Gotham Ep. 8 “The Mask” Review
By Rob Jefchak
Sometimes I watch the most recent episode of “Gotham” and I ask myself: Does this have ANYTHING to do with Batman/Bruce Wayne or the DC comic universe? That’s a question that comes up more often than I like to admit. Even though the crime plots and criminals we get week to week continue to have less to do with the comic source material, thankfully the show wisely decided to focus less time on this week’s brainless plot and more time on the quality characters we are supposed to be focusing on.
Gordon’s pissed at being abandoned by the entire Gotham police force and they’re pissed at him for goading Falcone into retaliating in last week’s episode. Meanwhile, someone is running a “kill or be killed” office Fight club for promotions, Penguin tries to patch things up with Fish Mooney and Bruce Wayne discovers school life in Gotham is just as pleasant as normal life in Gotham. I really loved seeing how the results of GPD’s chickening out played here, we got to see Gordon REALLY pissed off and it shed a lot of light on the ugly truth about these so called “police officers.”
Bullock being a good guy finally makes sense and it was not only handled well, it was handed naturally well. From the beginning, Bullock has been a demoralizing cynic and he seemed just as crooked and rotten as the rest of the dirty cops. But to see Bullock genuinely want to help Gordon, to push the right buttons and kick the right amount of ass (verbally speaking); that was a truly inspiring scene…and he even managed to work the term “ass hat” into a rallying speech (brownie points for that).
Penguin’s scene with Fish could have been a bit more interesting considering their history together, but it helped give Penguin some juicy info that we know he’ll manipulate to his advantage later on. Easily the best subplot here was Bruce going to school; it sounds like such a weird concept: Batman in school with other kids…almost sounds crazier than wearing bat pajamas to fight crime. Sadly, this school angle will probably be dropped after Bruce’s violent dealings with bullies, which is a shame because I felt the idea of Bruce in school could have been an interesting area to develop since we’ve never heard of Bruce going to school in any past media.
However, even if the school subplot ends right then and there; it will be totally worth it because we got to see every bullied kid’s dream when he beat the snouts of a kid with a metal object and actually had an adult figure cheering him on and proving to be equally intimidating (Go Alfred!) Catwoman’s re-appearance will hopefully bear some fruit, much better than the rotten piece of garbage that is tonight’s story a.k.a. “The Office: Survival edition.”
The whole idea feels like a mashed up collaboration of “Office Space” and “Fight Club”, but this episode’s use of those two concepts has absolutely none of the charms of those films or their intelligence. I know Gotham is maniac central but you REALLY expect people to believe office clerks are so psychotically stupid they would engage in death brawls for a contract at a company? Not to mention all the people cheering and watching the fights like its pay per view, that’s ludicrous sounding EVEN in a city that has killer clowns and Penguin shaped people.
The only other thing that confused/irked me was seeing Gordon be a total douche to Barbra, forcing yet ANOTHER “I’m leaving you” storyline. This makes NO sense. Gordon gave up an ideal bust on the Mayor and Falcone to save her life, only to be rude to her the very next episode and ultimately shove her away? You’d think he’d be a tad nicer but whatever. Overall, the plot was immeasurably stupid, Gordon pulled an ass hat move while Bullock proves he is NOT an ass and Bruce is learning to kick ass.
Just keep ignoring crappy plots (or writing them altogether), focus on the cast and I’ll keep watching.