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"The Mask" (Aired November 10, 2014)

Samantha Wessel

So, eight episodes in, it is fair to say that I’m really enjoying “Gotham,” but I do have a mild complaint about the show’s procedural format. I know that everything is going to be linked together, but I don’t watch procedurals for a reason. I think I would like for the cases to feel more in-depth, and to have their weekly check-ins with Captain Essen (as she doesn’t really add a whole lot to the series). If you’re going to have Captain Essen, use her! Anyway, let’s get in to it.


Jim & Bullock

The episode opens with our murder of the week. Two men are beating the shit out of one another in an office building. After one man kills the other, we see the victor turn toward a camera. The next morning, Edward Nygma, Bullock, and Jim are investigating the body, which has been moved to a different location. Nygma finds part of a finger that the victim bit off of his murderer.  Jim, still rightfully annoyed at his fellow officers for abandoning him when Zsasz came to kill him, decides to go question the homeless to see if they saw anything.


While Jim questions the victim’s mother, Bullock tells Essen that Jim is still angry that every cop ran out on him when his life was in danger, and now the other officers are embarrassed because they’re chickenshits.


Bullock and Jim pay a visit to a black market doctor. Bullock tells the doctor that they will keep letting him practice in the black market if he gives them the information they need.  Even after the doctor gives Jim and Bullock a description, Jim arrests him. Back at the police station, Detective Alvarez questions why Jim did this, as the doctor is one of his sources. Jim tells Alvarez it’s payback. Bullock tells Jim that he proved he’s on Jim’s side, and begs Jim to release the doctor, and the next day they’ll go chase down the lead the doctor gave them, but Jim refuses


Jim heads home and finds a hyper-paranoid Barbara (which she really only has herself to blame. Had she left Gotham when Jim tried to help her, she wouldn’t have been taken hostage). She is convinced Zsasz is stalking her. When Jim promises not to let anyone hurt her, she doesn’t believe him. But less than 5 seconds later, she asks Jim to tell her everything will be ok. Alright lady, you’re getting to be a bit crazy and annoying. The next morning Barbara tells Jim that she freaked out because of nerves and that she had too much to drink. Jim tells Barbara he wishes his job wasn’t like this, but her response is “Do you really


Jim and Gordon are off to chase down a lead, arriving at the office of Richard Sionis. They find that many of Sionis’s employees have cuts and scrapes on them. When Bullock asks Sionis about all his warrior gear, Sionis tells Bullock it inspires him. Sionis also tells Jim that masks speak the truth. Then, Sionis turns the tables on Jim, asking Jim if he misses the battlefield, realizing there’s a fight in Jim. As Jim is leaving, he notices a blood trail in to the bathroom and begins to follow it. Inside he finds a gentleman missing a finger, and therefore, the murderer.


Jim and Bullock question the murderer, and he tells them the fighting is part of the hiring process. Sionis tells the top 3 candidates to fight it out. They aren’t supposed to fight to the death, but this one went wrong. Nygma comes in and tells Bullock and Essen that the victim was killed in an office. Nygma tells Essen that four other bodies were killed in the past three years with office supplies. Just then, a lawyer sent in by Sionis shows up and stops the murder from talking any more.


Jim goes to investigate an abandoned office building, and once there, he finds three guys in cages. Sionis shows up behind him and tasers him. When Jim wakes up, he finds himself surrounded by the three applicants. Sionis tells the three applicants that whomever kills Jim not only gets the job, but a $1 million signing bonus.


Meanwhile, Bullock tries get help to check addresses and track down Jim. When everyone refuses, Bullock yells at his fellow officers. They owe him that after they abandoned him before. Essen is the first one to volunteer, and then others begin as well.


Jim does his best to fight off the applicants. It looks like his soldier training is helping him win. As he takes out the last applicant, Sionis shows up in a mask and he and Jim begin fighting. Jim gets the upper hand, and is about to drive a weapon in to Sionis, but stops himself just as Essen and another officer arrive. Sionis gets off the table and is about to attack Jim, but Jim turns and punches him out. Jim thanks Essen for showing up, and then leaves.


Back at the station, Jim thanks Bullock for having his back, and Bullock tells Jim not to be a pain in the neck. Jim tells Bullock he doesn’t love fighting, but he’s not afraid to either. He tells Bullock they have to fight for the city and he’s not going to stop.


After all the madness, Jim calls Barbara, but she doesn’t answer. She walks out of their shared (it seemed like hers, but we haven’t seen if Jim lives anywhere else) and there’s a note on the table. He laves a message telling her he’s coming home soon.


Oswald Cobblepot

Elsewhere, Cobblepot continues his crazy game of duplicity and intrigue. He meets Fish on her turf to discuss the terms between the Falcone and Maroni families. Cobblepot suggests there should be no bloodshed. Cobblepot then gives Fish the broach he stole off a woman on the street. Fish takes the pin and stabs it in Cobbelpot’s hand, and then tastes his blood like a crazy.


Cobblepot’s henchmen bring in Timothy, the guy Fish hired to take Cobblepot’s position. Cobblepot starts questioning Timothy while hanging him upside down. In an attempt to save his own life, Timothy tells Cobblepot he overheard Fish mention that she has someone close to Falcone. Cobblepot thanks Timothy for his help, then has his men kill Timothy. He may be crazy enough to win this war.


Bruce & Alfred

Alfred drops Bruce off at school, much to Bruce’s chagrin. He tries to convince Alfred that homeschooling is fine, but Alfred insists Bruce needs friends his own age. But as he goes in to school, two fellow students eye Bruce, and it is clear that his return to school isn’t going to go well.


Sure enough, the two boys come to talk to Bruce and start asking him about his parents’ murder. When Bruce tries to tell them he wasn’t to talk about it, it seems like the boys aren’t going to give up. Later in the day, the boys confront Bruce about his parents again. Bruce tries to reason with but when the kids bring up Bruce’s mother, Bruce smacks him.


At the end of the school day, Alfred notices the bruises on Bruce’s face. When Bruce tells Alfred that kids were giving him a hard time about his parents, Alfred takes Bruce to the bully’s house.

Bruce begins to hit Thomas for talking about his mother. He gets in a couple of hits when Alfred walks up. When Thomas complains, Alfred points out that he doesn’t have any broken bones, and that Bruce tried to kill him and it would do Thomas well to remember that.


Later t Wayne manor, Bruce tells Alfred he enjoyed hurting Thomas. Bruce asks Alfred he’ll always be angry all the time, to which Alfred doesn’t have a particularly satisfying answer. (Hint: the answer is hell yes.) He also asks Alfred to teach him how to fight, and Alfred agrees to do so.