Gotham S1x02 “Selina Kyle”
WARNING! MAJOR SPOILERS!
Last week, Gotham’s premiere, despite some flaws, got off to a strong start but if possible, further improved in the second episode, with a titular reference on the young Catwoman, Selina Kyle, who didn’t get a word of dialogue last time around, restricted to lurking in shadows and observing the funeral of the Wayne family. Now, she’s back, and although this episode doesn’t quite put the focus entirely on her, it does allow for an interesting look at a darker side of Gotham City than last week.
As mentioned last week, Robin Lord Taylor’s performances as Oswald Cobblepot continue to impress. He’s been the breakout star of the series so far and he could easily become the definitive on screen portrayal of the Penguin if this series gives him justice. It was fun to see his first steps on a way to building a criminal empire and things will be very interesting to follow especially going forward, especially given the fact that he owes James Gordon his life, and everyone believes that Gordon killed him. This could be potentially disastrous for Gordon going forward but also could give him an unlikely source of information in the criminal underworld.
For a show with two child actors as main stars, this could have easily backfired against Gotham and made the two respective threads of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle unbearable and annoying. However, it doesn’t fall into that trap, for David Mazouz puts in some strong acting skills as Bruce Wayne and whilst Camren Bicondova’s acting doesn’t quite meet Mazouz’s level, she instantly fits into the role of a young Catwoman well and delivers just what you’d expect.
This week’s plot focused on Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock solving a case of child kidnappers in Gotham. It was handled very well providing constant twists and turns of an intense storyline that whilst doesn’t really develop the ongoing plot massively, did provide a solid second instalment that has me looking forward to next week. It felt like a less of a reliance on the stuff that we’re already familiar with (such as Bruce’s parents death) and more like treading into new territory that worked well.
Selina Kyle wasn’t exactly the fast moving of episodes, however, and with a packed cast it didn’t always work out. Ben Mackenzie’s Jim Gordon ultimately falls into the trap of a dull lead character so far, with Donal Logue’s Harvey Bullock being awesome.
The villains weren’t quite as strong this week. We dealt with a new entry to the Batman canon, as far as I’m aware, but unfortunately they couldn’t quite escape “case of the week” status in becoming something memorable. However, that said, it was equally cool to see a mention of the Dollmaker, a figure who cropped up in Arrow. Whilst you might not necessarily get Oliver Queen coming over to Gotham any time soon, it would be cool to see an appearance from a younger Quentin Lance, who if I recall correctly, mentioned that he captured the Dollmaker before his turn as villain of the week in Arrow.
In conclusion then, Selena Kyle was another solid outing for Gotham which is probably having the best start out of the three comic book shows on TV right now. Agents of SHIELD and Arrow were both shows that improved over time, whereas Gotham seems to have hit the ground running. Where things go from here will certainly be interesting, and next week’s episode should hopefully continue that momentum.