By now, Batman fanboys are probably buzzing about dissecting every nuance of Monday'..."/> By now, Batman fanboys are probably buzzing about dissecting every nuance of Monday'..."/>

Extended Gotham Trailer Shows Promise


By now, Batman fanboys are probably buzzing about dissecting every nuance of Monday’s extended Gotham trailer.  I have to say, the trailer shows a lot of promise.  It teases just enough baddies, establishes the main cast really well, and gives the viewers a peek into the harsh world of Gotham City.  The trailer seems to invoke a very Nolan-esque ambiance to the overall series.  Dark and raw.  From the start, we get a feeling that this young Jim Gordon seems to be, at least, optimistic about his ability to make a difference.  So, let me take out my audio and visual scalpel and see what clues we can cut out from Fox’s extended Gotham trailer.

0:00 – 0:14 A very Inception trailer-like forceful horn blare and a voice-over saying, “I love this city and I see it going to hell.  Sometimes I think this place is cursed.  But, I won’t let it fall apart without a fight.”  The voice belongs to an elderly gentleman (John Doman), and he’s saying these words to a young Gordon (Ben McKenzie).  Is Doman playing the current commissioner?  If he is, is he Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb?  We then see scenes of organized crime activity: enforcers and tough guys dragging limp bodies.

0:16 – 0:25 The background music becomes a soft piano playing a simple tune.  On TV, the Mayor of Gotham (Richard Kind) addresses the people and says, “Citizens of Gotham.  We will not.  We cannot … let these killers, and these robbers, and these rapists, and these thugs win!  Not on my watch!”  If you have a keen eye, you’ll notice that the bottom of the screen reads “MAYOR MOURNS WAYNE MUR…”  Even though the last word is cut off, we know it’s “MURDERS.”  Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) intensely watches the Mayor’s speech.  Gordon is interested too, but it seems that he’s also analyzing Bullock’s reaction at the same time.  He probably knows that there are dirty cops and he’s still seeing where Bullock stands.  I like that Gordon and Bullock will potentially have some conflict.  This might also be a commentary on police brutality since it seems Bullock is the type to hit first and ask questions later.

0:29 – 0:32 You know that bird-beaked nose anywhere.  It’s Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Taylor), a.k.a. the future Penguin.  Oswald, nose bloodied, is backing away from someone.  In a fearful voice he says, “There’s a war coming … a terrible war.”  The person causing him to walk back is Gordon, who has a vertical cut on his eyebrow.  They were probably just in a fight, and we all know that Oswald is not the toughest of hand-to-hand fighters.  But from his voice, it seems to hint that either he’s afraid of Gordon or he’s actually a pawn in a bigger conspiracy.

0:35 – 0:39 Oswald continues, “There will be chaos.  Rivers of blood in the streets.  I know it.”  His dialogue becomes a voice-over to scenes of the city and an aerial view of a fire.

0:39 – 0:43 The music becomes more intense.  Violins start to sound off with suspenseful build-up.  We see Bullock and Gordon at a diner.  Bullock introduces Gordon to what seems like two people: a black male and a female with her back to the camera.  Further research shows that the black gentleman is Crispus Allen (Andrew Stewart-Jones), a good cop who, in the comics, is murdered by a corrupt cop and becomes the third host for The Spectre.  The female could be either Renee Montoya (Victoria Cartagena) or Sarah Essen (Zabrina Guevara).  It’s most likely Montoya since she was Allen’s partner.  Montoya later becomes The Question.  Sarah Essen is of significance because she later has an affair with Gordon.  And, that information is used to blackmail Gordon by the current sitting commissioner.  It’s still unknown if the guy at the beginning of the trailer will be the commissioner though, and if this is the storyline they’ll follow.  But, it’s interesting.

0:43 – 0:47 We get our first look at Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith).  She says to Gordon, “You have a little danger in your eye.  I wonder what you plan to do with that?”  This seems to be a first meeting between her and Gordon.  And from her words, it seems as if she’s looking to corrupt Gordon and make him another one of her “eyes and ears” in Gotham’s already corrupt police force.  In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jada Pinkett Smith said that her character is starting out as a low-level boss, but will later evolve into this TV show’s version of the Great White Shark who, after a stint in Arkham Asylum, becomes an insane and deformed foe to Batman.  I’m also speculating if they’ll go with a storyline whereby, after her fall, the more famous Carmine Falcone will step in and take over her reigns.  I’m already excited.

0:49 – 0:55 Bullock asks Gordon, “You kill people before?”  We cut to a scene of Gordon throwing punches at a thug.  We cut back and Gordon answers angrily, “That was war.”  Bullock retorts forcefully with, “This is war!  We’re at war!”  What I love about this scene is that it completely sets the stage of what the good guys are up against.  Also, from his statement that he’s only killed people in war, it seems like there will be some backstory and emphasis on Gordon’s former military service.  I’m loving it.

0:56 – 1:03 This is what every fanboy has been waiting for.  I see this as the zygote stage of Batman’s creation: the night Bruce Wayne’s parents were violently gunned down in front of him.  The way they do it here is probably the most traumatic and graphic outside of the comics.  We see a masked gunman, most likely Joe Chill, shoot both his parents in the chest with resulting blood spurts to match.  In the aftermath, Bruce Wayne kneels between the dead bodies of his parents, the palms of his hands bloody.  He lets out the most blood-curdling banshee-like scream.  This is something I have never seen in any media portrayal of this fateful night.  All cartoons and movies, that I recall, only had Bruce in silent shock.  I think this scene shows the emotional heaviness of what this TV show will bring.

1:04 – 1:13 Gordon meets the young Bruce at the crime scene.  He vows to Bruce, “I promise you … I will find the man that did this.”

1:15 – 1:20 Gordon visits Bruce.  It seems that we’re getting the tail-end of a conversation, but Bruce tells Gordon, “I’m learning to conquer fear.”  Gordon replies, “Fear doesn’t need conquering.  Fear tells you where the edge is.”  And here we have it kids.  Two sides of the same coin (yes, I’m doing a little Harvey Dent-ish pun here).  A child will grow up to embody the fear that plagued him and use it to fight back, while the other will grow older and wiser and use fear to set limits and restraint.  Also, will Gordon be like a mentor to the young Bruce?  Will he be making regular visits to Wayne Manor?  If so, how will they explain the long absence of Bruce Wayne when he travels the world to enhance his training.  Wouldn’t Gordon be the first one who’s suspicious?

1:21 – 1:25 Fish Mooney states, “Somebody has to take over.  It might as well be me.”  Right after that, we have John Doman’s character saying to Gordon, “Gotham is on a knife-edge.”  Now, why would they put these scenes side-by-side?  I have one speculation.  If John Doman’s character really is Commissioner Loeb, who in multiple incarnations is corrupt, then this story might also be about heroes falling.  They’re doing something different here and it’s gutsy.  They’re probably showing Loeb as a good guy trying to save the city.  But in doing so, he probably makes a deal with the devil with Fish Mooney.  And like every tragic hero, every step they take leads them down a darker path even though their original intentions were noble.

1:26 – 1:35 Bullock tells Gordon, “This is not a city for nice guys.”  We see a series of quick scenes.  Gordon chasing a perp.  John Doman’s character in a meat locker (And, we all know nothing good ever happens in a meat locker, so my speculations about Loeb might be correct.).  Gordon holding a gun to Cobblepot’s head.  Bruce looking at his blood-stained palm on the night of his parents’ murders.  Gordon throwing Cobblepot off the dock with Bullock watching.

1:36 – 1:42 At this point, it seems that all hope is lost.  This is the end-of-act-two “everything goes wrong” part of the trailer. It couldn’t happen at a better moment where we’re three-quarters of the way through.  The lowest point is hit home when Gordon tells Bruce, “However dark and scary the world might be right now, there will be light.  There will be light Bruce.”  Right on the second “There will be light” statement, we get our first good look at a young Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondiva), a.k.a. the future Catwoman.  First, yes, she is the spitting image of Michelle Pfeiffer.  She could easily pass for her daughter or granddaughter (Sorry, Michelle.  We all get old, but you’ve done it the best.  I take nothing away from your elegance and poise).  Second, is Catwoman a ray of hope for the young Bruce?  It will be a strange retcon to show that Selina and Bruce had a friendship or budding romance when they were still kids.  Whatever it is, it’s still interesting that they cast someone with such a likeness to Michelle Pfeiffer. Her potrayal of Catwoman is so well-established in our minds that it even trumps Anne Hathway’s most recent portrayal.

1:43 – 1:52 A series of text introductions to the future Batman’s famous rogues gallery paired with images of their young selves.  Before Penguin: a laughing Oswald Cobblepot with his umbrella.  Before Catwoman: a pre-teen Selina Kyle standing and overlooking the edge of a skyscraper.  Before Riddler: a horn-rimmed-glasses-wearing Edward Nigma (Cory Michael Smith) flashing a devilish grin.  Before Poison Ivy: a shy, disheveled-looking girl, Ivy Pepper (Clare Foley), spraying her potted plant.  Hmm … they didn’t go with Pamela Isley as her name.  The plan might be to have her change her name after an event.  Or, they might pull a Caprica on us where Ivy Pepper is not the Poison Ivy we know.  She might be an older sister to Pamela Isley — just like what they did with William Adama.  Finally, the young Dark Knight gets his own introduction. Before Batman: Bruce Wayne raises his head.  His eyes seem much more cynical and darker from what they were at the beginning of the trailer.

1:53 – 2:04 Quick intense cuts showing: a brutal scene with Fish Mooney swinging a bat at some guy’s head;  Cobblepot striking someone and then a quick splatter of thick blood on a rock; Gordon and Bullock with their guns raised searching for someone or something.  And the final text: there was Gotham.

This was a great trailer!  However, there was one big thing that I thought was missing.  Where’s Alfred?  They may have done this on purpose to show that there’s a greater relationship between Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon.

Another interesting thing that I think they might do, and a BIG reason as to why they didn’t give a “before” introduction, is introduce many teen characters that could be the Red Hood, a.k.a. the future Joker.  Now, this is just my opinion of why they should use many candidates.  The Joker’s identity has never been fully documented, and he’s also a liar.  It will only play better into the myth if even Gotham‘s story had unreliable data and multiple suspects of who might be the future Joker.

Well, that’s it.  I’m really fired up for this show.  It looks really epic.  The fall season can’t come sooner.