feel like it's the latter, only because the show has done a very good job at accelerating the pace up to this point.  I also feel like we could get a time jump at some point, which we have already seen used effectively on the show.  Think of the time jump at the beginning of Season 5, it made perfect sense.  Think about how many finale level moments we saw in this episode alone.  This is the perfect chance to accelerate things for your final bow.  I think everyone involved in Gotham really want to give fans everything they are hoping for in the final episodes.  I also think that they don't want to just cram it all in.  It's crazy to think that we are almost at the end.  I can't wait to see how things get pieced together leading up to the finale.  How do you think things will all get wrapped up?

(Photo Credit: ©2019 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: FOX)