Gotham Round Table: Welcome to the Dark Side

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Jim Gordan. Bruce Wayne. Penguin. Gotham.

The highly-anticipated FOX series is finally here sending Jim and his veteran partner, Harvey Bullock, on the hunt for the killer of Bruce's parents. And of course, that means plenty of DC Comics nods as the "origin" stories begin.

So just how was this Batman-less Gotham Season 1 Episode 1? That's just the first question for TV Fanatic staff writers Sean McKenna, Henry Otero and Gothamsite's Craig Byrne to discuss. So grab your Batman capes and join in the first TV Fanatic Gotham Round Table.

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Did you enjoy the premiere?

Henry: I'll be honest, I enjoyed it more after watching the pilot a second time. While the show looks fantastic and has a great cast, it didn't grab me for some reason. That said, I think this is one of those shows that will only get better each week. I trust Bruno Heller.

Craig: For the most part, I did.... but I do admit that Gotham is undefined for me so far, whereas something like The Flash, I knew right away that I was in love with it. I think I want to see more episodes for a better idea of what this version of Gotham and this "world" is like. There were some terrific performances by certain actors, and it definitely has me wanting more, so there's that. The biggest challenge for the show, I think, will be to be able to separate itself from being a police procedural that just happens to have villains from the Batman universe in it.

Sean: It was a fair start. There’s a lot to like here, such as the great cast, but I think this show will be better to look at over the course of the season than say just the pilot. I wasn’t blown away by the hour, but I’m intrigued to want to see more. There’s so much potential that I hope Gotham can take advantage.

Gotham RT - depreciated -

What was your favorite scene?

Henry: Oswald Cobblepot taking pleasure beating up the guy that stole from Mooney. Robin Lord Taylor was the standout for me in the premiere. It appears Season 1 will focus on the rise of the Penguin, and I'm totally cool with that.

Craig: There were a lot of scenes I liked — usually any time Bullock is being an a-hole, which Donal Logue plays so well that, like Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark, you can't help but love it. But my favorite has to be the end, where Jim Gordon ends up at the Wayne manor and talks to Bruce. Mostly because it shows what the show might feature in the future, AND it featured Sean Pertwee, whose Alfred character is someone I want to see a lot more of.

Sean: I’m really digging the new version of Alfred, Craig, so I also want to see more of him. As for me, the scene where Jim is forced to “kill” Oswald really sticks out in my mind. I mean I knew he wouldn’t, but there was an intensity there between the two actors (Robin Lord Taylor really stands out). It not only puts those core characters together but it sort of sets up just how dangerous Gotham can really be, when even the cops have to make deals with the mob.

Who do you think killed Bruce Wayne’s parents?

Henry: No idea, but it will be fun to try and piece together the clues. I'm hoping this is a series long mystery and that it really pays off in the end.

Craig: It might break any rules of conventional television, but I don't think we saw the killer in the premiere episode, or anyone with any connection. If I had to make a guess, I'd pick someone totally out of left field, like Mayor Aubrey James.

Sean: There’s so many different versions of the killer in the various Batman tales, but I think it’s really interesting that it seems less of a random act. There’s something more behind it, which will probably bleed into the various higher ups in Gotham whether they be “good” or “bad.” It’s tough to guess though, with so many possibilities. So who likes shiny shoes…

Will we ever see Bruce Wayne become Batman? Should we?

Henry: Hopefully not, I'd rather Gotham stick to the villains' stories. I don't mind watching young Bruce Wayne grow into his own, just no Batman.

Craig: I really loved the Bruce Wayne pilot script that went around the year before Smallville premiered, and of course we didn't get that, but this Bruce Wayne... I don't think we'll see him getting that far. I don't think Gotham will last 15 seasons or however many it takes for David Mazouz to be 29, but I wouldn't be shocked if the show ever did a time-jump or a fast-forward.

I might even go so far as to say if they did a time-jump, though, it'd be a ratings ploy; that this show is clearly about the villains of Gotham and the heroes of the piece are Jim Gordon and, in his own way, Harvey Bullock. No real expectations to see Bruce Wayne suiting up, though Batman on my television screen would be amazing.

Sean: I agree with you both. I don’t think we’ll see it happen, but if Gotham can really do a good job of making the story and characters interesting and engaging than that need or want to see the Dark Knight won’t be as strong. Plus, as the pilot seemed to make clear, its less about Batman and more about the world and people of Gotham as it will descend to the point where Batman eventually makes his decision to step in and help out. But that’s a ways away.

What are your hopes for Gotham Season 1?

Henry: I'm hoping the creative team keeps the show dark and twisted. I could do without some of the cheesy dialogue and over the top moments. Overall, I'm excited about this series, there's tons of potential.

Craig: As I mentioned earlier, I hope that the show is able to separate itself and confirm to the audience why it is something special. Performances by actors like Robin Lord Taylor and Cory Michael Smith as some of the villains should help with the whole standing-out thing, and I am also excited to see where more they go with Fish Mooney. Ultimately, the audience needs to be as immersed in the city of Gotham as the characters are, and if Season 1 brings us that, these writers and creative people did their jobs well.

Sean: I really want Gotham to feel consistent in tone and characters. I love the dark feeling the show has, even in the daytime, and I with such a great cast there’s plenty of ways to really create and grow those characters. I just hope Gotham doesn’t feel the need to cram every DC Comics nod down viewers’ throats and instead focus on creating a compelling story that stands out beyond just having those Batman villains etc. Like I said before, there’s so much potential here, and I’m looking forward to seeing where Gotham goes. And it probably helps that I’m a huge fan of the Batman universe.

Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.

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Gotham Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

I promise you, however dark and scary the world might be right now, there will be light. There will be light, Bruce.

Jim

Somebody takes a cop’s gun, you shoot him. That’s basic.

Harvey