For the first time ever, audiences at the WB presents “A Night of DC Entertainment”, audience members got to see the world premiere of the Batman prequel series, Gotham that traces the origin stories of not only some of the city’s famed villains like the Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) aka Oswald Cobblepot, Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) better known as Catwoman, Poison Ivy, here as Ivy Pepper (Clare Foley) and the Riddler (Cody Michael Smith). But Gotham most importantly focuses on one Jim Gordon (Ben Mckenzie) the future Commissioner Gordon. Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) is also there but he is still a kid.
Jim Gordon himself aka Ben McKenzie was on hand to tell us what we expect with Gotham:
The pilot begins with us seeing Selina Kyle running cat like throughout the streets of Gotham stealing various things like a jug of milk and pickpocketing someone’s wallet. Selina slips into an alleyway to give a cat some milk when she hears a noise and jumps up a fire escape. Into this dark alleyway comes Martha and Thomas Wayne (Grayson McCouch) with their young son Bruce discussing the movie they just saw when a robber with a ski mask comes upon them and robs Thomas of his wallet and Martha of her string of pearls, which one of the strings break. Instead of letting them go, he shoots Thomas and Martha dead but leaves Bruce alive to fall on his knees a yell in grief. While all this is happening we see Selina look on.
We are now at Gotham PD and a criminal is being taken into holding when he grabs a gun and a hostage situation happens. All the cops present raise their guns ready to shoot the guy dead but rookie detective Jim Gordon manages to subdue the situation without any violence much to the chagrin of his partner Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) who tells Gordon the right decision was to shoot here guy.
A call comes in near the end of their shift about a shooting in the theatre district when the two arrive, Gordon notices Bruce off to side quiet I his grief while Bullock sees that the two victims were Martha and Thomas Wayne and doesn’t want to touch the case considering how wealthy they were and the call to get the crime solved quickly. However, it becomes their case when Gordon questions Bruce and gets him to open up by giving him some encouragement that things will get better for him and he vows to catch the killer. Bruce starts to open up and describes the killer as one of having shiny shoes meaning he is no ordinary street thug. Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee), whose first appearance got a huge cheer from the crowd, then comes on the scene to take Bruce home
At a diner, Bullock informs Gordin of his mistake and that they now have to solve this crime quickly, Renee Montoya (Victoria Cartagena) and Allen from major crimes drop by and want to take the case off Bullock but he declines.
Back at the precinct their captain, Captain Sarah Essen (Zabryna Guevara) stresses the importance of getting the killer ASAP and Bullock also asks the captain for a new partner but it is no dice and Bullock is stuck with Gordon.
Some of the crime scene evidence reveals some things but not much to go on and their CSI is one Edward Nygma aka the future Riddler who doesn’t tell them straight up what he found but presents everything as a riddle. We later see a montage of the two detectives interrogating a variety of street thugs but come up empty.
So Bullock decides to visit Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) an elite in the criminal world and connected to mobster Carmine Falcone, to see if she knows of any street thugs that could be the killer.
When we meet Mooney she is in the middle of beating one of her employers for stealing from her and there is Cobblepot as her personal assistant and the others in her employ call Cobblepot the Penguin, a nickname that he does not like.
When Bullock and Gordon arrive it seems that Mooney knows little and Gordon wants to stop what Mooney and company are doing to the poor employee but alas he doesn’t.
Later, we see Gordon visit his fiancé Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) at her home to discuss the case and she offers some words of encouragement. Then during the night, Gordon is awoken by Bullock with a break in there case. It seems that Mooney has discovered that Mario Pepper, a known criminal and violent man has been seen with Martha Wayne necklace. When the two go to confront Pepper there to open the door for them is his daughter Ivy. Mario is not forthcoming until they find the necklace and he makes a run for it but Bullock shoots him dead and the press praise the two for catching the Waynes’ killer.
At the funeral, Gordon shows up to ofer his consolenses and say they caught his parents killer. Bruce takes the news calmly. Also at the funeral but looking on is Selina.
However Pepper isn’t the real culprit and actually was framed by Mooney and Bullock and Gordon is also implicated. Who is to blame? Why Cobblepot who covertly tells this to Montoya and Allen.
Montoya visits Barbara to implicate that Gordon is corrupt but Barbara defends her fiancé that he is a good man and cop. This scene also heavily implies that Barbara and Montoya are more than just friends.
There is a point where Gordon doesn’t believe that Pepper was the killer as the man didn’t own a pair of fancy shoes and goes to Bullock with his thoughts but he tells Gordon to drop it.
Gordon goes to confront Mooney and what he gets for his trouble is a trip to the butcher and being tied upside down like a slab of meat.
Barbara goes to Bullock to say that Gordon is missing and when Bullock goes to find Gordon, he too gets tied up in a similar fashion.
Mooney also knows that it was Cobblepot that ratted her out and for his trouble, he gets clobbered by Mooney and gets fired. The end result is Cobblepot now hobbles like a penguin,
Gordon and Bullock eventually do get out of there situation thanks to Falcone and we learn that the Gotham PD is corrupt and is working with the mob. The first order of business for Bullock and Gordon is to kill Cobblepot, on Falcone’s orders. Bullock wants Gordon to do it as sort of an initiation.
Gordon doesn’t want to but knows that he has to play this game if he is to survive in GPD. So he walks Oswald to the end of the dock, pretends to shoot Cobblepot and pushes him into the river where we later see him emerge and kill a fisherman for his sandwich and hobbles away, Bullock welcomes Gordon to the club with his act of killing Oswald.
Later, Gordon visits Bruce to say that they killed the wrong man and promises to find the real killer. we see Alfred offer snide remarks throughout this visit but Bruce tempers that situation. The episode ends with Selina silently perched just outside the gates of Wayne Manor.
Gotham was a great pilot. Dark and gritty. McKenzie made for a great Gordon and Logue makes for a wonderful morally ambiguous person. Jada Pinkett Smith’s Fish Mooney is an original creation but Pinkett-Smith makes Mooney quite fearsome. However, the show mixed a lot of timelines like cars from the 1970s and the use of 1990s flip cell phones.
The pilot definitely introduced a lot of future villains and it would have been nice to toss in another future hero. I wasn’t quite sure why the crowd cheered when Montaya and Allen came on screen as I don’t know if the two are important characters in the Batman comics.
Also, are we to presume that Gordon does marry Barbara that once they do and have a kid, it wil turn out to be Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl?
I guess we will find out this fall when Gotham appears on September 22, 2014. In the meantime, watch the trailer for the show: