Recap/Review Gotham – “Selina Kyle”

EDITOR’S NOTE: WARNING: The following article contains spoilers. If you do not wish to have the plot of this episode ruined for you, please do not read this review until you have watched the episode.

The second episode of Gotham is a bit of a step down from what I thought was a strong pilot, but it is by no means a very large step.  Our second episode featured Gordon and Bullock on the trail of some street orphan-nappers.  They follow the case and wind up in a bit of a shootout, where the kidnappers escape.  The cops take their associate into custody while freeing some of the kids they had there.  As we learn the kidnappers are working for the Dollmaker, things get a little complicated.  The city of Gotham decides to hand the recovered kids over juvenile services (which is apparently taking good care of them?) and the kidnappers hijack a full bus of the children.  This is where we get our first actual lines from Selina, or Cat as she insists upon being called, which is a bit strange to be occurring halfway through the episode with her name on it.  Her escape attempt manages to stall the kidnappers long enough for Gordon and Bullock to arrive and save the day.

Bullock beating the kidnappers’ associate with a phonebook was a standout moment of the episode.  It spoke greatly to the dynamic of Jim and Harvey and I hope we see many more moments like it.

The kidnappers themselves manage to come of as just creepy enough to not wander into the goofy territory, which they easily could have done.  The scene just before the shootout was just the right amount of eerie for this pair.

Now to address the elephant in the room:  the Bat-mythos villains in the episode.  Personally, I loved the usage of Dollmaker.  Dollmaker is a D-list villain moniker that has been used by more than one person.  I completely buy and accept a Dollmaker existing pre-Batman.  That works for me.  What I don’t like, is the current portrayal of Selina.  The clawing the eyes out scene was just excessive and served zero purpose.  They could have downplayed the gore of that and been just fine.  The serious problem, however, is her insistence on being called “Cat.”  It’s way too on the nose and honestly feels like they’re calling the viewers stupid.  Seriously, we get that this is the girl who will be Catwoman.  Spelling it out was all kinds of unnecessary.

Subplots of the evening featured Fish Mooney, Penguin, and Bruce.  Fish had to deal with Falcone hearing Penguin spilled the beans on her plans.  She covered for herself nicely, and Jada Pinkett Smith continues to prove that her character is a great addition to the city of Gotham.  Penguin killed one frat boy and took his friend hostage in a trailer.  I’m not sure if Penguin’s plan to retake Gotham from a rusty trailer is a fantastic concept or completely ridiculous.  Bruce showed a bit of a stereotypical emo/punk side with his new behaviors.  While not as cringe-worthy as the insistence upon the name Cat, it is by far not the direction most would want for Bruce.  As for Alfred, he continues to intrigue me.  As of now, he will either wind up as one of the worst takes on Alfred, or potentially one of the most intriguing spins on him ever.  Time will tell.

For this week at least, the main plot was by far the most intriguing.  Gotham still has some kinks to work out, but it is still shaping up to be a solid series.

Directed by: Danny Cannon

Written by: Bruno Heller

Starring: Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, David Mazouz, Zabryna Guevara,Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor, Erin Richards, Camren Bicondova, Cory Michael Smith & Jada Pinkett Smith

Genre: Crime-Drama, Action, Superhero

Original Air Date/Time/Channel: September 29, 2014 | 8 PM EST | FOX