Gotham – The Mask Review
"Your next interview will never be the same. "
Gotham's The Mask reinvents the term interview. In the latest episode, Bullock and Gordon investigate a financial firm with an unconventional way to conduct interviews. After Penguin's Umbrella, Gordon has a grudge with all of the police department. This grudge causes Bullock and Gordon to switch roles. While on the other side of Gotham City, Mooney is finding flaws in her weapon while Bruce and the Penguin are experiencing bullying.
Bullock and Gordon's 360 turn was well done but the bullying and the symbolism of the mask lacked. Bullock has been on a road to recovery going from a hot-headed corrupted detective to Gordon's loyal partner. His speech demonstrated a caring Bullock. Gordon, on the other hand, let his hot-headedness erupt. These role switches defined these characters and created a stronger bondage between the two. But the mask lacked symbolism and the bullying wasn't juiced out.
Beginning with the concept behind the mask. Richard Silonis "The Mask" (played by Todd Stashwick) explained that a "mask hides the face but frees the soul. A mask speaks the truth." It is "deep" as Bullock replies but a mask really only hides the face and frees the guilt, so a mask is more of a lie than truth. It might make sense in Silonis's twisted mind but he never factored in why the interviewees went along with his insanity. They wanted a job and the only thing stopping them was the candidate trying to bash their heads in with office supplies.
So really, the mask only allowed them to hide the faces of the opponent and free their guilt of murder. The mask removed the humanity of the other person in order to easily kill. The symbolism behind the mask should have been propaganda not the nonsense Silonis implied. If the show wanted to prove that the mask speaks the truth then Gordon would have worn a mask in the end. That wasn't the case and not only did Gordon not wear a mask but the mask on Silonis face still left him with a conscious. Gordon's instincts to fight kicked in without a mask and even after standing over the unmasked Silonis, he still fought the idea of finishing him. Reexamining the events, Bullock mentioned that Gordon loves the soldier inside and enjoys fighting the battle with the cops. A mask would have freed those feelings but he wasn't wearing one through the entirety of the show. He allowed his angry soul to run wild and further anger the rest of the police department.
Then there is the bullying, which could have been juiced out more. Bruce is back in school and after his tragedy there had to be an inconsiderate moron to use it to their advantage. His bully, Tommy Elliot, didn't even get a chance to finish his sentence before Bruce slapped him silly. Then there was the punch that left Elliot on the ground. That was it, a slap and a punch. The events that occurred between the slap and the punch was left up the audiences' mind. Besides the fact that this act of bullying would have built the future Bruce Wayne, the audience didn't get a reason to hate Elliot. Sure, with a face like that and his attitude anyone would want to take three good punches but his character could have been made uglier. If in fact, he and his gang of accomplices beat up Bruce then that final punch would have left the audience with a hooray feeling. There was no character development in Bruce and involving such a controversial issue such as bullying would have created a development.
Penguin, on the other hand, is one of those cases in which bullying made him into a heartless person. His mother, who also dealt with bullying in her youth, gives an understanding why he is more eager to hurt for evil purposes. There is no doubt that his cooky mother is the reason why the Penguin is the way he is. Her stories became harmful guidelines the Penguin uses. Although, is Mooney a big bully in this scenario? Penguin is a product of endless bullying but Mooney only stuck a pin through his hand because she despises him. The Penguin backstabbed her and this is just her way of getting her revenge. If only there was room in the show for flashbacks. Maybe one of the Penguin as young as Bruce and in school.
Both these cases should have been allowed more scenes. Bruce Wayne got more camera time than the Penguin and it still lacked in satisfaction. That fight that probably took place between the slap and the punch should have made the cut. A defeated Bruce Wayne rising to take the last word would have made Bruce Wayne fans cheering.
Now, for the good in this episode, which was the role reversal of Bullock and Gordon. Gordon erupted in this episode and that characteristic is usually left to Bullock. He started with the police department and then let out his frustration on The Mask. To be fair, he was pushed into the situation with the interviewees and Silonis but he had a vendetta against the police department and he didn't hold back. He wanted them to suffer and feel the same betrayal from last episode's incident. That is something that would have come from Bullock but Bullock was too busy making speeches. Even before the speech Logue demonstrated a weak side of Bullock. The need for help and then getting rejected had him look like an injured animal but he quickly brushed it off to deliver his speech. He delivered a speech fit for the Bullock inside but he became the hero. McKenzie and Logue showed a sides of their characters that was hidden inside and they made it look easy.
• Selina Kyle might reveal another clue in the Wayne murder.
• Mooney's weapon is having feelings for Falcone.
• McKenzie and Logue demonstrated their acting skills.
• The Penguin went from bullied to bullying.
• The show missed the mark on showing the scene between the slap and the punch.
• The meaning behind the mask lacked the true symbolism.
• Barbara is starting to sound like a broken record.
• The goal of Pinkett Smith's character is losing its understanding. What is the purpose of her goal because that story of her mother is an obvious lie?