We have reached the halfway point of Fox’s newest drama Gotham and what a ride it’s been. The show follows the back story of some of the Batman franchise’s most memorable characters but the show focuses on Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and his crusade to clean up the crime in Gotham City. The story is intertwined with back stories into the Falcone and Maroni crime families as well as the mythology of the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents. Detective Gordon and his partner Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), a corrupt and brutish cop with a dislike for following the rules must navigate the rocky landscape that is the politics of Gotham and find a way to create law and order in the chaos.
The search for the Wayne murders has been a subplot for most of the first half of the season. Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) is only a boy who’s life if turned upside down after losing his parents. Surviving only by his butler, Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee), Bruce must come to terms with the loss of his parents, but also trust that Detective Gordon will keep his promise and find his parents killer. The search for the killer leads Gordon into direct contact with Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith), a night club owner and subordinate to Don Falcone (John Doman), the cities biggest crime boss, as well as an up and coming criminal mastermind Oswald “Penguin” Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor), with aspirations to one day be the biggest crime boss in Gotham, but it is a young witness named Selina “Cat” Kyle (Camren Bicondova), a street smart girl with survival instincts, who may ultimately lead Gordon to the killer. Which leads us to the midseason finale!
When a group of contact killers attack Wayne Manor, looking for Selina Kyle, Gordon realizes that his witness is in mortal danger. Having eluded the thugs and not knowing who the real target of the attack was, Selina heads to Gotham along with Bruce Wayne to hide until they can figure out their next move. Distraught with fear of losing Bruce, Alfred recruits the help of Harvey and Gordon to help him find Bruce. But we find out that Alfred has a certain set of skill sets that come in useful to the search. Following a lead into who may have hired the killers, Gordon comes face to face with tycoon Dick Lovecraft (Al Sapienza), a man Gordon believes may have knowledge into the Wayne murders, but what Gordon finds out is much more than he ever anticipated.
Desperate for information, Harvey and Alfred enlist the help of Fish Mooney to help locate the children. When the trail leads Alfred and Bullock to an underground base for street kids, all bets are off when they arrive. The only thing that matters is the safety of Bruce and Selina, and Alfred will stop at nothing to get to them. As Gordon faces his future in the corruption that engulfs his professional life, he is forced to leave his post as detective and sent to Arkham Asylum to begin work as a security guard. As the curtain closes on the fall finale, the city of Gotham is no closer to salvation.
Overall, the first half of the season was exciting and well worth the investment. The character development has been stellar and the writing has avoided cliche’s. The world created by Bruno Heller (HBO’s Rome) has created its own identity within the world of the Batman franchise. Outstanding performances by Robin Lord Taylor as the Penguin and Sean Pertwee as Alfred. The two have taken their characters to a whole new level and avoided the pitfalls of retreading over past performances of these characters. The partners, Ben McKenzie as Gordon and Donal Logue as Bullock has created some great chemistry. Logue is the linchpin here. His angst and banter are perfect compliment to McKenzie’s boy scout Gordon. But that’s not to say all the characters work.
Jada Pinkett Smith’s Fish Mooney, a character created for this show, is bland and, at times, seems to try way to hard to be menacing. This is not to say that there haven’t been glimmers of brilliance, but they are few and far between. The children, David Mazouz‘s Bruce Wayne and Camren Bicondova‘s Selina Kyle have been hit or miss. At times, it has been hard to see these characters for the age that they are when you know who they become. Batman and Catwoman are such iconic characters that seeing them at their most vulnerable has been challenging. It will be interesting to see their development moving into future seasons.
My recommendation….if you haven’t see Gotham, nows a good time to catch up before the second half begins…you won’t be disappointed!