GOTHAM “The Mask” Episode Recap
I have yet to really get frustrated with any of the shows I currently watch during this fall season, but this week Gotham strayed ever close to that fine line of being just not interesting. However, there were several major developments for Jim Gordon and also the young Bruce Wayne, who for the first time on Gotham felt like part of the narrative and not a piece of story shoe-horned into a crime series. But aside from those, we had a wasted opportunity with the Sionis empire, and a ridiculous story with Barbara Gordon.
As Fish Mooney continues to attempt to silently make her moves against Falcone, she is also dealing with the fallout brought unto her by the return of Oswald Cobblepot. And instead of just adjusting to life with The Penguin now in the fold, she instead makes her mark on him, driving the pointy end of a broach through Penguin’s hand, in order to remind him where he came from, and who is still charge. And let’s not even discuss the creepy additional scene with Oswald’s mother – I have no idea where they are heading with her story, but wow is she just a bit bizarre.
Meanwhile, Gordon and Bullock investigate the murder of a local business man, only to realize that he is part of the Sionis Investments conglomerate, which is run by The Black Mask Richard Sionis (actually Roman Sionis in the comics). As Gordon runs down The Black Mask, he finds himself in need of backup from the department, only to find most of them unwilling to help. Bullock gives a rousing speech, and the fellow officers fall in line as Gordon defeats Sionis and his men without help from anyone.
This was a rare misstep for Gotham: The Black Mask is a nice Batman villain, a necessary Batman villain. He mostly assists Penguin and the organized crime underworld of Gotham City and is rarely in business just for himself. But this week they introduced and subsequently ended Sionis in just one episode. And while Gotham is getting a bit full on the villain front (Penguin, Falcone, Nygma, Zsasz, Selina Kyle, and soon: The Scarecrow), Sionis is a big part of the story who deserves a bit more respect than he got this week.
The best development this week actually came in the form of the Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth dynamic. Alfred gets Bruce back into the real world, sending him back to school. And he is not even there for a full day before kids start asking questions about his parents murder, and disrespectfully at that. This leads Bruce to struggle to contain his anger, and instead of forcing him to deal with it passively, this new version of Alfred embraces that anger, and turns Bruce loose on the boy. And while pulling Bruce off the bully, who just happens to be Tommy Elliot (the future Hush character), Alfred reminds him: just remember, I let him do this to you. What a nice new take on the Bruce and Alfred dynamic, as Alfred will now train Bruce to fight in order to help with his anger.
Your Gotham Easter Eggs: The Crime Doctor is seen working on injured members of Gotham’s criminal underworld – Richard Sionis of Sionis Investments is actually The Black Mask, known as Roman Sionis in the comics – and Bruce is bullied by a boy named Tommy Elliot, who will go on to become the infamous Hush character.