Season 4, Episode 3: “They Who Hide Behind Masks”
Directed by Mark Tonderai
Written by Steven Lilien & Bryan Wynbrandt
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “The Fear Reaper” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Demon’s Head” – click here
A classic scene from the comics. We see a man on horseback, centuries ago, find Ra’s al Ghul (Alexander Siddig) in a pile of bodies on a field of war. The former man in his position has found his “heir.” Thus began the quest for Ra’s to find his own heir, across time.
Speaking of, Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) is putting the new Wayne Enterprises goods to the test, hopping rooftops. He and Alfred (Sean Pertwee) keep their eye on everything criminal Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) is doing across Gotham City. They’re down at the docks where a ship is coming in. The young billionaire sees a thief heading in, he worries they’re going to fall into a trap. The butler urges him to walk away. We already know he won’t do that.
The thief finds a crate marked MDE 23. While trying to help, Bruce catches the attention of Penguin’s men, starting a real fight. The suit proves to work, real nice. And of course who was the thief? Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova). Tsk, tsk, Bruce; out trying to mansplain crime for his former girlfriend without even knowing.
In the South, Dt. Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) is looking for Carmine Falcone (John Doman) at a sprawling estate. The retired mobster isn’t what you’d call excited to see his once friend. There, the detective also meets the daughter, Sofia (Crystal Reed). Everyone’s interested in why he’s turned up there. He tries asking for help from Falcone. Tall order. Especially with the mobster dying. That’s when the daughter offers to help, though her father says she’s “not ready for Gotham.” A dead end.
“There are other kinds of masks you can wear, Master Bruce.”
The kinks in Penguin’s business are spreading. One of the worst is when a woman named Myrtle Jenkins (Ilana Becker) sneaks into the Iceberg Lounge, thawing Ed Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) from his icy statue. It’s not really perfect for the Riddler, though. Myrtle is totally obsessed, her house is full of newspaper clippings, hearts drawn over them. Yikes. And he his muscles are atrophied, so he can’t even move on his own. Like a Misery-type situation.
Bruce plays a role to get himself onto that ship in the dock. There, in the manifest, he sees the crate the thief was interested in holds an embalmer’s knife from the Tomb of Belahsi. Ah, I bet we know what knife that is, don’t we? The young man gets caught once more, so Alfred has to teach him some “improvisation.” In addition, we see Barbara is searching for the knife, so, could her mysterious benefactor be Ra’s? COULD IT? Simultaneously, Bruce is discovering the truth behind Mr. al Ghul, his timelessness, and that he’s the one tracking down the embalming knife.
Myrtle is doing her best to bring the Riddler back to his prime. She figures out it isn’t so much the body they need to worry about, it’s the brain. Warm that up, the body follows. Therefore, they’ve got to get some riddles going. Poor ole Ed is having trouble, his intellect has truly declined in the months he spent inside that ice.
After searching, Penguin and Zsasz (Anthony Carrigan) find Myrtle. Only Ed has escaped after knocking her out. She’s being dispatched, while the Riddler is out on his new legs walking the street again, eager for revenge.
“Play the role that you were born the play”
To buy the fabled knife, Bruce must do as Alfred advises and become what everyone thinks he is – Bruce Wayne, a loud kid with too much money. Says he’s a millionaire, I’d technically call him a billionaire, company included. So, the kid goes to the big auction throwing money around all over the place.
When the embalming knife goes up, Bruce has to contend with Ms. Kean. The kid makes a spectacle of the auctioning process to throw everybody off the scent. Barb gets saucy, so Bruce ups the price tag to $2-million. Penguin calls it for the young man: “I do love seeing that woman lose.” A perfect, hilarious scene that also works on the plot! God, I love Gotham.
That night, Selina comes looking for the knife at Wayne Manor. She thinks Bruce will just give it up, that it means nothing to him. She’s wrong, though. He won’t turn it over, because he also knows that Ra’s is, sooner or later, coming to find that knife for himself.
When Jim gets back to the GCPD, he finds Sofia has come to Gotham after they spent a little time together down South. She offers to help with everything going on in the city. She also views Gotham as her “birthright.”
And Ra’s, he has come to Gotham, meeting Barbara. He confirms she was bathed in the Lazarus Pit, brought back. He still wants that knife. The two of them are determined to get it.
What a cracking episode! Some hilarious stuff in the auction scene, as well as the fact we’re getting into the meatier bit of the Ra’s al Ghul storyline. Exciting, some of my favourites from the DC comics. Can’t wait to see how it’s all further adapted.
“The Demon’s Head” is next.