Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
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The appearance of a familiar Batman villain and a bullying scene at Bruce's school make "The Mask" an important episode, though it returns to Gotham's procedural format.
The show returned to a "villain of the week" format, but it was a good one.
Lot of the stuff that had started working on this show stopped working again. But the episode still won us over, mostly because of the incredibly bloody scenes of violence it managed in prime-time.
While there's nothing to be found in the way of bombshell developments, and it's a fairly by-the-numbers case of the week scenario, this might be the best job the show has done of balancing out its competing halves.
Fight Club gone Gotham is a generally harmless tale which feels as if it exists to simply stand next to the over-arching narratives, and in that respect it's successful.
What it lacks in story quality it makes up for in seeing these main characters with a stronger sense of purpose behind their actions, given what everyone has gone through in recent weeks. Gotham is growing.
Look, I'm as susceptible as anyone to the lizard-brain pleasures of seeing privileged nasties get what's coming to them. There's just not much substance to it.
When all was said and done, though, it was a solid enough episode, I thought, with some great character moments for Bruce, Alfred, Gordon and Bullock throughout.
Eight episodes in, Gotham still hasn't found a consistent tone or even decent writing throughout an entire episode.
So much of what has troubled Gotham reared its head in "The Mask." A bland main story overrun by a mass of subplots was the main culprit here, flanked by subpar writing and phoned-in acting.
The show's lack of conviction in its central idea of a company boss whose recruitment regime includes getting the candidates to fight each other to the death is evidenced by the fact that the plot runs out of steam after 18 minutes.