Fox’s ‘Gotham’ Review: Shows Promise with Prequel Tales

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 11.34.55 PM

Monday night began the battle of the TV screen superheroes as Fox premiered its highly-anticipated Gotham. Centered on the fictitious city, this installment of the Caped Crusader focuses on criminology prior to Bruce Wayne’s masked bat days.

Our journey to how our beloved allies and villains began opens with the murder heard around the city: the ostentatious and generous Waynes shot in an alley, leaving their preteen son orphaned. A young, noble James Gordon (Ben McKenzie, The OC), new to the force and the politics of crime, promises to bring the culprit to justice.

The first episode is mostly introductions, intermittingly hinting at classic Batman names. Gordon is joined by vet officer, disheveled Bullock (Don Logue, Grounded for Life). His noble fight for justice has been worked by the truth: Gotham is corrupt to the core. The collective of justice has bent to the powers of two crime lords: Falcone and Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett-Smith, Set If Off). Within these gray areas of good and evil, we get glimpse of future evils. We meet a sane Enigma; sheltered Ivy; a conniving Cobblepott; and a curious Selina.

The setting has as much character as the actors. It’s current but is painted in grandiose and comic flare. Gotham City Police Department is big and open. The city’s skyline is mountainous. Wayne Manor is a distance away, harboring its own secrets. It aids in bringing Gotham to the 2000s, yet not diminishing its uniqueness.

Every first episode stumbles out of the gate – knowledge of these characters predestined endings is somewhat hindering – but it has potential. Batman noire has incredible space to expand and viewers will definitely return to see how it pans out.

Lorin Williams | News Cult