Review: ‘Gotham’ Pilot Episode

This week, the premiere of the “Batman show that doesn’t have Batman” debuted. The prequel show, “Gotham” takes us on the origin of everyone seemingly related to Batman. It focuses on a young Jim Gordon, who has risen up to the rank of detective in the crime-ridden city known as Gotham. Hence the name of the show.

Detective James Gordon (Ben McKenzie, R) is faced with a moral dilemma in the Series Premiere of GOTHAM airing Monday, Sept. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Also pictured: Robin Lord Taylor. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jessica Miglio/FOX

The opening scene shows us a young Selina Kyle (Catwoman in the future) prowling over buildings in a cat-like fashion, performing petty crime when she stumbles across the now told for the umpteenth time murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents. Which many have remembered from the Tim Burton vehicle in the 80s, and done once again in Chris Nolan’s “Batman Begins.” Though this time, the assassin will seem to have a bigger role in the Batman world than Joe Cool did in “Batman Begins.” Also, I hope it’s not a young Joker thing that made Burton’s “Batman” kind of lame.

We follow Gordon as he’s being schooled on the unspoken rules the police force deal with in seedy Gotham City by Detective Harvey Bullock. Especially when dealing with Jada Pinkett Smith’s Fish Mooney. Here, Gordon quickly learns the unspoken rules can make or break a detective.

While I did enjoy the pilot (I’m a huge Batman fan) there were issues that really bothered me. Just the not-so subtle moments like when Oswald Cobblepot gets made fun of for looking like a penguin. “Don’t CALL me penguin!” the future super-criminal The Penguin screams. Also, Edward Nygma with the riddles was hammed up too much. It seems introducing future criminals needs no subtlety, since we see a young red haired girl named Ivy (which would have been enough for most people) being surrounded by plants.Though it was kind of done right with the comedian in Mooney’s establishment. Because it alludes to The Joker, but from what I read, they plan on sprinkling that kind of thing throughout with different actors so we the viewer, much like the Joker character himself in the books, are not quite sure who really is the young Clown Prince of Crime.

It wasn’t the greatest pilot, but I see a lot of potential with this. I am interested in seeing where this will be heading.

Observations:

* Selina Kyle doesn’t say one word in the whole episode.

* Oswald Cobblepot right out of the gate is a homicidal maniac. Also, he is Mooney’s punching bag.

* While I love the Nolan trilogy, it was nice seeing Gotham not looking like Chicago.

* I’m glad this utilized Frank Miller’s “Batman: Year One” most interesting character, the city itself.

Here is a supercut of Bruce Wayne’s parents meeting their grisly end.