Guiding Gotham


I have been faithfully keeping up with the new Fox series Gotham. The premise for which is a show based on the city of Gotham that a young Bruce Wayne grows up in after the death of his parents. Since He is a child, there will be no Batman in this series. That is the biggest challenge of the show. How do you do a story about Gotham City, when the dark knight isn’t there to challenge the injustice and corruption? From the comics and various television shows outside of the Adam West series, Bruce Wayne’s origin story starts with the death of his parents. Their death not only symbolizes the end of a golden era for young Bruce, but in fact, Gotham City itself. The origins always point to the Waynes as a strong adversary against the crimes and immorality that always pushed against the city. The death was a means of removing that road block. Now we are left with a city where all of the biggest crime lords and villains have free reign.

This is why we have the character of Detective Jim Gordon, one of the last uncorrupted members of the entire legal and justice system. We know that Jim Gordon will eventually go on to be the Commissioner, but now we get to see why he earned it. We follow him through a city that is falling apart as he continues to try to make a difference in any way that he can, regardless of the odds stacked against him. He initially takes on the murder of Bruce’s parents, realizing quickly the deterioration of the justice system he represents. He has to come to terms with balancing what is more important. While he understands that justice can’t be done for the Waynes’ murder right now in this system, he doesn’t forget about it. He simply knows that he will have to put it aside as well as other cases he comes across until the city has the right people in power to give justice.

Detective Gordon should be the show focus, and he is half of the time. This is really what I expected when I heard about the show concept. That being said there are some big issues that I have with this show. The first one being Bruce Wayne. His story arc is unattached to the rest of the show. Yes, his parents death was necessary for the show, but all Batman fans know that Bruce Wayne will never get anywhere close to justice for the death of his parents until he puts on the bat suit. Since he isn’t even big enough for the Robin gear yet, then what is his purpose on the show? That is my nagging question. He hasn’t been given real purpose outside of growing up and maybe uncovering conspiracies within the family company.

Detective Gordon works with the police and is constantly tangling with the mob. We have characters within the mob and police that we follow and focus on outside of Jim. These scenarios make sense because these two entities continually clash throughout the show. Having side stories concerning Fish Mooney is not a stretch since she is involved with the mob and trying to take over. Her character is always used as an asset and a hindrance to Jim. Knowing more about her character is interesting, because her character is relevant in the current time line. Oswald Cobblepot is a budding power hungry contender in the crime world. We are watching him become the Penguin, and his role is just as interlaced to the main theme of the story as is Fish Mooney. His character continues to be relevant. Hell, even Edward Ngyma is a nice touch. He is the forensic specialist for Gordon’s precinct. Gordon is one of the few people who treats him with respect and values his work. It is a nice way of watching how his transformation into the Riddler will be with the significant role he plays with the police. He is a bit odd, but his character has never come off as mean or destructive.

Bruce Wayne and Alfred have yet to make their characters significant enough to the show as a whole that I care about them like I do Penguin and Riddler. The same can be said about Selina Kyle, outside of the initial murder of the Waynes, her role is played out way more than necessary at this point. If they are continued to be used on the show, then the show needs to fix it or stop it.

Also, can we quit with the damn cameos of who’s who in the Gotham universe. I get it. It’s fun, but if you want to continue this show for at least five seasons, then you need to keep some of those aces in your pockets to hand out later. I am hoping the show did this to ensure that it would be picked up for a second season, because hey, networks are quick at the chopping block. We have damn well seen every major Batman villain in this first season outside of Joker and Harley Quinn. The majority of them are kids, who can’t do a whole lot villainous things at the moment. Oh, wait, I forgot about Mr. Freeze. They haven’t done Mr. Freeze yet. Maybe they are holding out for an Arnie cameo. No. Stop it, Gotham. Stop it right now. You need to spread this out.

I am going to continue to watch this, because I am hoping the show will throw back some chamomile tea and calm the hell down. If that happens, and they align the focus well, then this will be an excellent show. Be the show that Gotham deserves…………I know, I’m stopping now.