Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Season 1 Episode 1
Airs September 22nd, 2014

Director: Danny Cannon
Writer: Bruno Heller

Ben McKenzie as James Gordon
Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock
Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney
Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth
Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot / Penguin
Erin Richards as Barbara Kean
David Mazouz as Bruce Wayne
Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle
Zabryna Guevara as Sarah Essen
Cory Michael Smith as Edward Nygma
Clare Foley as Ivy Pepper
Victoria Cartagena as Renee Montoya
Andrew Stewart Jones as Crispus Allen
John Doman as Carmine Falcone

Review by Stephen M.

Gotham, as we all know is the city where Batman is from.  The TV series hopes to entertain us with the origin stories of many of the characters from Batman centering on a young rookie, James Gordon (Ben McKenzie).  The first episode sees him paired up with veteran cop Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) as they try to solve the mystery of who killed socialites Thomas and Martha Wayne.  In the course of the episode, we see many familiar faces including those that would become Poison Ivy, Catwoman, The Penguin, and The Riddler.

Despite the multitude of characters introduced in the pilot episode, the first episode is all about Bullock and Gordon feeling each other out as well as Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) who we better know as the Penguin.  What you will love about the series or at least the first episode is the way the characters come to life as they're brilliantly played by the talented cast that includes Robin.  Oswald works for Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) a local crime boss who in turn works for an even bigger fish Carmine Falcone (John Doman).  Fish being my favorite character among this big cast of motley characters.  I also enjoyed Cory Michael Smith as Edward Nygma, but his role was far too brief.

What I didn't like about the pilot is the needless introduction of so many characters, some of which played insignificant roles in the pilot.  For example Ivy Pepper (Clare Foley), and to some extent Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova).  The latter is a set up for the next episode but was unnecessary overall and could have been used to expand on the main characters of the first episode.  Some of the dialogue as well are just flat and uninspiring despite the context of the scene.  This is especially true when the writers try to be funny in this dark cop drama.

Overall, a decent first start, but could have been better.  How odd is it that Selina in the beginning of the episode steals a quart of milk, but when she uses it after getting to safety only has a fifth of the milk left.  Besides that, inconsistencies with the locations of the film shoots with the theme of the show, and as well what I mentioned above makes the pilot less than spectacular.  But any Batman fan will still be hooked by what was offered and what could come as they introduce more rogues and explore Jim Gordon's origin which is less known than that of Bruce Wayne's.


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