Gotham 102 Recap: We Get It, She’s Catwoman

Hello and welcome to the second episode of Gotham, a show about white men and minority side characters and also men who are bats, presumably. When we last left off, Detective Jim Gordon told Tiny Batman that his parents’ killer was still at large and that he was gonna track him down even if that means interrogating every pair of shiny shoes in the city, and then the Penguin killed a guy for his sandwich. What a time to be alive in Gotham.

We open in Wayne Manor where young Bruce is doing the most pre-Batman thing imaginable: seeing how close he can hold his hand to a candle flame. The point is probably something about learning to understand/withstand/compartmentalize pain, but what it really is is self-destructive.

Now is the time. This is the hour. Ours is the magic. Ours is the power.

Now is the time. This is the hour. Ours is the magic. Ours is the power.

Alfred bursts in and is like “whatcha doin'” and Bruce is like “noooooothing,” but he is obviously lying and Alfred sees his burnt hand freaks out and then hugs him. :(

I knew I shouldn't have let him watch Taxi Driver.

I knew I shouldn’t have let him watch Taxi Driver.

Starsweep over to the rough-and-tumblr streets of Gotham where the young thief who keeps turning up everywhere bats at a necklace in her hand, LIKE A CAT BECAUSE SHE’S CATWOMAN, JUST SO YOU KNOW. We also learn in this scene that her friends call her Cat (even though the episode is titled “Selina Kyle,” aka Catwoman’s real name) and that this show is about as subtle as spandex.

You're sweet/ Wanna hit the street?/Wanna wail at the moon like a CAT in heat?

You’re sweet/ Wanna hit the street?/Wanna wail at the moon like a CAT in heat?

So Cat and some homeless youths dressed in last year’s Abercrombie and Fitch sweaters are chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool when a couple of guys “from the mayor’s office” who are up to no good pull up in a truck and offer them sandwiches and chocolate. (ETA: I just learned that the child snatchers’ names are Patti and Doug, like from the show Doug, which is hilarious.) One of the homeless male models asks Cat why she doesn’t want a sandwich, and she sings the Meow Mix jingle in reply and backs away into the shadows.



Obviously the Lutece twin-wannabes knock the kids out and abduct them, but not before an older homeless man is shot and a thrilling foot-chase ensues and the only person of color in this scene gets thrown through a restaurant window. Cat escapes, and I’m hoping this is the episode where someone tells her it’s because she has NINE LIVES BECAUSE SHE’S A CAT, LIKE CATWOMAN. It just feels inevitable, you know?

The next day, Detective/Eagle Scout Jim Gordon arrives on the scene to investigate the man who was shot, who was apparently also a veteran. Jim’s partner, Harvey Bullock, arrives shortly after to remind us that he’s still a shitty person and that Jim shouldn’t care about this murder because the dude was homeless. Sorry, Harvey, there are a million shows about shitty white dudes that everyone loves in spite of their shittiness, but this isn’t one of them.

The fuck, dude?

The fuck, dude?

Anyway, Jim is pissed that the first-responder cop didn’t preserve the crime scene because he was too busy checking out the restaurant where the kid “jumped” through the window. Jim posits that perhaps the shooting and the restaurant incident could be… related???? He’s right because his entire character is that he’s never wrong.

Yeah well my beard has more character than you do

Yeah well my beard has more character than you do

Fast-forward in time to the police precinct where our fearless detectives are questioning the homeless kid who got thrown through the restaurant window. FIRST OF ALL, it turns out that kid is played by Kyle Massey, aka Raven’s younger brother on That’s So Raven


…so I’ve already found my favorite part of this episode.

First of all, how dare you talk shit on Raven's new hair in front of me

First of all, how dare you talk shit on Raven’s new hair in front of me

The kids tells the detectives what happened and says that a) street kids have been missing for weeks but nobody cares about them and b) Cat can corroborate his story even though the cops don’t know who that is yet. Harvey threatens to beat him up unless he confesses to killing the veteran, so Jim is like “maybe don’t do that? It’s illegal?” So Harvey tells him to man up and pushes him, and Jim pushes him into this guy, and then this happens:


So he is probably the one who killed Bruce’s parents.

Meanwhile on the outskirts of this timeless city, the Penguin is trying to hitchhike out of the city. Two bros eventually stop, and even though they fuck with him a little bit, they seem like ok dudes overall. Don’t worry, though, we all know this isn’t going to end well.

Oh you're definitely gonna die.

Oh you’re definitely gonna die.

After offering him a beer and listening to him talk about how one day he’ll return to Gotham stronger than ever, one of the dudes tells the Penguin that he walks like a penguin, so the Penguin STABS IN HIM THE NECK WITH A BROKEN BEER BOTTLE. DON’T PICK UP HITCHHIKERS. THE MORE YOU KNOW.

Back at the precinct, Harvey and Jim are fighting again but with the added bonus of the police chief. Jim argues that Harvey can’t actually beat up suspects because it’s super illegal, but the chief is like “yeah, but it’s Gotham, so,” which apparently means anything goes.

This isn't Law and Order, Jim, stop trying to use the law to bring about order

This isn’t Law and Order, Jim, stop trying to use the law to bring about order

The conversation is cut short when Ed The Scientist, aka the future Riddler, comes in to say that the kid who was thrown through the restaurant window had high levels of ATP in his blood, which is an amazing thing for a scientist to say, since, if I recall from freshman biology, ATP is basically just the kind of energy that mitochondria in every cell produce. But not in Gotham!

The lovechild of Dwight and Jim Halpert

The love child of Dwight and Jim Halpert

Ed explains that here, ATP is “a fast-acting knockout drug. Used to use it at the old Arkham Asylum.” So the kid wasn’t lying, and the detectives are on the case. The police chief warns them not to talk to the press about this, which means obviously the press is going to find out.

We slip n slide on over to Fish Mooney’s place, bearing in mind that since the murder happened on her turf, the detectives are going to need her permission to investigate the crime. Mhm. The nightclub is in full swing, and a really cool girlband is finishing up a set, and suddenly it seems wildly unfair that this show follows a bunch of cops and not a super cool band that plays in seedy clubs.

wait come back I love you

wait come back I love you

Just as the evening is hitting its peak, what to my wondering eyes should appear but Don Falcone and a shit ton of henchmen. Don is here to confront Mooney about something the Penguin said before he “died,” specifically that the Waynes’ deaths will disrupt the tenuous structures upholding Gotham’s criminal underbelly and that Mooney had plans to take down Falcone.

Hold on a second, I think my diva cup is slipping.

Hold on a second, I think my diva cup is slipping.

Obvs Mooney denies it, so Falcone calls over Mooney’s lover/waiter Lazlo (who a quick wikipedia search tells me is probably Professor Pyg) and then has his henchmen beat him up. Womp womp. Sorry, Lazlo, you never had a chance. MOVING ON.

Is this like that diner on Glee? Do I have to sing an 80s hit now?

Is this like that diner on Glee? Do I have to sing an 80s hit now? How does this work, help me out.

Later, Mooney is talking to Butch, presumably her #2, about how as soon as she has the resources, she’s going to kill Falcone with her bare hands and her teeth. Yeeeeeeeesh, so I guess Lazlo wasn’t just some punk she was banging on the side — this shit is personal. Also she’s gonna fucking kill the Penguin once she finds out how not-dead he is. She’s having quite a day!

I'll turn him into a flea, a harmless, little flea, and then I'll put that flea in a box, and then I'll put that box inside of another box, and then I'll mail that box to myself, and when it arrives I'LL SMASH IT WITH A HAMMER.

I’ll turn him into a flea, a harmless, little flea, and then I’ll put that flea in a box, and then I’ll put that box inside of another box, and then I’ll mail that box to myself, and when it arrives I’LL SMASH IT WITH A HAMMER.


Hey girl

Hey girl

Detectives Montoya and Allen are questioning the Penguin’s mother in her apartment about the disappearance of her son. While she is convinced that he’s a good boy who is almost certainly in the clutches of a woman, Montoya and Allen are confident that someone found out he snitched to them and knocked him off. Allen says that these things happen to snitches, but Montoya, a woman after my own heart, says that doesn’t mean they should stop looking for his killer. Damn, you guys, she’s gonna bring the whole city to its knees single-handedly, if there’s any justice in the world at all.

What? Shit, don't tell me this is my only scene this week.

What? Shit, don’t tell me this is my only scene this week.

Speaking of the man of the hour, we hop in our pickup trucks and head out to the country, where the Penguin is pulling the murdered bros’ truck into a driveway/mechanic’s shop situation. After a brief conversation with the dude who lives (works? I don’t know what this is supposed to be) there, it is determined that the Penguin will live in the trailer for $100 a week and that his new landlord WILL NOT SEE THE BRO BODIES IN HIS TRUCK.

Hmm yes hello I am normal, that's a normal thing to say, right

Hmm yes hello I am normal, that’s a normal thing to say, right

Tiny baby scene: The homeless models who got kidnapped earlier in the episode wake up in a dungeon with some other homeless models. No ones knows where they are, but one of them supposes that they’re all dead.

I thought this was the Divergent casting room, my bad

I thought this was the Divergent casting room, my bad

And on that cheery note, we flit on back to Mooney’s with Jim and Harvey so they can ask her about the child snatchers but mostly so Mooney can comment on how Jim is a part of their Sinner’s Club for killing the Penguin. She tells them there’s a “buyer overseas” who will take anyone “young and healthy” but that no one knows what they want the kids for, which is, uh, uniquely horrifying? This show is so weird because it’s so over-the-top that it’s almost campy, but then every once in a while, it’s about things like selling children into slavery.

No, you can't just use your tongue, you've gotta get your whole face in there.

No, you can’t just use your tongue, you’ve gotta get your whole face in there.

We whiz forward in time to Jim and Barbara’s apartment where the couple is eating takeout, which I am only noting here in order to point out that Jim was eating his with a fork but Barbara was using chop sticks, so.

Get your shit together, white bread.

Dammit Jim, I’m a queer woman, not a heterosexual.

Jim tells her about the child snatchers, and she’s like “you should call the press anonymously” and he’s like “naaaaaah,” and she’s like “ok” and then calls them herself. She tells him it was the right thing to do. He agrees. Not since Battlestar Galactica has a show so blatantly faced moral quandaries.

Hello, I'd like to file a complaint about the lack of Renee Montoya in my life? Yes I'll hold.

Hello, I’d like to file a complaint about the lack of Renee Montoya in my life? Yes I’ll hold.

The next day (assuming it wasn’t too late when Barbara called and the newspaper stopped the presses and had time to write up a quick story and print again), we see this headline on the Gotham Gazette:


The police chief is not happy. Neither detective admits to calling the press (which is accurate), and Jim tells the chief that they’re pursing the ATP lead and narrowed it down to three companies. After the chief walks away angry but satisfied, Harvey tells Jim he could barely tell he was lying about calling the press and blah blah blah why aren’t there more Barbara/Montoya scenes.

Did you even READ The Silmarillion?

No, but like, have you ever seen Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?

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Intern Grace

Grace Ellis has been writing and making hack-job graphics for Autostraddle since 2011 and is a co-creator and co-writer of the comic book series Lumberjanes. She is mostly an intern in name only. (Mostly.) She lives in Columbus, Ohio because why anything. Also, she wants to write the Black Widow movie and feels like if she just keeps telling people, eventually she will be allowed to do it. She has a Twitter and a Tumblr, both of which are pretty above average.

Grace has written 89 articles for us.


  1. I haven’t given up on the show yet, but the complete lack of subtlety is really starting to grate. Do they really need to fill every Oswald Cobblepot scene with “oh hey penguin you look like a penguin hahaha get it he’s a penguin, did I mention he’s a penguin” commentary? I think we’ve got it. See also: Catwoman.

    My other feelings about this episode: too much Jim Gordon being all ‘do the right thing’ and having that be kind of his only character trait, and not enough Renee Montoya (obviously).

    • As a look time fan of the Batman franchise I have most of the same problems with this show so far. I’m liking the lock and feel of Gotham and some of the mystery elements show potential. It’s just too bad so little about there’s characters feel NATURALLY mysterious. Instead it’s all as you say “hey…hey…do you get it?”.

      It’s funny that the dialogue here at times feel more like a cartoon than many of the animated Batman shows. Like they can’t figure out ways for characters to make observations that are meant to enforce a larger plot point. Still at least we’ve gotten some dialogue with Oswald that could provide greater character insight later on. So far all poor Ivy’s done is just stand in the background with obviously placed plants. If that’s only is SUPPOSED to tell us something about here character.

  2. The “Get me Jim Gordon or I will tell people you touched me” scene bothered me, too. Like, really? I can forgive a 13-year-old girl for not knowing better, but the police officer caving seemed so unrealistic to me. Like, he has to know that in the real world most people are going to believe him over an uncooperative homeless kid, right? I guess I could think that he wasn’t so much caving to the threat as realizing how stubborn she was and hoping she would give up after talking to Jim, but there has to have been a better way to do that scene, right?

  3. But who are the woman in Cat’s locket(re the bus scene)? One of them kind of looked to Barbara to me, but that could just be wishful thinking.

    • They are both pictures of her mother. There was some blink and you’ll miss it dialogue where she tells someone that she doesn’t believe her mother is dead, that she will come back for her someday.

  4. “You’re sweet/ Wanna hit the street?/Wanna wail at the moon like a CAT in heat?” Good job. A++++

  5. If the writers later decide that Cat is bisexual, they should let young Wonder Woman handle that. There, season 3, written.

  6. I too would like to file a complaint about the lack of Renee Montoya in my life!

    I thought this was an all around better episode than the pilot. Better chemistry and not so forced with all the references. I hope the triangle stuff with Renee/Barbara ends quick! Great recap Grace!

  7. Is half of this recap missing? It just stops midway through the episode. Maybe there’s supposed to be a page two, but I don’t see it.

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