On last week's episode of Gotham, actor Shane West finally debuted as the much-discussed Eduardo Dorrance, who's destined to become the drama's version of iconic Batman villain Bane. Dorrance is introduced as a soldier in command of a military unit dispatched by Secretary Walker to help the city, cut off from the rest of the country at the end of Season 4.
However, before the episode ended, we learned that the goals of Walker and Dorrance are far from noble. While the series takes a break this week (a rerun of the Season 5 premiere airs instead), the promo for the Feb. 14 episode reveals something bad will happen to Dorrance, leading him to be outfitted with a glowing breathing mask that will transform him into Bane.
Dorrance's transformation into the villain who will one day break Batman may very well take place next week, but his origin can be traced back to Gotham's first season.
It's difficult to say what will happen to Dorrance, but what we've seen of his transformation involves a mask that allows him to inhale a chemical. In the comic books, it's known as Venom, which is administered to Bane through tubes that pump the substance into his body.
Gotham first referenced Venom in the fifth episode of its debut season, "Viper," in which a scientist named Stan Potolsky unleashed a chemical substance called Viper. The drug granted those who breathed it super-strength, that is until the died a horrible death. It's revealed that Potolsky developed the drug for WellZyn (a division of Wayne Enterprises), which produced pharmaceutical enhancements for combat troops.
Because of Viper's unfortunate side effects, a second, stable version of the drug was created: Venom. Given that Viper was a green gas, it's a safe bet that Venom might also be a gaseous substance, which could explain why Dorrance is equipped with the breathing mask.
What's more, that Venom was developed for the military provides a significant link to Secretary Walker and Dorrance. After all, Dorrance is a soldier first, so it's possible that he and Walker are familiar with the drug.
Finally, what's perhaps even more interesting is that Bane's backstory potentially also ties in to the first episode of Gotham. In "Viper," we learned that Potolsky's work for WellZyn had been put on ice by Wayne Enterprises. However, following the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne, the project was given the green light once more -- and Venom was created as a result.
Therefore, at least part of Bane's origin was seeded in Gotham's series premiere. Like Batman, Catwoman and The Joker, Bane's arrival has been a long time coming.
Returning Thursday, Feb. 14, 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.