Gotham is a prequel series that takes place before the time of Batman. It focused on James Gordon before he is Commissioner. He is the main character and star of the show. Gordon is in Gotham to fight the corruption in the city and his main target is crime boss Carmine Falcone. He is partnered with a bad cop named Harvey Bullock. The two men are at odds over methods and philosophical and moral differences. Nothing was swaying Gordon from his crusade to right the city’s wrongs. The main case he’s trying to solve is the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne leaving young Bruce Wayne an orphan. The twist here is that the murder was witnessed by future Catwoman Selina Kyle, who is also a teenager and is a street thief who steals.
The show focuses on the characters before they become their iconic villainous selves from the comics such as Penguin, Riddler, Two-Face, Poison Ivy, Victor Szasz, Hush, and Black Mash. Out of these villains, Penguin is getting the focus and is getting critical praise from viewers and critics alike. We see the Penguin rising through the ranks of the underworld ruled by Carmine Falcone and why Penguin will be among Batman’s top villains right up there with the Joker. We even got to see Penguin’s mother whom Penguin takes after.
There is a character that’s made for television and her name is Fish Mooney, played by Jada Pinkett Smith. She works for Falcone and already is making an impression on her allies and foes alike with her baseball bat and ruthlessness, especially the Penguin. Problem here is that the focus is on her rather than the iconic villains, but her fate may be sealed the minute she tried to take the Penguin out. She also wants to overthrow Falcone and is trying to gain allies to strike at him from all points. Speaking of Falcone, I like this version more than the one from Batman Begins and he’s more intimidating as well. Falcone shows why he is the crime boss and someone not to be messed with.
Since the pilot episode, there wasn’t much done with Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle until several episodes later towards the mid-season finale when they were the target of assassins sent by either Falcone or Mooney. The bond between Bruce and Selina at Wayne Manor and the streets of Gotham foreshadowed by they may be a couple or not from the comics. We also have an Alfred Pennyworth that’s hands-on such as fighting the assassins and raising young Bruce after being an orphan. This Alfred is likely based on the Earth One graphic novels where he had a military background in addition to his thespian background.
There were other characters in the show such as Sarah Essen, Renee Montoya, and Barbara Keane, who is Gordon’s fiance. It’s revealed that Barbara and Renee had a lesbian relationship prior to her engagement to Gordon. Unfortunately, Barbara was the weak link of the show as it relates to a damsel-in-distress problem that’s similar to Lana Lang, Dinah Laurel Lance, and Iris West. One point saw her leaving Gotham then came back to reason with Falcone and then a few episodes later, she leaves Gordon again.
Gotham is a cop show with Gordon and Bullock solving cases together through different ways. They started out as not getting along until they do so eventually until a new player comes in the form of District Attorney Harvey Dent, who has become an ally to Gordon and his crusade for the Waynes. Dent is displaying characteristics of Two-Face such as flipping a coin and having a dual personality disorder. It may now be between the three of Gordon, Bullock, and Dent. Basically the first half of the season ended with Gordon being reassiigned to guard Arksham Asylum where he will meet Dr. Leslie Thompkins, who also plays a role in raising young Bruce in the comics.
When the series started, I’ve said that it felt like a Batman movie without a Batman and it may be a good thing as we can focus on other characters and the roles they will play in the Batman legend. This show had great buzz and great ratings as I predict a renewal for the second season.