Comments on Arthur B's Falling Down the Whirlpool at the End of the Sidewalk

An overview of the BFI's Otto Preminger boxed set.

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Orion at 01:24 on 2017-04-03
This reminds me a bit of the trouble I had with the TV series Gotham. It came highly recommended, but the very first (or maybe second?) episode ended with an absurdity that had, in the 3 years between when it aired and I watched it, become retroactively offensive.

It's clearly an ensemble show, but the first protagonist we get is an idealistic young Detective Gordon who has just joined the Gotham PD and is immediately horrified to discover that it is brutal and pervasively corrupt. The partner he's assigned is in fact himself friendly with various mob bosses and urges Jim not to make waves. His first job, of course, is to work out who killed Bruce Wayne's parents and stole their jewelry.

They get a tip naming a possible suspect. When they knock on his door, he jumps out the window and flees several blocks on foot. I think he pulls a gun and shoots at Gordon while he flees? Anyway, Jim catches up to him and attempts to take him down with nonlethal martial arts, but fails. He's about to be killed by the suspect when his partner shoots and kills the guy, saving Jim's life. So far, so good.

Then, inexplicably, Jim's partner worries that they could lose their jobs over this, and persuades Jim that they have to cover up the shooting. I literally LOL'ed at the idea that an explicitly corrupt department would discipline two officers for shooting a suspect who attacked them with a deadly weapon in close quarters in a public alleyway after fleeing his home (a home which turned out to contain both drugs and stolen jewelry). I watched it just days after one of the first Black Lives Matter demonstrations and (although this suspect was white), that pushed it over the line to where I couldn't keep watching.

In retrospect it occurs to me that the dirty cop may have been outright lying about the risk of punishment as part of his long game to corrupt Gordon (which is something he does attempt to do elsewhere). Maybe I should give it another chance.
Arthur B at 10:04 on 2017-04-03
Yeah, that example totally makes sense as a "I am going to persuade you to join me in an incriminating crime so that your personal mortality gets eroded by breaking this taboo and you end up with this difficult-to-shake connection to me I can play on to ensure your loyalty" thing. Especially when used against a naive cop panicking about someone being dead on their watch.

But of course, that isn't necessarily how the show plays it.
Arthur B at 10:08 on 2017-04-03
...it occurs to me, in fact, that the writers probably realised that they needed the coverup to retain Bruce's motivation for becoming Batman.
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