- "After my parents were killed, Emilio, I spent nearly ten years searching for a purpose. Now I finally know what I have to do. And I know in my heart that it's right."
- ―Bruce Wayne to Emilio Martinez, shortly after his return to Gotham City, informing him of his decision to become a crime fighter.
"Pilot" is the first episode of the television series Knight of Gotham. It chronicles Bruce Wayne's return to Gotham City after spending ten years travelling abroad and deciding to become a vigilante in order to rid the city of the wave of crime that has been plaguing it for so long. It was directed by Dane Brenson and written by both Brenson and David S. Goyer
The episode opens with a small jet flying through the sky. It is a dark and stormy night. Bruce Wayne is sitting inside and is looking out of the window. He appears to be the only passenger on the jet. We then see a flashback to 20 years ago, when Bruce is eight years old. He is alongside his mother and father at a public ceremony at Wayne Manor where Mayor Richard Conway is presenting the both of them with awards because of their outstanding contributions in medicine and philanthropy. The family's butler, Alfred Pennyworth, is shown sitting in the front row. Sitting next to him are Reverend Emilio Martinez, Dr. Leslie Thompkins, and a young Lucius Fox. After the ceremony, Conway pulls young Bruce aside and tells him that he is lucky to have the parents he has.
The scene then shifts back to the present day, with Bruce still staring outside of the window. A man then sits next to him and asks him if he wants to be dropped off at the airport; the man can't be identified, as he is shrouded in shadow. Bruce says no, and requests that he be dropped off at Wayne Manor.
Bruce then has another flashback to when he was eight years old. He is excitedly walking with his mother and father towards the Monarch Theatre, talking about how much he wants to see "The Mark of Zorro". The scene shifts the them watching the film. During the film, Thomas tells his son that Zorro was a hero, and the world could use more like him. The scene shifts again to when the family is leaving the theatre. At that moment, a mugger accosts the family, who demands that they hand over their money and other valuables. Bruce's father calmly hands over his wallet and asks that he leave, but Chill turned to Martha and demanded that she hand over her jewels, calling her a "bitch". This provokes Thomas, causing him to launch an uppercut at the mugger. Panicking, he shoots and kills Thomas, and seconds later, after she screams out his name, kills Martha too. Turning his gun on Bruce, he almost shoots him, but loses the nerve at the last moment and runs off into the night. Bruce begins sobbing uncontrollably. At that moment, a janitor working at Monarch Theatre leaves the building, sees the young crying next to his dead parents, and instantly calls both the GCPD, as well as an ambulence, when he sees that Bruce is going into shock.
The scene shifts back to the present day. The man in the shadows is sitting next to the pilot in the cockpit of the jet. The pilot informs him that they were nearing Gotham City. The shadowed man leaves the cockpit to inform Bruce, but notices that Bruce has fallen asleep. The man returns to the cockpit, and sits back down in the co-pilot's seat, saying that it would be better not to disturb him. The pilot refers to the man as "Mr. Ducard". The scene then shifts to Bruce sleeping before shifting to another flashback.
A private funeral is being held for Thomas and Martha Wayne on the grounds of Wayne Manor; the service is conducted by Reverend Martinez. Afterwards, young Bruce is approached by Carmine Falcone, a Gotham City businessman and, unbeknownst to Bruce at the time, a rising figure in the Gotham City criminal underworld (at the time, he was more of a small-time criminal and had not yet become the preeminent kingpin he is currently known as.) Falcone tells young Bruce that Thomas Wayne once saved his life, and that, because of that, if he ever needed a favor of some kind, he could always come to him. Bruce, unsure of what to think but believing Falcone's intentions to be good, accepts and thanks him.
Afterwards, Bruce returns to Wayne Manor, where Alfred informs him that he has been named as Bruce's official guardian, and that he made a promise on Thomas and Martha's graves that he would take care of him as well as they did, to the best of his ability. Bruce breaks down and comments how much he misses his parents, and hugs Alfred. Emilio suddenly walks in and briefly talks to Alfred, letting him know that he was available if there was anything he could do. He then walks over to Bruce and recites Psalms 23 to him, then tells Bruce that his parents were "in the hands of God".
The scene shifts back to the present day, where the jet has just reached the Gotham City skyline. "Gotham Tower One" contacts the jet, asking if it wants to land. The jet's pilot replies not, and that it would land near Wayne Manor. The scene cuts back to the interior of the jet, where Bruce is waking up. Ducard is standing next to him, informing him that they have returned to Gotham. Ducard then asks him if anyone knows he coming back. Bruce looks away, deep in thought, before having another flashback.
Several weeks after he has graduated from Gotham City Original High School, he is speaking with Alfred outside Wayne Manor, two large suitcases in his hands. Alfred is trying to convince him to "reconsider his decision", but Bruce is adamant in his decision, revealing that he is leaving Gotham City to travel abroad. An airport shuttle then pulls up. As Bruce approaches the car, Alfred asks one final question: "But...why, Master Bruce?" Bruce takes a long look back, and responds, "To find a purpose, Alfred."
The scene shifts to Bruce arriving in London, England, where he meets renowned detective Henri Ducard (who we learn is the same Ducard on board the jet with Bruce in the present), and informs him of his decision to fight injustice. Ducard agrees to train him how to be a detective and give him man-hunting skills, and also promises to give him the names of people who could train him in other skills too. Next plays a montage of Bruce training under Ducard, learning martial arts under martial arts Master Kirigi, and learning assassin and escapology skills under master assassin David Cain.
The scene once again shifts to the present, where the jet has landed near Wayne Manor. Bruce prepares to walk out, but before he does, Ducard wishes him good luck. Bruce thanks him for everything he's done.
Bruce then walks up to the front door of Wayne Manor, and knocks. Alfred answers the door, and looks surprised to see Bruce. After a long moment, Bruce says "Hello, Alfred." Alfred meets his gaze and replies, "Welcome home, Master Bruce."
The scene opens up on the interior of Wayne Manor. Bruce is talking with Alfred, asking him of everything that has happened during his absence. Alfred informs him of the rise of Carmine Falcone and how Gotham's crime rate has nearly tripled since his parents were murdered, and about how nearly every official in the city was now in Falcone's pocket. Furthermore, Bruce asks about the status of Wayne Enterprises. Alfred replies that the company was still doing fairly well, and was being run by Lucius Fox, the young engineer whom his father had hired many years ago.
Bruce informs Alfred that he has returned in order to fight the injustice that plagued Gotham City, and was planning on going on a scouting mission within the next few days. Worried, but knowing that Bruce means well, Alfred gives Bruce his blessing and promises to provide any cover stories that may be necessary.
The next day, Sunday, Bruce attends worship at First Christian Church of Gotham City and speaks with his old friend Emilio afterwards. Happy that Bruce is back, Emilio asks him why he returned. Bruce gives him the same answer he gave Alfred, and Emilio likewise gives him his blessing, and furthermore praises him, saying that he was unhappy that Gotham had withered away into the crime-ridden city it had become, and that someone was finally willing to stand up and do something about it.
Meanwhile, across town, a taxi arrives at the headquarters for the Gotham City Police Department. A brown-haired man with glasses and a woman who is obviously his wife leave the car, with the man commenting, "This must be the GCPD." Inside the building, Gillian B. Loeb, the police commissioner, is reading a newspaper in his office, when Deputy Commissioner Clancy O'Hara walks in and informs him of the arrival of the man and his wife. Loeb walks outside and greets them, where the man introduces himself as Jim Gordon, and the woman as his wife, Barbara. According to Gordon's resume, he was a 15-year veteran of the U.S. Army Rangers and was transferred to the Reserve Corps several months previously, and was transferred to the Gotham City Police Department at the request of a friend of his. Loeb assigns him to go on his first patrol as Arnold Flass' partner. When being introduced to Flass, Gordon gets the impression that he's a big jerk. Jim kisses his wife goodbye and prepares to leave for his first patrol. Before he does, however, he bumps into Crispus Allen, a longtime friend of his who recommended he be transferred to Gotham City in the first place. Crispus warns Jim of the corruption in the GCPD, and especially of Flass, whom he calls a "thug" that moonlights for Carmine Falcone as an enforcer. Jim comments that he will "take his chances", and leaves.
Meanwhile, Bruce is preparing to scout out the corruption on Gotham City's streets by travelling to the seedy East End. Creating a makeshift disguise for himself to where he could pass for a cagefighter, Bruce travels on until he reached Gotham's Red Light District. Here he meets a teenage prostitute named Holly, who propositions to him, to which Bruce declines. The doors of the nearby brothel suddenly burst open, and Holly's pimp, named Stan, angrily approaches her and starts yelling, asking why she "never gets anybody", ending up striking her across the face. A dominatrix named Selina comes out and demands that he stop abusing Holly, but he hits her too. Having seen enough, Bruce demands that Stan stop, but Stan taunts him, calling him a "faggot" for not accepting Holly's approaches, and a "punk" for talking to him. Bruce launches an uppercut at Stan, which makes Stan even angrier, and the two men soon erupt into a violent brawl, with Selina and Holly only watching before fleeing back into the brothel. Meanwhile, Gabriel Iglesias, a local stand-up comedian (and, ironically, an old friend of Bruce Wayne) is walking out of a nearby club after a performance and witnesses the brawl from afar, and calls the police. Soon after, two cops, Harvey Bullock and Jim Corrigan, arrive on the scene and attempt to sort it out.
Meanwhile, Gordon and Flass are patrolling together, nearby where the brawl is taking place. Flass is beating up a teenager for no apparent reason, and when an appalled Gordon asks why, he says because he was "staying out late". Still appalled, Gordon asks Flass, "What the hell is wrong with you?" to which Flass just laughs in Gordon's face. At that moment, they get a call for backup for them to come to a riot happening at a nearby brothel. They both arrive, and it just so happens to be the same brawl between Bruce and Stan, where a small group of stree thugs have joined Stan in beating up on Bruce. Corrigan and Bullock have had no success in breaking it up so far, just the two of them, so Corrigan, Bullock, and Flass band together and manage to disperse the street thugs, then proceed to use excessive force on both Bruce and Stan, and appear to take pleasure in beating up on them, though the both fight back, and Bruce manages to punch Flass in the head several times, leaving him to abandon the other cops. Gordon, watching in disgust, attempts to break it up by firing several rounds from his pistol - however, in the chaos, he accidently hit both Bruce and Stan, though neither of them fatally. Bullock and Corrigan drag the semi-conscious Bruce into their nearby car and inform Gordon that they could handle the situation from there. Gordon runs off, but not before helping a group of prostitutes drag Stan back into the brothel.
Corrigan and Bullock are driving back to the GCPD, when in the back seat, Bruce clubs Corrigan (who is driving) over the head, breaking his handcuffs and causing him to spin out of control and crash. Neither Bullock or Corrigan are seriously injured, and Bruce drags them to safety, then escapes. He manages to make it several blocks before calling Alfred to pick him up, which he does.
Later that night, after being fixed up by Alfred, but still healing, Bruce is close to despair, and utters a prayer before a bust of his father, asking for guidance on this war he plans to wage on crime. At that moment, a bat flies through an open window and lands on the bust. Struck with inspiration, Bruce decides to become a bat. As Alfred walks into the room, Bruce informs him of his idea: He would become...a Batman.
- Michael Fassbender as Bruce Wayne
- Timothy Dalton as Alfred Pennyworth
- Bryan Cranston as Sergeant James Gordon
- Courtney B. Vance as Lucius Fox
- Clancy Brown as Deputy Commissioner Clancy O'Hara
- Jim Caviezel as Henri Ducard
- Max Charles as Bruce Wayne, Age 8
- Sonny Chiba as Master Kirigi
- Lauren Cohan as Selina Kyle
- Jeffery Combs as Thomas Wayne
- Brian Cox as Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb
- Terry Crews as Crispus Allen
- Mackenzie Crook as Joe Chill
- Robert De Niro as Carmine Falcone
- Cote de Pablo as Renee Montoya
- Dakota Fanning as Holly Robinson
- Melissa George as Martha Wayne
- Rupert Graves as Jim Corrigan
- Bruce Greenwood as Mayor Richard Conway
- Gabriel Iglesias as Himself
- Chris Jericho as Arnold Flass
- Diane Keaton as Dr. Leslie Thompkins
- Stephen Lang as David Cain
- Edward James Olmos as Rev. Emilio Martinez
- Amanda Peet as Barbara Gordon
- Mark Sheppard as Harvey Bullock
- Eminem as Stan/The Pimp
- This episode introduces a majority of the GCPD.
- The scene where Falcone talks to Bruce about Bruce's father saving his life at the funeral is very similar to how Mr. Earle talks to Bruce about Wayne Enterprises at the funeral in Batman Begins.