Season 1 Episode 2: “Selina Kyle”
Directed by Danny Cannon
Written by Bruno Heller
Starring Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sean Pertwee, Robin Taylor, David Mazouz, Camren Bicondova, Cory Michael Smith, Erin Richards, Andrew Stewart-Jones, and Victoria Cartegena
Air Date: Monday, September 29, 2014, 8pm
Gotham 1.2 “Selina Kyle” review coming right up after these Gotham 1.1 “Pilot” messages (recap):
Gotham is a pre-origins story focusing on Jim Gordon’s (Ben McKenzie) battle with the many criminals of Gotham, when there were no superheroes, yet the supervillains were beginning to flourish. His blossoming friendship with young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) starts here. Jim’s first case is the murder of Bruce’s parents, a robbery gone wrong, or so it seems. Idealist Jim is saddled with crooked partner Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), and is forced to make questionable choices in order to keep his loved ones safe. They kill the guy that was set up as the murderer (future Poison Ivy’s dad), and almost lose their lives themselves, thanks to new villain Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Carmine Falcone (John Doman), the real power of the town. Jim bonds with Bruce and makes the lifelong secret vow (secret between them and Sean Pertwee‘s Alfred) to find the real killers.
There are many “we knew them when” moments as we are introduced to the future Riddler (Cory Michael Smith) as a ballistics guy working for the police; future Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) spared by Jim; and baby Catwoman (Camren Bicondova), who follows Bruce Wayne around after also witnessing the murder from a fire escape. For the set up episode it was, it pulled you in with believable snippets of backstory villainry. Donal Logue is a rogue as usual, as playing questionable authority is his thing (Vikings‘ King Horik and Sons of Anarchy‘s Lee Toric). Ben McKenzie is channeling his inner Gary Oldman, a strong moral compass taking twisted paths towards justice. The ex connection between Jim’s fiancee Barbara (Erin Richards) and Major Crimes Montoya (Victoria Cartagena) is also interesting, although it is not known yet if it was just a one-episode plot point, or if that will be explored further. Gotham does have a lot of stories to tell.
Gotham 1.2 “Selina Kyle” review: This episode outdid the first! As well it should when getting to know these characters better. The case of the day is a child trafficking ring, headed by guest villains Patti and Doug (famous character actors Lili Taylor and Frank Whaley) that sweeps up nightcrawler/pickpocket Selina Kyle in its wake. Camren Bicondova is 15 playing 13, and seems like 30 with her talent. Looks like Penguin, excuse me Oswald Cobblepot, did not heed Gordon’s warning of mercy. He’s bloody waddling his way back to town! And I don’t mean that in the British adjective way! Carol Kane plays Penguin’s mommy and that is appropriate casting.
Little Bruce is being weird and Alfred enlists Jim’s help. Mini-Batman has good reasons though. I almost expected a tiny batsuit sans nipples. Jim is struggling with his own demons now, but is still “Saint Jim” in Bullock’s eyes.
The series continues to have the city and its dark grey tones as its own character, with real color only coming through in Fish Mooney’s club. Seems like it’s always dusk or night, even when it isn’t. I’m really excited to go on the journey with this series.
I cannot get over how much Camren looks like Michelle Pfeiffer.