Recap: Did Gotham just introduce Bruce's other alter ego?

Contributed by
Oct 5, 2017

Gotham's fourth season presses on with new unions (Barbara/Ra's, Jim/Sophia), the continued evolution of vigilante billionaire Bruce Wayne, and the heart (and ice) melting escape of one Edward Nygma.

But what are the moments that lingered after the episode aired? Who had the wittiest wordplay? Who wore it best? What references did we catch? What did we like? What did we not like?

These are the 5 BIG QUESTIONS we had after watching Episode 3: "They Who Hide Behind Masks."

DID WE JUST SEE THE ORIGIN OF MATCHES MALONE?

Alfred tells Bruce that "Improvisation is a weapon in every actor's tool kit," and while that's a nice, meta-textual nod to the fact that Pertwee and Mazouz are, in fact, actors, it's the "poor little orphan Brucey" role more so than the over-the-top, bratty billionaire shtick that feels like the more exciting nod toward Bruce's future.

Batman is not Bruce's only alter ego. Bruce Wayne is, whether you agree or not, meant to be a master of disguise, and his other biggest disguise is that of down-on-his-luck small-time criminal: Matches Malone.

In "They Who Hide Behind Masks," Bruce pretends to be a poor kid looking for his missing dad in order to sneak onto a freighter and check its manifest. He's got a cute little Newsies hat and everything! And while that doesn't turn out so hot (Alfred has to bail him out), it does suggest that we'll be seeing more from this character. Sure, it's weird that somehow no one in Gotham seems to instantly recognize the richest kid in town, but that opens the door for more stories featuring Bruce as Matches. Oh! Maybe Bruce will give himself a fake teenage mustache and work on his gravelly vocal skills. So many possibilities!

WHO IS THE RIDDLER IF HE CAN'T RIDDLE?

Riddler is free. He is definitely too popular to stay on ice for long. Also, Corey Michael Smith gets paid whether he's in an episode or not at this point, so ...

But the most exciting Riddler moment this episode was when we realized that his brain don't work so good no more. He's presented with the simplest of riddles: What's green and red and goes round and round?

He can't answer it, and it's revealed that the query comes from a book hilariously called "Riddles for Children."

If fancy riddles is your whole shtick and now you don't even know that what's black and white and red all over is a newspaper, who are you? The era of stupid Riddler has begun, and if it continues to involve Ed hitting people with books, well, that sounds dandy.

Frog in a blender!

 

CAN A TAILOR CATCH A BREAK IN THIS TOWN?

Remember that time Oswald seemed like he was going to be a good, sweet boy because he was found by his long-lost father, Elijah Van Dahl? Elijah wasn't just kind (and rich), he also descended from a long line of tailors. He made Oswald all these dope suits.

And then he got poisoned.

Now Myrtle Jenkins shows up as a Riddler super fan, a kind of proto-Harley Quinn, and all she wants is to be Ed's sidekick. Also? She's a tailor who makes a bunch of neato outfits with question marks on them.

And then Victor Zsasz shoots her to death! Come on!

If there's one mystery on Gotham to unravel this season it is this: What is this show's beef with costume people? And when will one be introduced and not die immediately? RIP, Myrtle Jenkins. You deserved better.

IS THE DEVIL YOU DON'T KNOW BETTER THAN THE PENGUIN YOU DO?

First it was a blonde who turned out to be crazy. Then it was a brunette who temporarily went crazy because of a virus. Now it's another brunette who is a mob boss's daughter ... and will probably go kinda crazy at some point. Man, does James Gordon have a type or what?

But the appearance of Sophia Falcone in Gotham does raise a question about the nature of Gotham City: If the police have to play ball with a crime boss, is it better to stick with who they know or roll the dice?

Penguin is oftentimes a shouty cartoon character, but at least James and Harvey have a predictable patter with him at this point, right? Good odds the GCPD know when Penguin's gonna go on a murder spree and when he's gonna gonna just chill in the club, bottle full of bubb, et cetera.

Sophia Falcone, however, is all x-factor. Sure, she might be mostly benevolent, but she does admit to wanting to be a crime boss, so ... she can't be that good. Basically, her strongest selling point right now is that she made out with James Gordon. When has Penguin ever kissed a cop? Never.

But it seems inevitable that Sophia will have her influence, and it will be interesting to see if she is worse or better than the Penguin as time wears on.

 

WHAT DOES DETECTIVE JAMIE HARPER'S ARRIVAL MEAN FOR GOTHAM?

Blink and you missed it, but Harvey very briefly introduces Jim to a new detective, Jamie Harper. It's such a throwaway moment, you might not have given it any thought with so much else going on this episode.

But Detective Harper's arrival might be the most significant moment for the future of Gotham. She may not be a huge player in the Batman universe, but she has, in past stories, been partnered with Harvey Bullock. And those stories involved the Order of Purity, a group connected with Azrael and the Dumas family. And, later, there is also a connection to ... Ra's al Ghul. We saw the former in Gotham Season 2, and the current is on the show right now.

Will Gotham use previous stories, line for line? Of course not. But Harper's arrival does suggest the possibility of some interesting stories on the horizon. People who don't bleed? A return of Dumas family lore? A suit of sorrows that is to Batman as the alien symbiote was to Spider-Man? There are a lot of things Harper's arrival could mean. And we're excited about all of them.

And those were our 5 big questions coming out of "They Who Hide Behind Masks." What were yours?