This episode to me had a very serious sounding title. Do we all hide behind a mask, if so what kind of mask? Compared to the last two episodes this had a lighter tone, comedic but ensuring that Gotham city is still the dark mysterious place that we all are familiar with. Personally I think it’s the best episode of the season 4 so far and we are only 3 episodes in.
The opening scene reminded me of a Ridley Scott historic film, we are taken back to Arabia. 125 AD. A hooded man ( Eddy Toru Ohno ) is riding horseback alone through a battlefield covered in bodies. He finds Ra’s al Ghul as we currently know him dead, he carries him towards the green luminous water which we recognise as the Lazarus pit. Ra’s al Ghul rises alive and confused as he knew he was no more. The hooded man explains the water has given Ra’s life and he must go forward in finding his own heir. A decorative dagger is handed to Ra’s, he removes it from its case the blade is curved.
Its a full moon in Gotham vigilante Bruce is out patrolling a large shipment down at the docks after hearing a rumour, the shipment belongs to Penguin. Keeping in radio contact with Alfred who is waiting for him parked up in a car,Bruce recites what he sees. Four heavily armed men who belong to Penguin watch the assumed valuable shipment being loaded onto a truck. Bruce decides to take a closer look, which doesn’t surprise Alfred. As Bruce doubles checks before he makes his moves he spots a stalking thief heading towards the shipment, Bruce quickly realises they are walking into a trap. Alfred insists he walks away as he won’t have him risking his life over a thief. The unidentifiable thief makes their way onto the back of the truck, but there is something familiar about the way this thief moves. Checking the different create numbers the thief starts to open up the box marked MDE23. Stalking the outside of the truck Bruce watches through the slats of the truck, behind he hears a gun load behind him, they accuse Bruce of wanting to steal from The Penguin. Bruce puts his suit to the test as guns are fired but one of the men manages to cut the top of his wrist where there is exposed flesh. The thief inside the truck finds cover from the bullets, tries to take the create but decides to leave it as the bullets fly through and the men drive the truck away, the thief is annoyed at being empty handed then it is revealed to be Selina Kyle.
A taxi pulls into a palatial home on the coast down south. Jim Gordon gets out of the taxi, he stands and watches a dark hair, slight in stature lady dismount from her horse. A steward greets Jim he explains that Carmine Falcone is not expecting him, but wishes to see him the steward agrees. Carmine Falcone (Jon Dolman ) is my favorite out of the Dons that have appeared in Gotham and always a pleasure to have him as a guest appearance. Falcone is having breakfast outside overlooking the rolling waves of the ocean, and certainly is surprised to see Jim arrive at his breakfast table, Jim holds out his hand to shake Falcone but he doesn’t return the gesture and comments “your a long way from home?” Jim complements Carmine on his home, but Falcone is not interested in small talk. This is where we are introduced to Sofia Falcone ( Crystal Reed )after an induction by Carmine. I really like how Sofia slightly shakes her head to say I don’t need you to stand to Jim as she takes her seat at the table, Jim looks uncomfortable as he wants to discuss with Carmine, but it is Sofia who asks the question “what are you doing here, James?” Carmine expresses he doesn’t keep any secrets from his children and urges Jim to tell all. When Jim explains that Penguin has taken over the city, the GCPD has turned its back on Gotham, and asking for help to knock Penguin off his perch. Falcone refuses to help as he is dying, the doctors don’t know what off, he may think its karma. Sofia goes to offer her help but Carmine hushes her as he doesn’t think she’s ready for Gotham, Sofia looks hurt and disappointed. Falcone does questions whether this is actually about Jim and his loss of power. Jim is sure of himself when he replies “this is bigger then me.” There was a time when Carmine would of done anything for the city, but not anymore and makes it clear that Jim is on his own.
Whilst sewing up Bruce’s hand, Bruce questions if Alfred knows what he is doing. As Alfred pulls on the thread Bruce comments about Alfred being angry with him. Of course Alfred is as Bruce let his guard down. Bruce decides to go back to the docks as there must be a manifest on the freighter as whatever was in that crate must be valuable if the thief was willing to steal it from the Penguin. Bruce feels this is his chance to investigate real crime, stop it before it becomes something bigger. Alfred suggests not to wear the mask out in daylight as it would bring attention to him, Bruce is confused in how he will get himself on the ship. This is where the title of the episode comes in and Alfred explains “There are other kind of masks you can wear Master Bruce.” This is what the episode is about not essentially vilgilante Bruce, but how many types of masks and the complexity of different Bruce Wayne’s.
Barbara’s weapon shop is finally open for business, she demonstrates a new shot gun on a shuddering man the force of the shot sends him halfway across the room to other customers laughing. A protental buyer is impressed and places an order. Selina turns up empty handed Barbara asks where her crate is, but is concerned that Selina didn’t get seen by Penguins men, which is no as Selina wore the mask that Barbara suggested. Selina feels that Barbara is mad at her which she isn’t, she feels she misjudged Selina and wrong to cut Selina in on the new business. Barbara decides she will get the crate herself which annoys Selina, but she can redeem herself by mopping the floors.
Penguin is satisfied with a good night of business, until Zsasz tells him that someone tried to steal his shipment. Zsasz tells Penguin to relax in own relaxed way that his men stopped the thief. After a brief conversation between himself and frozen Ed, Oswald is anxious as the shipment is full of black market items for an auction in which Gotham’s Elite is invited and Oswald stands to make a fortune. Penguin orders Zsasz to take him to the warehouse so he can bring the items back to The Iceberg Lounge where they will be safe. The part I really like about this scene is when Zsasz and Penguin leave a mystery person appears with a gas flame tourch. We have never seen this character before she is here for one thing only to defrost The Riddler. Oswald’s reaction is everything I thought it would be, a very loud expressive tantrum which is completely OTT, but that’s why we love him. Zsasz lightens the mood in his opinion ” I dunno, kinda opens the room up” Penguin demands he finds who is responsible as they will die for this and he wants Ed back. Oswald is shaking with rage as he holds Ed’s hat that has been left behind in the melted ice and Oswald quietly says to himself “where are you Ed?” Good question Penguin!
Mrytle Jenkins (IIana Becker ) has a history with our Riddler, they attended the same high school ‘Hilltop Elementary’ they both attended Mrs. Macher’s class she used to sit three rows back closest to the window. Mrtyle is officially Ed’s and The Riddlers number one fan, having read every article on his rise to becoming the Riddler. I love how the fandom of Gotham has embraced this delightful character on social media. Ed definitely doesn’t recognise her, he decides he needs to leave but Ed can’t move he thinks he is tied to the bed. Myrtle explains because he has been on Ice he has muscle dystrophy, she has heat lamps surrounding his bed to thaw him out. Ed remembers being down by the river, he asks Mrtyle how long was he on ice, she works it out to be five months. Myrtle shows Ed The Iceberg Lounge flyer and explains that Penguin has opened a new club and Ed was the centre piece. Ed is enraged that he was on display like a caged animal. But Mrtyle is going to nurse Ed back to health so he can reclaim his throne as Gotham’s greatest villain, but not forgetting Mrtyle will be his sidekick, I really like this character I found Mrtyle and her enthusiasm an absolute delight. The return of Ed (Cory Michael Smith ) is perfect timing as I was starting to miss him. The way the defrosting has been done had me slightly disappointed as I thought it would be a big elaborate revenge, anyhow Gotham always likes to surprise us and they did by introducing us to The Riddler’s number one fan.
Back down at the dock Bruce is back in a different disguise flat cap and 1920’s style work clothes. When asked what he is doing Bruce answers in a different deeper drawn out accent that he is looking for his uncle. With reculance the crew above board agree Bruce can came aboard, he makes his way to the Captains Bridge to find the Mainfest. He scans the list and sees the contents written down one of them being an embalming knife. Bruce gets caught by one of the crew, one of the men shows him the injuries from the thief the night before, and believes he is putting on an act. Alfred turns up in overalls, wool hat, he calls Bruce “Andy” he has also changed his filmilar British accent to an American one. As Alfred walks forward to take Bruce home the two guys stop him, Alfred admits defeat “your right though the boys acting does need a bit of work” Que 00Alfred time he punches the two men and they hit the floor, then explains to Bruce, “improvisation is a very important weapon in any actors tool kit”
Barbara seeks a knife that Oswald Cobblepot is auctioning, he wants to know why this knife is so important to Barbara. It’s of no interest to her, but it’s for her client who has a great interest in it, he has given her a ton of cash. Barbara wants to buy it at a lower price and make a profit, she will triple the opening price at auction as it will probably go for less. Oswald chuckles as he calls out wherever Barbara has been these last few months has not made her a better liar. Penguin knows it not all about profit for Barbara but her mysterious benefactor is her client, all he wants to know who Barbara’s client is then she has a deal. Barbara remains silent, Oswald is impressed how her client has got his hooks into her, he isn’t backing down so Oswald tells Barbara to bring her chequebook to the auction. Once Barbara leaves Oswald opens a crate which contains the knife.
At Wayne Manor Bruce and Alfred are studying a history book. There is a drawing of the knife on the page where Bruce reads out “The knife was used to Embalm King Balahsi” According to the book he ruled ancient Mesopotamia for the first century. The question they both ask “what thief in Gotham would want a knife like that?” Also whilst trying to work out who hired the other thief Bruce turns over a page in the book to reveal another drawing, which describes a man being healed by water. Bruce recognises his eyes and his face, he asks Alfred “who does that remind you of?” Alfred hesitates but answers “that’s impossible, as the drawing alone is 2000 years old.” Bruce confirms its him Ra’s al Ghul, and it is he who wants the knife.
Jim is on his cellphone telling Harvey that Falcone refused to help. Jim is unexpectedly joined by Sofia down at the beach bar, she hands him a whisky. Jim does question why Sofia has joined him and there are two possible reasons she didn’t want Jim to drink alone and he doesn’t know anybody in town. Sofia has chosen to keep Jim company, she raises a glass to make a toast to her father, Jim shares his respect for Falcone with Sofia. She reveals some truth about how if she wanted to spend with him she had to make an appointment. Falcone being sick has brought them closer together, Sofia tells Jim she has lived down south since she was thirteen. Falcone sent her away from Gotham to be safe, Sofia was never alone she had Mario. Jim admits that there is nothing he can say for causing the death of Mario, Sofia agrees but she understands he was infected by the virus and Jim did what he had to do.
Ed awakes to find acupuncture needles in various parts of his upper body. In the room you can see a silhouette of Mrtyle changing clothes behind a screen. The really wonderful part of this scene she is so excited for Ed to see her dress that is tribute and calls herself “The Riddlette” she asks Eds opinion he cuts her coldly with his words “I think that rehashing someone else’s idea isn’t very original ” Mrtyle tells Ed how if she was the criminal mastermind like Ed is they would of been together sooner. She goes on to explain it took her months to plan his escape, she learnt Penguins schedule, when he came and went and devised an exit strategy. Ed is impressed as she managed to outwit Oswald. Mrtyle asks Ed how he would devised a plan, but Ed can’t think, his brain isn’t functioning like it used to, she removes the acupuncture needles that have not helped his muscles, then she’s come to the conclusion it’s the wrong muscle. Ed’s brain needs stimulating to fire synapses that carry neurons to the rest of his body. Ed likes Mrtyle’s logical thinking, she suggests some riddles. Ed excepts as this is exactly what he needs. It is quickly apparent The Riddler can’t riddle anymore.
As Sofia and Jim walk along the side of the ocean, she asks Jim whether he thinks about walking away from Gotham. Jim agrees he has thought about it, but he can’t. Jim feels Gotham is in his blood, his own father spent his entire life fighting for the city and never took the easy way out, neither can he. Sofia encourages Jim to stand still in the ocean, and this is where Sofia places a kiss on Jim’s lips.
As Alfred helps Bruce get ready, they go over the evenings plan which is essentially to buy the knife, which for Bruce will be easy as he is a billionaire. Alfred reminds him that he is a very public one. Turning up at the Penguin’s black market Auction will raise a few eyebrows. With Alfred suggesting bidding on it was the smarter play, Alfred agrees but he doesn’t want Bruce to attend the auction as himself, he asks Bruce what was the idea of him going down the docks and pretending to be someone else. Alfred was teaching him a lesson, because if he wants to carry on down this vilgilante path then he needs to assume other roles. Alfred advises Bruce “Play the role you were born to play. That of a privileged, somewhat pedantic teenager with deeper pockets then anybody else in this city.” Bruce understands that he needs to play a brat, which is against everything his parents tried to ingrain in him. Alfred agrees, Bruce turns to look at himself in the mirror Bruce Billionaire Brat is ready to spend some money. Bruce doesn’t hold back at the auction we see him spend $250,000 on a painting which he will put in the bathroom! The Elite of Gotham watch with a mix of awe and disapproval. The whole auction scene is supberb Bruce is loud, he wants to high five Alfred but he rufuses as he declares how much he loves art. Bruce uses his own improvised skills, when Alfred tells him to be steady on what he buys. As Bruce sees it, if he only buys the knife he must be the thief who tried to steal it from Penguin, so recklessly throwing his money around no one will think twice. One of the funniest parts was when Bruce calls out loudly to Oswald and calls him ‘my friend’ Oswald is surprised to see Bruce, as he tells Bruce he is welcome and so is his insanely large bank account. Barbara Keen arrives and Bruce is surprised as he thought she was dead. She has arrived in time for the next item to be auctioned the embalming knife from the Tomb of King Balahsi of Sumeria the opening bid starts at $50,000. Just before Bruce bids Alfred does warn Bruce that if he wins Ra’s al Ghul will come for it. Barbara instantly bids $100,000 which makes Bruce question why does she want it. Alfred tells him to stay focused. It becomes a biddding head to head with Bruce always going one dollar more then Barbara, she approaches Bruce to ask him let someone else here have fun, he apologies. Barbara puts in another bid in at $300,000, then she is outbid one cent by Bruce. Another rebid by Bruce at $500,000 Barbara and turns to Bruce and tells him to back off you little brat. The attendees gasp as Bruce makes another bid of $2 million dollars, to make sure Barbara doesn’t bid anymore Oswald grabs the auction hammer “sold to Mr. Bruce Wayne” There is applause, Barbara calmly congratulates Bruce and leaves. Penguin is delighted but does warn Bruce that Barbara does not give up easily she will be coming for that knife.
Riddlette Mrtyle is reading a book of riddles to Ed, he gets another simple one wrong. She shows him the title of the book ‘Riddles for children, Ed is horrified. Mrtyle comes to the disappointing conclusion that his mind is as damaged as the rest of his body. Unknown to Mrtyle Eds body is feeling fine, Ed picks up the book smacks Mrtyle on the side of her head she falls to the floor with a thud.
Selina quietly sneaks into Wayne Manor, unknown to her Bruce sits in the dark he was expecting someone else. He asks Selina why she is there. Selina answers confidentiality she heard about Penguins auction. Bruce asks Selina because they are friends does Barbara think he will just hand the knife over. Selina genuinely doesn’t know why Barbara wants the knife she was supposed to get it for a client. The only information Selina knows he is dangerous man and Barbara thinks if Bruce is smart he would just hand it over. Bruce questions Selina “are you here protect me?” Selina doesn’t see how the knife can be valuable to Bruce but as spent $2m on it he intends to keep it. Bruce asks Selina in a heated discussion about being Barbara ‘s errand girl, Selina corrects him she is a partner. Selina needs to give the knife to Barbara or she will never see her as a equal. Bruce refuses and tells her to leave.
Jim returns to the GCPD to meet a new detective, Detctive Harper. As she is being introduced Sofia Falcone turns up at the GCPD, she sees Gotham as her birthright and no matter what her father says she is ready to help bring down the Penguin. Sofia warns Jim not to be sore as he came looking for a gangster and that is exactly what he found, she believes they can do great things together.
Zsasz has tracked down Mrtyle, she explains in a very sad way Ed’s mind is broken he could not solve any riddles, which Zsasz does get right and is delighted, so good to have Zsasz back. Penguin has had so many people steal from him lately Mrtyle needs to be made an example of. RIP Mrtyle.
Ra’s al Ghul compliments Barbara on her fighting technique, we finally know he has been her teacher after bathing her in the Lazarus pit. He was compentant Barbara would become an ali, she is glad he feels that way. Barbara approaches Ra’s and says “the knife doesn’t seem special” but Ra’s al Ghul informs her she is wrong, the knife is key to everything. The absolute shocker for me at the end of this episode is when Ra’s and Barbara kiss passionately.
The next episode of Gotham is titled “The Demon’s Head” which has been written by Gotham very own Ben McKenzie. He made his directing debut in season 3 “These Delicate and Dark Obsessions” The sneak footage that was recently shown at New York Comic Con looked fantastic. Next episode airs on Thursday 12th October.