Gotham: Season 1, Episode 2 “Selina Kyle” – Kitties and Penguins steal the show
After a pretty decent pilot, Gotham returned with a much better second episode titled “Selina Kyle”.
While the pilot episode focused much more on Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor), this episode, inferred by the title, focus more on the pretty acrobatic young girl who witnessed the Wayne murder. But in this episode she’s witnessed another crime: some of her street friends are being abducted by two sinister and creepy people (guest stars Frank Whaley and Lili Taylor).
Gordon and Bullock (Donal Logue) are sent out to investigate when one of the street people are murdered, and Selina (who likes to be called Cat – I’m guessing she’ll add the “Woman” when she actually is one) decides she’s going to find Gordon and tell him what she knows about the Wayne murder.
While this is all happening, Oswald manages to be picked up while hitchhiking and begins to plan his return to Gotham to seek revenge. Like I said in my pilot review, Robin Lord Taylor is incredible; he’s perfect for this roll. Oswald continues to become more and more psychopathic and Taylor does an amazing job of portraying this. It’s easy to see that while Oswald is a little pathetic, just under the surface he’s brimming with anger, pain, and hurt that makes him very, very dangerous. I’m looking forward to seeing his reunion with Fish Mooney.
Who, by the way, we see again in this episode being confronted by Carmine Falcone (John Doman) over who actually controls the city. We all know its Falcone, right? The scene is pretty intense, and this is the first time I actually sort of like Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish; however, I still think her acting in the role is a little cheesy, so I hope she continues to develop and grow in the role like I feel many of the other characters are. Because as of right now she just comes across as a little ridiculous.
Something that made this episode better and much more smooth than the first episode is that while there is a lot going on (Bruce begins to “test himself”, Allen and Montoya are investigating the GCPD, we meet Oswald’s mother), it flows seamlessly instead of feeling packed and bursting at the seams. We finally get to see more of Alfred, who seems like he’ll be a little stricter on Bruce, though caring as well.
The investigation of the street murder and disappearance of these people is the second case for Gordon and Bullock. The relationship and chemistry between the two is even better this time around; it’s easy to see that the characters (and probably the actors) have become more comfortable with each other. It’s like a buddy-cop movie, but not at the same time. Logue is able to pull out some of his comedy chops while McKenzie stays stern and hard as Gordon. We can see the respect the two characters have for each other even though they don’t approve of how the other handles things.
I was surprised by the fact that for most of an episode supposedly focused on Selina Kyle, she was mysteriously absent for most of it. Instead, we learn about the world and the people she’s lived with. She appears near the end to stand up for herself and what she believes in, and I’m definitely interested to see how she continues to do so in the future – especially up against Gordon. She continues to be a mystery, which is probably how it should be.
Gotham has definitely shown a lot of growth from its first episode, which is saying something since this is only its second. I think as the series continues, it will need to make better use of the dark, grittiness that they’ve doused over the whole set, as right now it’s almost silly-looking. Also, Edward Nygma needs to be developed…soon. He’s one of my favorite characters so far and we’ve only seen him for about 2 minutes total. Robin Lord Taylor should just keep on getting down with his bad self.
Gotham airs on Fox, Mondays at 8/7c!