I know this recap is late, but there was a long break between episodes. And I’ll be honest, this episode messed me up. We’re nearly at the end of Gotham and it’s time for…. “I Am Bane”!
We see some out of focus images from Eduardo’s perspective. Hugo Strange is futzing with some machines, Walker leans in to tell him she’s keeping her promise and will give him a true purpose. Strange lets him know that this process is going to be “agonizing and quite lengthy”. Something is pumped into his veins as Walker uses the word “Bane” over and over again and that’s me writing more about Bane this year!
Bullock reports to Gordon that General Wade’s landing craft has docked and they’re on the way. Reunification is happening! Gordon doesn’t know if that’s going to make things better and, dude, it most certainly will. You will have access to food for starters. The GCPD applauds Gordon for making it happen and he gives a speech about all the hard work still ahead of them. Wade’s convoy arrives and he meets with Gordon, Bullock, and Bruce. He wants to look around rather than just accepting their reports. Oh, that can’t be good.
A very pregnant Barbara arrives at the submarine and Riddler is concerned she has too much luggage. They argue briefly and then Barbara’s water breaks. She’s determined to have the baby on the sub because she doesn’t trust them not to leave without her, but Penguin talks her into going to the clinic. And as soon as she’s gone, they confirm they’re leaving without her. HA!
Alfred and Selina root through some sort of archives and find the original plans for Wayne Manor. Alfred wants to rebuild it but acknowledges it can’t be the same as it was before. He thinks building the new manor might be his last great service to Bruce.
Military guys run tests while Bullock gets more frustrated. Lee radios Gordon to tell him he’s about to be a dad and he’d better get to the clinic. That’s going to be super comfortable for everybody! General Wade confirms that the water toxicity levels are safe and reunification can begin. Then somebody launches smoke bombs at them and a couple of trucks roll right up and people start shooting. And from one of the trucks comes Eduardo wearing a face mask and armor and he is full on Bane right now. He tears some people apart and then somebody shoots Bruce, Gordon, and General Wade with tranquilizers and they’re loaded into a truck, leaving a very confused Bullock behind.
He immediately starts mobilizing squads to go find them and fills in Alfred and Selina. He assigns them some ground to cover and then we cut to Bane confronting a captive Gordon. They modify his voice to sound sort of like Dark Knight Rises Bane but not all the way. He explains that Walker is going to bring on a new world, and Gordon insists he’ll stop them. But, you know, it’s not looking good for him. Walker come in and sends Bane for the other one. Walker gets more attractive every time she appears on camera by the way. It’s her superpower. Bane brings in Bruce and Gordon insists this has nothing to do with Bruce. But Walker says it’s all about Bruce Wayne. Gotham is being punished for his sins.
Walker makes Bruce watch Bane beat up Gordon. He pauses, and Walker says she’s thinking of a name and wants Bruce to guess it. He obviously can’t, so Bane hits Gordon some more. Every time Bruce doesn’t give her the answer she wants, Bane beats on Gordon.
Penguin and Riddler get ready to leave. Penguin bids farewell to Gotham and then Riddler reports that somebody stole the pressure regulator valve. Clearly it has to be Barbara and they both know it.
Barbara is in labor and tells Lee how important it is that she get out of there quickly and Lee tries to explain that you can’t really put this kind of thing on a schedule.
Gordon is a bloody mess and Bruce can’t figure out what Walker wants. Bruce begs Walker to hurt him instead and Walker says the worst way to hurt him is to torture the man who’s been like a father to him. She asks “Who am I doing this for?” and Bruce can’t answer. She gives him one last chance before Bane kills Gordon and Bruce realizes the name she wants to hear: Ra’s al Ghul. And she’s his daughter, Nyssa al Ghul.
Nyssa tells Bruce that she’s going to purge humanity of weakness, but she’s starting with Bruce and his loved ones. And then she notes that Bruce had some help killing her father – you may remember that Barbara was also holding the dagger and driving the action. Bruce was kind of along for the ride. She sends Bane to go get Barbara. Gordon tries telling him that she’s pregnant, but Bane isn’t the kind to take that as a disincentive. Once Bane leaves, Walker tells Gordon she’s going to turn him into another Bane and then Hugo Strange shows up and injects him with something. Nyssa: “How does it feel, Bruce? Knowing that all of this is your fault?”
Barbara struggles with childbirth since they’re all out of drugs. Riddler shows up and has an awkward moment with Lee. Then Penguin gets there and demands the return of the valve. Lee is just trying to keep the peace and get these men out of the delivery room. Penguin pulls a gun and Lee yells at him for pointing it at the baby, and he explains it was a general threatening gesture. He finally yells an apology and demands the valve. Barbara says it’s hidden and then there’s an explosion. Bane kills a nurse and starts making threats on the PA system.
Bruce asks Nyssa what she wants for him and she laughs. She tells him about Special Order 386, a contingency plan to reduce Gotham City to rubble. Nyssa wants that to happen and she wants Bruce to watch it happen. It’s the old “suffer and then die” combo.
Barbara and company make a run for it. Lee thinks they can get to the ambulance bay but only if Penguin and Riddler keep them busy. And since they’ll never get the valve if Barbara dies, they’re kind of stuck. I can’t tell you how much I love the idea of Penguin and Riddler going up against Bane. And Riddler already has a plan.
Gordon wakes up, groggy and strapped down. Hugo Strange is getting ready to work. Gordon tries to reason with him but Strange is pretty sure he’s on the winning side already.
Bane and his guys reach the basement and a jet-propelled cart heads toward them stopping just short. Then it blows up because Riddler is good at making things explode. They’re ridiculously happy with their bomb and it did appear to take out the soldiers accompanying Bane, but there’s not a scratch on the big man. Lee races Barbara in a wheelchair through another hall and Barbara, whose contractions are a minute apart, still manages to dual wield a set of pistols and take out a couple of Bane’s men. It’s pretty awesome. She’s racking up kills from a wheelchair while in labor. Barbara Kean, you are the most Gotham of everybody on Gotham.
Alone for a minute, Bruce tries to figure out an escape. He notices some candles, so he moves his chair near them to set the ropes on fire. Those ropes are tied to him. And they’re on fire. That’s a big move.
Riddler and Penguin are ready to go and Ed found the pressure valve. He’s had it for a while and either stuck around to actually protect Barbara or because Lee asked him too. He’s not willing to say which one. They head for the exit casually while Barbara realizes the valve isn’t in her purse anymore. Lee wonders what her plan was anyway – just go on the run with a baby? Lee assures her as they reach the ambulance that Gordon’s not going to take the baby. She even offers to help as much as she can despite their weird relationship. And then Barbara goes into labor for real.
Bruce continues to set himself on fire until the ropes burn and he can take out the guards. He radios for help and manages to locate Alfred. He tells Alfred to get to the clinic as soon as he can to protect the baby. Strange continues his work on Gordon, pumping him with Venom. Which just gets Gordon strong enough to snap his bonds and kick Hugo across the room. Hugo runs and then Gordon finds General Wade held captive. He checks for a control chip and then releases them. Bruce finds them and fills everybody in, and Wade says he can order the military to stand down.
Well, Barbara gave birth to her daughter in a parking garage. And once she has the baby in her arms, Bane finds them. And seconds later, Alfred and Selina find them and hit him with a car. Alfred sends Lee and Barbara to drive away while he and Selina hold down the fort. And then, in the only universe where this is even remotely possible, Alfred fights Bane. I mean, he loses really quickly and in a genuinely upsetting moment, it appears that Bane breaks his back. I’m not even 100% sure Alfred survived, frankly.
Gordon and the others arrive back at the military encampment. Wade takes control and calls the mainland. Bullock finds Gordon and tells him Lee and Barbara are safe and he has a baby girl. Gordon: “We won, didn’t we? It’s over.” And then Wade authorizes Special Order 386 and a squad of helicopters just starts shooting missiles into Gotham. It’s very reminiscent of Protocol 10 from the Arkham City game only, you know, no Batman to stop it. Yeah, Wade was mind controlled and Strange must have modified the chip to avoid detection.
Lee and Barbara arrive at Sirens to find everybody dead and Nyssa waiting. She knocks out Lee, puts her hand on the baby and tells Barbara “I believe you knew my father”. Gordon, Bullock, and Bruce manage to escape from the military just in time to see the destruction of Gotham City begin.
–I originally held off on recapping this because I didn’t want to rewatch it until a new episode was almost ready because, man, this has been a fraught few weeks. Two episodes left!