Showrunner John Stephens confirmed the news saying, "When you're doing the seasons and you have this rogue's gallery you do want to parcel it out over the years." While it seems they've saved the best for last, Stephens has been asking to use Bane since Season 1, but didn't get a yes until FOX realized the fifth season would also be the final one. He also mentioned that while Bane and Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) have a similar relationship as they do in the comics, their backstories are tied together in a completely different way. Sean Pertwee jumped in to tease a fight between Bane and Alfred that will apparently end in a broken back for the erstwhile butler.
There were two other bombshells at the panel. First and foremost Stephens mentioned that the Joker might be getting a girlfriend: the kind that dresses in a lot of colors and loves roller skates. While the words Harley Quinn were never explicitly said, there's literally....no other iconic DC character that fits the description.
And in an even bigger surprise, Stephens revealed that Episode 10 will take place 10 years in the future so that very important character in the the Batman lexicon can interact with Gotham's greatest. That pretty much guarantees we'll see Gotham's Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) step fully into Batman's mantle.
Speculation that West would be taking on the iconic Gotham villain started up the moment he was revealed to be playing Eduardo Dorrance. Dorrance is, of course, the surname of Bane's father within the comic book lore. Add on top of that, Eduardo's storyline is that he's returned to Gotham after years away to help Jim Gordon restore order to the city by building a team of elite soldiers to help reclaim No Man's Land. However, Jim will eventually realize that that Eduardo's true intentions are "much darker and more evil than he ever could have believed." Yeah, sounds pretty Bane-like to us, too.
Oh, and Episode 8 of the final season is called, "I am Bane," so the writing has been on the wall for a serious minute. Stephens teased the audience asking, "Did that give it away?"
Of course it'll be a long minute before we get to see West, who became a household name in 2002 playing opposite Mandy Moore in A Walk to Remember, in action. Gotham won't return for its final season until 2019, but fans got their first taste of what to expect from the "No Man's Land" season of the Batman prequel series Sunday when the cast and producers revealed a video recap with footage from the new season stitched in during the show's panel at New York Comic Con.
Last season ended with Jeremiah (Cameron Monaghan) and Ra's al Guhl (Alexander Siddig) blowing up every bridge that led into and out of Gotham, turning the city into a deserted wasteland. The new season will pick up with the city's villains, including Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) and Jeremiah, having picked their respective corners of the land. It will be a free-for-all to determine who will take over the city, with Bruce (David Mazouz) and Jim (Ben McKenzie) fighting to restore justice.
Of course, the burning question on everyone's mind is whether or not Bruce will take the final steps to assume his Dark Knight alter ego before Gotham airs its final episode. He's been inching his way there over the past several seasons, upping his training and adopting his, "I will not kill" motto in Season 3. There isn't much further for him to go before he's ready to take on the role full-time.
The final season of Gotham returns at midseason on Fox.