Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Gotham Episode 2 "Selina Kyle" Review

by Snow Drift

  On this episode, Patti (Lili Taylor) and Doug (Frank Whaley), a strange duo, of snatchers, work together to capture homeless children from the streets of Gotham to take them to their boss, the mysterious Dollmaker. When given this case, Detectives James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) have to work together to save these children, if with several problems along the way.

  Plot-wise, the episode began to gather momentum as the snatchers captured the children and were eventually discovered by Gordon and Bullock. However, the episode ended anti-climatically. Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova), or Cat, simply slipped away from their clutches and was saved by a deux ex machina-like arrival of Gordon. There was no tension if Gordon would have arrived on time to save the children; he was just suddenly there, right on time, with no explanation as to how he got inside a building that had armed guards around. The viewer is told to believe that the police were just that good in the nick of time. 

  Besides that, I liked the rest of the subplots. The power struggle between Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith), Carmine Falcone (John Doman) and even Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor), with his viciousness and cruelty, makes for an interesting dynamic and view of the criminal underworld. The corruption and lack of care from the mayor and most of the police department in regards to the well-being of the homeless and delinquent children help to readily show an environment of hopelessness and selfishness, all of which help portray Gotham as having a darkness that goes beyond mere physical violence and murder. 

  In a way, this episode felt more like a prelude to another than anything else. The importance of the snatchers was based more on giving information on a potentially new future villain and Selina Kyle’s presence in this episode seemed more to be about showing her skills, ruthlessness, cunning, and significance as to the identification of the Wayne’s killer than anything else. However, Kyle’s actions do help to establish the kind of person she is and how that might develop in future episodes.

  Bruce Wayne’s (David Mazouz) character development seems fascinating, for he, although already succumbing to the determination, and possible obsession, of his future self, still acts like the child he is. He does not know much of how the world works, nor how he must move on from the tragedy. He wishes for an answer and a way to help the innocent, but is still too young to understand how to reach the conclusions to those. 

  Alfred Pennyworth’s (Sean Pertwee) attitude on this episode was disconcerting, to be honest. His way of treating Bruce is a bit too harsh for his character, even at this stage of his life. One thing is being disciplinarian and attempting to stop Bruce from going too far with his antics, but it is entirely another to be constantly harsh to him at nearly every moment. However, he does show compassion towards him, but it would be nicer for the sake of his character for his attitude to be a bit more humbling.

In terms of acting, I’m still not entirely convinced by McKenzie’s and Logue’s; its seems as if Logue is trying to be as outwardly corrupt in attitude as possible to the point of it being a bit exaggerated, while McKenzie just seems to still need to get into his character. The acting of the snatchers, although successfully unnerving at times, felt a bit forced during others, as if the actors were trying a bit too hard to sound and look creepy. The rest were relatively good for the portrayal of their respective characters, Bicondova especially portraying her character as young but used to the horrors of Gotham, to an extent.  

Overall, the episode was decent, although it could have had a better-handled ending. The possible mafia war and the existence of Dollmaker do help establish the possibility of much more to come throughout the series.

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