This Week on TV, Mar. 23, 2019

Spoiler Alert!

I really need to add to my lineup, if only so, when one show skips weeks at a time, I still have something else to comment on, LOL.

Just one show this week. Gotham aired its third-to-the-last episode, and where previous episodes have felt a little weaker, this one made up some ground for that with the official debut of Bane and the revealed machinations of a terrible enemy, alongside the tumultuous birth of Gordon’s daughter.

Gotham

5.10 “I Am Bane”

Now, that’s a bit more like it!

It’s a big day in Gotham. The military is coming in for Reunification, the submarine is ready to ferry a trio of criminals out of the city, and Gordon is about to become a father, as Barbara goes into labor.

General Wade, I believe it was, comes rolling in with his soldiers, and hopes are high. Everyone even gives Gordson, and themselves, a round of applause. The fight may be endless, but a long-awaited and hard-won victory is near. Bruce is delighted to report, to both Gordon and the general, that water toxicity levels are very low, far below what the government demanded of them. The military techs confirm this, and things are looking up. Until Bane shows up, mows through opposition, and kidnaps Gordon, Bruce, and the general.

Gordon and Bruce find themselves bound and tortured by Bane and Walker. Walker, it turns out, is Nyssa al’Ghul, daughter of Ra’s, and she wants revenge on those who killed her father. Not like her father ever advanced the agenda of his demise at all, but since when does logic matter to vengeful daughters? Nyssa intends for those who killed her father to suffer and die. Thus, Gordon, a sort of surrogate father (Alfred had that role more, I would think), gets beaten in front of Bruce, before Strange hauls him off to be modified and turned into one of their soldiers, per Bane’s desire.

Nyssa gloats at Bruce, saying there’s an emergency military order set to reduce all of Gotham to rubble, atop everyone left within. But she has one more item of business to attend to, namely the hand that guided Bruce’s in plunging a dagger into Ra’s: Barbara Keene. So she sends Bane to collect her. When Bruce manages to get free, he also manages to get in touch with Alfred.

Alfred and Selina spend the episode together. First, they’re looking through old city records, looking to rebuild Wayne Manor as Gotham rejoins the mainland. Alfred figures this might be his last great service, now that Bruce is grown, but even then, he will stand guard, as he always has. When Bruce is taken, the two of them join the search. And when they get Bruce’s call for help, he asks them to protect Barbara and the baby, so they do.

Barbara had quite a pivotal time in this episode as well. She almost made it out of Gotham, but went into labor at the last moment. Knowing her colleagues would double-cross her, she crossed them first, stealing a pressure regulator valve, so they follow after her to retrieve it. Barbara’s labor is painful… ok, that might be the most obvious statement I’ve ever made, but moving on. Riddler and Lee meet for the first time since they stabbed each other, and only the current situation makes them keep functioning instead of drowning in awkwardness. Penguin tries threatening Barbara but… well, his power to threaten is somewhat limited in the shadow of labor pains and the presence of the soon-to-arrive baby. And then Bane arrives.

(they did not execute the murder of that nurse very well, but, detail)

Barbara is giving birth while shooting at enemies from within a wheelchair which Lee, whom she has tried to kill, is wheeling her out in, and Penguin and Riddler are holding off Bane for just a few seconds with an explosion so they can steal the regulator and escape, and it’s all a grand show, topped off with an unexpected reconciliation between Lee and Barbara as the latter convinces the former that she doesn’t have to be a criminal, and alone, in order to protect her child.

That entire sequence, I really like. 🙂

Bane arrives just as the women are glorying over a newborn baby girl, and Alfred and Selina arrive just in time. They hit him with the car, put the women in, and hold Bane off. That does not go so well for either of them. Selina isn’t in too bad shape, but still obviously hurt and crawling… and screaming, partially in vicarious agony for Alfred. The old Wayne butler, former soldier and eternal guardian of the son of his dearest friend… is thoroughly beaten, bloody, and broken.

And it’s all for nothing, as Lee and Barbara return to the Sirens only to find all the sirens dead and Nyssa awaiting them.

Elsewhere, Gordon gets free, sending Strange packing and rescuing the general, joining up with Bruce and heading back to safe ground. But the general is already compromised, controlled with one of Strange’s chips, so the moment they think victory is theirs, the general orders Gotham leveled.

So, Walker is Nyssa, out for revenge, Bane is a one-man army, Selina is hurt, Alfred is really hurt, Penguin and Riddler are going for their escape, Barbara and Lee finally have a nice moment together as the former gives birth to a daughter, only for Nyssa to swoop down on them, and the United States military has been officially ordered, by a general who has been turned into a puppet, to wipe Gotham off the map.

Two episodes left, and things are boiling over.

Unfortunately, we have to wait a couple of weeks… again… for the explosive conclusion.

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