Within the first 10 minutes of Gotham (Yes, you won’t see Batman in this. No flashforward, not yet anyway) we get to see Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) as she steals from the city, Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) as he begins to make himself known at GCPD and we get to witness the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne as they are murdered. The murder takes place right in front of their son Bruce (David Mazouz) who finds himself going silent until he meets Jim Gordon and begins to open up. Jim promises Bruce to find the murderer and bring him to justice. The show quickly starts to introduce its cast including Fish Mooney, a mob leader portrayed rather coldly by Jada Pinkett-Smith and other popular villains including Edward Nigma (Who so far works for the police but is later to become The Riddler) and Oswald Cobblepot, who is shown to be working for Fish Mooney (known by other mobsters as The Penguin, a name which he would later become known as). Ok, that’s a lot of characters in a short time, but they all are shown as Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) begin to investigate the murder of the Wayne’s. They suspect a man called Mario Pepper, Mario then runs away as Jim chases him and they suspect that they have the right man. During a forensic investigation, a gun is found and the necklace believed to be that of Martha Wayne is discovered. Jim then goes to the funeral of Thomas and Martha Wayne and speaks to Bruce about Mario being taken; Bruce shakes hands with Jim and thanks him for keeping his promise and then being taken home by his butler Alfred (Brought to life by Sean Pertwee, though not given too much to do in this episode except keep Bruce strong). Case closed right? No way!
Oswald Cobblepot (portrayed brilliantly by Robin Lord Taylor) speaks to two cops from the MCU (Major Crimes Unit) about the shooting and that Fish Mooney has framed Mario Pepper. Jim Gordon eventually learns about the framing and finds that the “Shiny Shoes” description of the killer given by Bruce Wayne doesn’t fit Mario as he doesn’t own any shoes like that. Jim then goes to see Fish Mooney to get a confession on the murder, he is then attacked by Fish Mooney and is taken away by her thugs while Harvey is left to speak to Jim’s fiancée Barbara when she worries that she hasn’t seen Jim for some time. He states he must be on a stake-out, but does Harvey know more than this? Harvey then goes to get Jim and looks to retrieve him from Fish’s thugs. The trust between Harvey and Fish is broken as she is not happy with the idea he may have to come for her if she kills Jim so she tells her henchmen to kill them both. Fish also knows that the man who snitched to the police was Oswald as he was the only one who saw her with the pearls. She attacks him and angrily vents as she feels betrayed by someone she liked (the attack gives him his distinctive “Penguin Walk”). The two officers meanwhile are saved from death by Carmine Falcone, the mafia don who is not just the superior to Fish Mooney but also has both police and government on his payroll to keep him in control around Gotham. So what have we learnt?
Gotham is a city where things are not right. The police believe in a shoot or be shot motif which Jim Gordon is not a fan of. There may be just one too many nods to well-known characters and we don’t get enough time to see these characters in the best of light. Carmine Falcone is looking to keep a balance in Gotham by controlling both the law and crime in the city. There seems to be a lot going on with Selina Kyle, she is very much in the background of everything to do with Bruce Wayne, she saw the murder and kept an eye on him throughout the episode. Will Selena and Bruce meet soon? Also, Jim is tasked with killing Oswald Cobblepot, but will he do it after having his fiancée threatened by Falcone? Well no, but he finds a way to satisfy his “boss” Falcone and to keep Penguin alive, but will it be a move he may later regret? Oswald talks about a war coming. Fish Mooney is feeling like quite a strong villain, though I feel she won’t be around for too long. Finally, Bruce and Alfred are told by Jim that Mario Pepper was not the murderer and that he will find out who killed Bruce’s parents and that he shall try and clean up the city. This also seems to be what fuels Bruce to take vengeance on the murderer and brings out his darkness to become the future Dark Knight. But, I have to say that what I learnt most is just how great a character The Penguin is beginning to look as Robin Taylor Lord makes Oswald look rather timid but also a right evil bastard at the same time (especially with that baseball bat). Oswald wants to rule, he wants to be a leader of men. Though the series is supposed to show the growth of Jim Gordon and Bruce Wayne primarily, I reckon a good bet on Oswald Cobblepot getting some great storylines is all but confirmed so far. Overall I really enjoyed this episode, lots of characters pop up in this first episode and so far I feel I can only really care for a handful of them, but I am hoping that will change soon. Robin Taylor Lord as Oswald is just a TV classic in the making and Ben McKenzie as Jim Gordon is rather good and effortless to see as he makes his mark in Gotham. A strong debut with a few too many details and a couple of points we need clearing up soon.
Final Rating: 8/10
Written By Jonjo Cosgrove
You can watch the show on Channel 5 in the UK every Monday at 9pm. Plus, here is a peak of episode 2…