Gotham Review: “The Mask”

Mask

– Spoiler Review –

Gotham returns to its case of the week format, with an entertaining one at least, in “The Mask” while it deals with the fallout of several events from last week’s rather great “Penguin’s Umbrella.” Too bad that it’s marred by the terrible relationship drama and a few other oddities that continue to cast a shadow over this show.

Ending Gotham TV Show Reviews (9/26/15)

I probably should’ve done this more formally back when I called it quits with the show after its umpteenth break during the first season, but I won’t be reviewing this series anymore. I had been holding out hope the show would get better for the second season and the creative team behind it were saying all the right things, but the S2 premiere was just more of the same. Sure, there’s some promise for better things ahead in it so I’ll be tuning in, but this is more in regards to my own personal time constraints and my sanity. Sorry and thanks for checking out Mynock Manor for details on Gotham and I seriously hope the show hits its stride soon. We still have plenty of content on the site so browse around before heading somewhere else!

MaskI’ve got to get this out of way: Barbara. Whoever is in charge of her character arc must’ve fallen asleep and scribbled everything together to meet a deadline…or something, because what’s going on here is just frustrating. From her going back and forth on trusting Gordon not to have killed Cobblepot, to turning into a weaker character instead of a stronger one we initially saw, and now ending this episode YET AGAIN leaving Gordon. First time leaving was due to the plot manufactured problem of Gordon not telling Barbara the truth, which his decision didn’t make logical sense; Now, she’s leaving him because she got the chance to have half his life like she wanted, but it’s manufactured again as Gordon is super short with her and hangs up because he doesn’t want to hear about every little jittery moment she has. Alright, so Gordon shares the blame 50/50 on each of these issues, but Barbara’s decision to leave is just baffling. Last week she was praying to stay and now she can’t handle that he might be busy and hangs up on her? Their relationship drama is the worst aspect of the show, especially since even some half hour shows can make up more convincing relationship issues for their characters to go through. As for where she’s leaving too, I can only guess Montoya. Moving on…

MaskWhile we had to return to the case of the week format, this one was at least interesting because it helped show some of the repercussions from last week while ending in a very entertaining and well staged fight scene. After the police force walked out on Gordon when Zsasz showed up, he’s been avoiding them while pushing their buttons, as he’s lost faith in those around him. Bullock gets the same shafting because he’s now aligned with Gordon, but he’s not going to be all passive aggressive about it and instead gives a rousing speech to get all his fellow GCPD officers back on their side. The captain and Gordon get a chance to bond a bit over the whole ordeal, helping restore trust between Gordon and the rest of the officers. Let’s see if this is actually the first big step towards something actually changing on this show.

Hiring practices are different everywhere you go, but at Sionis it’s a duel to the death that gets you a spot at the company. Outside of what Sionis is know for in the comics, what exactly does a job at the company mean and why would anyone want/need to work there enough to possibly die for it? If they’re in the steel industry, what’s so compelling about working there? Is Gotham City this far gone now that when the Waynes died going through a fight club to get hired seems reasonable? Gotham just asks you to go with it this week, not explaining much of what the employees do, having them all betting on the fights, and all be in on it. But at least the storyline lets this episode end on a brutal and fun fight with Gordon against three opponents then eventually Sionis as the Black Mask himself. Needless to say, Gordon shows off his mad skills and badassery in one fell swoop.

MaskThe surprising way Alfred helped Bruce deal with a school bully was one of the better moments from this week, despite being mostly unoriginal. I know the bully Tommy Elliot goes on to become Hush, but that doesn’t excuse going the disappointing route and portraying him as such a stereotypical bully, right down to the bangs that nearly cover his eyes. But Alfred actually letting Bruce beat up on Tommy and threatening he’ll continue to look the other way gives me more high hopes for this take on the storied butler. And was it just me or was Alfred trying to hide his excitement when Bruce asked him for training?

Mooney and Cobblepot come head to head over his return and the peace deal brokered between their two respective crime bosses. Now knowing Penguin is actually working for Falcone, so technically on Mooney’s side, it’s fun to watch him goad her on. I wonder if this is partly Falcone’s doing, as asking Penguin to keep her distracted would help keep him from worrying about watching his back. Penguin ends this episode with the information that Mooney has someone close to Falcone, so I wonder how long it’ll take him to uncover Liza. Speaking of her, Liza’s scene copying a ledger in Falcone’s office that Mooney wants isn’t shown, it makes me wonder if it was due to pacing for the episode or because Liza’s already turning sides.

JOKER WATCH

Nothing on the Joker Watch front this week.

Here are a few other things:

  • Again with Cobblepot’s mother? She just functions as the “House moment” this week: someone talks about an unrelated subject and Gregory House on House M.D. would magically figure out his case of the week; Here, Penguin’s mom gives him the idea to find out Mooney’s secret. Her inclusion still feels unnecessary because Penguin is more than smart enough, and had worked for Mooney long enough, to know she’d have an ace up her sleeve.
  • Bruce getting attention from ladies starts at a young age, it seems.
  • Selina Kyle continues to reminds us she’s in the show, but at least it seems she’ll get more than just a random appearance next week.
  • Nygma is helpful in the case…but man, he’s just not coming off as good as the creators thought he would.
  • Again, the procedural is basically solved by visual clues, especially the blood pooled on the ground at Sionis’ office.

 

Making Nice

“The Mask” showed some of the repercussions from the events of last week, but the only real big change is Bullock continuing to be teamed up with Gordon. Gotham continues to have a bad habit of stumbling with the relationship drama, over abundance of characters, and asking viewers just to go with things, which all reared their ugly heads again this week after the dust from last week settled. Here’s hoping this is just another minor set back, because it was proven Gotham‘s procedural elements can be an asset in the ghostly good “Spirit of the Goat.”

+ Black Mask

+ Fight sequence

+ Bullock standing up for Gordon

 Cobblepot’s mother

 Relationship drama…again….really?!?

 Why does anyone want to work at Sionis?

Ryan is Mynock Manor’s Head Butler. You can follow him on Twitter @BrushYourTeeth. You can follow the website @MynockManor.

GOTHAM REVIEWS:
S1, Ep. 12: “What the Little Bird Told Him
S1, Ep. 11: “Rogues’ Gallery
S1, Ep. 10: “Lovecraft
S1, Ep. 9: “Harvey Dent
S1, Ep. 7: “Penguin’s Umbrella
S1, Ep. 6: “Spirit of the Goat
S1, Ep. 5: “Viper
S1, Ep. 4: “Arkham
S1, Ep. 3: “The Balloonman
S1, Ep. 2: “Selina Kyle
S1, Ep. 1: “Pilot

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