The second episode of Gotham is another step in the right direction even after a pretty rough few minutes after finding out what Bruce has been up to. I only say that because if you’re trying to make it believable that kids living on the streets are so trusting of adults they don’t know then a much better scenario is needed. Especially when later on you have the character that got away state that children have been disappearing for weeks on the streets of Gotham. So you might see why that very important but terribly written scene fell flat. Though soon after, we get to see Gordon and Bullok begin their investigation and it doesn’t take long for things to get right back on track thanks to McKenzie and Logue doing an excellent job in their respective roles. These two are the highlight of the show so far along with a couple of other characters that will come up later. But Jim’s drive to be the honorable cop in the GCPD as opposed to what he’s surrounded by is a very well handled plot device.
Now, there are many fans who are watching Gotham that have an extensive knowledge of Bruce Wayne’s origin along with the various alterations made to it. Between the various comics, movies, and animated shows it’s been covered extensively. So this where the show draws a line in the sand between those that have that knowledge and those that may only have a casual understanding. Scenes with young Bruce don’t offer too much of anything that’s new however for the casual Batman fan these are pretty crucial. So they may not entice some viewers however they are important to the overall story because it always comes back to Jim Gordon trying to help Bruce cope.
Though there is a rather sketchy plot development surrounding Bruce’s coping that doesn’t sit too well. He’s doing things to himself but calling it “testing”. Gordon suggests some psychiatric help and Alfred states that Mr. Wayne informed him that upon his demise to “trust the boy”. This just seems like another weak area when it comes to the children much like the issue with the street kids. These writers give a much better representation of the adults on the show than the young ones. Which needs some improvement if they’re scenes are to be enjoyable.
Since the episode is titled ‘Selina Kyle’ Cameron Bicondova, who plays the future Catwoman, actually has dialogue this time and delivers a convincing portrayal. This is despite her letting everyone know to call her “Cat” which became slightly annoying after so many visual cues as well. This was something of an issue in the first episode and even though we’re treated to less “look at this future Batman villain” the show isn’t subtle when it does happen. However there is one name drop that was pretty exciting and unexpected. So hopefully we get to see this villain later on in the series that ties back to this episode.
Robin Taylor continues to impress as Penguin and he isn’t afraid to get his hands bloody. This interpretation of the famed villain is not a joke or parody either. He’s an unstable, violent mess of a character, and the resident wild card that’s so much fun to see in action. A very far cry from what we usually get to see when the character is handled in movies or television which is very refreshing. Along with Jada Pinkett-Smith as Fish Mooney, they make their presence known when on screen. Their powerful performances alone make Gotham worth watching just to see what they’ll do next.
The episode is also filled with several nods and Easter eggs along the way for those with a keen eye and a pause button. Though the first episode had many that were noticeable it was a bit harder (for me at least) to spot them in this episode. Though there was one very big one that should have fans talking and speculating once they catch it.
If you enjoyed the first episode then you’ll want to see this one as well. Even if the pilot didn’t impress you too much I still suggest checking out this episode as it’s much better and more focused. The spotlight on the crime and corruption running amok in Gotham is where the story has been the strongest. It’s not little Bruce Wayne nor young Selina Kyle but the great mix of mobsters, police drama, and action that ensures we see those characters who are making Gotham one of the best new additions to comic book themed television shows.