Gotham 5×10 Review: “I Am Bane”

Barbara Gordon, also known as the future Batgirl, has made her big debut on this week’s episode of Gotham. The looming birth that was expected long before FOX’s Gotham ever premiered came to be in the midst of a city-wide panic. No one would’ve expected for the golden child to be born under such duress, especially with the new and improved Bane hunting down her mother, but the weeks of build-up had to be met with a bang. And the arrival was well worth the wait.

Even in the chaotic world that is Gotham City, this birth might be one of the strangest series of events to happen on a DCTV show. But would you want it any other way to mark the arrival of Barbara Kean and James Gordon’s kid? A betrayed deal with Penguin and Riddler, a mutated Bane hunting down people in a hospital, AND Barbara killing paramilitary baddies while going through labor on a wheelchair while Lee controls her movements!

Seriously, this birth was just another day in Gotham City. The frantic tension added plenty of exciting chaos and memorable moments between the characters, some of which will become an absolute must for future rewatches of Gotham.


In particular, the scene of Barbara in the wheelchair with Lee driving needs to be a piece of fan art ASAP. After Barbara tried murdering Lee during the second season, no one would’ve expected their friendship to develop in Gotham’s final season. They’ve become a heartwarming pair of frenemies (almost family in a way), and it’s a shame that this new development won’t get to be explored any further after the series finale. You could feel their closeness while Barbara held the baby in her arms.

That touching moment might’ve sealed Barbara’s fate too. Lee and James are ready to raise the baby with Barbara, but Nyssa has revenge on her mind for her father’s former lover. We potentially could be seeing a situation where her killing Barbara will settle the score. And if Bruce’s fate also involves being murdered and Gotham City wrapped up in flames, we can assume that Nyssa’s plan will involve the same for Barbara.

Speaking of Nyssa, I hadn’t guessed that she was Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter. I’m familiar with the Batman character, but I figured Senator Walker was only a third-party character trying to control Gotham City. However, I loved this reveal! This storyline connected the events of Gotham City to a character tied to the universe from the comics AND with a motivation to “cleanse the earth” as it were. This twist felt a bit like the plot of The Dark Knight Rises, except with a different al Ghul sister at the helm. Though, Nyssa acted more nefarious than Talia.


Nyssa would’ve gladly killed James had Bruce not gotten the answer right during the torture. She wants Bruce to feel every bit of pain coursing through his body until his final breath and killing James would’ve been an emotional loss for Bruce. Jaime Murray, who plays Nyssa, exuded such stoic and icy hatred towards Bruce Wayne. She had a great sense of control over her character. To portray Nyssa in this version, she had to balance a cold veneer with an undertone of sadness. Hopefully, Gotham explores Nyssa’s complicated relationship with her father because, from the scene of Ra’s al Ghul’s death, he seemed like he wanted to die.

“I Am Bane” introduced Gotham’s updated version of Bane. This version featured the character in his iconic gas mask and supervillain costume. His persona came across closer to the character from the Bane we’d known from the comics and the animated series. Bane didn’t have the mechanical voice sound from The Dark Knight Rises, but no one should ever try to copy that noise. Tom Hardy will forever be that Bane. I can’t wait to see what else Shane West will do now that his character has embraced full villainy.


And with the government bombing Gotham City, there’s not that much time left. Only two episodes are left until Gotham’s series finale and the characters are stuck in a circling limbo. Alfred’s back was broken by Bane, Nyssa has Barbara and Lee captured, Riddler and Penguin have what they need to escape Gotham City, and the city is being destroyed by bombs. The situation might get worse for our characters until it gets better. But who will survive to see Gotham City back into the fold of the country?  


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