Season 5, Episode 10: “I Am Bane”
Directed by Kenneth Fink
Written by Chad Fiveash & James Patrick Stoteraux
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “The Trial of Jim Gordon” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “They Did What?” – click here
In his laboratory, Professor Hugo Strange (B.D. Wong) is getting Eduardo Dorrance (Shane West) back into shape. It’s a painful procedure. Eduardo’s past is briefly alluded to— his time in Peña Duro— and then he’s “reborn” as the “bane of the unjust” and anybody who dares cross his path.
Bane has come to Gotham City.
Meanwhile it’s reunification day. Perfect timing, no? Captain Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) has so much on his plate. At least the filters at the plant have worked, pumping those toxins out of the bay. He still has to make sure the city’s reconnected with the mainland, keep peace in the city, and he’s got a child on the way with Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) while he juggles a newly repaired relationship with Dr. Lee Thompkins (Morena Baccarin).
Speaking of Barb, she’s with Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) and Ed Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) looking to get out by submarine. She’s pretty well ready to have the baby, though. This sends her off to the hospital before she can even think of fleeing.
Looking through dusty books, Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee) and Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) find the old plans for Wayne Manor. The butler believes a new manor’s required, once the city gets back to something close to normal. It’s part holding onto the past, part wanting to give Bruce (David Mazouz) one last monument to loyalty before he’s too old. He’ll never not “stand guard” for Master Bruce, so long as there’s breath in his chest.
Just as reunification is settled, the GCPD and the military find themselves covered in smoke. Trucks pull up in their midst and gunfire rains down on them. Bane and his mercenaries shoot the place up. Bruce and Jim are both tranquillised, and before Dt. Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) can stop the trucks, they’re taken away.
Now the whole GCPD’s on alert.
Jim comes face-to-face with his old military pal, but in quite a new form. It isn’t often, if at all, we seem Cpt. Gordon truly terrified. He’s in a state of awe as Bane recounts a cruel story of treatment by the guards at Peña Duro, how they’d bury a prisoner alive and take bets on which ones could dig themselves out. Bane was a champion of this torture.
I had to stop being human.
I had to become something else.
Then Walker (Jaime Murray) brings Bruce in to sit alongside Jim, explaining herself. This is all about “the sins of Bruce Wayne.” The purpose is to punish Gotham. Who’d want to get revenge on the young billionaire? Interesting how Bane says the word “rise“— a clear reference to The Dark Knight Rises. Father Gore would bet Walker’s actually a relative of the sinister Ra’s Al Ghul. And while Bruce can’t guess who Walker insists she’s doing this for, Bane ruthlessly beats Jim closer to death. Finally, before Cpt. Gordon perishes, Bruce figures it all out: Walker is Ra’s daughter, Nyssa Al Ghul. On top of that, Barbara’s also marked for revenge. Things are unravelling fast.
At the hospital, Nygma and Penguin are looking for a valve Barb snagged from the submarine. Sneaky, sneaky! Not great having Oswald in the hospital wielding a gun making and screaming. Poor Barb’s so close to labour. Then Bane comes to collect her, no matter her condition. An explosion can’t stop him, which the Riddler and Penguin soon figure out. We also get an AMAZINGLY SHOT SEQUENCE of pregnant Barb, half in labour, shooting dudes with two guns in her hand as Lee pushes her in a wheelchair.
“If the world is full of monsters,
the only way to defeat them is to become one yourself.”
Jim’s in a precarious position at Strange’s lab strapped to a gurney. The doc wants to help him with his “true potential” and turn him into a “mighty soldier” for Nyssa, like Bane. He puts an IV into Jim, showing him a chip he plans to surgically implant in his brain, and our man’s in serious goddamn trouble. The captain gets a dose of the juice before fighting his way off the table, and Bruce gets himself free, too. They’ve got to get the general out so they can make sure Gotham isn’t destroyed— a contingency plan guarantees if the city isn’t saved, it’ll be decimated.
Might be tricky, seeing as how the general’s been experimented on.
Alfred and Selina manage to get Barb, her new baby, and Lee away from the hospital, though they’re left to face Bane themselves. Alfred takes a brutal beating, having his back slammed against a pole— like a version of what happens to Batman in the comics and in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, having his back broken over Bane’s knee— and the villain is off after his target like before.
Will the butler survive? Will this act drive Bruce over the edge?
At the Siren’s Club, Barb and Lee find dead bodies everywhere. Nyssa’s waiting for the woman and her baby. Across town, Bruce, Jim, and Harvey are trying to get out from under the noses of the military. They do, but it’s just in time to watch choppers start flying in and laying waste to Gotham.
“Gotham City is lost”
Whoa! One of the better episodes this season. The Bane costume looks so much better now than it did in the promo photos, so that’s a relief, plus West brings a totally different energy to the part than we’ve seen before, such as Tom Hardy’s performance. Very wild things happening, as well. Should be great to watch the final two episodes play out.