Is it too early to call Gotham as best show of the season? Because, barring The Flash or season 10 of Supernatural being absolutely amazing, it’s certainly shaping up that way for me.
We’re three episodes in, and so far it’s a great mixture of procedural and Batman mythos. In fact, there’s so much continuity going on, I’m not even sure procedural is the right word. Sure, “Selena Kyle” and “The Balloonman” all involved very specific cases, but the effects of one bleed into the other. And hanging over it all is the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne, which is serving not just as a catalyst for young Bruce Wayne but also as our way into the corruption that’s running rampant throughout Gotham and the GCPD.
And then there’s Detective Jim Gordon, whose hope for Gotham has him wading through the city’s sludge, trying not to get too much of it on him. Honestly, I had my reservations about Ben McKenzie in this role. Granted, he did a lot of cop stuff on Southland, and if I’d seen more than an episode or two of it, maybe it would have eased my mind. But all I’d really seen was about two and a half seasons of The OC. So, if being Jim Gordon just called for A-shirts and brooding, he’d obviously have it made. But it calls for a little more. Fortunately, as soon as he climbed on a fire escape and promised Bruce that there would be light, I was sold.
I also really like the feel of this show. In a way, it reminds me a lot of Batman: The Animated Series. It’s certainly not “CSI: Gotham.” How could it be, when the CSIs and NCISes of the world operate on the assumption that the good guys go after the bad guys, and they all wear an appropriately colored hat. Gotham — Joel Schumacher’s candy-colored city notwithstanding — has always been dark and gray. We see it here in the sets, but we also see it in Jim’s partner Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue, who seems to have taken his “Life” character and rolled around in the mud for this). We see it in the mayor (Richard Kind, a Hey It’s That Guy extraordinaire), whose imitation do-goodery is as self-serving as it comes. And we see it in Falcone, the mob boss who demands a degree of law and order, because it’s necessary to make organized crime work. And I’m sure there will only be more examples as the series continues.
Granted, this whole post should come with a giant disclaimer that says I am no authority on the comics. Because I’m not. I’m just a 90s kid who loved the cartoon and mostly liked the last 25 years worth of movies, but hasn’t seen either in forever. I have no idea how accurate Bullock is or how to true to history this Penguin origin thread that’s going on is, and I’ve already heard purists rumbling about a name change for the still unseen Poison Ivy, but you know what? I just don’t care. Because I love what I’ve seen, and I have a feeling I’ll be sticking with it for as long Fox allows it to live.
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