GOTHAM: S1E2 ‘Selina Kyle’ Review

                                                                   MINOR SPOILERS!
First things first, the title of the
episode is somewhat misleading as this episode doesn’t deal primarily
with the future Catwoman. In fact she is not even a main player in
the episode. While it doesn’t impact the story in any real way it
does lead the viewer to assume that we are going to receive a bit
more information on Selina, or ‘Cat’ as she refers to herself
throughout. She finally speaks and we get a little of her character’s take no crap personality but that’s about it.
The episode deals with the abduction
of street children by two genuinely creepy villains. We don’t learn
much about them, who they are or where they came from, we just know
they are quirky and evil and have no qualms about snatching up
homeless kids in their van. What we do learn about them and what is
really quite intriguing is the name of their employer, The
‘Dollmaker’. And while the villain get’s no screen time the name drop
does point to interesting stories ahead.
Selina’s part in the tale is similar
to her small role in the Pilot, in as she is at first a witness to
the crime that propels the story. The episode begins with Selina and
several other street urchins gathered under a bridge when they are
approached by two seemingly well meaning charity workers who proceed
to lure them with promises of food before tranquilizing and abducting
them. Selina and another boy, Mackey, escape while a homeless
bystander is gunned down by the kidnappers. The next morning Gordon
arrives on the scene and as usual the idealistic young Detective is
determined to bring justice to the perps despite his partner
Bullock’s indifference and the general ineptness of the G.C.P.D.
While the story is compelling in
itself as with the Pilot it is the performances that really make
Gotham a show to watch. McKenzie and Bullock’s dynamic is still
interesting and the second episode does a good job of fleshing out
Bullock’s personality a little more. The haggard Detective is even
more endearing this time around, his growing frustration with Gordon
is fun to watch and Logue’s performance is as a hoot. I enjoyed his
physical reprimanding of suspects, witnesses and even other cops and
his his attempt at personal insight.
The standout performance for me was
Jada Pinkett as Fish Mooney. While the character’s impact on the
overall plot is minimal her scenes do standout. Carmine Falcone’s
brutal reprimanding of her previous attempt ay betrayal and her
reaction to said punishment devour the screen with intensity. I hope
to see her become the series big bad as she has all the potential and
as an original character we don’t know her ultimate fate which makers
her, for me at least, the series most interesting character.
The exiled Cobblepot shows up beaten
and disheveled but determined to return to Gotham. He’s more akin to
the Penguin we know from the comics especially in appearance here. As
in the final scenes of the Pilot he is quick to kill. His answer to a
‘Penguin’ jibe is especially brutal. I will say this about Gotham,
the show doesn’t balk at showing a little bloodshed. 
Overall the episode was very
entertaining if not quite as good as the Pilot. There are a few
problems some of which have carried over from the Pilot and others
which are new. As before Barbara is weak, there’s no spark to the
performance and the chemistry between her and Gordon is non existent.
I hope future episodes solve this issue as the show drags whenever we
see the two together. I know a show about Gotham wouldn’t feel
complete without some references to the future Dark Knight but
honestly the scenes with young Bruce felt forced. While I understand
we need to see the genesis of the Batman I do feel that they could
have handled it a bit better. But hey Sean Pertwee is great as Alfred
so I’ll let it slide.
We do get a peek inside the administration of Gotham City and the corruption therein. Mayor Aubrey James is revealed as genuinely despicable character who could care less about the at risk children of his city and more about public perception. Richard Kind is great as the Mayor and his performance made me look forward to his inevitable comeuppance, hopefully at the hands of one of Gotham’s up and coming villains.

While not as good as the Pilot,
‘Selina Kyle’ is still a great episode despite a few stumbles along
the way. The production values and the performances are all still
quality and I can’t wait for next week.
Rating: 7.5/10

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