After many grueling and uncertain months, Gotham finally seems to be on the way to reunification with the mainland. The General arrives in the city to confirm the final stages. The river’s toxicity is back to normal levels. Even Barbara going into labour is a small, yet welcomed complication to the day. The unwanted complication comes in a much bigger package. Edwardo, or as he goes by now, Bane, crashes the General’s arrival, kidnapping Jim and Bruce.
Meanwhile, Oswald and Ed are ready to leave Gotham, their escape sub complete. Barbara going to labour gives them the perfect opportunity to slip away without her. Unfortunately for them, Barbara knows them well enough and stole a component from the submarine, preventing them from leaving without her.
Bane, meanwhile has been pontificating to Jim about his hardships as a prisoner of war. How it transformed him into something that wasn’t human. Walker joins them, along with Bruce. At her command, Bane begins to beat Jim as she asks Bruce for a name. Bruce, confused, doesn’t know who or what Walker wants. Bane continues to beat Jim, while Walker presses Bruce harder. She claims she’s there to make Gotham pay for Bruce’s sin.
Her words slowly reveal who she truly is. Ra’s Al Ghul’s daughter. Gotham, however, doesn’t go full Nolan Dark Knight Rises. This daughter is Nyssa Al Ghul instead of Talia like in the film. But she’s still here to destroy Gotham and make Bruce Wayne suffer for the death of her father. Her vendetta doesn’t end with Bruce however, because he wasn’t alone in killing Ra’s. He held the dagger, but Barbara was the one who guided the strike. To complete her revenge Nyssa sends Bane after Barbara, who’s in the middle of having contractions at the clinic.
Oswald and Ed turn up at the clinic, looking for the part Barbara stole. While there, Bane shows up. Making a deal with Oswald and Ed, the guys go to distract Bane while Lee escapes with Barbara. Using oxygen canisters, Ed causes an explosion. Bane shrugs it off like it’s a light breeze. Bruce manages to escape by burning the ropes he was bound with. He finds a radio and gets a message to Alfred and Selina. He tells them Bane is after Barbara and the baby.
Meanwhile, Lee and Barbara’s escape is hindered by the baby’s arrival. In the ambulance bay of the clinic, Barbara Kean and Jim Gordon’s daughter is born. Lee and Barbara share a touching moment as Lee promises she will be there to help raise her.
The touching moment is interrupted by Bane. Alfred and Selina turn up just in time, giving Barbara and Lee their car to escape. But, Alfred and Selina are sorely outmatched by Bane. He brutality beats Alfred, leaving him for dead as he goes after Barbara.
Gordon manages his own escape and frees the General, meeting up with Bruce. Together, they escape to the military base. However, once there, the General engages a protocol to bomb the city, revealing he’s been mind-controlled by Strange. Along with Harvey, Bruce and Jim escape the base, but they can only watch as the bombing of Gotham begins.
Barbara and Lee go to The Sirens Club, but arriving there they find all of Barbara’s people slaughtered. Nyssa emerges from the shadows, knocking out Lee, leaving her alone with Barbara.
This episode was mostly build up for the finale episodes, but the payoffs that were sprinkled in were fun and tantalizing. The reveal that Walker is really Nyssa Al Ghul was chilling in the moment. Nyssa and Bane strike an intimidating figure, both alone and together. It’s also fitting than an Al Ghul is the mastermind villain for Gotham’s finale arc. Only the Velska twins have successful caused Gotham this much damage and anguish. Through her actions, Gotham’s reunification has been trounced and pushed back time and time again. Her soldier, Bane, has tormented Jim and Bruce. And now, she may succeed in actually destroying the city.
The episode wasn’t without moments of brevity either. Oswald and Ed’s banter was, as always, humorous, and the chemistry buzzed between the characters. When Gotham says goodbye in a few weeks, their back and forth will be one of the things I miss the most.
Another thing I will miss is Gotham’s ability to balance the sheer insanity of its action with compelling characters. Barbara and Lee fighting their way out of the clinic, while Barbara was in the middle of contractions, does not seem like the best prelude to a heartfelt conversation about Barbara quitting a criminal life, and yet here it works.
With only two more episodes, a few weeks before we get them, Gotham is truly in its endgame now.