After a long awaited pilot episode “Gotham” is back this week with a brand new story. This week, we follow Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock as they investigate the abduction of homeless children. Meanwhile the tension between Carmine and Fish Mooney rises and young Cobblepot waddles his way back to civilization.
This episode went leaps and bounds beyond the pilot. As I mentioned last week, pilots are naturally messy, but this episode went beyond expectations. The pacing was far smoother, the acting far better, the plot so much more seductive. The second episode was free from the awkward foreplay and setup of a pilot and was therefore a much more organic and realistic product.
This being said, I want to take a look of some of the highlights of this episode.
1. Selina Kyle
As you may have guessed from the title, Selina Kyle is the central character of this episode. While she did appear in the pilot, Selina (Carmen Bicondova) did not have a great deal of character development besides being a street thief and a witness to the Waynes’ murder. This episode she is completely fleshed out as a spunky, resourceful young woman, who is caught in an abduction plot and manages to outwit her captors.
Catwoman is as iconic a character to the Batman Mythos as is Robin or the Joker. Hence, capturing her personality and skills is extremely important. In an excellent combination of scripting and casting, I can happily say that Bicondova is a convincing young Selina. She gouges out the eyes of her abductors, escapes with cat-like prowess, and even manipulates a police detective to get her way. Even still, it is clear that she has a caring moral dimension. Both these aspects are important to Catwoman, and “Gotham” has already started to develop her complex character.
2. Story-line Development
One of the hallmarks of “Smallville” was the “Freak of the Week.” Every week a new villain would be introduced and immediately defeated by Clark by the end of the episode, often times never to return. While this is a common way to create a plot, it does not create a sense of continuity but rather a series of semi-connected events. Thankfully “Gotham” has gone in a different direction. By episode two “Gotham” has already started to layer its plot lines, each following different characters: Bruce, Gordon, Fish Mooney, Penguin etc. The effect will hopefully be that each episode has a purpose and avoids the “filler” episodes that haunt shows like “Smallville.” For example, it is revealed that the figure behind the abductions is in fact the “Dollmaker” (a villain from the New 52). While he never appears, the episode makes it clear that this particular plot has not been wrapped up yet. This is clearly evidence that the show runners are thinking about the “story” as a whole rather than any individual episode.
“Gotham” has clearly started to take shape, and any doubts that I had before have now been dispelled. Hopefully the show will keep this great momentum and leave us hungry for more. Here’s a little treat about what else to expect from this season.
CBH Score: 7.5/10