Gotham’s second episode, although an enjoyable hour, was nothing I hadn’t seen before. And like the title states, Selina Kyle (or “Cat” as she prefers to be called), is the breakout character. The show thus far plays off many of Smallville and Arrow’s greatest strengths tonally, leaving their missteps behind, but picking up new bad habits along the way.
‘Selina Kyle,’ as in the episode (not the character), introduces yet another villain – or perhaps “introduces” isn’t the proper word. They make mention of yet another classic Gotham villain, the Dollmaker, who’s sinister plans to steal children from the streets (never fully explained) leads the GCPD into some serious trouble. Thankfully the titular character joins the fray, marking this version of the character as a definite protagonist.
Jim Gordon, the character this show is apparently revolving around, again pulls the short straw with this one. His character just doesn’t have any likable traits thus far. His impeccable sense of justice has already been molded and grafted to accommodate the insane corruptness of the GCPD, and it’s getting to his fiancée, another terribly flat character. Although it was her handiwork that led to saving the stray kids, she too just irks me. The show really needs to develop these characters and quickly if it plans to keep its more casual audience. At this point I’m under the impression Barbara Gordon just doesn’t leave her loft. We’re not given enough screen time with either character to really care that Jim might lose his job if she makes that phone call, or that she even cares about his need to do the right thing in the first place. But I’m sure we’ll get more intrigue from her later.
I mentioned above that the breakout character for this episode was definitely the young Selina Kyle, played by actress Camren Bicondova. Her overall grace in the role is astounding. Truly excellent. Two episodes in, and we may have one of the best portrayals of the character yet (and she’s barely done anything). We get a sense of her ability to be stealthy and composed in the face of danger. No cat like reflexes yet, but she is easily rustled by the bark of dogs. Honestly, out of every character introduced this far, I’m surprised how well they’ve developed young Catwoman. I hope she remains an integral part of the series.
I really can’t get behind Sean Pertwee’s version of Alfred yet. Half the time I can’t understand what he’s saying, and when I can understand he’s yelling like a madman. But the actor they chose for Bruce is rather perfect in my opinion. He looks like a Wayne, and already we see his attempts at mastery over fear and pain quite prevalent within his storyline. Even Pennyworth mentions that he sneaks up on people too well – that’s a must for any Batman.
Although there was a rather disappointing lack of development for most of the characters, some were done beautifully – and I can’t wait to experience more from these characters down the line. The villains of the week, Dollmaker’s goons were silly – but silly in a way that only befits the Gotham/Arkham/Batman comic roots. Penguin again, is remarkable – so early on and already so so crazed. His mom was a nut job as well. This show has yet to really grip me, although I know I’ll stick with it in one fashion or another.
20 thoughts on “Gotham: Selina Kyle (EPISODE REVIEW)”
I’m oddly fascinated by the lack of self-awareness on this show. For instance, if weird stuff happens around Gordon, he’s never going to say “Ooh, that’s weird.” He may think the whole world is nuts and gruesome and awful, but he’s not going to say “Doesn’t anyone here realize how weird it is that the Penguin looks like a penguin and stuff?” Or the comically silly villains who are played completely straight, like it’s not weird and silly, and somehow it works because this is Gotham City.
I’ve seen lots of people saying “I don’t know if I’d keep watching if it wasn’t a Batman show,” but I don’t know how to even deal with that hypothetical. It’s totally DRIPPING “Gotham City,” there’s no way this show could even function if it WASN’T happening in Gotham City.
That’s very true. Would’ve never made it past even a pilot script as it’s just so very comical. Hadn’t thought about that.
I haven’t watched this episode yet… but my fears pre-show are still with me after the pilot last week. The fear that they will be too tempted to have the Bat-villains become more Bat-villainous in a world without Batman.
I’m not against alternate takes on characters… but this is so alternate that it is potentially dangerous. IF they don’t do the references, it becomes a police-procedural and some will loudly complain… but if they put too much of the comic villains it messes with the idea that Batman is necessary.
Gotham was a city descending into chaos by the time Batman surfaces to clean it up… then the villains escalated to match Batman’s efforts… and a balance was struck.
But if Gordon is able to clean up Gotham without Batman and the Bat-villains surface and again Gordon is able to combat them without Batman… it becomes a weird world where this Bruce Wayne shouldn’t be inspired to become Batman… and I don’t know how that plays out.
This isn’t Smallville where they have Clark with powers but no costume or name for years… they could do alternate takes on various villains with Smallville because they still had Clark with powers. But this show has young teen Bruce… he is at least 15 years away from being Batman… so that limits what they can do with this alternate take on things.
He may start a bit younger than anticipated. Without giving away any concrete spoilers, he begins exhibiting batman-like qualities in this second episode. But yes, I agree with you. It’s a scary notion that the writers might be jumping too quickly in THAT direction. But no doubt they’ve got a few seasons mapped out, rough or otherwise. One can’t go into a series like this without doing so.
I suppose… and this literally just occurred to me as I read your reply… but, I suppose… this could be an alternate reality where Gordon and young Bruce forge an earlier relationship… and as such, Bruce does end up helping but not necessarily as Batman. There may or may not be a need for this Bruce Wayne to become Batman IF he is able to help Gordon with the cleanup by use of the Wayne name and resources.
I hadn’t thought about that… but it is the one way I could see this show develop that would make sense… It wouldn’t be a world that didn’t need Batman, but it would be a world that got a different kind of Batman… one who began the fight earlier with his mind and was successful at that and did not feel the need to don a costume and go hand-to-hand.
That would be a really interesting twist actually… Hadn’t thought of that.
No but her name is Cat. Did you get that her name is Cat? She likes to be called Cat. I can’t be the only one that found that stuff comically pushy. We also got Gordon saying “WHERE ARE THEY?!” which let me do my Dark Knight impression. That alone gives the episode a thumbs up.
Yeah she said it like 3 times, what do you mean? I didn’t mind that. Actually I totally didn’t catch the Dark Knight thing.
My thing is I get that want to connect the show to the comic. It makes sense creatively and is a nice nod to the fans. But to do it so blatantly and excessively just felt silly to me. You can do hints to the character’s future with some subtlety (not too subtle but the goggles she wears is an example) without having to point it out over and over again.
It didn’t help that the “My name is Cat” thing is done like 3 times in a row at the end of the episode.
Oh I see what you’re saying. The way I interpreted this wasn’t so much that they were trying to make a nod to the comics so much as trying to define her personality. Everyone in the audience already knows she’s supposed to be Catwoman. She’s Selina Kyle. She feeds cats. She’s scared of dogs. She looks the part. So her calling herself cat didn’t feel like an overdignified nod. Rather it told me more about her as a person. She’s an angsty teenager, attempting to set herself apart. She doesn’t like being recognized by her birth or family name. It doesn’t identify with her. So this is the name she’s chosen – it’s not her prerogative to know that her future lies the way of vigilantism, as it is the audiences. So I interpreted it more naturally than you did. But I understand your quibble, Douchebag Batman 😆😆 (had to)
What will be interesting is seeing the now inevitable tail wags dog effect of the comicbooks being forced to mutate to emulate this portrayal
Well. Show like Smallville and Arrow have had very little effect on their comic book equivalents. Could turn out similarly.
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Arrow hasn’t influenced the car crash that is/was BoP Green Arrow but Smallville has TOTALLY influenced the Superman car crash- check out the kewl original etc. Action version with jeans and t-shirt… And the revised supporting characters, etc.
It’s had an effect.
I worry with Gotham that they don’t have the scope for the teen wangst that helped Smallville get its other audience.
And Sean Pertwee- can only see him as a future Doctor or Master I’m afraid… 🙂
I feel the same with Pertwee too. Just such a strong resemblance.
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He has a bit of an issue re his dad being doctor who but that was a long time ago and I hope the wound’s healed because with his edge he would be possibly THE Doctor. He really would. When he wants to, Sean Pertwee can bring the full range to a role and a lot of heart and integrity too.
For example he would blast Moffatisms of the set. Wouldn’t even be a question. He would bring the A game and make the absurdities fade out. For whomever gets the Head Writer / Producer mantle next- Pertwee would be bankable.
Presumably his first chance would be the post-Charter 2016 after the BBC revamp.
But who knows.
Might be one of those “best we never had” things. Hope not.
I feel he’s utterly wasted in the Alfred role. He’s good, because he’s a good actor, but you know what I mean. He can do a lot better than that.
My issue with the Alfred role. He has no interaction with anyone outside of of Bruce and Jim Gordon. I just don’t see room for growth there.
I remember reading about the bad blood he had with the program. Forgot mostly. What’s going on in 2016?
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well his bad blood was daddy issues due to his father’s conduct- which wasn’t bad, certainly not like the tortuous Troughton saga.
in 2016 The BBC charter ends. Basically the BBC as it currently is ends completely. Some assume it will simply automatically renew for another 12 regenerations 🙂 but in fact that almost certainly won’t happen.
Doctor Who may well end up in part of the “new” BBC that is allowed and encouraged to make profits. Which would change the show completely given who would line up to be involved- US networks or cable owners, etc. for example, German money, Canada, Australia etc.
BBC as a whole could end up with adverts, split into regionals, lots of different scenarios.
Especially since the BBC is so notoriously champagne socialist anti-white-English that if it is a conservative or UKIP-coalition government in 2016… The BBC and by implication Doctor Who is going to get hit by lightning. Settling scores, some justified, will inevitably result firstly in massive budget cuts.
Blair’s retaliation against the BBC for perhaps its only anti-socialist campaign- against his wars in the middle east- resulted in a dramatic budget cut which followed on into Doctor Who in 2010. Imagine that times ten…
Well, a lot of the BBC coverage is so biased- for example running dead / covering up the Rotherham pakistani / islamic rape gangs raping young white girls- that there is enormous anger against the BBC in some quarters. There will be a settling of scores at some point.
But for Doctor Who- crisis was the norm back in the day, with no anticipation amongst some of the people making it or even starring in it that it would be an endless gig- bit like Stan Lee and Jack Kirby figuring there was a good five years in superhero comics, maybe ten…
Moffat could do a real service to the show he supposedly loves by aggressively getting it out into new media by pushing for eg a Netflix deal, or similar, and pushing the envelope like Davies did for eg websites, online presence and so on.
Once it’s out there properly, it’s immortal. 🙂
In the Matrix (Doctor Who, 1974). 🙂
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Or was it 1978? 78 I think. Sigh.
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