this post does contain spoilers…so if you don’t wanna be spoiled watch the episode then come back for recap/review
Well we finally got the chance to see one of the most anticipated shows of this new season. Now there are a list of shows I wanna see this season, only one of which is on Fox. Nothing against Fox but they run slim when it comes to giving shows a chance. But lately thanks to The Following and Sleepy Hollow a little of that has changed. Well, Gotham brings us more excellence. If your a comic fan of DC’s Batman, then the series may have you. I say may because this series is more in the vein of Gotham Central. Gotham Central was a book about Gotham as a city from the eyes of the people who worked the streets for a living, the police. The series showed us how those who weren’t Batman still tried there hardest to both live in the city and protect the citizens. This is where the feeling of the series Gotham more then likely got its heart. Gotham I would classify as a police drama with a comic book background.
The series starts with a scene many of us have become accustomed to thanks to Nolan, Schumacher, and others, the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne. It’s a scene that everyone can relate in full detail, down to the pearls ripped from Bruce’s mothers neck. After the murder the show has begun. We are then taken to the GCPD where a hostage situation has begun. In this we get our first inclining into who James Gordon, played by Ben McKenzie, is. Gordon is a man that thinks first of whats right no matter what. He stops the situation and puts down the guy, then is immediately chastised by Harvey Bullock, played amazingly by Donal Logue. Now I’ve only seen Logue play comedy. I feel bad for not seeing him in anything dramatic, but I can say He fit Bullock to a T for me. Bullock always comes off as a gritty character who has settled into his job knowing that the city is dirty so he will do his job with dirty hands. I never get honest from Harvey Bullock, I got do my job at any cost no matter who gets hurt and hopefully I can get to the bar before close. Logue plays him literally like you think he would be. Next, we are taken to the scene of a murder. As the police on scene relate to us what is going on, Gordon sees a young boy, this is where the pieces are start to get put in place. Gordon meets Bruce and tells him that he will do anything in his power to find the murderer.Now we all know, in the book and movies, the murderer in this crime is highly contested. For years he is never found just alluded to. So of course in the show I was baffled, “are we gonna actually get a murder solved?”. Harvey mentions that there is a crime boss that he thinks may know so they are going to check things out.
We finally get to see the character that has been on my mind since introduced, Fish Mooney. Fish Mooney is not a character from the Batman series. This is a character created for the show. I’m guessing to assist in not only showing the underbelly of Gotham crime but also to get certain characters to certain places in life. Should also mention she is played by Jada Pinkett Smith. Also in this introduction we are introduced to Oswald Cobblepot played by Robin Lord Taylor. This scene sets up their dynamic so well, which I was curious about. Mooney is aggressive yet sexy. We catch her in the middle of teaching a lesson to a thief with Cobblepot holding her umbrella, which for a moment stops covering her head which makes her say “Boy if this head gets frizzy you gonna get it.” This is Fish Mooney’s introduction. We get to see she has a relationship with Bullock. She also has a weary eye for Gordon. You can see that they may not get along by episode end.
Throughout the rest of the episode we are thrown hits left and right about the world the characters live in. The suspect that they apprehend is the father of a young girl with an affinity for plants. The medical examiner is named Edward Nigma, who has a penchant for asking questions in excitement when speaking to him. The thing that made me smile was the introduction of Renee Montoya. The character played by Victoria Cartagena, is a character that was created in Batman The Animated Series. The character found popularity and became a comic book character who would later become The Question and girlfriend to Batwoman. Well she makes a full circle by appearing here. Also I should note that her and Harvey are seen together alot, from the Nolan film The Dark Knight to the comic Gotham Central. The point that made me stop midway was when Montoya had a conversation with Gordon’s fiancee. She debated with her about how well Barbara knew Gordon, to which she said “James never lies” Montoya retorts “Well how well does he know you” mentioning that there maybe something between the two.
All things come to a head when a suspect is shot and killed. Gordon confronts Mooney. And Mooney, well, strings him up on a meat rack because “that’s what Mooney does”. Mooney also takes anger out on Cobblepot for informing the cops that she setup the suspect and that the murder has yet to be solved. The episode puts a lot on our minds and for a minute had us thinking they were gonna attempt to change the story. I mean, you couldn’t solve the murder. Its like giving Wolverine his memories, you just can’t. But they had us for 50 minutes thinking they would. At episodes end we get the full view of how dirty Gotham is. Falcone owns the street and the GCPD. He knew Gordon’s father and from the sound of things was not his biggest fan. I’m guessing like other unanswered questions, this is something we are going to get to at some point. The final moment of the episode we are left with two things. One, Gordon is told to shoot the backstabbing Cobblepot and throw him in the ocean or Falcone will make sure his choice haunts him. He does not do this, which we all knew he wouldn’t because duh we need the Penguin. He makes it seem like he did, which then we see the Penguin swim off told to never return to Gotham. Second, Gordon informs Bruce that the man they thought had murdered his parents was not the perpetrator but a man setup by those who wanted to quickly close the case. He ask the young man for his forgiveness and the right to keep working for the corrupt system until he brings the murderer to justice, which Bruce says he can. Both of these things show us that Gordon has a huge moral compass and will keep doing what he believes is right. Which we know from Oswald Cobblepot coming to shore and killing a man with a face of determination, shows he may be in a heap of trouble, Gordon.
The series has a lot of promise. I am curious as to if fan service will be paid or if they will slyly do things in the vein and let it have wings of its own. I asked this because the young girl with the love for flowers of course was a nod to Poison Ivy. Her father dies so I don’t truly expect to see her again. Twice during the episode we saw a young girl climbing in the background, thanks to promo for the series we know this is Selina Kyle aka Catwoman, also the name of episode 2. The series has lots of cop characters from Gotham Central that they could add, also a multitude of stories. Like anyone else we all have to remember that Batman’s rogues gallery are normal people. Many, maybe 80 percent don’t have any discernible abilities. They all are average people who happen to have an odd affinity for causing trouble. So no one should expect CGI or outrageous special effects. What I can say I’m wondering is how will they choose which Rogues show and which won’t. Will we see Mr Zsaz or Hush? Will we see a teenage Harvey Dent as one of Bruce’s school mates? How about a mention of Arkham Asylum? These are questions I’m sure we will wonder for a while. The most we can do is keep watching. Next episode is named “Selina Kyle” so I’m guessing this is all about a young Catwoman.
Grade: B. I give it this only because most of the pilot was things we knew and could guess. The murder was of course gonna open the series, it is what started the road to everyone’s eventual story. We knew certain things (Penguin living, Gordon not being killed, murder not being solved) couldn’t happen even as a surprise. It was well written and amazing as far as pilots. As an episode it kept me and made me excited. It also had little hints toward the comic that would make a fan smile. Hopefully the momentum is kept and DC/WB can allow for a few surprises. I will say I give the best to casting. The whole cast especially Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, and Jada Pinkett Smith surprised. Jada was one i was iffy on and had a “why” in my mind. But after watching her take on this character, who being an original character in the Batman universe isn’t easy, i’m keeping up with her. Who knows Fish could go the way or Harley Quinn and Renee Montoya and become a comic character.
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This quickcap/review will be posted for you after each episode of GOTHAM