Warning: Spoiler Alert
The second episode of the new Fox series “Gotham” gave viewers a brief glimpse into the world of homeless teenager Selina Kyle and a far more in-depth view of the corruption that runs throughout the power structure in Gotham City, including the police department and the mayor’s office. After watching the first two episodes of the show, it seems that the only three virtuous people in power in the city are Renee Montoya, Crispus Allen from Gotham Major Crimes Unit and Detective Jim Gordon. Other than those three, perhaps every other public official pursue situations that can add money to their bank accounts, by “looking the other way.”
A middle-aged man and woman start abducting homeless teenagers and the Gotham officials show their true colors in reaction to the situation. Gotham Mayor Aubrey James knows the right things to say in front of the TV cameras, but beneath that thin veneer lurks a man that lacks any compassion for the citizens he serves, and he sets the tone for everyone else playing loose and fast with the law. Richard Kind plays the Mayor; Kind’s far better known for his comedic roles in series like “Mad About You” and “Spin City,” however in this series Kind shows his disdain for his constituents and any opinion that differs from his own.
In the pilot we quickly realized that Gordon’s partner Detective Harvey Bullock was dirty, from his flirtatious banter with mob-boss/femme-fatale Fish Mooney and the orders he relayed from Gotham’s crime kingpin Carmine Falcone to kill Oswald Cobblepot and dump his body in the river (Gordon actually faked shooting Cobblepot, telling him to leave Gotham forever when he threw him in the water.) Early in this episode we realize that the detectives superior Captain Sarah Essen’s just as jaded as Bullock, as we see when Harvey tells the Captain that Gordon gets uptight when he tries to get a confession out of a subject by beating them. Essen tells Gordon, she can’t force him to break the law, but he’s in Gotham where you either bend or break.
The episode once again opens with Selina playing the observer, although she’s far closer than she was last week when she witnessed the murder of Martha and Thomas Wayne. A middle-aged couple identifying themselves as Patti (Lili Taylor, kind of resembling the Church Lady from SNL) and Doug (Frank Whaley, think Barney Fife) greet a group of homeless teens and an older disabled veteran in an alley and identify themselves as being with the Mayors Outreach Program For The Homeless. They offer the kids, sandwiches, soup, cake and chocolate and all join in except for the veteran and Kyle who backs away and says she’s not hungry. As the teens start eating, Patti starts sticking them in the back of the neck with a pin, knocking the teens out cold, they get two, the third teen, a rather hefty male gets stabbed but fights the couple off and runs away. Doug chases him down the street, where they scuffle in front of the picture window of a fancy restaurant and the teen ends up falling through the window into the restaurant. Doug shoots the vet killing him, however Selena escapes.
Gordon and Bullock go investigate the murder of the vet in the alley and get there before the squad car arrives. When the car and the uniformed officer arrive, Gordon asks why he wasn’t the first responder and the uniform replied that he just finished with the situation dealing with the teen who fell through the window at the restaurant. Gordon told the cop that he should have investigated the homicide first and the uniform responded he gets 50 a month from the restaurant, so that was his priority. He then asked if that made him a bad guy and Gordon replied, no just a bad cop, Bullock separated the pair to avoid a fight.
Bullock and Gordon interview the teen who tells them about Patti and Doug and his two friends getting kidnapped, but Bullock doesn’t believe him and tries to pin the vets murder on the kid. They head to Essen’s office and shortly after police scientist and the station’s “Mr. Creepy,” Ed Nygma shows up with the results of the blood test on the teen they’re questioning. The young man has “ATP” in his bloodstream, a drug specifically used to knock people out and used at the Arkham Asylum before it shut down 15-years earlier. Now that Essen realizes that someone’s kidnapping the city’s homeless teens, she wants to keep the case under wraps and tells Gordon and Bullock not to leak the story to the press, which of course Gordon disagrees with.
Oswald Cobblepot, beaten, broken and tattered, tries to hitch a ride with bad results, finally however two teenagers pick him up. The guys tell him that he looks and smells like he just crawled out of a graveyard and ask what happened to him. Cobblepot rambles on how he got too greedy too soon, but he’ll be back bigger and stronger than ever. After the guys give him a bottle of beer, the guy in the passenger seat asks if anyone ever told him he walked like a penguin. Cobblepot manages a smile and tells him no one has, then breaks the bottle and slices the kids jugular vein.
Allen and Montoya visit Cobblepot’s mother (Carol Kane) to find out if she’s seen her son. Kane known for a variety of offbeat characters over the years, adds a new standout character, an older woman with powder white skin and a thick Eastern-European accent. She shows the officers pictures of her “handsome son.” She then forgets who they are and Montoya says they’re with the Gotham Major Crimes Unit and adds the honest ones as an aside. They believe Cobblepot got killed, but they don’t share that info with his mother.
We next take a trip to Stately Wayne Manor, where young Bruce’s trying to push his limits to the maximum. He lights a candle and holds his right hand over the flame, going lower and lower, until it leaves a scorch mark on his palm the size of a silver dollar. Alfred walks into the room just after Bruce stops, but realizes something’s wrong. When the boy shows him what he did to himself, the butler grabs him by the shoulders and shakes him, but then quickly apologizes and says everything’s fine.
Gordon heads to his fiancée Barbara’s apartment and as they eat takeout Chinese food, he tells her about the case and that Essen wants to keep it from the press. Of course she goes to her landline, calls the Gotham Gazette and reports it anonymously. Jim starts to get upset, but she tells him she did the right thing and he can’t argue with that. But the other shoe dropped the next morning.
Bullock and Gordon get summoned to Essen’s office once they arrive at the station and she greets them with the Gotham Gazette’s front cover story on the case. She asks both if they tipped off the press, Bullock denied it immediately and Gordon told her he didn’t contact the press, which technically was true. They then leave to investigate the three manufacturers of “ATP.”
Patti and Doug are at the manufacturer they’ve dealt with and that’s where they’ve hidden the teens they previously abducted. The manufacturer’s screaming at the couple, telling them they promised they wouldn’t arouse suspicion and now they’re on the front page of the paper. He tells them he wants more money, but Patti says the Toymaker wouldn’t allow that (The Toymaker’s a longtime foe of Batman.) She stabs the manufacturer’s aide with the pin knocking him out, but Gordon and Bullock knock at the door identifying themselves and saying they’re going to search the facilities. Patti and Doug get into a shootout with the two cops, but escape. As they search the basement they find the missing teens and rescue them.
Mayor James holds a press-conference at the police station the following morning, expressing outrage at the kidnappings, but saying the true problem’s the homeless teens. So he’s enacting a “tough-love” program, that will get the teens off the streets and into loving homes where they’ll receive the structure they desperately need.
James, Essen and the two detectives head to the captain’s office where the Mayor has a celebratory shot. Gordon asks what’ll happen to the teens and James responds the cute ones will go to foster homes, while the rest will get sent upstate. Jim asks if that means he’s sending them to a prison and Essen tries to smooth the waters, but the Mayor stays calm and tells Gordon that he appreciates his viewpoint.
School buses lined up, to transport the teens upstate and each bus has a line of teen entering it, including Selina Kyle. She tells the bus attendant, there’s been a mistake and she’s not supposed to head upstate and asks to speak with Detective James Gordon. The attendant refuses and forces Kyle to get on the bus. Once it’s loaded the bus driver and attendant come aboard, none other than Patti and Doug, Selina tries to escape through the bus emergency back door, but Patti pulls her pistol and orders the girl back to her seat.
Word soon gets back to James that one bus of teens got kidnapped by the pair and Bullock and Gordon work over the manufacturer trying to extract more information. The guy remembers the logo on the truck that they drove had a logo of a blue plate and a fork on it. After coming up without a match, Gordon realizes it’s a Trident, as in Trident International Shipping company. They recover the teens and all’s well and that’s where most shows of this genre would end, with that scene as the climax. That’s not the way Gotham ended though.
The teens are getting ready to get transported upstate, when Selina tells a male attendant that she needs to speak to Gordon and if he doesn’t get him, she’ll scream “he touched her.” Gordon quickly shows up and she asks if she had big enough information, could that keep her from being sent upstate and Gordon asks what she has. She grabs his attention by telling the detective she’s been observing him and he’s not like the other crooks, as she motions to his fellow officers. He sits down, and she says that she knows he gets along with “the boy,” and Jim asks her if she’s referring to Bruce Wayne and she confirms he’s correct. She then tells Gordon that she witnessed the murders and she saw the shooter plain as day and the camera goes black.
The Story Continues next Monday at 8:00pm on Fox.