Warning: Spoiler Alert
The overriding feeling this viewer got watching the premiere episode of the new Fox series “Gotham,” was every second of the pilot meant something to this episode and to the legend that started unfolding before us. Everything intertwined, making for a world familiar, yet strange. Of Art-Deco buildings and cell-phones, where one woman describes a man as a “cold drink of milk,” reminiscent of dialog from a Raymond Chandler novel, while another women asks that same man if he’s ready to rock and roll. The series that’s a Prequel to the career of Batman starts out with a unique look and an interesting opening episode.
The show starts off panning the skyline of Gotham City, then lingers on one roof and we soon see a young teenage girl gracefully running to the edge of the roof, then squatting down next to some statue of a gnome. Suddenly she stands off and leaps seemingly into nothingness, but lands lightly on the roof of a canteen-truck, then slides down its canopy to the ground below. This young girl’s not introduced to us, but we realize she’s Selina Kyle, (Camren Bicondova) who’ll grow up to become Catwoman. She pulls a knife out of her sleeve and slashes a woman’s plastic grocery bag, then grabs a quart of milk as it lands on the pavement. A bit further down she lifts a man’s wallet, but too clumsily as the man realized he got robbed. He runs after her but she grabs the ladder of a fire-escape, shinnies up it and escapes. She crosses rooftops and touches down again a few blocks away, where her black and white kitten is waiting for its milk. They’re interrupted however as Selina hears voices and climbs above street level, peering from a rooftop.
Strolling through the alley’s one of Gotham City’s wealthiest and most prominent families, Thomas and Martha Wayne, along with their young son Bruce, cutting through the alley to catch a cab after the movies. All three are well dressed and in good moods, when a masked man holding a pistol steps in front of them, demanding first Thomas’ wallet then Martha’s pearl necklace. Although the Waynes do exactly as the gunman asks, he shoots both parents, then aims the gun at Bruce before turning and running away. Kyle watches from the rooftop as Bruce, realizes his parents are dead and then lets out a wail that fills the city streets.
Over at a nearby police station, a criminal’s being put in lockup, but screaming he wants his pills he overpowers a female officer grabs her pistol and points it at her head. Fifty cops aim at the prisoner, while Detective Harvey Bullock, lowers the newspaper he’s reading to assess the situation. A door swings open from the floor above and a young detective jogs out of the doorway and tells his fellow officers he’s got this issue under control. He walks to right in front of the prisoner then asks him to look at him rather than the officers with their weapons drawn.
He introduces himself to the prisoner, telling him his name’s Jim Gordon and asks the man his name, but the man just repeats he wants his pills. Gordon sees a bottle of aspirin on one of the desks and says he has pills for the prisoner which the man ingests, then says they’re not his pills, but Gordon takes the moment to knock down the gunmen and retrieve the weapon. Instead of being congratulated and thanked by his fellow officers he gets chewed out by his partner Bullock.
The two start squabbling until interrupted by an officer telling them they have to investigate a homicide, one that Bullock soon regrets being assigned to. When they arrive at the alley, the Waynes covered by sheets, while young Bruce sits silent and shaking on the stairs of a fire escape, with a blanket wrapped around his shoulders. They meet a uniformed officer who had arrived moments earlier and told the pair that the boy saw it all, but has yet to talk.
Gordon goes over to try to comfort the boy, telling him that he lost his father in a car accident at about his age and he understands what Bruce’s going through. This gets the boy to open up and talk with Gordon and tells the Detective what happened during the robbery, he describes the shooter as a big man wearing a mask, hat, gloves and shiny-shoes. Exactly at that moment Bullock realizes that the bodies are Thomas and Martha Wayne and asks the uniformed cop if he can make-believe they were never at the scene However the cop tells Bullock that they’re at the scene and his partner’s interviewed the only witness, so it’s their case.
The detectives stop at a diner and approached by two other officers that deal with high-profile crimes, Crispus Allen (Andrew Stewart-Jones) and Renee Montoya, (Victoria Cartagena) who asks Bullock and Gordon if they want them to take over the case. Bullock wanted no part of the case from the beginning, so the other pair might get their wish, but Montoya blows it but insulting Harvey. He tells them no deal and tells them to take off.
When they return to the station they’re called into the office of Captain Sarah Essen, (Zabryna Guevara) who reinforces how important the high-profile case’s to the department. Bullock asks for some time alone with the Captain and as soon as Gordon leaves the office he tells his commander he wants a new partner. Essen tells Bullock that Gordon’s a war hero and his father was an influential former District Attorney and Harvey’s no choice in the matter. The two go work the streets trying to find a lead but coming up empty. They meet with police ballistics expert Ed Nygma, (Cory Michael Smith) an annoying man with a penchant for riddles. He reveals that the murder weapon’s not registered and the bullet extracted from Thomas Wayne’s chest, was a specialty bullet that’s quite pricey.
Bullock tells Gordon since all other leads came up dry, it’s time to check-in with Fish Mooney, (Jada Pinkett Smith) a female mob-boss who works directly for the man that runs the city’s criminal underground Carmine Falcone. They show up at her club while she’s out in back with some of her hoods, while she beats one of her associates bloody with a baseball bat as he stole from her. When she hears Bullock’s there to see her, she gives the bat to her toady Oswald Cobblepot, who some of the guys call Penguin. It’s his first time inflicting violence on someone and he’s having a grand time.
Gordon soon realizes what close associates Fish and Harvey are when they kiss each other on the lips. Bullock starts asking Fish if she’s heard any rumors and Gordon asks her if there’s screaming behind the club. She tells him what’s going on and Harvey tells Jim if he’s that concerned to go out back and see if anyone wants to press charges. When Gordon investigates, even the man being beaten says they’re just having fun. Gordon gets back inside the club just as Bullock’s ready to leave. He tells Gordon that she’ll put the word out and get back to them if she hears anything.
Jim goes to his fiancée Barbara Kean’s (Erin Richards) apartment, and it’s obvious she’s clearly been raised in a luxurious manner. They’re supposed to go to a society event, but she tells Gordon that she’ll let him off the hook and they can stay in and soon they start getting romantic. A while later while Barbara’s asleep Gordon’s cellphone rings, with Bullock telling him they have a suspect who got caught trying to fence a string of pearls like the one’s stolen from Martha Wayne.
They arrive at the home of the suspect Mario Pepper (Daniel Stewart Sherman) who owns a rap sheet as long as his arm. His daughter Ivy Pepper (Clare Foley) a little girl answers the door and Gordon asks to speak to her daddy and Ivy says they don’t want to talk to Daddy because he’s mean. Mario comes to the door and asks what the detectives want and Bullock asks where he was the night of the Waynes murders. He tells them he was with his wife and daughter and Bullock says than the guy shouldn’t mind them searching the house and he gets up and bolts. Carrying a pistol he takes some shots at Gordon but they’re far off target. Gordon could shoot him anytime he wants, but wants Pepper alive so they can question him.
Gordon catches up with Pepper, whose now slashing at the detective with a knife and gets him in the hand. Pepper overpowers Gordon standing over him ready to stab him to death when Harvey kills Pepper with a shot. As officer’s search Pepper’s apartment, they find the strand of pearls proving they got the Waynes killer.
The next day at the funeral, Bruce along with the family’s butler Alfred Pennyworth, (Sean Pertwee) walks over to Detective Gordon after the ceremony and thanks him for keeping his word and getting the man who killed his parents, then extends his hand to shake Gordon’s.
Later that afternoon Allen and Montoya pickup Oswald Cobblepot, who tells them that Pepper was setup by Mooney and the police, that he had seen Fish with the pearls and she was trying to figure out how to get the pearls in Pepper’s apartment. After that meeting, Montoya stops by Barbara Kean and it turns out the two have known each other for a long time. Montoya tells Kean that Gordon’s crooked that he and Bullock made Pepper the patsy, but Kean refuses to believe it.
When Gordon arrives that night she asks if he and Bullock setup Pepper and Jim’s truly shocked by the question. He finds out Montoya told his fiancée and confronts her, telling the officer he doesn’t play that way and if there’s been a cover up he’ll get to the bottom of it.
Jim heads to Mooney’s club to confront her with the information he has and she subdues the detective with three or her goons. They knock him out and bring him to a meat locker, where they hang him upside down from a hook just like a side of beef. When Harvey receives a call from a concerned Barbara he realizes that Mooney’s holding his partner prisoner and heads to the meat locker. He has one of her guys get her on the phone and Bullock tells Fish she has to let his partner go, otherwise he’ll have to after her, which he doesn’t want to do. She tells him all’s good and asks to speak to her man again, and tells him that Bullock threatened her and to hang him beside Gordon. Seconds later Harvey’s knocked out and when he comes to he’s hanging upside down.
Apparently Fish loves choreographed filmed executions and while one guy is taping the events this executioner comes out to kill the two detectives. Suddenly a garage door opens and a large car pulls in shooting all of Mooney’s men except for Butch Gilzean (Drew Powell). A man emerges from the car and Gilzean immediately recognizes that it’s Carmine Falcone (John Doman) who left Butch alive to deliver a message to Fish, if she wants to kill police she needs Falcone’s permission. He has his men cut them down then takes Jim aside for a private conversation.
Falcone resembles a Senator more than a mob boss (another role he plays, as he portrays Senator Ross Garrison on “Person Of Interest“) and he tells Gordon that first, he’s a businessman that loves the city. He tells the detective that he knew Gordon’s father quite well, that they got along and were even friends, which Jim doesn’t believe. However Falcone tells Gordon that his father realized the way the system ran and they held great respect for each other, which is mainly why Bullock and Gordon are still alive.
The two leave the meat locker and Bullock drives them to a pier on a wharf. He tells his partner that he hasn’t been totally honest with him, they get out of the car and Harvey opens up the trunk revealing Oswald Cobblepot inside. Falcone knows that Cobblepot ratted out Mooney to Allen and Montoya and Falcone wants Gordon to put a bullet in Cobblepot’s head and dump his body off the pier, otherwise Gordon and his fiancée will also be killed. Jim marches the toady to the end of the pier, whispers to him never come back to Gotham and shoots the bullet wide left then pushes Cobblepot into the ocean. He resurfaces about a mile away, and murders a fisherman with his own knife for his sandwich.
Gordon arrives the next morning at the Wayne mansion and admits to Bruce that he was wrong and the mob and police killed an innocent man just to resolve the matter before his parents funeral. Jim pulls out his badge and lays it in front of the boy, asking for a second chance to find the killer, the decision’s Bruce’s. He gives Gordon back his badge and tells him to find the man who shot his parents.
The Story Continues Next Monday Night On Fox.