This week Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) investigates an underground fight ring that leads him to a world of pain. The episode titled "The Mask" was largely a filler episode with some key characterizations and personalities thrown in for fans of DC Comics mythology. The fact that the show is set in the world of Batman helps these stop-gap stories be more engaging than they would be otherwise. Since this is technically an episode that is designed as padding for a long season. Fans of the Caped Crusader might have caught that we were introduced to not one, but two potential future villains in the world of Gotham City.
It's refreshing to see how they are attacking the ramifications of last week's episode head on. Gordon has become isolated within the department, after the entire force left him to die due to mob allegiances. It is easy to imagine the writers not addressing the the elephant in the room. It gives Gordon an additional edge that he is willing to literally take on the world. He is shaping up to be a unique character in the TV landscape. He is a little bland, however the writers have him bullishly attack conflict head on. While he is inherently a good guy, he isn't a pushover.
Many are speculating that the executive who wielded the mask is the popular Batman foe the Black Mask. However the character's name in the show is Richard Sionis, while in the comics its Roman. In addition he would be a little old for the part. It seems logical that this is the father of the Black Mask. Particularly because part of Black Mask's origin story involves murdering his parents in a suspicious fire and taking over their empire. It wouldn't be shocking to see a version of that play out on the series.
This week we were introduced to a time period rarely shown. Bruce Wayne's school years, which if handled sloppily, would have been disastrous. Bruce reluctantly returns to school only to get targeted for harassment by Tommy Elliot. (Who will go on to become the villain Hush in the future.) When Alfred catches wind of what happened he doesn't call up Tommy's parents. He takes Bruce to the kid's door and gives Bruce his father's watch, which he uses as brass knuckles to get his revenge. Alfred scolds the bloodied Tommy who he lets know that he sanctioned this beatdown and will do it again. This is the clearest groundwork for the future operation between Bruce and Alfred, as this is the moment that Alfred directs Bruce to deal out justice physically.
The chess game between Fish Mooney and Oswald "Penguin" Cobblepot continues to be played as they have another intense face-to-face meeting, that may leave the Penguin with a flipper hand. The layers of conflict have already been set and while they didn't heat up much from the previous episode, the writers kept the fire at a simmer so things can become explosive soon. It looks like the noose is slowly tightening around Mooney's neck and she is the last one to notice the rope in the room.
[Gotham](series:1127075) is slowly finding the right balance between keeping the crime element at the forefront of the show, while using the side plots as effective changes of pace. This episode didn't contribute much to the big picture, but it was an entertaining visit to city that is becoming familiar.
What did you think of the episode? How do you think they will develop teenage Hush? Let us know!