There’s a very odd tonal mix in this second episode of Gotham – the two villains (over)act like the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, but the Penguin, Falcone and Fish Mooney are all absolutely deadly serious, with the Penguin’s increasingly psychotic nature starting to come to the fore. The scene between Falcone and Fish as the reality of life in the underworld of Gotham is made clear is underplayed in a very Godfather manner, but that’s juxtaposed with the over the top black humour of the child catchers.
The relationship between Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock seems to be going in two directions simultaneously – there’s a concerned cry from the older detective when he thinks Gordon may have been hit, at a point where it seems from the story that he would be very happy if something accidental were to happen to his partner that didn’t come back and bite him. The shine’s already starting to come off Jim Gordon: he accepts that there are times when Harvey’s methodology may work, and “Saint Jim” condones torture for the greater good.
Camren Bicondova as Cat gets a lot of attention this episode and joins Intruders’ Millie Brown as a strong young female lead, who can handle the material well. She’s got a good rapport with Ben McKenzie’s Gordon, and that relationship has the potential for some great scenes. Richard Kind’s Mayor also makes a strong impression – as the saying goes, a fish stinks from the head down – and there’s a bizarre appearance by Carol Kane as the Penguin’s mother.
It’s Sean Pertwee’s Alfred, though, who is coming across as one of the more rounded figures – his scene at the start when he discovers Bruce is beautifully played, and will feel right to any parent. Hopefully we’ll get to see a lot more of the pair of them as the series progresses.
Verdict: Although it’s still finding its feet to an extent, there are some very good elements bubbling away in this revamp. 7/10