6:45pm PT by Graeme McMillan
'Gotham' Central: Five Questions About 'The Mask'
If you thought that getting ahead in business was cut-throat before, this week’s episode of Gotham probably made you feel a little bit better about your personal situation: no matter how hard it is, it’s very unlikely that you’d have to literally kill someone with photocopier toner in order to get ahead. But behind the melodrama of this week’s case, things were slowly moving on the series’ overarching themes — including a return for Selina Kyle and even more proof that Edward Nygma has boundary issues when it comes to his own workplace.
While we quietly ponder what’s going on with Barbara, leaving Gordon for the second time in a show that’s only been going on for eight weeks — really, Barbara, I hope you come back with more of a plot outside “I’m about to be kidnapped to be used against Gordon” next time, because you deserve better — here are five questions about “The Mask.”
Is That A Black Mask?
Richard Sionis’ gladiatorial idea of corporate advancement may have been familiar to anyone who seen Fight Club, but Sionis himself has a past that’s known to the comic book faithful. As Roman Sionis, he’s Black Mask, an executive turned mob boss (and also someone whose fondness for masks has gone horribly wrong, with his face permanently hidden behind one following an accident). Yes, for the second week in a row, we’ve seen an honest-to-goodness bad guy from the comics being a bad guy. We also know that the Scarecrow is on his way, so should we consider this a regular thing from now on? If nothing else, it’ll be more impressive than the Balloonman…
Is Gordon An Inspiration?
“I’m not gonna stop, Harvey,” Gordon said at the end of this week’s episode. “Falcone, the Mayor, any cop that’s dirty, I’m gonna get them.” Tough words from a man who couldn’t tell his fiancee that there were no monsters earlier on with a clear conscience because he’s fairly monstrous himself. (The conversation about Gordon being a killer was interesting, if only because his refutation that he’s actually a fighter rang particularly hollow; was he trying to convince Bullock, or himself?) Nonetheless, Gordon has seemingly turned both Bullock and Essen around in terms of backing down in the face of corruption, and Bullock’s speech suggested that he could have the same effect on the other cops, as well. But is Gordon ready to be a leader yet? I’m not convinced.
Don’t You Want To Be Normal?
It was hard not to feel for Bruce this week, especially when you saw the reaction his peers at school had to his parents being murdered. No wonder the poor guy wanted to be home-schooled — although I’m not sure most people would consider “Alfred teaches you how to beat people up” to be an acceptable form of home schooling. Now we know who to thank for getting Bruce properly started as everyone’s favorite costumed psychopath, however. Thanks, Mr. Pennyworth.
Are the Wayne Murders What Sparked Weird Gotham?
“How could their deaths have caused all this?” asked Captain Essen, and it was a very good question — this isn’t the first time that the show has suggested that the death of Bruce’s parents was the event that’s at the center of everything that’s happened to date. Is it something to do with Arkham’s ownership, which keeps being mentioned? Is it a secret to do with Wayne Enterprises? Gordon put forward another theory this week: “I think it’s what they represented — a different Gotham. Decent, hopeful. Whatever it was, it’s gone now.” Me, I’m holding out for Arkham.
What’s In The Ledger?
As Fish said, “This is a thread. I pull this and Falcone comes undone.” But what is that thread? Some secret that we don’t know about yet, or merely financial details that will let Fish take over some business interest that we’re supposed to think is important? Hmm. Maybe it’s something to do with Arkham… (And an additional question: Is Liza still working for Fish, despite what she says? We know that Falcone can turn those working out against him, as shown by Oswald’s behavior, after all. If Liza does have feelings for Falcone, doesn’t it stand to reason that he’ll turn her sooner rather than later…?)