Gotham: “The Mask” Review
Gotham Season 1 Episode 8
“I ENJOYED IT.”
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
After last week’s hugely entertaining episode, Gotham understandably returned to its more procedural roots with “The Mask.” While Gotham can never turn into a fully serialized show, I felt that “The Mask” did a great job of continuing some of our ongoing storylines while staying true to the “case of the week” format. Gordon’s struggle to get his fellow police officers to respect and obey the law is still a long way from being over, but the ice is starting to thaw.
The case of the week itself wasn’t anything special. Underground fight clubs have been done to death, but at least Gotham’s version was a little bit different than the usual. The maniacal, mask-wearing boss having people fight to the death for positions in his company was quite a fun spin to put on it. Todd Stashwick (The Originals, Heroes) brought his usual energy to the role of Richard Sionis, this week’s over the top villain. I say over the top because the entire situation inside of his office was ridiculous. Most of his workers were sporting injuries of some kind, and the collection of masks and weapons he had on display left no doubt that he was the villain behind all of this. There was purposefully no mystery to the villain’s identity though, and I actually rather enjoyed the madness of it all.
Gordon going missing sparked a little life into the GCPD. Bullock was the only person to know he was missing and desperately sought out some help to chase down leads. After initially refusing to help, a rousing speech from Bullock forced his fellow GCPD officers into action. It turned out that Gordon would have been just fine without them, but it most definitely is the thought that counts. I would have liked to see one of his fellow cops actually swoop in and save him, but the fact that they actually helped find him is a baby step towards the police department that Gotham needs.
Gordon unfortunately found himself abandoned by someone else this week, with Barbara seemingly leaving him after a slight bit of a meltdown. Barbara has now left Gordon twice in the space of eight episodes, with this latest departure coming hot on the heels of her pleading with Gordon to let her stay last week. Barbara hasn’t shone in her screen time so far, and her actions here will only serve to make her even more disliked by fans of the show. Her constant flip-flopping has had me rolling my eyes on several occasions already, so much so that I’m almost hopeful she’s missing for a decent amount of episodes before her inevitable return.
Young Master Wayne got a decent share of the screen time this week as Bruce returned to school. This material turned out to be a lot better than I was expecting in the end, with Bruce getting bullied and then learning how to stand up for himself. Bruce is fine to watch, but I am absolutely loving this depiction of Alfred. Sean Pertwee’s menacing butler is a far cry from the rest of the big screen portrayals of Alfred, and I’m really looking forward to seeing him train Bruce.
It wouldn’t be an episode of Gotham without some screen time for our villains, and Cobblepot and Mooney continued their respective little games this week. I thoroughly enjoyed Mooney and Cobblepot’s conversation, especially the touching moment when Fish decided to stab her old friend in the hand. As was mentioned here, it is supposedly a time of peace between the factions, so it’s going to be a lot of fun watching Mooney and Cobblepot continue scheming away against each other. Liza is already having cold feet when it comes to Falcone, something which Mooney rectifies by feeding her a sob story about her own past. The only thing I don’t like about this particular story is it seems like it would be easier for Mooney to have Falcone killed. Sure she says she wants to find out all of the details about his business first, but couldn’t she easily find out once he’s dead?
Gotham fell back into its procedural groove this week, but the events of last week’s “Penguin’s Umbrella” haven’t been forgotten. Gordon is starting to get some help from his fellow police officers, and Mooney and Cobblepot’s shadow war remains as entertaining as ever. All of that mixed in with a fun but over the top villain made for another entertaining episode. Now if only they could just figure out what to do with Barbara…
How do you feel about Barbara? Do you like the character so far, or do you find her as frustrating as I do? Let us know in the comments below.
*We do not comment on anything relating to previews for the next episode and beyond.
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