Gotham (2014) season 1, episode 2
WRITER: BRUNO HELLER
DIRECTOR: DANNY CANNON
AIR DATE: September 29 2014
After a first episode establishing the relationships, dynamics, and status quo for the city that will one day give rise to the Dark Knight, Gotham carries on with its plotlines in the second episode entitled Selina Kyle, which features our two lead detectives, Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock, investigating the disappearances of street kids. One of them, of course, happens to be Selina (Camren Bicondova), whose character gets more face time this time, and who we get to know more.
We see more of what’s become of Oswald Cobblepot; Robin Lord Taylor is playing him as thoroughly sadistic in the way he’s responding to people in his low point in life. He’s a nasty character, thoroughly repugnant. It seems strangely fitting this time out that we meet his mother, and she’s played by the character actor Carol Kane, whose filmography has an eccentric, loopy streak. Somehow she seems just right.
Carmine Falcone also puts in an appearance, and John Doman’s performance continues to place the emphasis of the man on that razor’s edge between polite and ruthless. The way he reinforces his rule over Gotham’s underworld to Fish Mooney is quite effective, considering she was chafing at the bit in the first episode. His ruthlessness is a reminder: Gotham belongs to him, and he will allow no ambitious underlings to plot against him.
Patti and Doug
Bruce Wayne of course puts in an appearance, and David Mazouz has the character, early on in his grief, testing his limits, consumed by what’s happened to him. It’s alarming to Gordon (Ben Mckenzie) and to Alfred (Sean Pertwee), but entirely understandable to the audience.
The bulk of the episode, however, is given over to the main storyline. Gordon and Bullock (Donal Logue) lock horns over the disappearances of street kids- Bullock could really care less, while Gordon feels the determination to find answers. The good cop-bad cop dynamic between them plays itself out, and the actors do well in conveying that relationship. The perpetrators of the crime in question are played by two actors, Frank Whaley and Lili Taylor, who have never really made it big, but have been interesting in previous roles, particularly on the big screen. There’s a quirkiness to both of them as actors, and it becomes unsettling, then, to see them playing characters engaging in such dark crimes, especially in the way they convey their dialogue and expressions.
James Gordon and young Selina Kyle
The episode’s named after her, so it makes sense that Selina gets developed properly here, and a good deal of fleshing out. In the pilot she was largely silent, but here, definitely not. She’s resourceful, outspoken, and rather sneaky in her own ways, knowing how to get what she wants, and we can definitely see hints of the Catwoman to come in the way Bicondova plays this street kid version of the character. She gets the attitude just right, without spilling over into the over the top way that a different actor might have gone with interpreting the role. For such a young actor, she gives her performance a compelling touch.