Gotham Round Table: Getting Catty

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With kidnappers scooping up all the naughty children for the mysterious Dollmaker, gosh, what's Jim and Harvey to do?

Luckily, we've got a full panel to discuss all the events of Gotham Season 1 Episode 2, as TV Fanatic staff writers, Hank Otero, Robin Harry, Carla Day and Sean McKenna and Gothamsite's Craig Byrne talk about everything from Selina Kyle to Oswald Cobblepot's journey to those cartoonish kidnappers.

So take a break from your flame tests and join in the latest edition of the TV Fanatic Gotham Round Table...

Gotham RT - depreciated -

What was your favorite scene?

Hank: For me it's always about Oswald Cobblepot! The Penguin waddling up to the car and those little twerps teasing him by pretending to drive off. Then of course when he breaks the beer bottle and cuts the offending punk's neck. Brilliant stuff!

Craig: In an episode where I think I had more scenes I wasn't too big on as compared to scenes I actually liked, the final moments, where Selina gets to talk to Jim Gordon, really stood out to me. Camren Bicondova is a good actress and who is just as good with dialogue as she is lurking around like a cat in other scenes. (I also liked the scene where she was hiding in the bus.) I'd really like to see more of this Selina, even though I know the initial reaction to her being a part of the show was "REALLY?

Robin: I loved when Jim Gordon challenged the Mayor about the kids. The tension was palpable, I could feel it through my screen! Gordon isn't afraid to speak his mind to anyone. I'm not sure that's the best way to be in a precinct so rife with corruption, but man, it's so good to watch.

Carla: For all the focus put on the villains, I'm just as intrigued by the relationship between Jim Gordon and Bruce, so my favorite scene was their bonding towards the end. The little sparks of the future Bruce Wayne/Batman were there without being overplayed or obnoxious. Their exchange was touching.

Sean: As much as I'm skeptical about the use of Bruce Wayne on this show, I actually really liked the opening sequence, notably for Sean Pertwee as Alfred. Not because we share the same first name, but this version of Alfred is much more gruff and vocal before just giving Bruce a hug. He's trying to find a balance as the new guardian, but he too is figuring things out.

Were you surprised there wasn't more Selina Kyle in an episode titled "Selina Kyle"?

Hank: Right? I thought the same exact thing. Selina only appeared in the last 10 to 13 minutes, what's up with that? Though I enjoyed the episode, it probably should have been titled "The Dollmaker." Scratch that, we didn't see him either.

Craig: I think you can tell by my other answer that I like having Selina on and would like to see more of her. But, yes, I did expect to see more of her this week. Maybe later?

Robin: I echo Hank here -- Right?!? I don't think I needed to see more of her in the episode, it was fine as it is, but it certainly wasn't about her.

Carla: Yes, though ... she was around quite a bit throughout the episode. She's got spunk, and for that she's my favorite potential villain. I hoped she'd cross paths with Bruce, but from what I understand that won't happen until later in the season.

Sean: I'm perfectly fine with getting this younger version of Catwoman, but I really want to know more about her character. And I assume we will, but I think the title of the hour was misleading.

What did you think of the kidnappers and their work for the Dollmaker?

Hank: I love Lili Taylor, but again some very over-the-top stuff. I'm sure I'll get used to Gotham being dark and intense one minute, then campy and silly the next. The one thing I liked about these baddies was the promise of the Dollmaker in a future episode.

Craig: I like Lili Taylor but I kind of hated the campy performances. It takes you out of the reality of the show and makes it hard to become invested. I'm sure some people are weird enough to kind of act like this, but come on, people. It's not Batman 1966.

Robin: Those kidnappers were chewing the scenery like their life depended on it! They were a bit over-the-top. As for the Dollmaker, I totally thought the Trident Intercontinental symbol we saw at the beginning was an Aquaman shout-out, not an actual clue for later!

Carla: Robin hit the mark on this one. For me, they were too over the top for me. The villains introduced in the premiere were able to be individually eccentric while feeling like a real people. The kidnappers felt forced, faked, and just too much.

Sean: This goes back to the shows question of overall tone, but I'm going to echo you all and agree the kidnappers were just too much, too campy. And that's clearly something the director was OK with, but like Craig said it took me out of their scenes. They made me want to mock them, not fear them.

Is there a villain you're most interested in seeing focused on?

Hank: Aside from Cobblepot you mean? Probably the Joker and from what I've heard the writers tease potential "Jokers" throughout the season. I just hope the reveal is worth all the build up. Don't let us down Bruno Heller.

Craig: I'd LOVE to see more of Edward Nygma, but for now, anything with Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald/The Penguin is good by me. What I especially love about Taylor's Oswald is that he doesn't seem to borrow from any other performances for the character, but instead has made him his own. Years from now when Gotham is remembered, when it comes to the parts Gotham did best, the Penguin would get very high marks. I know that's saying a lot after only two episodes, but please, more Penguin, less cops.

Robin: I'm loving everything about Oswald Cobblepot. The show doesn't always evenly balance the grit and the camp, but the Penguin is in a perfect sweet spot between the two. I don't know if I want more of him yet, but I am absolutely captivated when he's on screen.

Carla: I'm most invested in Selina Kyle (Catwoman). That could change, but for now she's the one that I feel an affinity towards. The Penguin is awesome and probably the most dynamic on screen though.

Sean: I can't help but go straight to Oswald for this one, and Robin Lord Taylor's performances really make the character stand out. I'm looking forward to seeing him grow into his villain status.

What will Harvey's reaction be when he finds out Oswald is alive?

Hank: That's inevitable and I don't think he'll quite trust Jim ever again. I'm enjoying the dynamic between Gordon and Bullock, but I get the feeling that relationship's not going to end well. It will be fun while it lasts though.

Craig: He'll probably get uncomfortably up into Gordon's face like he annoyingly did so much in Episode 2. Donal Logue was one of my favorite parts of the pilot, but "a-hole Bullock" can wear out his welcome fast. Which I guess is the point.

Robin: I think it might depend on the circumstances under which he finds out. Oswald's chart just has Jim listed as a "stooge," not an actual threat. I have a feeling that Jim's sparing of Oswald may actually be what saves Bullock later on.

Carla: While I think it's unlikely to happen, I would like to see him be in awe and proud of Jim's ability to pull one over on him. He seems like the kind of guy who would see the genius in what Jim did. He'd be upset likely, but that doesn't mean he can't respect what Jim did and how he did it.

Sean: Harvey is going to be pissed initially. Though, it will either bring those two closer together (having each other's backs) or push them apart (only one sticking with the "program"). I like these two partnered together so I'm interested in seeing their relationship explored.

Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.

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