Gotham: Legend of the Dark Knight 5.10: I Am Bane
I Am Bane starts with a very exhilarating and dark creation of the comic-popular villain 'Bane'. At the hands of the brilliantly played Dr. Hugo Strange (responsible for most the amazing creations we've seen throughout the show), we get to see Gotham's take on the back-breaking super-villain and it does not disappoint.
This episode takes a slight time leap forward and Jim so very nearly catches that break I've been going on about; alas, it was not to be. The heavy assault on Jim and the general's men was very Bane-esque - he is a villain that knows what he wants and does not mess about. Obviously it was too good to be true that Jim would see Gotham reinstated to the mainland and it was Bane, led by Nyssa Al Ghul. that ruined that party - but once again it was a very predictable moment. Same storyline, different characters; catch me off guard Gotham, please, do something untoward.
A villain such as Bane deserves a review in itself; he is one of the more infamous after all; in both the comics and the Nolan trilogy. Gotham's Bane was impressive, whilst he didn't look like he was built like a brick, he did carry himself well, forceful and intimidating with a satisfactory voice to match the expectation. It wasn't quite the standard of the Tom Hardy's Bane, but I'll give Gotham credit; it was the next best thing.
The testing of Bruce Wayne's resolve at the hands of Nyssa was interesting; he clearly cares for Jim Gordon and sees him as a father figure, so it was indeed a clever ploy to use him. Anything that tests Bruce's character now is all intriguing given the role we know he goes onto play, each life altering event now will help him merge into the Dark Knight. Jim Gordon seems to become the nemesis of many of the shows villains, but it is Bruce that ends up being the enemy of Gotham's most fearsome; Jerome, Jeremiah, Ra's Al Ghul and his daughter.
It was great to see Nygma and Penguin teaming up again, only this time to help Lee and Barbara escape. As stupid and laughable as the Lee-Barbara wheelchair double-pistol combo was, it was always exciting to see what intellectual brilliance Ed Nygma comes up with to get them out of a jam. I stand by that he is Gotham's most interesting character - and Penguin may just bring out the best of him.
Bane's showdown with Alfred and Selina was unexpected as historically we know the Batman Vs Bane fight very well. Whilst it was mortifying to see Alfred the recipient of the infamous back-breaker move; it would have actually been very weird to see a young Bruce Wayne suffer that fate - especially so close to the finale. Referring back to earlier in the episode, Alfred did have a sacrificial themed conversation with Selina when they were discussing rebuilding Wayne Manor, so it did connect well.
I Am Bane was one of the better episodes of the season and gave us plenty of unanswered questions in the form of cliff-hangers; Is Bruce going to go after Bane to avenge Alfred? How will Jim and his baby love triangle figure out? How will Gotham recover from the airstrikes? And will Ed and Oswald ever get away on that pesky submarine?