At this point, I should be completely nonplussed when something on Gotham happens that looks like it came out of left field, something that reveals some character I had more or less discounted was really someone I know from various comic books.
But really, that’s who that goober is supposed to be?
Anyhoo, let’s cut to the chase: Eduardo is Bane.
No, seriously. Why?
I get that Bane is probably a character fans with more than a cursory knowledge of Batman’s mythos will really understand. Others probably think they know him. He’s the big jackass who broke Batman. He has an accent of some kind. Chances are good for a lot of people, what they know about Bane comes from Tom Hardy’s take on the character. Hardy’s take has a strong influence on one of my favorite portrayal’s of the character, namely the more pathetic version seen on the HBO Max animated Harley Quinn series. That Bane I could probably watch all day.
Gotham‘s Bane? Well…I don’t know yet. So far, he seems a rather generic bad friend who is a lot more villainous thanks to some actions where he was the sole survivor of a military mission that Gordon missed because he left the military to become a cop. As motives go, I’ve heard worse. But Eduardo Dorrance is just a minion to some character who just walked out at the end of the episode and slapped a mask on an impaled Dorrance that apparently survived getting a metal pipe jammed through what sure did look like his heart.
The thing is…Bane’s not really the minion type. He’s more than a big slab of muscle who takes a steroid to make himself stronger. He’s a mastermind (so, the opposite of Barbara) who is also physically very strong even without his venom. But every live action version (even Tom Hardy’s) has been someone else’s minion. Granted, Hardy’s Bane didn’t behave like one for most of the movie and was still a mastermind, so I am somewhat inclined to let that one slide.
But what makes this Dorrance guy so special?
Let’s play it out like a contrast for a moment: the B-plot has Penguin and Selina looking for the thief Magpie, someone who leaves behind explosive duplicates of whatever loot catches her eye. Now, Penguin kills Magpie at the end of the episode, and Magpie is hardly one of my favorite Batman foes, but she has some real quirky personality going for her here. She’s weird. So are all of the more memorable bad guys on Gotham.
Dorrance? He’s just a guy in a military uniform.
Really, there was a lot more interesting stuff going with Ed trying to bluff the soldiers long enough to give Bruce on the roof and Alfred and Lucius in the basement time to send the audio records from Ed’s mind control chip to the mainland. Harvey in lock-up was helpful for all the wrong reasons.
Oh, and one more thing: I know the choice of people to get mind control chips was probably limited to the people Hugo Strange had on a gurney, but really, they made their mindless assassins out of Ed and Lee? A guy who does better with traps than straightforward attacks and a doctor who I don’t think has had too much in the way of a fistfight this entire series? Man, surely there were better choices.