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Spoilers ahead for Episode 6 of Gotham Season 6, called "13 Stitches."
Gotham has been a wild ride from almost the very beginning, but the show has really pulled out all the stops for its fifth and final season. The time has come for the show to embrace some twists that never would have worked in earlier seasons, and the latest episode certainly did go in some wild directions.
Barbara dropped a huge reveal on Jim, and Eduardo is well on his way to going full Bane. Gotham star Ben McKenzie chatted with CinemaBlend's Nick Venable at the TCA press tour and weighed in on what went down. Let's start with Barbara.
Jim turned to Barbara after he made a run for it from Eduardo, and he dragged Nygma (whose chip was fried after Jim shocked him in the head with a defibrillator) to her club. Barbara was being surprisingly helpful to Jim from the beginning, tending to his neck wound and supporting him.
By the end of the episode, it was clear why Babs was motivated to stay on good terms with her former fiance. She has a baby on board, which we at CinemaBlend may have totally called way back before Season 5 hit the airwaves. Not to brag or anything, but...we called it.
She asked Jim for a private word when he was talking to Lee and Harvey in his office; when Jim declined to talk to her alone, Barbara dropped a clear innuendo about what happened the last time they were in the office together and then dropped the bombshell that she's pregnant.
Jim was clearly shocked by the news, which really couldn't have been dropped in a more awkward room. For those of us who have been waiting years to see if and how Gotham could find a way to create a baby Barbara Gordon despite Babs' mental breakdown, the reveal was pretty fabulous. That said, we shouldn't be too hasty and assume that all is what it appears in this case.
For one thing, if Barbara and Jim did make a baby, we might have to fudge the numbers a bit and figure that women can discover their pregnancies super fast in the Gotham universe. For another thing, Ben McKenzie wouldn't confirm that Barbara's baby on board is indeed the long-awaited Bat-baby, instead saying that we're "just gonna have to stay tuned."
When asked if he was surprised by the twist of Barbara's pregnancy or if was something that had been discussed a lot, Ben McKenzie said this:
It was a conversation that had been ongoing, and we kept trying to figure out, if we were gonna do that, well how would we do it? And quite frankly, we never really figured it out. But the great thing about the last season is just throw it all against the wall and see what sticks.
If the bun in Barbara's oven really is a baby Batgirl, I think it's safe to say that Gotham was probably wise to not throw that particular twist at the wall until almost the very end. No matter what happens, it's difficult to imagine Gotham as an ongoing show with Barbara and/or Jim as parents to a baby. That can happen nicely off-screen in the time jump that will allow Bruce Wayne to go from teenager to Batman.
And what better way to figure out how to write Babs as pregnant than at the end, when it doesn't actually all have to happen on screen? Viewers got to enjoy crazy Barbara for a few years before she's come back around to something resembling normal. Whether or not the baby on board eventually becomes a Bat, this is definitely a twist for Barbara in the final season.
Now, onto what went down with Eduardo becoming Bane!
Eduardo was determined to get his hands on the chip in Ed's brain, as it could be used as evidence against him and Walker if it got out. He held Lee hostage to try and get Jim to hand it over, and it led to a brawl between the two former pals in the ruins of Haven. It was pretty even between the two, with Eduardo calling off his henchman from beating Jim to death.
When the henchman stalked off to kill Lee offscreen, Jim and Eduardo went after each other again, and their fight came to an abrupt end when Eduardo stumbled back and impaled himself on a piece of rebar sticking out of concrete. Somebody call Rick Grimes to give Eduardo some tips!
Eduardo looked pretty dead, and Jim went off to find Lee, who had managed to take down the man who planned to kill her. Eduardo was left, impaled on the rebar, until Walker appeared and planted an iconic mask on his face. He inhaled deeply behind the mask... and thus, Bane was born, with Professor Strange set to finish the job of transforming him.
Information from the chip was transmitted to the mainland, ruining Parker's plan, so she has a big reason to hold a grudge and pit the former friends against each other again. Ben McKenzie said this about what's in store for Jim and Bane following their big fight:
I'm not sure how much I can say, but obviously, there will be a reemergence. And I think it's quite dynamic when it happens, and it fits the story. It suits the story's purpose and design. We were looking for an iconic villain to provide a reasonable counterweight to Gordon, and to manifest it to me made flesh. We often have our big bad guy for the year, but this one felt like it was a nice blend of Gordon's past and Gotham's present merging here. A fellow soldier whom we assume Gordon is sort of comfortable with, because he seems to be, only to reveal that even their past was more complicated than either of them lets on. But then it turns, and they're at each other's throats. And I think it worked well, it served the story well.
Gotham had to go big for its final big bad, and what better choice than Bane? The show's version of the character manages to work as a villain for former soldier Jim and the boy who will become Batman. Bruce hasn't really interacted much with Eduardo's forces just yet, but Bane is going to do some serious damage to somebody Bruce cares about very much.
As it often does, Gotham has put a truly unique spin on a character that has already been adapted into a bunch of movies and TV shows, and Shane West in the role has been great. Even diehard comics fans can't say for sure what's in store for him next, and Ben McKenzie obviously wasn't going to spoil everything that's going to happen in what is left of the season!
Ben McKenzie weighed in on working with Shane West as well as something that he feels didn't really work with Bane in The Dark Knight Rises:
I've known Shane for a long time. Never worked with him. He was a delight. I was hopeful that he wasn't going to wear the mask the whole time, so we can understand what he was saying. Because that was my one beef with the movie...[laughs]...all due respect to both the director and the actor. You know, it was nice to see him start off in a way that was much more human and relatable and then see where it goes. . . . Bane is one of those characters where, if you're going to do a Batman origin story, you're gonna need to do Bane at some point.
This is not a Batman origin story that will go down without Bane, and Gotham avoided the problem of Bane's voice being muffled behind the mask from the very beginning. We'll have to wait and see how his voice is different after Professor Strange is finished with him. Whatever happens, at least we got to know Eduardo before he became Bane, which should raise the stakes for future conflicts with Jim.