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.