Review: Gotham Knights Episode 1 ‘An Underwhelming Start’

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Gotham Knights
Gotham Knights (Credits: The CW)

Inspired by the DC comics, Gotham Knights is a superhero show created by Natalie Abrams and Chad Fiveash. The show released its first episode on March 14th, 2023, on The CW network. It revolves around the DC superhero Batman, and his family, along with other DC characters.

The show stars Oscar Morgan as Turner Hayes, the adopted son of the now-dead Bruce Wayne. His character is said to have been specially created for the show, and it does not exist in the comics. Olivia Rose Keegan is cast in the show as Duela Dent, daughter of the infamous villain, Joker.

Fallon Smythe, as Harper Row, is one of the suspects on the run for Bruce Wayne’s murder. Tyler Dichiara plays Harper’s brother, Cullen Row, also being suspected of Wayne’s death. Actor Misha Collins plays the iconic Harvey Dent, friends with Bruce.

The show starts off with Bruce Wayne’s murder investigation being led by his friend, Harvey Dent. Turner Hayes makes a deal with the suspects of the murder, Harper, Cullen, and Duela, to figure out who actually took his father’s life. The young group is apparently wrongfully accused by Dent, and so they take it upon themselves to solve the case.

With only its first episode released, the show has failed to get an overwhelmingly positive response from its viewers though it managed to garner mixed reviews from critics and fans of the comics.

Gotham Knights
The main cast of the show Gotham Knights (Credits: The CW)

Gotham Knights Episode 1 Storyline

The series kicks off with Turner Hayes’ narration on how he was adopted by Bruce when his parents got murdered, but he never told him why he adopted him. While Turner explains his backstory, we see Bruce alive and breathing, with a mysterious-looking coin with an owl engraved on it. It will definitely make a comeback in the future.

We then see Bruce put on his superhero attire to get on to his mission, protecting his city. The scene cuts to Turner hosting a party at the manor, where we get to meet Cressida, working in Albert’s place, and some other classmates. While Hayes is busy enjoying the party, a group of three people breaks into the mansion.

Duela, Harper, and Cullen are there to steal the gun Joe Chill used to shoot Bruce’s parents from his office. The gun feels like it had been recently used, and immediately we find a message saying ‘Your Bat is Dead’ on the window and Bruce Wayne dead on the street. The group barely manages to escape when Harvey Dent barges in, leading the investigation.

The entire world, including Turner, now knows Batman’s actual identity. While the trio tries their best to get out of the city in time, they somehow get captured by the police after they get an unknown tip. Duela is an experienced criminal, and the siblings agree to follow her lead. 

Detective Ford and Dent investigate the three suspects but get nothing out of them. Turner finds on the Bat-computer records that it was faked to look like he was the one who hired people to get his father killed. He also ends up taken for investigation with someone clearly framing the four youngsters.

Duela is a skilled criminal and eventually manages to find her way out of jail with the siblings. She holds Ford hostage, on the verge of killing him, but gets stopped by Turner. We find that part of the police force was contaminated and was installed to kill the trio. With a huge fight on the verge of breaking out, Robin or Carrie Kelley, in this show, comes to save the day in place of Batman. 

Carrie says she believes that the group did not kill Bruce and that she knows they were being framed by someone. Harvey holds a press conference where he lets the press know that they are doing their best to track down the culprits. The suspects hide in the clock tower and try to form a plan on figuring out who might be the mastermind behind all of this.

Cullen mentions the engraved coin, and Duela reveals that they might have been killed back at the police station because the coin belongs to the Court of Owls, a really dangerous organization running Gotham city. The episode ends with a major shock where we see Detective Ford getting his head cut off by some mysterious faceless figure.

Gotham Knights
A still from the recent episode of the show Gotham Knights (credits: The CW)

Gotham Knights Episode 1 Review

It is a known fact that the DC superhero Batman is an iconic character who has been adapted into a variety of different shows, movies, or character arcs. With Batman, its side characters have also evolved, with many now at the frontline getting their own universe. The show Gotham Knights establishes right off the bat that its main focus would not be the superhero Batman.

Absolutely no time is wasted in getting right into the main premise of the show. As soon as Turner Hayes is done telling his story about he got adopted by the richest man in the city, the said man gets thrown off a building with an ominous message left behind. The name of the show is the same as a game released prior to the release of the show, but the two are completely unrelated.

The show has taken a completely new angle on the famous characters and has gone even beyond to create a whole new main lead, Turner Hayes. Turner is the adopted son of Bruce but is still completely kept in the dark about his father’s second persona. The episode rushes directly into the core of the story and does not take time to establish the relationship between the father and son.

We only know that Hayes struggles to figure out the reason why Wayne brought him to his house the night his parents got killed. Was it out of sympathy, or was it because Bruce himself had a similar experience during his childhood? We hope the show explores their dynamics more later in the show.

The show also has Duela, Joker’s daughter, and with her father’s history with Bruce, it will be interesting to see how she and Turner will work together.

The show introduced a completely new character instead of taking up already existing ones. One could argue that the show wanted to take complete creative liberty to mold its main guy instead of trying to meet fans’ expectations related to the already existing characters.

The show has also introduced a new Robin character arc, with her being a female and just another street criminal who agreed to be Batman’s eyes. She is soft towards Turner and talks gently about his father after she rescued him from jail. 

The show definitely has to be appreciated for trying something new with its characters, be it introducing a completely new guy as the main lead or making Robin female. It has also introduced an LGBTQ+ character, Cullen Row, one of the suspects in Bruce’s murder. Though it has been only one episode since the release of the show, it failed to create a striking impact on the audience.

In the first few scenes, we see Bruce with an engraved coin, and it is easy to guess that it is going to make a return, which it does, right before the credits roll. It managed to get right into the story while introducing the good guys and the bad ones, but it did not give fans enough time to get familiar with their faces or characters.

A cut from the show, Gotham Knights (Credits: The CW)
A cut from the show Gotham Knights (Credits: The CW)

Our Verdict

For now, the characters seem pretty simple, and it is easy to find their motivations for existing in this Batverse. The episode lacks sincerity and seriousness. Harvey’s character seems too boring and wrong, and the fight scenes feel sloppy and uncool. The episode did not gather the response it was supposed to and does not feel as satisfying to watch. 

The makers of the show are trying to pull off something new in an already well-established universe, and the pressure must, obviously, be high. It might be too early to judge the entirety of the show on just one episode, but it shows potential in terms of characters, story arcs, and relationship dynamics.

This episode felt like a minor wail rather than a full-blown blast, but fans of the universe remain excited about the show’s future ventures.

Our Rating: ⭐ (3.2/5).

Also Read: LEAP Review: Is It Worth Buying?

About The Author

  • Tarunjyot Kaur

    Tarunjyot Kaur is a content writer at OtakuKart and writes mainly entertainment-related content. she is currently put up in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. She has done her Bachelor's in Psychology. In her free time, she likes to read books, watch movies and play badminton. You can get in touch with me at

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