Within the first ten minutes of the series premiere of Gotham Knights we see the death of Bruce Wayne and three teenagers mid heist realizing that they’ve been set up for the crime. While his superhero father is being tossed off of Wayne Tower his adopted son, Turner, and his bestie are throwing a rager back at the manor. On the heels of finding out about his father’s death he discovers his secret, that he had been taken in and raised by Batman, something he finds hard to believe and while venting to his friend he discovers the Batcave entrance behind a wall in his father’s office.
While the rest of the city mourns the loss of his father, the teens who broke into Wayne Tower , Duela (the Joker’s daughter), Cullen, and Harper Row, are ambushed and captured while planning to leave town with the $100,000 they were paid to rob Bruce Wayne. Later on in the episode the police find money transferred from Turner to the three teens and he is forced to break out of jail with them to find the real murderer and clear all their names.
A Familiar Face in the Crowd: Misha Collins, better known as the angel Castiel from another great CW show that you might have heard of, plays DA Harvey Dent. Considering how there’s a different police commissioner and there’s no sign of Jim Gordon, I wonder if Dent will become Two-Face before the season is over, if at all.
While facial recognition is a good thing, the character name recognition game in Gotham Knights is hella strong. Turner’s BFF is Stephanie Brown, AKA Cluemaster’s daughter but, her not knowing Bruce Wayne’s secret identity means she’s not going in as Robin this time around or is she? There’s also the Row siblings were once saved by Batman in the new 52’s so their shock at discovering Batman dead would be genuine but, I’m not getting why they wouldn’t have shared their grief at his loss with the police because they had no reason to want him dead.
Where Have All the Robins Gone? : During Turner’s speech at Bruce Wayne’s funeral he talks about how his father, the recently unmasked Batman, still found time after saving so many in the city to save one more which posed the question where have all the Robin’s gone? In this multiverse does Bruce Wayne not always have a replacement orphan on deck? How could Turner not have begun his grooming to take on the Robin mantle and become his trusty side kick?
While watching the first half of this series premiere i couldn’t wrap my head around a multiverse where Batman found himself Robin-less and how none of his proteges managed to make it to the funeral or descend upon Gotham ready to take vengeance for their adoptive dad’s brutal murder. Since Turner Hayes is a new character created specifically for this show, and he was calling him dad instead of Bruce, and there was no sign of Alfred to console the young master of the house, I had given up hope of seeing another one of of Batman’s teenage vigilantes but, then Carrie Kelley appeared. I was impressed and shocked that they went with the Frank Miller superheroine but, considering how dark her story line and arc was , it gave me high hopes for this new series.
Carrie Kelley in the Clutch: I’m here for all the bad ass female representation in this show but, I think Carrie Kelley deserves a special award for showing up at the tail end of the escape and saving everyone’s tail from a group of corrupt cops and getting the “Knights” to safety IN HER MOM’S CAR! Her heart to heart with Harper explains why Bruce decided not to turn this orphan into his new Robin. I also loved looking back and realizing she was watching at the funeral , hiding in plain sight before making her official debut in the series.
Overall: The debut episode of Gotham Knights is a solid start to what could be a very good series. The character and world building is well done, the story is expertly crafted and I also appreciate them not only not dead naming Cullen but, also not using an LGBTQ+ character as a plot point was well done and should be applauded. The introduction to the Court of Owls slips effortlessly into the story and myth creation.
With all these moving pieces it could have been very easy to end up with a convoluted story line and this whole series could have been off to becoming a hot mess but, the writers took great care with the known and unknown characters in this new rebranding of the inhabitants of the city of Gotham. There are still some issues with verbal over explaining as opposed to showing but, I attribute that to trying to get things right and introduce this new world of Gotham to old fans and people who somehow managed to never here about it. I really loved the “bad” kids being behind the breakout to make sure they all stay alive long enough to clear their names, something that Harper never considered and, it sets up a good story and alliance that can last for many seasons after they solve this initial crime.
As a pilot Gotham Knights it did exactly what it was supposed to do, draw the viewer in and making us at least a little curious about what’s going to happen next. I still think that there’s room for improvement but, if you’re looking for a fun show with quick writing, realistic action sequences, solid directing and a story that keeps you curious, then this is the show for you.
Overall Rating: 8.6