TV - Gotham Season 1, Episode 2

Gotham

After the fun launch last week of Gotham Steve Taylor-Bryant, hears mention of The Dollmaker in Selina Kyle...

I liked last week’s season opener an awful lot. It wasn't perfect by any means but it had the scope for expanding the familiar characters and the new beyond anything we’ve had the chance to see before due to Batman being the presence he is. This week picked up well and one character in particular elevated himself to a level that I didn’t see coming.

Child trafficking is high on the agenda in Gotham. A strange couple are targeting homeless children under 16 years of age and taking them off the streets in bulk. After one kidnap goes awry, a homeless soldier is shot and one of the escaped children ends up being thrown through a restaurant window. The following day Gordon and Bullock arrive at the murder scene and, after a confrontation with a corrupt beat cop, Gordon puts two and two together and questions the homeless boy who had been arrested for breaking the restaurant window. He tells of a strange couple who are poisoning the kids with a large hair pin before taking them to a place he doesn’t know. He tells Gordon to ask Cat as she was there and so comes our first mention of the titular girl. Edward Nygma has examined the boy’s tox screen and discovered large amounts of a medicine that hasn’t been used for 15 years, ever since Arkham Asylum closed.

Before she can assist Gordon and Bullock with their investigation into the missing children from her turf, Fish Mooney has to first deal with Carmine Falcone arriving at the club and basically warning her off, making a challenge for the seat of power before having Mooney's bartender boyfriend beaten up. With her advice and Nygma's tests, Gordon and Bullock enter the first of the medication venues that stock the drug, soon discover the strange couple and, guns drawn, have a firefight. The children are rescued from the basement, but the couple escape. The Mayor holds a press conference and tells the homeless children that he will protect them all at the Children’s Services Centre upstate. The children, Cat included, are shovelled onto a bus, but it is the couple disguised as a guard and a driver that are on board and once again the children are in peril, being sent via a ship’s container to The Dollmaker. After interrogating the shop owner in typical Bullock style, using the phone book as a weapon, Gordon discovers that it is a logistics company they are looking for and arrive at the warehouse just in time to rescue the kids, although Cat is still reluctant to talk to Gordon, although eventually states she knows who killed the Waynes.

Elsewhere in the episode Alfred is at his wits end after discovering Bruce self-harming with a candle and approaches Gordon to have a chat with Bruce, as he respects Gordon, and Alfred is having to raise him in accordance with strict instructions left by Thomas Wayne if he died. Bruce appreciates the offer of someone to talk to, but insists he fine; he is not self-harming he is testing himself.

But the performance of a fantastic episode goes to Oswald Cobblepot. Picked up by two lads in a truck whilst hitchhiking, you become accustomed to the way Cobblepot speaks, which is creepy in its own way, but is a masterful use of language. When one of the boys calls him a penguin he quickly smashes a beer bottle and glasses the lad in a main artery. He disappears into the countryside and rents a mobile home from a farmer whilst holding the other boy ransom, although the parents think it’s a joke and refuse to pay. Watching Cobblepot flick from strange, unloved boy, to psychotic killer in the blink of an eye actually had me shouting out loud. It was unexpected, this early in the season anyway, and happened so lightning fast I jumped from my seat. Any show that can have that effect on you is a great show indeed.

Image - IMDb.