It's the biggest thing to hit your television screens right now, and in its first season, Fox's Gotham has simply raised the bar many notches. With the pilot episode now out (it was premiered last night), we now have a new measure for superlative: from acting to direction to even the scale at which it is mounted. The episode introduced us to the lives of everyone who is of any consequence in the Batman universe: be it Bruce Wayne, Jim Gordon, Catwoman, Riddler or Poison Ivy (yeah, we know you wanted to see the Joker. Trust us, so did we).
The show continues with the grim undertones that always come complimentary with every Batman franchise (except the George Clooney version) and are necessary to any city as hopeless and corrupt as Gotham. But the big question remains: We got so excited about this series partly because we finally have a chance to see the early days of these widely loved characters but can we be certain that we will not get bored of the realist approach and start demanding some flying capes or fancy bat-inspired cars soon?
The episode literally begins from the beginning: Martha and Thomas Wayne, on their way back home with son Bruce, are shot by a mugger in a dark alley. There is just one more eye-witness to the murder: the future Catwoman and current pick-pocket, Selina Kyle. The new-detective-in-the-house Jim Godorn (Ben McKenzie) and his easily compromising partner Harvey Bullock (Donald Logue) are appointed to solve the mystery. Gordon strikes a quick, emotional chord with a scared Bruce (David Marouz) and promises him justice by nailing the killer soon.
Also read: Gotham: welcome back to the cursed capital of crime
Investigations lead the two to the door of a wife-beating drug dealer and guess who we meet there? A young, clearly abused and mentally not-so-sound Poison Ivy (Just Ivy right now though). In a short sequence of cop and felon chase, the man is shot dead by Bullock and the next day’s newspapers decree them ‘heroes of the city’. But we would only be fooling ourselves if we thought that this was it. Surely there has to be a deeper aspect to it, why would a mugger kill them without cause? Or was this it? Maybe this is the way this series wanted to take and not merely a red-herring.
This cannot go without a special mention: Jada Pinkett Smith was definitely the biggest win of the pilot. She plays an unscrupulous dance bar-owner and a part-time gangster Fish Mooney. She is introduced to us as she beats a man to pulp while Oswald Cobblepot (Don’t call him Penguin!!) looks on with such a strong desire to take a strike or two himself. She knows snitches from loyals and how to respond to threats. Perhaps we just got an amazing female villain in here, something which comes by very rarely.
Things just got interesting again on television with the fall schedule and it goes without saying, we will surely be waiting for more from the cursed city of crime-Gotham.