The first episode had a ton of exposition. The writers threw so much at the audience that there were some that were wondering what was going on. I loved the first episode, but there seemed to be a lot happening.
The writers learned their lesson because this episode focused on a few main characters and developed their stories.
The main storyline is that Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock have to stop a child-trafficking ring that has been targeting kids on the street. As it turns out, the two are minions of the villain known as the Dollmaker. There are lots of twists and turns during the investigation.
It also highlights the differences between the two partners.
It has been established that Gordon is the “good cop” to Bullock’s “bad cop.” Early in the episode, the duo interrogate a suspect. Bullock tries to intimidate the kid. However, Gordon intervenes and gets the guy to talk without being violent. The stark contrast between their approaches is on full display. However, there is a scene where Jim makes an exception for the sake of the investigation. I didn’t mind the temporary change of heart because Gordon has said he will play along in order to clean up the Gotham Police Department. It shows that Jim is as shrewd as he is noble.
As far as the performances go, Ben McKenzie continues to impress me. Gordon shows growth in the episode and he is more decisive when he makes his decisions. As I alluded to, he plays Gordon as smart and likable.
That is exactly how the future Commissioner Gordon should be. Donal Logue continues to be the exact opposite and he is spot-on with his portrayal.
A familiar character is featured more prominently in this episode, young Selina Kyle.
Selina Kyle a.k.a. “Cat” (Camren Bicondova) plays a big role in the episode. Of course, we know who she will become. She is everything that you would think the future Catwoman to be. “Cat” is agile, sneaky and above all, street-smart. There is no way that she is going to be outsmarted.
I like that because she already is showing some of the characteristics that will define her life. You can see her journey beginning and she will play a key role in the series. While Kyle is featured, what happened to another future villain, the Penguin?
Oswald Cobblepot ends up getting picked by two strangers and things happen. The transformation from meek henchman to psychotic villain is on full display. Some of his antics include kidnapping, murder and demanding a ransom. The ransom doesn’t go according to plan and his reaction is chilling.
This is a young man who is transforming into a megalo-maniacal monster before our eyes. He displays all of the attributes of a super-villain. Robin Lord-Taylor has been a revelation with his performance and this episode is no exception.
There is a smaller role in this episode for his former boss, Fish Mooney.
Mooney isn’t in the episode for that long, but there is a poignant scene with her and Carmine Falcone. Falcone and Mooney have a conversation and it is fascinating to see who will break first. Mooney does but you can tell that she hates her boss. She goes off on a rant and you believe every word she says. There will be an intense game of chess played between these two characters over the next few episodes and it will be interesting to see where it leads.
Jada Pinkett Smith continues to shine in this role and I expect her to have more air time in the coming weeks. Last but not least, there isn’t much to say regarding Bruce Wayne.
Other than hearing some of the things that he will do later in life, Wayne didn’t play a big part this week. There is one issue and it is about the portrayal of Alfred Pennyworth. Sean Pertwee seems to be trying to mentor the boy, but he comes across as overly stiff and nasty.
Alfred should be caring and you don’t get that sense with him. Perhaps that will fixed in the future, but this incarnation of Alfred is the weakest part of the show right now.
The series is progressing at a brisk pace. There is a cliffhanger at the end to pique viewers’ interest for next week. From the look of the preview, business should really start to pick up.
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