So, knowing the episode would not feature Jim Carrey with a giant green head, I did ask myself if this one would include a nod towards one of Batman’s lesser known foes, namely Black Mask. It does seem a little odd to me that so many of Batman’s foes look to be a decade or more older than him on this show, but there’s no sign of Black Mask in this episode.
I think we get his father instead.
That said, while much of this episode continues the fallout from Cobblepot’s clearing of Gordon’s good name and what that meant for the cops in the station, the entire plot involving Gordon going to find out why some twentysomething in a suit-and-suspenders look turned up dead does have a few interesting repercussions, and not just because Richard (not Roman) Sionis includes some sort of lethal fight club as the final step of his job application process (seriously, did no one notice people going missing after interviewing for the guy before?) doesn’t really catch my attention the way it should. It says something about Gordon’s fightin’ attitude and all, but Gordon is so bland on a good day that I don’t much care that he can beat up four aspiring stockbrokers by himself.
Likewise, Barbara’s leaving him rather suddenly just draws a yawn.
However, then there’s the Bruce subplot. Bruce, against his better wishes, returns to school at Alfred’s insistence, only to be bullied by Tommy Elliot.
What is he? A bully in a Stephen King book that he goes after a kid whose parents just died for being an orphan?
Anyway, Bruce slaps the kid and then doesn’t want to stick around long after school when Alfred comes by to pick him up. I like how Alfred seems to be the only person who can park a car in front of the school. It’s like being Alfred means he gets to ignore the fire zone and park illegally.
Now, Alfred is famously rather against Master Bruce’s nocturnal activities. Sure, he aids and abets, but that doesn’t make him a fan. He mostly seems to just go along with whatever is happening and makes his sarcastic commentary along the way.
This Alfred not only insists Bruce go punch Tommy Elliot’s well-deserving lights out, but he even gives the boy a weapon (Thomas Wayne’s watch) to give the fist a little extra power, and then he seems rather pleased when Bruce says he wants to learn how to fight.
Beyond that, between Penguin and Fish doing what Penguin and Fish always do and Nygma being creepy in the morgue, the biggest moment may have come from Harvey shaming the other cops into helping the missing Gordon. Bullock’s become a much more reliable ally in recent episodes, and seeing this stuff shows how Gordon will someday be leading this department…if he lives long enough that is.