Superhero TV Recap: Gotham (Pilot), Agents of SHIELD (2.01)


So this week started the return and debuts of comic book shows to television with the series premiere of “Gotham” on Fox and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (AoS) on ABC. The CW’s one-two punch of “Flash” on Tuesdays and “Arrow” on Wednesdays will only add to the chaos. And let’s not forget “Constantine” on NBC showing up in late October, making Wednesdays very packed. But there’s no way I will be able to keep up with the pace I was for AoS last year with all these shows, so I’ve decided to change things up, as to not abandon all those looking to talk about the shows as they air. Starting with this week’s premieres I will be doing short recaps, covering major points (but without major spoilers as much as possible) and giving my thoughts on the episode and where things could go. At that point I will be opening things up for discussions. That’s DISCUSSIONS!! Not arguing and name calling or any of that juvenile crap!! NOT HERE SIR!!!

So without further ado, let’s jump into “Gotham.”

Gotham TV Series Cast Photo

Gotham (1.01, Pilot)

Simply put, I was impressed. There were a few moments where the acting was off, but not from any of the principal actors. Donal Logue and Ben McKenzie are just fantastic as the leads, Detectives Harvey Bullock and James Gordon. There is a lot that is given with not only them but the future Batman rogues, though it’s done quickly, and then we’re into the major story. Jada Pinkett Smith is cold as ice and sexy as hell as mid-level crime Boss Fish Mooney (a character created specifically for the show and her) and Robin Lord Taylor really sinks his teeth into the role of underling Oswald Cobblepot. Sean Pertwee was great in his brief time on screen as Alfred, and David Mazouz embodies a young Bruce Wayne perfectly, exhibiting anger, fear, and strength equally. The show is already taking liberties with the material, placing a young Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) on a fire escape to witness the murder of the Waynes. Gotham is shown to be corrupt right away with a framing by the cops and mob working together, and Gordon’s morals are tested by the end of the episode.

My Thoughts: The show has promise, I mean a lot of potential, and it hit the ground running. They ticked some names off their list for cameos (Edward Nygma, Oswald Cobblepot, Ivy, and Selina Kyle), threw in a few more for die-hard fans (Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen), threw a quick, “Is this the Joker moment?”, and of course we got to see a dark, dirty Gotham with no Batman on the horizon to help save it from its almost obligatory descent into criminal chaos and gang wars. And that’s what I truly liked about the show. The setting, which to me is the best version I’ve seen of Gotham on screen, really takes center stage. Whenever you see the skyline it just screams Gotham. And it really feels like the city itself could spawn any number of horrors. Watching characters like Fish Mooney go to violent extremes at the drop of a hat, or even better, seeing characters like Carmine “The Roman” Falcone show up declaring they will fight to save the city seriously turn things on its ear. The show has set up some great character arcs for Bullock and Cobblepot already, and I can’t wait to see what they do with others.


Agents of SHIELD (2.01, Shadows)

AoS returned with a bang!! Where “Gotham” can pretty much start with a slow burn and introduce the characters, AoS has to jump into the deep end and keep the Marvel Cinematic Universe rolling after the events of the last season and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” Coulson is now the man in charge, but what he’s in charge of is still a work in progress. Skye (Chloe Bennett) is now a full on agent, training under Agent May (Ming Na Wen), which brings them closer. Agent Triplett (BJ Britt) is still running with the crew, and they’ve expanded their ranks with some former agents and mercenaries including Isabelle “Izzy” Hartley (Lucy Lawless) and Lance Hunter (Nick Blood). The government, especially Brigadier General Glenn Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) is hunting for them, and Hydra has gone into hiding but are still on the move. Making matters more difficult is that resident tech genius Leo Fitz (Iain De Caesteker) hasn’t recovered fully and is relying on Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) to help him remember things. Oh, and there’s an Absorbing Man (Brian Patrick Wade) running around causing trouble. Meanwhile, they’re keeping their traitorous former teammate Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) in the basement of their HQ for questioning on Hydra issues. That about covers it.

My Thoughts: This was a great way to start the new season. Starting with things already in action and introducing us to the newbies, while reintroducing characters we know, the premiere quickly sets up the status quo for the team and the MCU. They are fugitives, but they will not sit back and let the world go to hell, and they’re responsible for making sure no when gets hurt by things they don’t understand. The team dynamic is very fluid and seeing the slight changes, but familiar relationships, helped. That said, there were a few things I didn’t see coming, like the reveal of how far gone Fitz really is, or the surprising loss of a character. They definitely did a great job of setting things up, almost like the team was finally starting to get things together, only to have the battle lines drawn and the little stability they have be questioned.

So that’s it boys and girls! Let’s get this discussion started! A penny for your thoughts?