Gotham Episode 2: Selina Kyle

Kalem Lalonde's picture

If you were underwhelmed by Gotham’s premiere and decided to skip this episode, you might want to revise that move. Gotham returns this week with a much stronger sophomore outing than the its premiere.

We open with a scene featuring young Bruce Wayne testing himself by placing his hand above a candle, burning it as he is interrupted by his butler Alfred. The consequential reaction by Alfred felt very out of character to me. He starts with scolding the young boy by insulting him to apologizing while telling him it’ll be all right. That isn’t the Alfred I know and maybe it’s just because they hired the wrong actor but there’s something off about him. He acts too belligerent. The portrayal of Bruce Wayne is good, however. Even though his presence in the show feels unjustified and redundant.

This time around, I enjoyed Gordon more and Ben Mckenzie is starting to grow on me. He may act a little too physically hostile but I think the show’s more to blame than the actor. The essence of the character is captured fairly well despite the different demeanor. He’s in a relatable man out of place situation being the sole cop with integrity at the GCPD. He shares great chemistry with his morally repugnant partner Harvey Bullock who continues to be an endearing rendition of the character. This is the Harvey Batman fans know and love!

Another great aspect of this pilot was the treatment of Oswald Cobblepot’s on-going transformation into the Penguin. I like that people comparing him to a penguin infuriates him now. I’m interested to see how he will come to use the name Penguin as armor instead of a wound that people continue to pick at. Robin Lord Taylor is doing a phenomenal job at portraying the character on screen. Equally awkward and scary, Taylor is a standout among the cast.

Fish Mooney continues to be a great new addition to the players of Gotham. Her presence is a refreshing addition to the Batman mythos. This character represents something that I liked a lot about this episode whereas it attempted to deviate from past storylines more than the premiere did. I thought the premiere retold a tale we didn’t quite want to see again with a few innovation but nothing redefining. This episode is more inventive with its storylines and I’m glad this series has already started branching off.

Now, time to discuss what I liked less. Starting off with the villains. I have to reiterate what everyone is stating; we don’t need constant reminders of what the future has in store for the future villains. Selina doesn’t need to be called Cat, and despite the better motive for the penguin material, at times it felt excessive. I also really don’t like Edward Nygma in this show. His continuous, benign and awkward smile made me as uncomfortable as the characters in the room with him. His scenes thus far have been clunky and candidly this series would benefit from his absence. There’s also a villain of week feeling that arose in this episode with some one-note villains appearing and potentially disappearing. I hope this series saves itself from the formulaic weekly villains’ trend in the coming episodes.

There is also some issues with the direction of this show. There are too many scenes where characters are speaking to each other’s noses. There are also some clumsy transitions between scenes that put me off guard.

Like many shows before it, Gotham improves with its sophomore episode. It no longer stuck to the comics so closely that some would be apathetic. It’s starting to find its footing and this episode leaves me optimistic that it will solidify itself imminently. There are still a few issues with the plethora of villains and mediocre directing but overall this is shaping up to be an enjoyable show.