GOTHAM “Selina Kyle” Review

Does the second episode of this TV prequel sink or swim the concept? Read on to find out.

The official description from Fox:

Detectives Gordon and Bullock investigate a child trafficking ring preying on Gotham’s street kids, including Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova). Meanwhile, Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) resurfaces in the countryside and begins to make his way back to GOTHAM, leaving victims in his wake in the all-new “Selina Kyle” episode of GOTHAM airing Monday.

With two fourty-ish stints now available for viewing it’s clear that the series has some interesting concepts at play, but there are narrative hurdles it needs to overcome. In my mind I keep comparing the show to the advertisements and to be honest it’s not living up to them. I want more time with Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) and a strong focus on the relationship between him and our future commissioner but maybe it’s too early to have that kind of expectation.

Gotham 201 01 Widescreen

The core mechanism for Gotham is that we’re seeing the background noise and primary players that made the city ripe for the rise of the Batman. And from that perspective I honestly wasn’t sure how the creative team could make the world interesting enough with a pre-caped crusader environment. And to my dismay the second outing sported two lackluster villains and a largely forgettable plot in the aftermath of a pilot that garnered attention and even praise from critics, fanboys and fangirls.

Gotham 201 02 Widescreen

I found the back and forth between Donal Logue (Harvey Bullock) and Ben McKenzie (James Gordon) to be dazzling. Each actor delivered their lines with weight in order to carry their partnership through another case but sadly the other notable officers were underused and rather forgettable. Meanwhile Jada Pinkett Smith (Fish Mooney) was over the top and Robin Lord Taylor (Oswald Cobblepot) didn’t have enough screen time to show anything compelling. But the one actress that gave me hope was our young Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova). Right from the second she entered the narrative gained resonance with a presence that cemented the approaching future for this town.

The second episode of Gotham didn’t do enough to compel my interest but it didn’t dissuade it either. Right now the creative team is trying hard to get their Batman nods in and despite flaws in that design it’s nowhere near time to give up on this. “Selina Kyle” skates by with a recommendation.

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