June 22, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Gotham “Selina Kyle”

Season One, Episode Two.

Richard Kind plays the mayor here, so there’s a part of me that thinks Gotham is just some kind of sequel to Spin City where Kind’s political spokesman somehow worked his way up the ladder.

That, or this is Bing Bong‘s incredibly dark fate.

So, here we are.  The first regular episode of the series, and we have two people kidnapping teenagers off the street using what turns out to be a special drug that knocks people out pretty fast but was only ever used in Arkham Asylum, and that place closed down 15 years ago.

Nice Easter Egg.  If it is one.  I’m not sure it counted.

Point being, 13 year old Selina Kyle, known as “Cat” on the street, witnessed the near abduction of two kids off the street, a third being tossed through a window for a fancy restaurant, and an old homeless man getting shot to death.  Said homeless man was a veteran it turns out, so Jim Gordon seems to care more.  Bullock is less interested, but I do have to wonder:  does Gordon only care because the man is a veteran?  Is this a half-assed attempt at political commentary because of how many American vets end up on the streets?  Why can’t Gordon simply care because the guy was, you know, a human being?

Those sorts of questions have no answers.

Much of the episode that follows has things like Bullock and Fish Mooney, when Fish isn’t screaming for everyone to leave her nightclub on a busy night, lording it over Gordon that he “killed” a man even though Cobblepot is alive and well and causing trouble in what looks like the giant farm outside of Gotham.  It’s also one where the likes of Lili Taylor (as one of the kidnappers) and Carol Kane (as the Penguin’s goofy mother with an odd vaguely European accent) guest star for one reason or another.  We have Gordon told that the GCPD doesn’t share child theft information with the press to avoid panic and then Barbara calling the tip in herself.

I know it’s a true story in-universe, but it did seem odd that one quick, anonymous tip can somehow lead to front page news without any sort of evidence or corroboration.

But you know what did catch my eye?  The fact that the episode is titled “Selina Kyle” and the girl the kids on the street call “Cat” doesn’t even do much for much of the episode.  We see her witness a kidnapping  and then…disappear until the mayor orders all homeless kids rounded up for PR purposes.  She doesn’t even say much at first though I do appreciate that the actress has her hair done up the exact same way Michelle Pfeiffer’s was in Batman Returns.  She finally does speak, wants to talk to Gordon, won’t talk to Gordon when he shows up to arrest the kidnappers, and then at the end will only talk to Gordon with some bombshell news that she witnessed the deaths of the Waynes.

Oh, and she scratched a henchman’s eyes out.

How seriously am I supposed to take this show anyway?

On the other end of the spectrum, Cobblepot took a young man hostage for some quick cash after killing said young man’s friend when said friend said Cobblepot walked like a penguin when the duo picked up the bedraggled hitchhiker.  And Alfred is having trouble with young Bruce since the kid is burning himself to remove fear (eep) and it seems there’s a condition in the boy’s trust that, while Alfred has custody, he also can’t take the boy for psychiatric therapy.  But if there’s a lesson here for Bruce, it comes when Gordon tells the boy that Bruce can’t just write a check to end the homeless problem.

Granted, that might not actually be true, but it does show how Bruce could learn a few more things about the world and how it isn’t all that black and white in certain respects for when he grows up to wear a bat suit and beat up criminals in the streets.

Again, how seriously am I supposed to take this show?