By Jeremy Costello
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It was clear that the second episode of ďGotham,Ē titled ďSelena Kyle,Ē was ready to settle the new show into its groove and stabilize its ride through the season.
Rookie Detective Jim Gordon and his experienced partner Harvey Bullock get wind of a deadly scheme that leaves several homeless people dead or missing, several of which include children. As the plot unfolds, they learn that there is a huge underground child trafficking ring that preys on street kids.
The story is as dark as it sounds. The episode continues to establish Gotham as a dark, disturbed city that has its many flaws. The directing isnít shy about showing some brutality and the overall evil nature that seeps throughout the city. At one point, Catgirl, simply known as Cat, scratches her enemies with unrequited brutality; one guyís face is half ripped and bloodied. There were some creepy villains and intimidating torturous devices, as well. Thereís a scene with the kids waking up in a rundown hole-in-the-wall that isnít unlike something out of a Saw movie.
One of the kids who gets captured is Selena, the young catgirl. Yes, she has some cool tricks with her catlike reflexes, but she also shows her youthful age and immaturity at times, an interesting take on the character. And she isnít shy in taking an interest in Gordon, either. At the end of the episode, she follows Gordon as he visits young Bruce Wayne at Wayne Manor. Itís just a matter of time before she starts taking an interest in Bruce, as well. Bruce, meanwhile, is going down his own dark path after his parentsí death; he draws chilling pictures of death and listens to heavy metal music in his headphones as he tries to isolate himself from the rest of the world.
Oswald, aka Penguin, has escaped Gotham after Gordon pretended to kill him. Now Penguin is up to his own schemes of getting his revenge in Gotham.
Meanwhile, Fish Mooney and Carmine Falcone have started their own little tiff. Falcone doesnít trust Mooney and sends her a message to not even think about crossing him. That, and they are worried that the death of the Waynes will encourage more chaos from other crime organizations, not the least of which is the Maroney gang. Itíd be awesome if the writers engaged the two groups in a massive territorial, power-hungry battle.
A couple of nods to Arkham Asylum, the famed DC location just outside of Gotham, were made. The asylum has been shut down for years, but that doesnít mean the crazies have been dealt with. Arkham brings a lot more villains into play, which hopefully leads to looming references of characters to come.
The second episode felt more, for lack of a better word, episodic and established an ebb and flow to the season. There was a clear-cut ending, though it isnít unlikely that some villains will be recurring. The writers arenít forced to stick with that pattern, of course, but I like where things are going so far.
TV review: Gotham’ stabilizes itself, still gruesome and entertaining
By Jeremy Costello