Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My Review of Gotham's 1x02: "Selina Kyle"

Written by Bruno Heller
Directed by Danny Cannon

Selina (to a boy): “Go for their eyes.”

It’s only two episodes and I’m already both impressed by Selina Kyle and a tiny bit afraid of her too. Not only did she give a scared little boy some deadly advice but the episode made sure to show that she can take her own advice pretty well too when one of the thugs of this week’s crime plot ended up having his eyes scratched out in a grisly manner – by a thirteen year old, I should point.

The main crime plot of the week – a child trafficking storyline with creepy duo Patti and Doug kidnapping homeless kids and having them shipped off courtesy of the Dollmaker. Some truly brilliant casting with both Lili Taylor and Frank Whaley who managed to make their characters both genuinely sinister and oddly charming to a degree as well. Of course, Gordon and Bullock ended up being their downfall but not before Selina managed to mostly give them the slip as well.

Speaking of Selina – while this episode was named after her and certainly gave her more to do than the opening one did, she still only appeared in a couple of scenes though. Mainly to facilitate the child trafficking plotline but also to establish a somewhat tense connection with James Gordon as well.

I liked that Selina was able to spot that Gordon was the least corrupt member of the GCPD and I also liked that she openly told him that she knew Mario Pepper didn’t kill the Waynes and that she knew who did. I’m not so sure how, considering the shooter was masked and all but the fact that she’s willing to help Gordon with the case is excellent nonetheless.

In terms of performance, this was a great one for Camren Bicondova. I definitely believe in her as a younger version of the girl who would become one of Gotham’s most infamous of thieves and I certainly like that she will go out of her way to help people as well. With this episode, she’s easily shaping up as one of the best characters in the series at the moment.

Of course, not far behind her though would be Oswald Cobblepot. After seeing him kill a man for a fecking sandwich, it wasn’t too shocking that he murdered one frat boy with a beer bottle and kept the other bound and gagged for an unsuccessful ransom as well. Oswald might not be a success at extorting money just yet but he’s certainly proven to be as dangerous and unpredictable as Selina and Taylor’s performance continues to impress in this one as well.

Also while Oswald might be regrouping, Fish got something of a horrible reality check in this week’s episode. It seems that Falcone doesn’t much like the idea of being potentially usurped and went to some interesting measure to keep Fish in line. The dynamic between those two was certainly something else to watch and with Maroni about to be added into the mix, the criminal world of Gotham is certainly getting more and more interesting to watch unfold.

As for Gordon and Bullock – this episode wasn’t as great as the first one for them but it worked well enough though. We saw them being antagonistic to each other and also impressed by their respective methods. I imagine this formula will continue with the show until one of them really does step out of the party line and either endangers or truly irritates the other. That being said though, I do enjoy their grudging partnership a lot.

Last but not least – the Bruce plot of the episode got dark almost pretty fast. With elements of self harm/testing himself, it was interesting to see Alfred (really loving the gruffer version here) reach out to Gordon in an attempt to get Bruce to see some sense. Like Bicondova, I have to praise David Mazouz. I was initially wary about seeing a younger Bruce in this series but he’s exceeding my expectations and his scenes are fantastic to watch.

Also in “Selina Kyle”

If Selina has gotten an episode named after her, then is it a safe assumption that other characters will do as well down the line? Selina also wants to be referred to as Cat, which might be laying it on a bit thick.

Bullock: “Listen, Mackey. We’re grown ups. We’re smarter than you.”

Both Renee and Crispus were briefly seen talking to Oswald’s mother, Gertrud Kapelput (Carol Kane), who looked like she had stepped out of a Tim Burton movie. I hope we see more of her.

Frat Boy: “Dude, anyone ever tell you when you walk, you look just like a penguin?”
Oswald: “No, nobody’s ever told me that.”

Falcone: “Men who are about to die are very honest. It pays to listen to them.”
Fish: “That’s some toast.”

What exactly is the name of Fish’s nightclub? Also, too bad poor Lazlo had to get beaten up by Falcone’s men just to teach Fish a lesson. FOX also released a new trailer which revealed that another Rogue member will be showing up soon.

Fish (to Butch): “I just wish that Penguin was still alive. I didn’t make that punk suffer near badly enough.”

Gordon: “Trust you? On women?”
Bullock: “Damn right. Whole varieties. From house frows to movie stars, I love them all.”

While both Essen and Mayor Aubrey were a little more developed in this episode (though not in a favourable way), Barbara, Nygma, Renee and Crispus only had a scene each in the episode. We also learned that Arkham Asylum has been closed for fifteen years.

Patti (to Selina): “Sit down, young lady like now.”

Gordon: “What’s your name?”
Selina: “Why is that any of your business?”

Standout music: Portishead’s “Roads” and there was some female rock band also playing in Fish’s club as well.

Gordon: “You’re hurting yourself.”
Bruce: “I’m testing myself. Different but I appreciate your concern.”

Oswald (to Frat Boy 1): "You must be quite the scamp."

Chronology: Not only where the opening episode left off. I think perhaps a few days.

It’s definitely not a fluke. With the pilot episode being impressive, there was the fear that following episodes wouldn’t hit the mark but if “Selina Kyle” is anything to go by, it looks like this is going to be one show that no-one should be missing. The music might still be distracting in some parts and perhaps the idea of a prequel for Batman isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but so far, the handling has been superb.

Rating: 8 out of 10


Buddy2Blogger said...

Great review.

I too am enjoying Robin Lord Taylor's version of Oswald Cobblepot/The Penquin. He is knocking it out of the park.


shawnlunn2002 said...

He's just brilliant in the role. We also now know who's playing Harvey Dent as well ... http://tvline.com/2014/10/02/gotham-harvey-dent-nicholas-dagosto-two-face-season-1-cast/?cmpid=social_articles_Gotham_20141003_32769596