Gotham: The Mask begins with two men fighting in what appears to be an abandoned office. Using whatever they can find as weapons, the two fight until one is dead and the other loses a thumb. The entire battle is caught on the room’s cctv. The body of the loser is found at the docks the next day. Enigma asks if he should run all the prints as he pulls the winner’s thumb out of the dead man’s mouth.
Oswald Cobblepot robs a woman of her gold brooch after asking he if can “please” have it. A note from Victor Zsasz’s book late week when asking all the Gotham police to “please” leave the precinct. The Penguin offers the jewelry to Fish Mooney who stabs him in the hand with it. After exchanging a few heated words the two separate with Oswald taking the brooch with him. Jim Gordon questions the dead man’s mother and Bullock tells the Gotham police department captain that his partner is still angry that the entire precinct deserted him last week.
Penguin gives the refused gift to his mother and she helps him out by revealing that everybody has a secret. Gordon and Bullock head down to the black market doctors to see if a thumbless man came in seeking treatment. The doctor lies at first saying he does not know, but when Jim finds a shirt with evidence to the contrary, he arrests the doc after he passes on a business card that fill out of his patients pocket.
When Gordon arrests the illegal medical practitioner, the other police get upset and Jim does not care, he asks Detective Alvarez, who has a deal with the black market doc, “how does it feel?” Bullock backs his partner up and tells Alvarez to give it a rest. James goes home only to have Barbara pull a gun on him, drunk and terrified she tells her fiance to lie to her and tell her there are no monsters.
In the derelict office where the two men fought earlier, there are more contestants in cages and they are approached by a man in a mask, in Gotham there is a different sort of fight club and the masked man tells the men in the cages that they control how long they remain captives. Barbara sends Jim off to work but asks him to leave his spare gun.
Enigma does his own autopsy on the dead man found at the beginning of the episode and apart from getting in trouble with the forensic medical examiner finds a clue the man missed. Bruce’s return to school leaves him open to bullying from the bigger students who want to pick on the new orphan. Fish Mooney’s plant with the Godfather of Gotham reports in by stepping into a confessional booth at the local church. Mooney tasks the young woman with getting information after drugging the don. This info, says Mooney, will weaken his organization enough for her to take over.
Gordon and Bullock follow the business card and find where the fight’s originated but not where they took place. They meet with the company’s owner Mr. Richard Sionis, who collects Asian war memorabilia one item in the collection is the mask seen at the start of the show, and both men know instantly that he is behind the murder of the young man they have in their morgue. Sionis tells the Gotham detectives that he recognises that Jim is a killer and that he images killing is “quite addictive.”
Bullock gets the humorous line of the week when he tells Sionis that, “I’d give you the ‘good cop’ routine but it’s not in my toolkit.” Gordon and Harvey stumble across the man with the missing thumb and Bruce Wayne gets into a fight at school with a bully who taunts him about his murdered mother. Cobblepot learns Fish Mooney’s secret from his replacement, that she has planted someone close to Falcone and afterward orders the hapless assistant murdered.
The thumbless man fesses up his boss at the Gotham police station, and Enigma reveals that the black stuff on the murdered man’s shirt was toner and not ink. He also tells Bullock and the captain that the case is like one he’s seen before. The thumbless man gets released by Sionis’ lawyer and Gordon explains how the Wayne’s death opened the gates in the city to a crimewave.
Alfred learns of Bruce’s fight. When the butler finds that his charge lost, he is not happy. Jim Gordon tracks down where the office is that the fight took place. Barbara calls and Gordon cuts her off and Mooney’s plant serves the don his doctored tea. Gordon is knocked out soon after he discovers the cages in the office and Selina Kyle gets arrested again.
Bruce is given his father’s watch in front of the bully’s house by Alfred and the boy uses it to beat the bigger boy up. Butler Pennyworth comes up and stops Bruce before he can cause too much damage. The bully claims that the boy tried to kill him and Alfred says, “that’s right.” He tell the beaten boy to remember that the next time he meets the future Batman and to remember also that Alfred let him do it.
Jim Gordon is set up against three of Sionis’ employees while Bullock asks the cops down at the Gotham precinct to help him track where his partner is. When no one offers aid, Harvey tells every officer in the Gotham police station off and after the captain offers to help, the rest, including Alvarez, follow suit. Jim Gordon wins the one sided battle and then goes on to defeat the samurai sword wielding Sionis.
The rest of Gotham’s finest show up and later Mooney tells her plant a story about why she wants her to continue getting close to Falcone. Jim thanks Harvey for having his back and for his speech to the rest of the Gotham police department, he then finds out that Kyle has been arrested again. Before that happens Barbara Kean leaves Gordon and it looks like there may be a showdown between Mooney and Cobblepot very soon. Bruce reveals to Alfred that he enjoyed hurting the bully and he promises to help the boy learn how to fight. By the end of The Mask little Bruce Wayne is one stop closer to becoming Batman.
By Michael Smith