Warning: Spoiler Alert
The FOX Network and the creators of the Dark Knight Prequel “Gotham,” would never pretend they’ve got any intentions of reinventing the wheel with their series. The show’s very existence’s a testament to the story and the characters invented by Bob Kane in 1939. Those iconic characters that first appeared on the pages of Detective Comics have become such an ingrained part of our culture that more than 75-years after The Batman debuted, there’s a TV series telling the tales of Gotham City long before Bruce Wayne donned cape and cowl.
The concept of telling tales of our favorite crime-fighters when they were younger, certainly is far from unique with DC Comics selling plenty of copies of Superboy. We all know the drill, tell us why these characters we care about chose the paths they did keeping us entertained along the journey. During the first ten-episodes leading into the Fall Finale next week, Gotham’s built a taut and tense story with characters that have haunted us. Although the show can be guilt of tipping it’s pitches at times, it pulled off the biggest shock in many a TV-season when they killed off Jerome Valeska in the season’s third episode.
We’ve witnessed many embrace their dark-sides during the first year and a half of this show. Barbara Kean morphed from a society-gal that liked to get a little down and dirty every so often into a psychotic self-loathing creature that killed her own parents. GCPD Forensic Scientist Edward Nygma the man the pocket-protector was invented for, now hangs on the corner of Schizophrenia and Insanity after murdering the love of his life Kristin Kringle and two others.
Nobody’s had a more eventful ride on the Crazy-Train during this adventure than Oswald Cobblepot, Fish Mooney’s insignificant umbrella-boy with delusions of grandeur when we met him. Turns out he wasn’t delusional and was a fast learner when it came to the arts of back-stabbing and being duplicitous. The Penguin started out this season as the King Of Gotham City, but he’s fared badly in his battle with Theo Galavan. He’s lost his empire, his friends and his inspiration his mother who Tabitha Galavan stabbed to death, dying in her son’s arms.
How do we live in a universe in which Sean Pertwee doesn’t star in his own weekly adventure-series? I’ve simply run out of superlatives to describe what he’s done with the character of Alfred Pennyworth. He and David Mazouz have to navigate a high-wire each week, balancing out a dynamic where the guardian’s also an employee and they pull it off tightly.
Morena Baccarin joined the cast in the middle of the first season as Dr. Lee Thompkins now the Medical-Examiner of the GCPD and Detective Jim Gordon’s love interest. Lee’s aware of all of the skeletons her boyfriend’s got stashed in his closet but she’s a realist and knows that doing the right thing isn’t always pretty. She’s not afraid to call him out when she believes he’s indulging his dark impulses too often.
Captain Nathaniel Barnes’ too much of a wild-card to make a call on at this time. His instincts seem good but we know far too little about him and his past to venture an opinion. He’s certainly more of a spit-and-polish type leader than the late Commissioner Sarah Essen was in the position.
Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne will have a mercurial relationship throughout this series. They’re destined to play their game of cat and mouse, with each one inhabiting each role as they grow older.
Donal Logue’s transformed Harvey Bullock from just another corrupt cop with his hand out, whose idealism had vanished years before and was just putting in enough years to collect his pension into a hero. A man that’s unafraid to go against the tide and stick up for what he believes is right. He believes in Gordon and would follow him to Hell and back.
Bruce Wayne’s grown from a sheltered boy who we met in the series premiere to a self-assured and confident young man that pulled off a first-class sting in the most recent episode. He’s made his share of mistakes in the time we’ve spent with him, usually involving biting off more than he can chew. He’s started to realize just how arduous the task of bringing his parents killers to justice and cleaning up systemic corruption in Wayne Industries will be and how far off he is from becoming the man he needs to be.
The Boy Scout Detective that thought he could single-handedly rid the GCPD of corruption died a long-while back. That look of confidence that used to fill the eyes Jim Gordon’s been replaced by a man that appears to feel more haunted with each passing day. Memories made of promises that ended getting broken, feeling the guilt that only those who believe that they’re saviors can experience. That you alone are responsible for being unable to stop all the evil and suffering in our lives.
Gordon’s finding it too easy to embrace his dark-side, the situations he’s experienced over the last few months would likely have most officers on some PTSD-Related disability and deservedly so. However Gordon can’t become so laser-focused on bringing the Theo Galavan’s of the world to justice, that he forgets his own code and his own values. James Gordon was a good man when we first met him and he had such strong convictions that he allowed Oswald Cobblepot to live. Would the man questioning if he should have killed Flamingo have made that same choice?
This week’s installment put all the final pieces in place for the Dumas clan to try to reclaim Gotham City as their own next week. The monks from the Order Of The Dumas a religious sect that believes in Purification Through Pain The monks are killing throughout the city while they chant “The Blood Of The Nine Shall Wash Away The Sins.”
Selina convinces Bruce that Silver’s trying to scam him for her uncle. Wayne pulls off a sting worthy of Redford and Newman as they get St. Cloud to reveal the name that Theo says ordered the killing of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Crying to Bruce that Theo will murder her when he finds out she talked, the billionaire shrugs his shoulders. She screams to him you’re not like this and he smiles and says he is.
Gotham City Mayor Aubrey James could truly mess up a free lunch. Somehow Theo Galavan still has something he can blackmail the mayor with and James testifies that Penguin actually kidnapped him and held him hostage. Galavan’s immediately set free and the charges get dropped. Gordon slugs Galavan in the jaw and two uniforms drag Gordon away and knock him out with a Taser.
The detective wakes up and finds himself secured to a rack and Galavan’s standing in front of him laughing. He’s about to have Gordon shot to death, but he says he’s got a few minutes and cuts Jim loose then tells the cop to give it his best shot. Theo never gives Gordon a chance to raise his hands, knocking him down again and again with martial-arts moves. He then tells his men to finish him off. The two men beating Gordon with batons until they get interrupted when Penguin’s man Gabe shoots them both in the head. Penguin asks a barely conscious Gordon where Galavan went.
We find out his destination in the final scene as Galavan comes to find Bruce all alone in Wayne Manor and tells him he’s come for Bruce’s life.
The Fall Finale Airs Next Monday Night at 8:00 pm on FOX.