Gotham is slowly improving, though it still has its ups and downs. It has trouble with converging police procedural to Batman-lore. “The Mask” was able to do a semi-decent job with this and while I didn’t actively love this rather filler episode, I didn’t dislike it either.
High points included the introduction of another figure in the Gotham universe, Roman Sionis (the future Black Mask). Like the Wayne family, Sionis is a major player in the infrastructure of Gotham City and I’ve always enjoyed him as a character. He was played as an intimidating white collar CEO, the type that is capable of doing terrible things on the weekend and then showing up at the office with barely a hair out of place.
I also enjoyed the interplay between Alfred and Bruce. Of course this relationship is essentially the heart of the Batman mythos and it’s interesting to see it at its formation. In this episode, Bruce finally (FINALLY!) goes back to school and of course, is bullied by a creepy little punk. While the whole exchange smacked of MY-PARENTS-ARE-DEAD, it still added some depth to Bruce that went beyond whiny-12-year-old. Also, Alfred is badass. Don’t mess with Alfred.
I’m also digging the newfound respect/friendship between Gordon and Bullock. This show portrayed Bullock as a hard-nosed, crooked cop who always goes against Gordon’s good cop persona for too long. Watching them work together, even as polar opposites in so many ways, is entertaining and gripping. I’m beginning to actually consider Bullock as one of my favorite characters. Who knew?
Low points included Gordon’s boring relationship with Barbara and the sadly clichéd Fish Mooney. It wasn’t the second to last scene with her that she displayed some real agency and her final scene was actually moving and definitely important to her character growth. Nonetheless, I sincerely hope that the writing for her will improve as the series continues.
Overall, “The Mask” had some great scenes in a generally blah episode. It felt rather like a filler episode until the introduction of Harvey Dent next week, who obviously should become a huge part of this series. As always, I’m looking forward to how they plan on introducing and portraying him while not becoming too gimmicky. We’ll see.
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