We did a general review of Gotham a few weeks back, but now that the pilot has aired, we can talk about it without fear of spoiling it for anybody. By which we mean, there are spoilers below, as we break down what’s good and what’s bad.
The entire climactic sequence, where Gordon and Bullock are nearly forcible stars in a snuff film, is for me the strongest moment in the pilot. It’s rife with black comedy, ranging from Bullock graciously accepting an apology from a mobster to three guys trying to get the camera to work so they can get this done. More importantly, there are some good character moments between Bullock and Gordon that really underline the two can work well as a duo. It’s there, I think, that we see the show has the most promise, especially when it’s followed by Gordon faking Cobblepot’s execution.
Beyond that, easily the most interesting character is Robin Taylor’s Oswald Cobblepot. Taylor’s mix of utter cowardice and extreme viciousness is fascinating, and it looks like it’s going to be a major component of the show going forward. That’s excellent news.
Similarly, Donal Logue gets a lot of mileage out of Bullock being corrupt, but not evil or incompetent, and one suspects that’s going to be one of the show’s driving forces going forward, especially with Jim Gordon supposedly in the fold. Finally, Sean Pertwee as an angry, working class Alfred is kind of awesome; one hopes he gets to feed somebody their teeth in short order.
What Could Go
On the one hand, I’m glad Renee Montoya is an out lesbian in this show; the character has been ill-used in the past and didn’t deserve a whitewashing. I’m also glad she’s an antagonist who isn’t a bad guy; on paper, Gordon needs to go.
That said, Renee having a pathetic hangup over the future Barbara Gordon is a plotline I hope the show just summarily turfs. It’s a little too soapy, even considering the rather heated atmosphere of the show, and it’s kind of a crappy use of both characters.
Also, while Bruce Wayne may be important to the show, let’s not have any more scenes of Gordon nonsensically telling him major details of an ongoing investigation and goofy bits with badges, OK? Thanks.
What We Want To See
Mostly what we want out of this show is a sense of how the moving parts work. There’s a huge cast here, and a lot of them are interacting in various interesting ways, but going forward, the show has to start paying that off, and quickly. Still, as the start of something, it’s promising, and we’ll be curious to see what’s on deck for the second episode.