Gotham – The Selina Kyle Review
"Speed dating with the characters of Gotham City"
The second episode of Gotham brought us child-trafficking, kidnapping, more betrayal and a gun fight. This episode picked up the pace, although it picked up a quicker pace. Each scene, while interesting as the last, felt like a speed date. The moment we started to get something really juicy the bell rang and we moved onto the next scene. Every character has their own plot and it appears as if the writers are trying to compact everything into one episode. Bruce is continuing to test the limits of his strength, the penguin is now into ransom, Fish Mooney is still out to bring down Falcone, the Dollmaker needs children, so on and so on. There wasn’t a follow through, even though I understand the fall of Falcone will take a few more episodes, I would have really like to know the Dollmaker’s overall intentions.
Ironically, for an episode called ‘Selina Kyle’, there wasn’t much about Selina Kyle. This character truly embraces the feline’s behavior, since she treats her locket like a cat’s teaser toy and claws the eyes out of her enemy. From the episode, it is revealed that her nickname is ‘cat’ but that could either be from her behavior or because she cares for stray cats. Her locket contains a picture of her mother who is either dead or alive. Oh, and she finally talked after thirty minutes into the show (not including commercials). She is brassy, crude, and conniving but all in a good way. She is smart and shows it by knowing danger before danger presents itself. She, even, knows how to manipulate adults, so she wins in the end. But, there wasn’t much background revealed and there is still plenty of mystery to be solved beginning with why she thinks her mother isn’t dead.
While Camren Bicondova (Selina Kyle) is landing on my good side, Donal Logue’s character Bullock is finding himself on the negative side of the spectrum. Logue plays the hot headed cop so well that I find it irritating. Bring in the corruption but not all at once. These constants punch first and ask questions later response will quickly bring boredom into a character. Then there is the not so obvious angry villain Lili Taylor who plays kidnapper Patti. After the Conjuring, I didn’t think she could get any creepier but there is another level of creepy that she can play. There is nothing worse than evil disguising themselves under a smile. It’s the always the happy people who say ‘fudge’ that spells out danger. Unfortunately, the happy-go-lucky Patti and Doug from the beginning aren’t preserved throughout the episode. Both these characters lose that smile that they were wearing so well and as a result lose that clown creepiness. They don’t flinch when they need to fire their weapon but they kill out of necessity. It would have created broader characters if they shot their gun while wearing a smile.
Besides the very little information they give about Selina Kyle, they give even shorter information about the Dollmaker. While we were speed dating around, our leading man was the Dollmaker. The focus of this episode was the homeless children being kidnapped for him, but it didn’t go further than that. The only fact given is he lives overseas, since the children were being sent in shipping containers. The anticipation of seeing the show’s interpretation of this character was an anticipation cut short. There wasn’t much to the Dollmaker but his name. From the Riddler to Poison Ivy, the characters will take a slow climb to evil but the Dollmaker has obviously appropriated that misanthropy for the innocent. Bringing out this character would have given an exciting response but maybe the writers believe these are characters for Batman and him only.
In the midst of all the corruption and violence, it is good to see human compassion in the show. There is a mayor who really cares more about his appearance than to do well by his city. There is a penguin on the loose that is stabbing people with broken bottles and kidnapping for ransom. Falcone is teaching Mooney a lesson on betrayal and there was the child-trafficking that wasn’t taken seriously. But, there was compassion radiating from Bruce, Selina and believe it or not Fish Mooney. Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee) has been instructed to allow Bruce Wayne to follow his own course. Young and plagued with the tragedy of his parents’ murder, he is in fact leading a course of kindness. As seen in the show, he was very quick to send money to the homeless children of Gotham City. On the homeless side of Gotham is Selina, who we saw show compassion for cats in the pilot but now we see her show compassion for a human. She is a good person who just pulled the short end of the stick. There is more to this character than is seen and so far she has shown kindness. Then, in the crooked side of Gotham, is Fish Mooney who has a heart underneath her lust for power. She made it clear that she doesn’t have a lover but there was pain in her eyes when her not-lover lover was getting a beating. Maybe we will see more of Fish Mooney’s soft side in the future.
• The episode labeled ‘Selina Kyle’ didn’t solve much of the mystery that is Selina Kyle. A few flashbacks, maybe about the mom, would add depth to this character.
• Alfred hinted that Bruce Wayne’s father anticipated death. He might have known that he and his family were in danger.
• Falcone revealed that the Waynes understood his business and their death will bring chaos. Maroni could take advantage of the situation but it is unclear if its Mooney or Maroni pulling the strings on the crooks that infects the city.
• Oswald is still not being taken seriously, Edward is still getting little camera time and Ivy was nowhere to be seen.