‘Gotham’ Central: “Selina Kyle” Recap and Impressions
(NOTE: Gotham Central is a summary of the Fox drama ‘Gotham’ as well as anecdotes, ties from the comics, general notes, and fan rant. This will contain some spoilers from the listed episode.)
The Recap Page:
Last time, which was the pilot, James Gordon learns just how corrupt Gotham City is when he begins his job in a just as corrupt Gotham Police Department. Gordon and partner Harvey Bullock are assigned to figure out who killed Thomas and Martha Wayne who leave behind a young and clearly affected Bruce Wayne.
Local mob leader Fish Mooney turns loose a loose-lipped Oswald Cobblepot after he spills some secrets about Mooney’s desire to overthrow current leader Carmine Falcone. Cobblepot wants to climb the crime ladder but is put out to sea by Gordon, who was instructed to kill him but instead lets him leave under the condition that he never returns to Gotham.
A group of young homeless Gothamites stand beside a flaming barrel, which includes young Selina Kyle. A van of supposedly upstanding citizens approaches them and offers food and drink as they say they are a part of a Gotham homeless initiative. The two then proceed to drug the young homeless kids and Kyle scurries away, but two are not so lucky as one is shot and killed and another is chucked through a window of a restaurant. The rest are collected into their van and taken away.
Checking in on the ‘possible homicide’, James Gordon and Harvey Bullock find the homeless kid thrown through a restaurant window and bring him in. After questioning, GCPD tech Edward Nigma finds traces of the sedative ATP which leads Gordon and Bullock to a possible set of three establishments that still provide it.
On the road is Penguin and is picked up by two young guys. After they mistakenly remark that he looks like a penguin, he kills one and takes the other hostage. Shortly coming upon a trailer for rent, the Penguin takes up residence and sends video of the other captured young man to his mother and gets irate as she doesn’t quite believe this is real.
Bruce Wayne is clearly troubled after his parents murder. He burns himself with a candle and upsets Alfred. Unsure of what to do, Alfred then goes to the GCPD and asks if James Gordon would come speak to the boy and see if that could ease his troubles. Later, Gordon talks to Bruce at Wayne Manor in hopes of getting him to talk about what is troubling him.
Fish Mooney is not very happy when Carmine Falcone deduces that she is having extracurricular activities with one of her staff and he threatens to take care of the young man if he wrongs the crime boss’ understudy Mooney.
After selecting the place that the young homeless kids are being held, Gordon and Bullock chase away the same two citizens that drugged the homeless kids who are able to escape. It turns out that they are trying to round up kids to ship out for their boss, the Dollmaker. The orphans are then sent to a state facility but as it turns out one of the buses transporting the kids is taken over by the Dollmaker’s henchmen and taken to a shipping depot to be sent out.
The Dollmaker’s henchmen notice that one kid is missing from their roundup and go searching. Selina Kyle, the one unaccounted for kid, is able to evade them for awhile until spotted and threatened at gun point until James Gordon bursts in and again saves the kids.
The parting shot is when Selina Kyle is being processed at GCPD and insists on speaking specifically to Gordon. She tells him that she knows who shot and killed the Waynes.
Most of the performances in this episode were really great and clarified the direction of some of the characters. Gordon seems much more suited to the cop role this time and not that weird cop/Batman hybrid with that Batman voice he kind of wandered into sometimes in the pilot. Bullock was also a better performance in this one, at least that’s my opinion. The first episode he had some scene chewers and this one it seemed a little more on track. Edward Nigma was a lot more reigned in this time too. The first episode he was way too sure of himself. This episode he was just as flamboyant and intelligent but much more awkward which makes for a better fit for the future Riddler.
Apparently I was one of the only ones that liked Fish Mooney in the first episode but in this one she was waaay too hammy in some spots. She seemed less like Mooney and more like an Eartha Kitt Catwoman from the ’66 series.
The best part about Gotham is that they get a chance to stretch their legs and play up some lesser known Batman characters, which is exactly what Marvel is trying to do en masse with their entire lineup. ANYWAY, in this episode we get a big bad with the Dollmaker. Even though the whole thing is very MacGuffin and we don’t actually get to see the Dollmaker, it’s cool that they’re clearly not afraid in getting somewhat out there. If Arkham Asylum has been closed for a while does that mean we won’t get any plots there? That’s kind of a bummer if that doesn’t provide a major backdrop.
And speaking of out there, people are speculating that the comedian from the first episode might be the Joker, but there’s absolutely nothing to really support that right now. In ep. 2 we get another new character in Fish Mooney’s boy toy who reveals his name as “Lazlo”, so I immediately went to the Bat-computer. And by that I mean my iPhone. Now it’s a bit of speculation at this point but the only Lazlo in the Batman U is Professor Pyg. He didn’t get a lot of burn in this and it wasn’t a lot of world building with him, but if it does turn out to be Professor Pyg, that’s another great indicator that the showrunners are opening things up.
They’re building up Penguin to be a big revelation sometime during the season/show. I really like Robin Lord Taylor and this interpretation of Penguin, even though its a slightly new direction. Speaking of new directions, I really don’t know how to read Alfred right now. Usually the obsequious gentleman’s gentleman, this one is more like an obligated guardian that scolds Bruce one moment and then coddles him the next. I don’t know about this tough love approach but I’m just one man.
For an episode that was called “Selina Kyle”, the whole story didn’t give her much development. She didn’t do as much of the weird crouching she did in the first episode and we learn that she apparently has a deceased mother, but that was largely it. She made a few remarks about going to juvie and clawed someones eyes out but there still isn’t a legitimate reason to why she insists on being called “Cat” or why she is so integral so far except that she is the key witness to the Wayne murder.
Not only does the show have some good fanboy salutes with Dollmaker and Professor Pyg (?) (along with Renee Montoya, Crispus Allen, and Sarah Essen from the first episode), but some awesome guest stars in this episode. Carol Kane does a great job as Penguin’s mother, but it’s a curious backstory for the Cobblepots, oh excuse me, Cobleputs (I don’t know that I nailed that phonetically). Also Frank Whaley and Lilli Taylor as the Dollmaker’s henchmen were great! Nicely portrayed as mostly incompetent yet unhinged criminals with just a bit of panache. Oh and doesth mine eye deceive me? Nope. The young homeless kid questioned was Kyle Massey.
Me: Oh. That’s the brother from That’s So Raven.
Ten obscurity points to Gryffindor!
The second episode surpasses the pilot with much better pacing and a more solid story, although some of the on-going threads weren’t weaved in optimally. The development of Gordon and Bullock is great as Gordon fits more into the straight cop role and Logue’s Bullock hits a better note than I thought he did in the first episode. Some of the nuanced secondary character development is great, especially with long running Batman characters like Edward Nigma. The episode nicely dragged along the larger stories like Penguin and Bruce Wayne while still telling a complete story and a nice final scene with Selina Kyle. Great guest stars with the little parts too and great fanboy winks.
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