(Source: FOX Networks)
(Source: FOX Networks)

Spoilers lurk about.

Gotham 1×08: The Mask returns to business as usual. That is, if your kind of business is to fight your co-workers to the death for a promotion. The big baddie this week is the boss of an investment company, making his employees fight to the death for a position, a contract, or just plain fun. Why exactly they do it other that greed is never clear, but apparently that’s what Mr. Sionis inspires in his personnel.

There’s an overall emphasis on fighting in this episode. Gordon seems to be attracted to the notion of fighting his battles alone, something that the rest of his fellow policemen don’t empathize with but fortunately he’s got Harvey Bullock. On top of that, Captain Essen is turning a new leaf. I had not realize that Essen, if this is effectively Sarah Essen, is a character from the comics.

But the new character, a bully from Gotham’s private school that Bruce reluctantly attends, should be even more familiar to comic fans. Yes, we have a young Tommy Elliot. He doesn’t like Bruce very much and apparently has never looked at him twice. Now that Bruce is a novelty as an orphan, he wants to know details with morbid fascination which earn him a slap from the young Wayne. Tommy apparently hits him back, although we never see it.

We expect Alfred Pennyworth to put a stop to this but his reaction is a bit strange. He promptly takes Bruce to Tommy Elliot’s house and gives Bruce his father’s watch. Bruce ends up using it as a weapon to pummel Tommy.

We also get some cold war shenanigans between Mooney and Cobblepot. Mooney is finally maneuvering Liza to get some stuff from Falcone she can use. Penguin, because that’s what he’s using more and more, gets his hand stabbed by Mooney but he also get some advice from Mom… Oswald is getting closer to Mooney’s secret by the second.

Meanwhile, Gordon is about ready to break the Fight Club case open. This is not the only review/recap where you will see the reference to that movie. It’s way too obvious where that inspiration came from. It’s not that far fetched to say that Richard Sionis seems inspired by Batman villain Black Mask. I know we’re supposed to believe that it’s the other way around, but Sionis makes barely an attempt at hiding himself from suspicion.

In the end, it’s up to Harvey to rally the reluctant forces of GCPD to help track Gordon down as he gets himself captured without his partner. In typical cavalry fashion, they will arrive after Jim and Sionis have had their showdown at high noon in an old traditional swordfight.


  • Bruce goes back to school and deals with his first bully. Tommy Elliot (aka Hush) makes an appearance. In a strange fashion, Alfred encourages Bruce to take revenge. Cool but irresponsible of our butler. It still made for a more intriguing story that the main one.
  • Penguin is evolving out of Fish Mooney’s shadow. He’s not quite there yet, but Mooney needs to watch her back.
  • The final scene where Bruce asks Alfred if he will show him how to fight. When Alfred says yes, the road ahead slowly but surely leads to a certain cave below Wayne Manor. Any chances of Bruce discovering that cave soon?
  • Ed Nygma feels way too close to a Dexter clone, but he did have his moments as he digs up evidence and even attempts an impromptu autopsy.


  • James Gordon and Harvey Bullock are a team now. They do need better challenges. They’re trailing behind as characters to almost everyone else.
  • Barbara Kean’s storyline is a mess. First she loves Jim, trusts him, now she’s unraveling and as the episode ends she seems to be leaving him. They’re the furthest thing from a couple right now.
  • Captain Essen needs to become more of a fleshed out character. Either she’s going to support Gordon like she does here or she’s part of the status quo.
  • Selina Kyle reappears for no reason other than making sure we don’t forget about her.
  • Somehow the show must resist the temptation of giving us too much Bruce Wayne and Alfred who are supposed to be in the background.

That will do for now.

(Source: FOX Networks)