GOTHAM Isn’t Child’s Play

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GOTHAM: Logo.
Episode 102 “Selina Kyle”

For those of you who watched last week’s episode and wondered if Camren Bicondova actually has acting chops to go along with her ability to pose, I think we can safely say she can hold her own after seeing her take center stage in this episode.

[Don’t forget: besides the recaps, we’re also covering Gotham on the SciFi4Chicks podcast.]

The basics: a pair of very polite grown-ups — played by Lili Taylor (Almost Human) and Frank Whaley (Ray Donovan, Alcatraz) — are scouring Gotham City’s alleys for the homeless kids, offering them food and shelter, and then kidnapping them off the streets with the use of a drugged hat pin, killing an old wino in the process. When Mackey (a post-Disney Kyle Massey) escapes their clutches and ends up going through a window at a local restaurant, Gordon and Bullock make the connection between Mackey’s escape and the murder of the wino, revealed to be a veteran. Of course, Gordon wants to do right by his fellow soldier. Bullock just wants to find someplace to get drunk, probably, the death of a wino obviously not that important.

Mackey, describing the encounter with Patti and Doug, tips our heroes to a child trafficking operation. And he mentions that “Cat” saw the whole thing, too, and can confirm the details. Of course, now there’s the question of finding Cat — which is, of course, Selina Kyle’s “Hand of the Writer” nickname made of Obviousium. But it’s a minor cringe in an otherwise decent hour.

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The mayor, seeing his opportunity, decides to round up all of the homeless kids in Gotham and send them upstate to a facility “for their own good”. Naturally, it’s more of a prison than a school or shelter, and Selina is one of the kids rounded up. Only she ends up on the bus with Patti and Doug — who abscond with an entire busload of urchins to deliver to “The Dollmaker”.

Urhuurhh??

Yes. We get a name dropped here, folks. The Dollmaker, of course, already showed up on Arrow, and now gets a mention here. No clue as to which Dollmaker this would be (there have been three), nor if this is anything more than an Easter egg. But the mention of Dollmaker opens up the possibility of an expanded universe outside of Gotham City. Maybe.

One can hope.

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Gordon and Bullock trace the kidnappers’ drug to a select few distributors, narrowing it down to one in particular that used to supply Arkham Asylum. After a shootout, we get an interrogation scene that shows Gordon and Bullock are starting to understand one another, as our hero cop stands idly by while our corrupt cop with a heart of gold smacks Morry around with a phone book to get information — the logo on the panel truck, which leads them to …

The dockside warehouse of Trident Shipping, where Selina has been slinking her way around corners and under chairs (making good use of Camren Bicondova’s dance background) to escape the clutches of Patti and Doug. It all comes together rather nicely in the end, with our kidnappers captured (of course), and Selina back in the hands of the authorities to send her upstate.

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Until she decides she wants a deal.

Asking for Gordon, she manages to convince him that she’s got intel. She tells him she saw the Wayne murder.

Dun-dun-dunnnnn.

Gotham_102_TenementApt_0135_hires1The b-story involving Cobblepot is a slow burn, giving us a very nice scene with Carol Kane as Oswald’s doting mother, and Oswald himself recovering from his ordeal by killing a college jock and kidnapping his buddy. Only these guys have a history of pranks, so his parents don’t believe Oswald has kidnapped their boy. We’re left with some menacing hints of what’s to come, and it’s a nice counterpoint to the image presented by Gertrude Kapelput.

And things are starting to percolate between Fish Mooney and Don Falcone. Turns out, not only did Oswald squeal to the cops, but he also mouthed off to Falcone and told on Mama Fish. Naughty boy… The conversation between Falcone and Mooney had a nice Godfather vibe. Very polite. Very much the knives covered in silk.

In last week’s episode, we saw the beginnings of “Serious Bruce Wayne is Serious” after the funeral, and now we see the first few steps in his journey toward Batmania: the pain test with the candle, as well as the sense of doing right by others when he tries to figure out how he can help the homeless kids. It’s this scene that made me realize we’re missing Dr. Leslie Thompkins, who would fit right into this story line.

All in all, a solid episode. And Gotham continues to feel like the crime thriller it should be (and thankfully, no GoPro shots this week). I still would like to see this in black and white, because it really has a modern noir feel to it.

And since so many have compared Gotham to Law and Order:

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[Show Web Site at FOX]     [Previous Recap: 101 “Pilot”]

 

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Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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