Gotham: Mask (1×08)

Synopsis: Jim and Barbara are still dealing from the fall out of last episode and it’s not exactly going well. Fish and Oswald fire shots over the bow in an attempt to remain cordial while still advancing their own schemes. Bruce is dealing with trying to reintegrate into school and it doesn’t really go that well thanks to a very familiar face to comic book fans. Meanwhile, Harvey and Jim try to figure out how a kid dressed for an interview was brutally murdered in corporate fight club style.

Rating: ★★★★☆

The eighth episode of Gotham starts out pretty poorly for our random, unfortunate first victim of the episode. Basically we come in on some young, scared guy in an office building hiding from someone who is basically trying to kill him. I mean, shit is intense. But… both of them are wearing masks. So that’s your first hint that something weird is going on. Your next hint? After the other guy in the room kills this kid we pan back into a camera lens with this guy on screen giving a sort of recognition to the camera like a freakin’ gladiator.

Yeah. That’s probably not good. Also: super dark.

The body, it turns out, belongs to an actually good kid who just graduated from college and was recently out job hunting. They identify his body after it’s abandoned on the docks but they aren’t really any closer to catching the killer. Well, they aren’t until Ed Nygma pulls a thumb out of the dead kid’s mouth. Yikes. Hell of a parting gift. The guy’s body is also covered in printer toner which really opens up a lot more questions than it provides answers but at least a business card left in his pocket seems to give them some leads.

You got to admit, though, a severed thumb is pretty great evidence. [FOX]
You got to admit, though, a severed thumb is pretty great evidence in itself though. I mean, how many people out there could be missing their thumbs realistically? [FOX]
Elsewhere, Cobblepott and Fish Mooney are up to their own schemes and shenanigans.

Cobblepott for some reason decides to rob some rich lady and steal her broach to take it to Fish as an offering. I mean, it’s cool and all but it’s a freakin’ knife dude. Is it really all that surprising when she eventually stabs you in the hand with it? For the most part they go on posturing in front of each other spouting false pleasentries and such. They both are going to keep Falcone and Maroni’s  peace but we’ll see how long that lasts.

I mean, I doubt it will last long. Fish has her girl starting to poison Falcone to weaken the old man and though she promises to protect her when she tries to get out of it let’s be real here – she can’t make that promise at all. And Cobblepott? He knows about her now. Well, he sorta knows. He knows that Fish had someone close to Falcone, anyway, after he kidnaps Fish’s replacement for him and he tips Cobblepott off to Fish’s plans.

Hopefully he can save Falcone. Because right now? Falcone is the only one keeping most of our main characters alive.

Speaking of Falcome, after everything that happened last episode both Jim and Barbara are having a lot of issues. They’re having personal issues which don’t exactly get any better when she almost shoots him when he comes home late one night. You can’t blame Barbara for being upset but after swearing she’d be by Jim’s side and that she wanted to know what he was getting into her walking out at the end of the episode? C’mon, Barabra. He needs you. Because Jim doesn’t have many friends and he’s not trying to make them now. He blames the rest of the cops for abandoning and what’s more is that they blame themselves. So basically Jim starts picking fights with every come he can. That kind of abandonment hurts. Harvey knows it and their Captain knows it. But as hard as Harvey tries to tell him he can’t be a cop on his own he’s not ready to forgive them.

Jim think's his problems are big... [FOX]
Jim think’s he’s got problems… [FOX]
Jim’s not the only one having it rough these days.

I mean, Bruce has been having a tough time lately for obvious reasons but being forced to go back to school isn’t really helping. At least, not at first. While things go okay initially our first look at the future Batman villain Hush – at the time known as Tommy Elliott – turns out to be a really bad time for Bruce generally. Tommy is angry with Bruce and if you’ve read the comics you know some of the backstory. But all Bruce knows is that this guy is being an asshole and terrorizing him, asking him about his parents’ murder, and insulting his mother. At least Bruce can solve his problems by punching Tommy under Alfred’s watchful eye and then convincing the man to teach him to brawl.

Jim’s problems? Not really going to be solved by fighting.

Not that Jim’s history of violence isn’t important. When he and Havey track down the business from the card in poor dead kid’s pocket they find a CEO obsessed with violence and he’s quite interested in Jim. They find the guy who killed the kid working at the firm and they realize that the CEO is so obsessed with violence that he actually forces people in his employee to battle other prospective employees for a job. Usually not to the death but, as Ed realizes, it happens and it’s happened at least five times.

From all of this they manage to come up with a list of possibly abandoned old office buildings where this CEO could be holding his fight clubs. Angry with the rest of the cops still, Jim goes off on his own to try and figure out where these fights were happening. Of course it backfires. Is anyone surprised? Jim gets himself tazered, captured, and forced into a fight to the death. Three prospective employees are told that the person to kill Jim not only gets a job but a $1 million signing bonus. Meanwhile, the rest of the firm watches on from the office laughing.

When he doesn’t come back to the office, Harvey realizes what he’s done and becomes incredibly worried. None of the other cops want to help him try to find Jim before something happens to him. But, when confronted with their own cowardice and dishonorable choices, they come forward. First Montoya, then Alvarez, and then others come forward and take assignments from Harvey for locations to check.

A challenger appears... [FOX]
A challenger appears… [FOX]
Jim manages to hold his own while the cavalry tries to figure out where to even go. He takes down the three prospective employees pretty easily but then the CEO dude comes out in a mask with a samurai sword to kill Jim himself. The guy is obsessed with this idea of killing, being a warrior, and the power provided by masks. But though he gets in a good shot at Jim and cuts him up a bit in the end Jim wins out. He had the opportunity to drive the same sword the CEO was using into the man’s chest but he doesn’t. Because this is Jim Gordon, people. He’s better than that.

Montoya comes in at the last minute to “rescue” him. He’s grateful to see her and perhaps realizes that there are some cops on his side. Jim even thanks Harvey for bringing everyone together to try and find him. But he refuses to agree to Harvey’s request that he start working with the others. He refuses to give up his fight against the corruptive forces in the city.

He’s about to go home to find the letter Barbara left him before leaving when another cop tells him that Selina Kyle has been arrested and is asking for him.

I guess at the very least she spares him the heartbreak of realizing Barbara has left for a little while longer.

But we have no idea why she’s there or what she wants.

I suspect we’ll find out next week.

We’re going to find out a lot next week it seems. Selina and Bruce might finally meet for the first time so we’ll see how that goes. Harvey Dent is going to be introduced and he’s probably just as young and idealistic as you’d expect from a new prosecutor in Gotham.


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