Now that we know Gotham‘s fifth season will be its last, it sounds like the producers are going with the “kitchen sink” mentality as they continue crossing villains off their bucket list. Already, we’re aware that the likes of Scarface and Mother will pop up, but we’ve also been told to stay attentive if indeed the true Harley Quinn is to make an appearance.
Though the Batman prequel series hinted at the Venom drug in its earlier days, it was assumed Bane himself would arrive before the series takes its final bow. Don’t forget, episode 8 of season 5 will indeed be titled “I am Bane,” a nod to Tom King and David Finch’s recent masterwork on the comic book side of things.
Adding fuel to the fire was the recent casting of Shane West as Eduardo Dorrance, whom some believed to be the brute’s father, King Snake. But, I must stress that character’s real name in the comics was actually Edmund Dorrance, so my initial theory was that Gotham’s producers gave the iconic villain a real name similar to that of his dad’s so we don’t know he’s Bane from the outset – then he’ll crush the city under his boot once he’s good and ready.
Fortunately, my suspicions were validated by executive producer John Stephens at New York Comic Con, who confirmed Shane West is indeed playing Bane (per CBR’s live recap):
“You do try to want to parcel some of it out over the various years. For years and years and years,” they wanted to use Bane. “We’d always wanted to do it and we’d always wanted to do in a way that hasn’t been told on screen.” The season will show Bane’s origin. “When Shane [West] comes into play him, there’s a level of authenticity… He’s awesome, and Alfred has a nice showdown with him.”
What’s sure to raise more eyebrows is what actor Sean Pertwee said soon afterward:
“Just between us, we have an altercation and Cat’s involved… but I get my back broken.”
If Pertwee wasn’t saying that in jest, that means breaking Alfred Pennyworth’s back would allow for this show to keep the previously established Batman mythos intact in a sense. In other words, if Bane were to cripple a teenage Bruce Wayne before he ever dons cape and cowl, that’d surely slow down the final ten episodes of this series. But this way, a different spin on things enables the story to flow well while affording West’s iteration of the villain the opportunity to make his mark.
Gotham returns for its fifth season sometime in early 2019 on Fox.