I know, I know – “Gotham” is already two episodes in. But I recently decided to post reviews of each episode. Normally, these will be relegated to one a week, but I have to play catch up so this week you’re getting two. These will not be in-depth, detailed analyses – just my own thoughts touching on the highlights and low spots.
This was one of the best pilots evah! It lived up to the hype and met all of my expectations – truly a perfect 10 that fired on all cylinders. I was awed by the film-like quality of the show from the start. Likewise, I thought the writing was spot-on and, plot-wise, reminded me of a good, old fashioned detective story. While there were many characters introduced here, I felt these were solid introductions, especially for Oswald Cobblepot who, in true future Penguin form, reveals his tendency to act as an informant to further his own cause. A surprise favorite for me was Harvey Bullock, who I swear is related to Daryl Dixon in some weird parallel fictional universe because they’re both tough, brainy gents who speak their minds and your feelings be darned. Overall, I thought the pilot set some fairy high expectations. But let’s see how it followed through…
Well, it’s hard to follow up the sheer momentum of the pilot but that’s to be expected. If the pilot was a ten, I’d rate this episode a 6.5 to a 7 mainly because the whole kidnapping plot seemed a bit flat to me but it wasn’t bad. I kept asking, “Who the heck is the Dollmaker?” and I hope we find out later on. I loved the fact that Selina (aka Catwoman) got her own episode so to speak because she was one of my early favs. But to tell the truth, any time the attention deviated off of her or Oswald Cobblepot (or Oswald’s mother), I mentally checked out just a tiny bit. And speaking of Oswald…wow. Just wow. He’s shaping up to be one seriously bad gent and I loved every second of it! (Actually, it kind of felt like seconds to me because his part was so small.) My favorite scenes, aside from watching Selina’s arc take shape, were witnessing Carol Kane have a field day as Oswald’s doting, kooky mother and, of course, when Oswald unleashes his deadly genius on the idiots of the world.
Also, as a side note, I thought the maternal parallels here were interesting. First, Oswald’s mother seems the type who believes her son can do no wrong yet would love him regardless of what he does. On the other hand, the dumb frat kid (I have no sympathies for him) has a mom who obviously could care less and believes her son is always up to no good (as evidenced by her off-screen response to Oswald’s threats and demands). That was an interesting contrast between maternal instincts and makes Momma Penguin come off as looking like the more concerned parent. Also, I’m curious to find out if Oswald purposely doesn’t tell his mom everything to hide his criminal activities from her or to protect her (just in case some of his antics go south ). Maybe it’s like how Jack Bauer from “24” wouldn’t tell Chloe O’Brian or somebody else everything; if things went badly, then he’s the only one that would directly affect, not anyone else. I can’t make a call on what Oswald’s intents are regarding keeping his mother in the dark at this point, but maybe future episodes will help me speculate more.