The pilot opens with a young Selina Kyle mugging and running away from being caught. She runs to an alleyway where she witnesses the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne – right in front of Bruce Wayne. We then cut to Gotham City PD, where seasoned detective Harvey Bullock watches his new partner, war hero Jim Gordon, subdue a gun-waving perp. Harvey tells Jim to next time just shoot the guy while Jim tells Harvey that’s not the way to handle it.
Harvey and Jim get called to a double-murder scene (which ends up being Thomas and Martha Wayne) where Harvey is trying to “lose” the case, as it is high profile and it comes with much scrutiny. (Something crooked cop Harvey does not want) But Jim is already talking to the witness Bruce. Jim tries to comfort Bruce and assures him that, “How dark as the world may be right now, there will be light.”
Jim promises Bruce and family servant Alfred Pennyworth that he will find the man who killed Bruce’s parents. At a diner Harvey and Jim discuss the importance of the case. Harvey toys with the idea of possibly passing the case off to Major Crimes. MC detectives Montoya and Allen confront Harvey and tell him they want the Wayne case and that they are after the “press action” and tell Harvey to “do the right thing for once”. Harvey is rubbed the wrong way and rebuffs their bid.
Harvey goes to Captain Essen to get the “soldier boy” a transfer – which Jim says I guess you have to learn to live with me. We get a brief intro to CSI Edward Nygma who gives playful riddles about evidence to both Jim and Harvey. Jim obliges and answers his riddle while Harvey claims that Nygma needs serious help. Harvey and Jim pay a visit to the crime queen – Fish Mooney. We also meet one of her henchmen Oswald Cobblepot – who is teased and angered when called “penguin” by other henchmen. Oswald gets a taste for blood as he brutally beats a colleague while other henchmen tell him to stop.
The action takes a little brake as we are introduced to Jim’s fiancée Barbara. The next morning Harvey and Jim follow up on a lead: Mario Pepper (aka Poison Ivy’s dad), a low-level thug who was rumored to be pawning Martha Wayne’s necklace. Mario panics after their inquiry and makes a run for it. A chase ensues on rooftops, through kitchens, factories and alleyways with Harvey ultimately saving Jims life and shooting the baddie down. Both Jim and Harvey are congratulated as heroes for taking down the Waynes killer. Meanwhile Oswald snitches to MC detectives Montoya and Allen that it was Fish that framed Pepper – suggesting that Carmine Falcone’s organization had the Wayne’s killed. Montoya relays that info to Barbara (apparently they are or were close friends) saying that Jim is a dirty cop and he knowingly kiled the wrong man. “Does [James] know you… like I know you?” the lady detective asks. Jim confronts Montoya and allen and tells them to “stay out of his way”.
Jim tells Harvey that Pepper was framed, because he didn’t have shiny shoes. (Bruce had earlier told Jim that the man who shot his parents was wearing shiny shoes) Jim pays a visit to Fish Mooney by himself and tells her he knows that she framed Pepper. Her thugs grab Jim and hang him upside-down from a meathook inside a meat locker. Harvey has a reputation of sorts with Fish and pleads for Jim to be let go – only to find himself hanging upside-down as well. Before the goons can do their dirty work – Falcone shows up with his men killing off the goons.
Falcone speaks privately with Jim, stating that he was close with Jims father as a D.A. Falcone claims that Pepper was framed to swiftly give the city the peace of mind it needed. Jim insinuates that Falcone had the Waynes killed. He tells Jim to cooperate and not be hard headed like his old man. Later on, Harvey has Jim prove himself and thus get him out of Falcone’s cross hairs – by killing “the snitch” Oswald who is in the trunk of their car. Jim grabs Oswald and walks to the end of the pier, he whispers in Oswald’s ear never to return to gotham and fakes the kill shot, as Oswald plunges in the water. Harvey is satisfied.
The episode ends with Jim paying a visit to Wayne Manor and offering to turn his badge for not being able to catch the real killer as he is still on the loose. Alfred is skeptical of Jim, but Bruce interrupts him, handing Jim his badge back. We flash back to the river where Oswald resurfaces gasping for air. He shuffles to shore kills an innocent fisherman and eats his sandwich (why couldnt it be a raw fish?) as he eyes the Gotham skyline.
Overall I enjoyed Gotham. It was entertaining. It had good action and there were so many easter eggs! (The Grundy Street reference was probably my favorite) I have heard that each episode will tease characteristics of The Joker. The prince of crime is not rumored to appear in Gotham at all, but many of his characteristics and possible origins will be teased. It will make you think….oh maybe that’s him. In this episode it was a comedian trying to tell funny jokes to Fish Mooney but being interrupted at her club. ALOT of future villains were name dropped in this episode. (possibly to establish them for the series) But Geeze Gotham writers, this isn’t a race – use villains in moderation, not all at once!
The Acting was even pretty good! Ben McKenzie did a great job as a young Jim Gordon and Donal Logue nailed the crooked and grizzled Harvey Bullock. I’m curious to see their relationship develop as the show goes on. I think a major pat of the shows success will hinge on the chemistry between these two moving forward.
When I first heard about Gotham, I was vey skeptical, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It still has some things it needs to polish up, but not bad for a first outing.
So what did you think? Will you tune in same bat-time, same bat-channel?