Gotham, Episode 2 “Selina Kyle” Broadcast September 29, 2014
Written by Bruno Heller
Directed by Danny Cannon
After a recap of last week’s premiere, Bruce Wayne is putting his hand over a lit candle. Wincing in pair, he pulls his hand away just as Alfred enters, who demands to see what the young boy is hiding. Revealing the fresh burn, the butler explodes in anger, then pulls the boy to him, saying, “Sorry. Sorry. It’s going to be alright.” On the streets that night three homeless teens have a van pull up to them. Cheery Patti and Doug come out, all smiles, with food to give the children as part of the mayor’s outreach program. Only Selina Kyle, watching from a distance, doesn’t partake. Patti pulls out a long broach pin and stabs two of children, while one escapes. A homeless man tries to stop the pair but is shot by Doug, who goes after the boy, only to have the child crash through a swanky restaurant’s window in a struggle. The next morning Gordon is before the homeless man’s body. Bullock shows up stating no one cares about the homeless dying, just as the officer who first arrived returns. Gordon berates the man for leaving the scene. Back at police headquarters, the youth is receiving the third degree from Bullock, but the boy proclaims he’s innocent and that “Cat” is the one they want to talk to. Meanwhile, nine miles outside of town, two snarky preppies pick up a smelly, hitchhiking Oswald Cobblepot. They treat him terribly, until one remarks how much the criminal resembles a penguin, and it’s the last thing the spoiled youth ever does. Cue opening title and first commercial break.
This episode barely had anything to do with Selina until the final act. Most of the episode dealt with the search for the missing children and how difficult it is for anyone to care about them. This lead to predictable commentary from Gordon, girlfriend Barbara, and Bullock. What was interesting was seeing how others treated Gordon now that he’s “part of the program” for killing Oswald, which he didn’t do. Bullock lords this sin over him, threatening to tell others, Fish Mooney is surprised that he’s not a straight arrow, and Police Captain Sarah Essen can’t believe he’s still such a “firebrand.” Ben McKenzie did a good job at showing his disgust at being accepted by all the criminals as one of their own. I liked how he confessed to all the corruption at his job, and how Barbara showed him what was right. The scene between Fish and mob boss Carmine Falcone was good, but I’m already tired of watching Jada Pinkett Smith scream. Camren Bicondova doesn’t really get a big scene until the five minutes of the episode, where Selina the devious thinker finally appears. This is the Selina Kyle I know. The three guest stars were Lili Taylor playing an ultra prim and proper Patti and Frank Whaley as the “golly gee” Doug. They were funny and perfect villains in their final sequences. The fantastic Carol Kane played Gertrude Kapelput, the mother of Oswald. She looked great and it’s obvious from her short scene why Oswald is the way he is. The final moments of the episode strike a bond between two people and further the capture of the Waynes’ killers.
The good: Lili Taylor, Frank Whaley, Carol Kane, Robin Lord Taylor with “You must be quite the scamp,” Selina being more like her future self, Richard Kind being creepy as hell as Mayor Aubrey James, and Donal Logue being the perfect jerk as Bullock. The mention of an unseen “Dollmaker” has me intrigued.
The bad: I’m so done with homeless people being victimized in fiction storylines. It seems too easy for writers of urban tales. Yes, it’s a problem, but for fiction it’s a cliché. And if it’s going to be used, something new should be done with it. The title of episode is very misleading. Too much Bruce Wayne, and it’s only episode two. Is the whole police department crooked, or shouldn’t someone else on the force have Gordon’s back? If not, he should be dead already, shot from behind by everyone in that headquarters.
The final line: Loving Oswald, Aubrey James, Bullock, and Gordon, but the story is just okay. Overall grade: B-
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!”, he reviewed comics for TrekWeb, and he currently reviews Trek comics at TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for two years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.