Spoilers for the March 21 episode of Gotham, called "I Am Bane."
Only a couple episodes of Gotham are left before the final credits roll, and the stage is being set for an epic confrontation between the characters we've come to know and love and a new batch of baddies. "I Am Bane" began with all kinds of promise for a better future, with reunification with the mainland moving forward and Barbara going into labor with Jim's baby. Then, because this is Gotham we're talking about, everything went sideways with the emergence of Bane in all his bad guy glory.
Bane's debut came with the answer to the long-running question of Walker's identity, and the episode delivered some twists on key elements from DC Comics that change everything for the final episodes of the series. Read on for what they may mean moving forward!
Bane Broke A Back
Ever since news broke that legendary Batman villain Bane was on his way to Gotham in its fifth and final season, fans everywhere expected him to do some back-breaking before the end. One of the most iconic moments in the history of Batman comics came when Bane broke into the Batcave and broke the Bat over his knee, crippling the Dark Knight and taking him out of commission for quite a while. Few probably expected Gotham to break teenage Bruce Wayne, but surely the back-breaking would happen, right?
Well, Bane did indeed break a back in "I Am Bane," and it was indeed not Bruce's. Instead, as was teased by the actor and then via promo, Bane grabbed Alfred and slammed him back against a pole with a terrifying crunch, much to Selina's horror. Unless Alfred dies on Gotham -- which I did admittedly theorize based on earlier Season 5 footage -- then it's probably safe to say that he'll be out of commission for however much longer Gotham continues before the flash-forward.
An Alfred out of commission due to a brutal attack by Bane means two things: Bruce is without the man who influences him than anybody else in the world and Bruce has a serious motivation for revenge against Bane and Walker. He learned Walker's true identity in "I Am Bane," and her actions gave him reasons to want to go after her even before her minion Bane broke his beloved butler. The gloves may be off for Bruce in the rest of the present.
Barbara Gives Birth
Speaking of plot twists that I totally called back before Season 5 premiered: "I Am Bane" saw Barbara give birth to a healthy baby girl against all odds. The odds of Babs delivering safely didn't seem too great for a while, and not just because she was still wearing her precarious heels while walking around in labor. Walker sent Bane after Barbara as part of her grand plan for revenge (more on that later), and it didn't matter to either of them that Babs was having a baby.
In an odd but hilarious turn of events, it fell to Ed, Penguin, and Lee to protect Barbara as they fled from Bane, who assaulted the hospital to try and get her. Ed and Penguin tried some explosive gas containers to stop him, but to no available. Barbara and Lee managed to take out a bunch of Bane's minions in an awesome sequence that had Lee racing Barbara in a wheelchair while Barbara shot down whoever got in their way with a pair of handguns. Oh, Gotham.
Why is this a big deal, in the context of the comics? Well, in the comics, the daughter of Jim Gordon and Barbara Kean is Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. the future Batgirl (and sometimes, future Oracle). It was possible that Gotham would throw a curveball and make Jim and Barbara's baby a boy as a potential flash-forward villain, like the James Jr. of the comics, but "I Am Bane" revealed Barbara had a baby girl.
The baby didn't receive a name yet, but if we assume that she's named Barbara -- perhaps if something happens to her mom? -- then it's probably safe to guess that she's the future Batgirl. Who knows? Maybe she could even appear as a child in the flash-forward. What we can be confident of is that Jim's determination to stop the bad guys and save Gotham City will be all the stronger now that he's a dad. The stakes are higher than ever for him. If things get really bad, will everybody wish that Babs and the baby made it off on the submarine?
Walker's Identity Revealed
Fans who kept up with Gotham news have known for a while that Walker was intended to be the real big bad of Season 5, but so many other villains seemed so much more menacing... until recently. "I Am Bane" revealed that she's so much more than she seemed, and she has a mission of vengeance in Gotham City. Walker is none other than Nyssa al Ghul, and she was Ra's' right-hand woman before he died.
Given that Ra's died when Bruce and Barbara stabbed him together back before Gotham became a No Man's Land, they became natural targets for Nyssa. She kidnapped Bruce, Jim, and a general, then had Bane wake up Jim and pummel him until Bruce figured out who she is and why she did everything to get back at him. He realized she had to be Ra's' daughter, and she introduced herself.
Not as Talia, as many likely expected after the events of The Dark Knight Rises and considering she's the al Ghul daughter traditionally associated with Bruce Wayne (and working as Ra's' right hand). Nyssa rather than Talia as the vengeful al Ghul is a twist that few could have seen coming. Honestly, if not for Arrow, would many people even know that Talia wasn't the only daughter of Ra's al Ghul?
The character was scary enough as a villain back when she just seemed like a military woman gone rogue. Now that we've gotten the twist that she's Nyssa al Ghul, seemingly with a whole lot of resources at her disposal, it stands to reason that the good guys will be more desperate than ever to take her down.
Unfortunately for them, Nyssa had Dr. Strange implant a mind-control chip in the general's head before Jim and Bruce escaped with him, and the general is poised to unleash his forces on Gotham to enact Special Order 386, which is the order to level Gotham City.
That is the part of her dastardly plan designed to devastate Bruce; the part aimed at Barbara is more hands-on. When Babs and Lee arrived back at Sirens with the baby girl in tow, they discovered a room full of dead bodies... and Nyssa waiting for them.
With only two episodes of Gotham left, there's a lot that needs to be tied up before everything (hopefully) comes together for the flash-forward when we finally get to meet David Mazouz (sort of) as Batman. Tune in to Fox on Thursday, April 18 see what's in store next after these big twists on DC Comics elements.
Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.
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