We've seen a lot from the upcoming series 'Gotham', and FOX continues to pump it out with a twenty-minute behind-the-scenes special on the show. It features lots of never-before-seen footage, as well as interviews with some of the cast and creators.
Note: Apologies for the occasional background noise - to make this available for everyone to view outside the US and without ads, I had to re-record it which meant a few extra sounds.
Some of the scenes expand on the moments that we saw in the trailers; Bruce Wayne standing on the roof is explained (and no, he wasn't about to jump off!), we get our first glimpse of Alfred, and there are so many minor moments that had my brain spinning all kind of theories.
Here is my list of the top ten things from the Gotham special (in no particular order).
1. Barbara Kean is going to be a major character
For the first time, a show is going to really develop the character of Gordon's wife, which is amazing. Up until now, she has been a very peripheral character, and has only had one brief on-screen moment. With this show focusing on Gordon, it makes sense that we will see more of their relationship. It’s also worth noting that she is not yet his wife, so we will see the entirety of their relationship, including at least one break-up, before she becomes Barbara Gordon.
I'm glad to see that this will be a complicated relationship, and that they have chosen to make her a full character all of her own, and not just a dutiful wife for Jim to come home to. I wonder what dark secrets are in her past, as hinted at in the special - her father is apparently a "man of means", so could she have links to organized crime herself? That would be an incredible way to test Jim's loyalties.
2. Jim quits the Force – or does he?
There is just a moment of footage where we see a police badge being pushed across a table, and at the same time, we hear Ben McKenzie and Bruno Heller talking about how Jim Gordon will be pushed to his limits, how he doesn't know what he is getting into when he joins the force.
It's a very classic shot when an officer dramatically quits - the return of the badge (and usually gun, though I feel like Gotham has some pretty relaxed arms laws!). That would make me assume that Jim is quitting. However, this is not the only possibility. This could be another member of the force turning in their badge (temporarily or permanently) including Harvey Bullock. As the "bad cop" who is complicit with the situation in Gotham, he could be fired or decide to leave as he turns over a new leaf.
3. Bruce Wayne as Mini-Batman
In the classic mythology, Wayne starts his training as a teenager, traveling the world to study not only at various universities, but in stealth, fighting, hunting and healing. While the show is not a Batman-centric one, we will see some of Wayne, and it looks like he is starting that training almost as soon as his parents are killed.
We see Wayne standing on the roof of his mansion, and holding his hand over a candle flame. He tells Gordon that he is trying to "conquer fear", and we hear that the character is starting to become Batman, although he doesn't know it yet. It seems to be an unfocused response to his loss - a reaching out for something to do, some way to cope. Although it is a deviation from the mythos, it is an understandable one. As an unhappy child, Wayne would really add nothing to the show, but as an angry one trying to train, the possibilities are endless.
Does he end up connecting with Selena Kyle to learn the tricks that she knows from her time on the street? How does this desire to do something affect Gordon - does it spur him on, or create a distraction, and potentially a danger to the investigation?
4. Bullock and corruption
We see from this footage that there are wars happening on every level within Gotham. There is tension between the two sides of the police force - crime and homicide (lets ignore for the moment why those two are separate, or why they don't have clearly defined jurisdictions). We see the homicide detectives posturing, attempting to take the Wayne murder case away from Gordon and Bullock. Is this because they are under the influence of the mob, and want to sweep it under the rug, or is it the other way around?
We start to see the extent to which Bullock is corrupt, as he basically informs Gordon that even when you know the wrong man has been "caught", you simply file the paperwork and move along. There is also a dramatic scene where Gordon talks a man down from shooting an officer, and Bullock, rather than being pleased, furiously tells him that when a suspect takes a gun, he should be shot. End of story. Will we come back full circle to this in a later scene, seeing Bullock maybe plant a gun (or claim that there was one) to get out of a murder?
Finally, we see that Bullock is in cahoots with Fish Mooney, from her enthusiastic greeting of him at her club. It's clear which side of the gang war he has chosen, but we then see Gordon talking to Falcone (I assume), which makes me wonder if perhaps the two partners will choose different sides, or play one against the other.
5. Jim murders Penguin?
One scene which is built up throughout the special seems to suggest that Gordon either tries to kill Penguin, does kill him, or thinks he does. A bloody Cobblepot is being marched across the pier, trying to tell Gordon what is going to happen within the gang wars, and we see him hit the water at the end. He obviously doesn't die, but Gordon's immediate argument with Bullock makes it seem like maybe he thinks that has happened. The two yell at each other about killing, saying that Gordon has killed before, and that Gotham is at war, so it is acceptable (in Bullock's mind, anyway).
What would push Gordon to the point that this stand-up cop would murder a mob lackey? I can't believe that this would be something that he is pushed to so early on in the season without good reason, so I am guessing that maybe Penguin knows something about Barbara - maybe she is kidnapped to try and stop Gordon from further investigating?
6. Penguin isn't all bad
It's been assumed so far that Penguin is a slightly deranged henchman for Mooney, and that he is pretty much bad through and through. However, some of the scenes in this special show us that there is so much more than that going on.
Yes, he is a henchman, but Robin Taylor also tells us that he has his own plans to take over the city and get out from under Mooney's thumb. We see him acting as an informant to the homicide team, and claiming that it is the orphan Wayne that has inspired him to do so. I would think that it is far more likely that he is trying to create a void in the mob world that he can fill, it looks like this is going to backfire on him, as Mooney calls him out on his betrayal.
Finally, we see a lot of him beaten up - bleeding and limping, pushed off the docks, told by Mooney to "open a vein" in front of her. It's clear to me that he will be the first major villain, and as the show will apparently be focusing on one at a time, I think that he may actually leave the show fairly quickly. After Gordon believes that he is dead, as does Mooney, is the scene we see of him hitchhiking one where he is running away from Gotham, only to return later on in a much more sinister form?
7. The Child-Snatchers
There are some headlines visible in moments of the footage, and while most are pretty straightforward clues to the state of the city ("Crime Wave of the Century") there is one in particular that I think we will see in more depth, that mentions "child snatchers".
At other points in the footage, we see an unnamed child being walked away from a building by police, and Selena Kyle with police officers and without her trademark goggles. Could Kyle be involved in a plot to kidnap street children? Is she being rescued, or arrested? I wouldn't think that she would be part of a child-kidnap ring or anything so grand, but she may be lured into being used as bait at some point.
It's also interesting to wonder why this would be something that someone would want. Who would want to kidnap these kids, and why?
8. Mrs Cobblepot's first appearance
We'd already seen the casting of Carol Kane as Penguin's mother, and her appearance in the special (even if only for a moment) just adds credence to the idea that he is going to be the first major character that we look at in depth.
She's looking particularly haggard, but also very out-of-date. There is a bit of a crazy old lady vibe happening here, and I wonder how that will play into the Penguin backstory. Is there a history of abuse? Neglect? What is it that makes him who he is, and will his mother make him a more sympathetic character?
9. The Unnamed Characters
There are one or two other blink-and-you'll-miss it moments where other characters flash by. We have already seen Poison Ivy, but there were a couple others that caught my eye. First up, we have the woman above - playing guitar at Fish Mooney's club with a definite punk look and a black mask. The mask especially makes me think that she is going to be someone important, but for the life of me, I can't think who! She looks Asian - could there be a Ra's Al Ghul connection this early on?
We also get a couple of long, lingering shots of the Wayne's murderer's eyes - obviously this crime is central to the show, but could the murderer be more than just a hired gun?
Finally, there is a masked butcher-type throughout the special - we see his torture room (plastic bloody sheeting, meat hooks, the works) and it looks like he may have Gordon and Bullock at one point, but who is he?
10. The Riddler's numbers
We don't see much of Edward Nygma, but we do see him working in a notebook where he has written two numbers in amongst all the question marks. 355 and 356 appear there, and on a wall in graffiti in another scene we see the numbers 333 and (possibly) 334.
I refuse to believe that this is co-incidence, but I have no idea what the numbers could mean. Are they counting up to something, or down? Are these easter eggs that relate to the plot, or are they something for the eagle-eyed viewer?
The special also gives us a lot of new looks into the making of the show - the police set, which was built up from scratch, and the gothic aspects that were added with visual effects.
It's great to hear the actors and creators talking about the show, and their enthusiasm makes me even more excited to see where this new take on the Batman mythology will go.
What do you think? Which was your favorite moment from the special, and did you see any more Easter Eggs or possibilities? Comment and let me know!