Gotham, Castle, and Minority Report in our Bitesize Reviews
Castle - Season 8, Episode 1 “XY”
We spoke a lot about this show on our finale round up episode of the podcast. The season 7 finale felt like a perfect wrap up for this show, and was explicitly written to be one as the writers didn’t know whether the show was getting picked up for an 8th Season. Luckily for everyone it did, but how do they kick of a new season without the usual cliffhanger resolve mechanic?
In style!! That’s how. This was another great episode, from a great show; and was kind of an inversion of the “Quest for Castle” that kicked off the last season.
Beckett, now a Captain, receives a mysterious phone call and disappears after claiming to attend a meeting. Castle and the gang rush to find her, using the resources of the NYPD, Castles PI firm, and the help of a British copper. A familiar Senator, now behind bars, is suspected to be involved; but there are other parties in play; and it turns out Beckett doesn’t want to be found. Just yet.
The episode is tense and well paced, and the acting and script as on point as it always is. Warning: There’s an interrogation scene that arachnophobes would be well advised to fast forward. 8/10
Gotham - Season 2, Episode 1 “Damned if you do…”
I will hold my hands up and fully admit that I gave up on this show during its first season, I managed eleven episodes, coming back briefly for that Joker episode; but ultimately it never gripped my attention. I’m going to have to go back and catch up on it on Netflix having just seen the Season 2 opener…
Bullock and Gordon have been busted down to traffic cops, and whilst Bullock quit to run a bar Gordon stayed on. An altercation with a colleague is enough to get him busted off the force, and he must make a deal with Penguin, the now undisputed King the Gotham Underworld, in order to get his job back and make good on his promise to young Bruce. In pursuit of securing this deal, Gordon ends up shooting dead one of Penguins enemies. There is no way this doesn't come back to bite him on the ass, but just how should be interesting.
Meanwhile, a new player arrives on the scene and breaks a number of notables out of Arkham, including the bat shit crazy Barbara and the ever grinning Jerome.
It looks like it’s ditching the police procedural element in favour of more extended storylines, we’ll see how it goes. The new brother and sister villain team of Tabitha and Theo Galavan are going to add a really interesting dynamic to the show. Tabitha is clearly the Tigress, but who is her brother Theo..? Rumours are that he may be another iteration of Ra's al Ghul, but part of me hopes he is tied more closely to the rumoured apearance of the Court of Owls. Either way, this show is back on my radar after a solid, if somewhat foundation laying, season opener. 8/10
***NEW SERIES*** Minority Report - Season 1, Episode 1 “Pilot”
Urrrghhh. This was not entirely awful, but ran itself pretty close. Distancing itself from the film, and yet still trying to milk every last piece of nostalgia out of it, whilst crowbarring in Tinder references. Like a new born fawn on sheet ice, this struggled to find its feet and ended up flailing hard to the floor.
The central protagonist is Dash, one of the three pre-cogs from the film, now grown up and out of the defunct Pre-Crime Program. He still gets visions but, handily from an extending the drama point of view, only gets half of them and can’t interpret what he see’s fully without his missing twin. He ends up working with a cop and prevents the murder of the Mayoral candidates wife at last minute, in what I’m sure is going to be a season full of such rescues..
The augmented reality interfaces and intuitive advertising hoardings of the film all make appearances, but all they serve to do is date this show. Badly. Back in 2002 all these things were exciting and new, so good in fact they not only became a trope within sci-fi futures but also became real(ish). Motion control and interactivity in ARG no longer hold the mystique they did 13 years ago. One would have hoped the world of the show would have demonstrated a load of new sci-fi tech for us to get exited about, but instead it shows us google glass and leap motion and expects us to get excited. Sorry folks.
Acting, pacing, script, all these things are ropey and do nothing to help you invest in the show. This gets a few more episodes before I write it off, but if it continues like the premiere then I’m not holding out hope. 3/10