‘Gotham Knights’ TV Series Premiere Recap: Who Killed Batman? Mystery

The CW’s Gotham Knights wasted no time throwing us into a shocking mystery, one that will see the scions of Batman’s most notorious foes — and no less than Bruce Wayne’s adopted son — attempt to clear their names.

The non-Arrowverse series’ premiere opens with a brooding Turner Hayes (played by Oscar Morgan) mid-monologue; as Bruce Wayne’s adopted son, he’s seemingly got all he could ever want. Except, as he phrases it, “a reason why.”

As he muses, he turns a gold coin over in his palm (our first Court of Owls tease). The scene then shifts to a fencing match in which Turner makes short work of classmate Brody (Rahart Adams). The victory is bittersweet, though, because Turner’s father isn’t there to see it. Bummed, he pivots and invites his peers to an impromptu rager at Wayne Manor.

As Turner observes the festivities, he commends Carrie Kelly (Raven’s Home‘s Navia Robinson) on her reflexes after she catches a vase knocked over by rowdy jocks. The interaction is brief, but comic readers will know Carrie will have a huge role in the series going forward.

Gotham Knights

Cullen, Duela and Harper (The CW)

Meanwhile at Wayne Tower, young thieves Duela (Days of Our Lives‘ Olivia Rose Keegan), Harper Row (Fallon Smythe) and her brother Cullen (Tyler DiChiara) break into a safe containing the gun that Joe Chill used to murder Thomas and Martha Wayne. Examining the gun, Duela and Harper deduce it had been fired recently! A commotion outside the tower points their attention toward the window, across which a chilling message has been smeared (in blood): “Your Bat Is Dead.” We won’t give the killer points for creativity, but damn if that isn’t a way to get any Gothamite’s immediate attention. The trio rush to the window and find themselves looking down at a crumpled body on the pavement. Harvey Dent (Supernatural‘s Misha Collins) and the police arrive on the scene, and upon discovering that the corpse is Bruce Wayne’s, hurry off to Wayne Manor.

Duela and the others realize they’ve been framed, and scram. They knock out some pesky officers and steal a squad car (nice Dark Knight callback with Duela hanging out the window), but before we can see how their escape shakes out, the focus shifts back to the party at Wayne Manor. Harvey arrives to inform Turner that his father is dead, and that the world is about to learn who Bruce really was. Turner — having had no clue that his father was Batman — spirals further. Shortly after receiving the news, he and his best friend Stephanie (Doom Patrol‘s Anna Lore) discover the Batcave and immediately begin trying to solve Bruce Wayne’s murder.

Gotham Knights

Carrie (The CW)

Turner gives an impassioned speech at Bruce’s funeral, which is intercut with fragmented glimpses of Duela, Harper and Cullen being dragged away by the cops. Each is questioned separately; from Duela’s interrogation, we learn that her father was the Joker. From Harper’s, we get tidbits about her father, whose abusive behavior pushed her to find a way out of Gotham. From Cullen’s, we learn that he and Harper went into the robbery with the assumption it would be a one-and-done deal.

At school, Brody taunts Turner, prompting Stephanie to intervene and talk everyone down. Later, Stephanie uses the Batcave computers to find out who paid Duela and the Row sibs to rob Wayne Tower. Her search yields a name almost immediately, but it’s the last name she wanted to see flash across her screen: Turner Hayes. Whoever had hired the thieves had set Turner up, and the police took the bait. Officers arrive and arrest Turner. Further strengthening their case against him (in their eyes, at least) is the recent revelation that prior to his death, Bruce Wayne sought to change the beneficiary on his will. Not a great look for Turner, but there’s clearly some behind-the-scenes tampering going on here.

Gotham Knights

Harvey Dent and Turner (The CW)

Turner finds himself sharing a cell with Duela, Harper and Cullen. Duela hits him with some exposition about how the Joker abandoned her as a child and that, despite her blood relation to him, she hates him more than Batman ever did. She then accuses Turner of setting them all up, a charge which Harper and Cullen eagerly support. The conversation escalates to a full-on brawl, forcing the officer in charge of their case, Detective Ford, to intervene. Harvey, meanwhile, contemplates his mayoral campaign and weighs the impact of Turner’s case on said political aspirations.

As they’re whisked away to Blackgate Prison, Duela reveals that the fight she started in their cell was planned. She tells Turner that she knows he isn’t a killer and that the only way for them to survive is to stick together. Duela, Harper and Cullen pick the locks on their handcuffs and instigate a fight with the cops inside their transport. Together, they subdue their captors and almost escape, but a misjudgment on Turner’s part turns the table back in their enemies’ favor. Carrie Kelly unexpectedly shows up and saves them in her Robin get-up and wielding some nifty gadgets, allowing them to regroup and return to the Batcave.

The final moments of the Gotham Knights premiere drop a handful of chilling teases. The first is that the cops in charge of their transport to Blackgate were enlisted by the Court of Owls, foreshadowed again by the organization’s symbol. The second is that Turner’s butler, Cressida, appears to be in cahoots with Bruce’s killers. The third — and most exciting for comic fans — concerns Talon, the Court’s mysterious assassin, who decapitates Detective Ford and closes us out with the question: Who will face the Court’s wrath next?

What did you think of Gotham Knights? Will you tune in again next week, same Batman-less Bat-time, same Batman-less Bat-channel?

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2023-03-15 02:00:00