Gotham Episode 2: Selina Kyle Review

Corruption. If ever there was a word made for describing the city of Gotham, corruption would be it. Although the word is primarily associated with Gotham’s police force, it is ever-present in almost every nook and cranny of Gotham. Even the mayor is a victim of it, as shown in this episode of Gotham. Jim Gordon certainly has his work cut out for him; it’s only episode 2 and he seems to be fighting an ever-increasing uphill battle. Nevertheless, it’s the small victories you witness him grasp and cling to, that you celebrate along with him, that makes watching him so enjoyable. And that is what’s so good about the latest episode of Gotham, where Gordon finally manages to achieve some good.

In this Selina Kyle/Catwoman centred episode, Jim and Harvey(Bullock, not Dent) investigate a human trafficking ring that is abducting homeless people off the street. Of course, no one really noticed or cared about it because Gotham’s Government and police force care less about the homeless and poor than Gordon cares about being subtle in his attempts at cleaning up the police force. Seriously, Jim paints yet another target on his back every other episode. Whether he’s shouting at a police officer for not being on the scene on time or getting on the mayor’s bad side, Jim may as well be clanging two cymbals together and yelling “I’M TRYING TO STOP YOU CRIMINAL SCUM SO IF YOU WANT TO KILL ME DO IT NOW!”. I know Gordon is incredibly self-righteous and honest but he’s going to have a hard time improving Gotham six feet under. He almost died in the first episode so he should realise by now he should be a little more careful.

I still enjoyed watching him however. Along with Harvey who somehow manages to tolerate his idiocy and continues to prove he’s a great partner. Despite acting otherwise, he seems to care for Gordon otherwise he wouldn’t keep getting him out of whatever trouble he barges in to. Both of them are great actors and bounce off each other quite well with Jim’s naivety and obvious inexperience but steadfast determination and Harvey’s calm and nonchalant response to anything that dares to rear his face at him. Here’s hoping their relationship only develops further throughout the series.

Selina Kyle was left to the sidelines in the previous episode only making a few brief appearances in the background. She definitely takes the spotlight in this episode though as she is a street kid and witnesses these kidnappings first hand. Jim Gordon could take a few pointers from her in subtlety as she shows what skills life on the streets has helped her develop. Completely independent, Selina easily escapes from the human traffickers and even claws the eyes out of one of them showing her ruthlessness. As well as this, she shows some of her early Catwoman cunning and persuasion to convince Jim to stop the mayor from sending her to a boarding school in return for some information about Bruce’s killer. Hopefully this isn’t just a one off and she’s not going to be left to one side in future episodes as she has an intriguing personality.

One youth I did not enjoy watching on the other hand is again, young Batman himself: Bruce Wayne. In this episode, while Jim and Harvey do some cop work and Selina proves to be an interesting, independent character Bruce is being… ‘metal’. I’m honestly not sure whether it was supposed to be a joke or was meant to be taken seriously but either way it’s quite a pointless ‘development’. There are many ways they could of shown Bruce’s sense of loss and depression after his parent’s deaths but this is possibly the worst and most stereotypical way they could do it. Maybe I’d be a bit more affected by it if David Mazouz’s acting was so stilted and emotionless. Hopefully he’s just settling into the role and his acting will improve soon.

The story as a whole, was pretty strong showing just how little Gotham cares about its young homeless. Luckily for them, Gordon didn’t take no for an answer and uncovered the human trafficking operation… only for the kids to be sent to a boarding school to make the mayor look good and get them out of the way. A plot point I found pretty stupid was how two subordinates of the yet unseen villain managed to hijack an entire bus of the kids on their own. I know their safety is not the mayor’s priority but you’d think he’d still get a little protection to ensure his image isn’t ruined if something else happens to the kids. We also get to see a bit more of the stark-raving mad Penguin/Cobblepot this episode which was a highlight for me. Robin Taylor is one of the best actors on the show so far and it’s simultaneously gruesome and awesome to see him flip and brutally murder people for saying he walks like a penguin. Now we just need some more Ed Nygma…

Selina Kyle continue’s from the first, introductory episode of Gotham strongly and further explores the root of Gotham’s problems. Despite a bit of bad acting and a smudge of bad writing Selina Kyle does a good job of introducing the future Catwoman and further showing just how crazy the Penguin can be. Of course this is only the beginning of the series so there’s still time for them to surprise us. David Mazouz still has time to improve and grow into the role. Gotham certainly can’t get any more corrupt while he’s doing that.

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