Gotham: Review: Series 1 Episode 8: The Mask

Gotham 1.8Fight Club comes to Gotham…

That description is a little unfair on the episode, which moves many of the ongoing plotlines forward by small increments, but fighting is certainly at its heart. Right from the start, where we see two people fighting it out in an office watched by an eager audience (in a scene that’s very reminiscent of The Purge: Anarchy), to the pasting that Bruce Wayne receives and then delivers, to Harvey’s rallying of the police to try to help Jim, combat is the central motif.

Another DC villain makes his appearance in Gotham: Richard Sionis, the boss of the company with unusual recruitment techniques, is based on Roman Sionis, aka Black Mask (something which is retained in the TV episode), and walks the tightrope between comic book and TV sensibilities well. The other DC villains aren’t as well served – unless they do something with Edward Nygma soon, his scenes are just going to become repetitious, and Selina’s only purpose in the story seems to be to get arrested and then ask Jim Gordon for help. The producers are clearly focusing their attention on Oswald Cobblepot, who continues to be the strongest element of the whole series.

The Jim/Barbara relationship continues to be rocky, and, as with the future Riddler, let’s have some sort of proper forward movement with this: with Barbara leaving at the end of the episode, maybe there’s a chance for a rethink.

Verdict: Starting to veer back towards the superhero side of Gotham may not be the best move for the series – it’s at its strongest with the internecine gang warfare, and servicing too many other plotlines may be its downfall. 7/10

Paul Simpson


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