The monster behind the mask has finally been revealed during the fifth episode of Gotham’s final season. We already knew that Edward “The Riddler” Nygma caused the explosion of Haven in Gotham City, but the reason for why he did it stayed a mystery. His blackouts only created more loose threads for the growing plot. A resolution needed to be provided or else Riddler’s plot would eventually feel like filler. Well, it seems like Gotham answered our wish list because those questions connected together for a satisfying discovery.
Eduardo Dorrance aka “Bane” (played by Shane West) fit the prototype for what you’d expect of the character in Gotham. He had the mercenary and military training to him and we’ll get to watch as he eventually dons the Bane mask and experiences the poison that alters his body. I wasn’t overly impressed by Bane’s first appearance. He faded into the background to be James Gordon’s second-in-command during the search for Riddler. While this helped with the twist, the signs were there that the deception was coming. You had to just accept the fact that he and James had a long history, regardless of no background knowledge to set up the connection. And, if you weren’t a Batman fan, you would have no idea that this was the introduction of the supervillain Bane.
What helped the traitor reveal was his association with Secretary Walker (i.e. the woman who talked with James over the GCPD radio several times). Their plan involved a greater unknown scheme that required Riddler’s control with the microchip. Layered plots create so much depth for the characters and make their impact more substantial. I liked that Edward’s strange behavior wasn’t simply a brainwashing tactic by Hugo Strange–everything he did was tied to a puppet master controlling him outside the city. In retrospect, Edward’s moves while under control took the steps needed for something grander later on. It’s going to be fun seeing how it comes together.
Edward’s journey to discover the truth of his blackouts was a mishmash of classic Riddler moments and cheesy comedy gags. We need more scenes of Edward setting booby traps, like the chess floor riddle, and him interrogating Oswald about naming the dog after him. Speaking of, little Edward was in top superstar mode this week! Instead, we had to also witness the cringe-worthy scene of Riddler being electrocuted by a group of hillbillies. Edward is an intelligent guy and we didn’t need a scene of him outwitting a family to prove that again. Plus, his maneuver was too easy! There could’ve been another way for Edward to get his next clue instead of resting on stupid humor.
Selina chastising Bruce about their different paths didn’t suit the dynamic they built over Gotham’s five seasons. While they startedout in two separate worlds during the series premiere, their roads eventually converged together. Both of them found solace with each other and developed a connection with one another. They made a friend who understood the pain of loss and being alone without their parents. So, when she threw his rich lifestyle back at him as an insult, it was almost like her character regressed back to who she was before everything happened.
A lot of her decisions could stem from her near-death at the hands of Jeremiah Valeska. Ever since she was shot and came back to form with Ivy’s root, her demeanor has changed and her need for bloody vengeance has taken over. This could be the “supervillain” side of Selina taking over for a while. We might have to sit through a reckless and carefree Catwoman for the next few episodes before she and Bruce find peace again. Hopefully, they come together before it’s too late.
I called it that Jeremiah was still alive! There’s no way we would have lost the dynamic powerhouse that is Cameron Monaghan. Though, the fact he survived all of those stab wounds was a miracle unto itself. Who could those two people be in front of Jeremiah and Ecco? My money is on look-a-likes for Thomas and Martha Wayne. Jeremiah is a psychotic and manipulative supervillain. He knows exactly how to hurt his enemies, and the easiest way to hurt Bruce is through his loved ones: Alfred, Selina, and his parents. His parents are dead, but the memories of them will no doubt mess with his emotions.