WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for this week’s episode of Gotham, “13 Stitches,” which aired Thursday on Fox.
Ever since it was announced in September that Shane West had joined Gotham’s fifth and final season as Bane, fans have treated him as a sort of proto-version of the notorious Batman villain. It really didn’t matter that the producers and cast insisted he’s the real deal. As he was set to play Eduardo Dorrance, some viewers interpreted that to mean he was the rogue’s father, named Edmund Dorrance in the comics. After all, the Fox drama has featured characters revealed as the parents of Dark Knight foes, including Jonathan Crane and the Black Mask.
However, with this week’s episode, “13 Stitches,” Gotham confirms that Dorrance is an amalgam father and son, and truly the series’ version of Bane.
That confirmation doesn’t only come from the signature breathing mask that saves the life of a seriously wounded Dorrance, nor from the name Bane gets its own origin. Instead, it comes when Dorrance faces off against his old friend Jim Gordon in the ruins of Haven.
As the two former brothers-in-arms engage in brutal battle, it’s revealed that, after Gordon left the Army, Dorrance was taken prisoner during a mission, and spent time in a prison named Peña Duro, which he describes as “the darkest hell on Earth.” Abandoned by his superiors, Dorrance was later rescued by Secretary Walker, who gave him a new purpose.
DC comics fans will recognize Peña Duro as prison located on the island of Santa Prisca, where Bane was born and spent most of his life. It’s there where he was molded and transformed into an efficient fighter, before the Venom toxin transformed him into a hulking monster that went on to break Batman’s back.
The notion that Dorrance was incarcerated in Peña Duro is an indication that this version Bane is the real deal. While the villain of the comics was born in the prison (literally), Gotham‘s version of the character was also created there, only in a more figurative way.
Now, with the addition of a breathing mask and a gaseous substance that will give him super-strength, Gotham has its official Bane, whose origin is tied more closely to the comics than we might have initially believed.
Airing Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox, Gotham stars Ben McKenzie as James Gordon, Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock, David Mazouz as Bruce Wayne, Robin Lord Taylor as Penguin, Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle, Erin Richards as Barbara Kean and Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth.