Superhero TV Recap: Agents of SHIELD (2.02), Gotham (1.02)

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Well it’s the last week before we’re all up to our ears in comic book TV shows. Next week is the beginning of “The Flash” and the return of “Arrow” to television, but this week, “Gotham” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” got in one more episode before the competition starts. Here’s what you missed if you didn’t catch them.


Sean Pertwee and Ben McKenzie in Gotham - 1.02 - Selina Kyle

Gotham (1.02, Selina Kyle)

Our return to the most corrupt city on Earth shows how bad things are, even without costumed crime. Street kids just trying to survive are disappearing and nobody seems to care except for lone good cop Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) who has a hard time trying to convince both his partner Bullock (Donal Logue) and his Captain that there’s something going on. And even after it’s proven that something is wrong, the mayor himself doesn’t really seem to care what happens to the children once they’ve been saved and a press conference is had to toot his and the GCPD’s horn. And it’s in a grand sense of karma that when he’s shipping the older kids up to juvenile detention centers, or kiddie jail, that a whole busload of them are taken by the abductors. With a little distraction from Selina “Cat” Kyle (Camren Bicondova) and the timely intervention of Gordon and Bullock, the children are saved and their abductors captured. Meanwhile, Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) is still alive and kicking and trying to get on his feet again, but he really needs to control that temper of his; that, or people need to stop calling him penguin, if they know what’s good for them.

My Thoughts: After last week I was afraid little Camren wouldn’t be a good actress as she was without lines the whole episode. And yet her subtle movements and hauntingly beautiful eyes captured my attention. Then I was pleasantly put at ease when she became the focus of the episode at certain parts. The episode was called “Selina Kyle” after all. And she held her own — equal parts strength and cunning with hints of a moral compass, something hard to find in Gotham, she was refreshingly bold and fun. She spoke to cops as if she was their age, and yet was kind enough to try and help assuage the fears of a little boy. Gordon as always was a rock, and I loved how both Captain Essen (Zabryna Guevara) and Bullock try and get him to at least bend the rules. And there’s just an awesome little confrontation in a holding cell that shows the morally upstanding Gordon doing just that, bending so he’s not broken. And speaking of breaking points, a couple people got pushed pretty far. Oswald is just trying to survive, and Fish showed her cards to Don Falcone, that trust is pretty much dead so seeing her play “loyal” now will be fun because he knows she’s not. They’ve definitely set up a great environment to tell stories. People are so cynical that the corruption has easily taken hold in Gotham, and it’s going to be a battle for the city coming soon.


B.J. BRITT, CHLOE BENNET, NICK BLOOD, CLARK GREGG, MING-NA WEN

Agents of SHIELD (2.02, Heavy is the Head)

They really should’ve done a 2-hour premiere, with the episode picking up right where the last one ended with Lance Hunter (Nick Blood, dude has a cool character name and a cool real name!) stuck in the truck and his friends dead, and one Absorbing Man getting away. Agent May shadows Creel (Brian Patrick Wade) to a diner, where we see his absorbing power is beginning to fluctuate due to exposure to the obelisk in episode one. Meanwhile, director Coulson is starting to become more like Fury, hiding stuff away, but still keeping his sense of humor. An old acquaintance, Raina (Ruth Negga) resurfaces to help Coulson’s team, as she was never for world domination, throwing a new ripple into the pond. New tech head Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie (Henry Simmons) begins to bond with Fitz, helping him figure out a way to neutralize Creel’s abilities. Hunter thinks about betraying Coulson, but decides against it in order to get his revenge on Creel. Revenge never works out, and he ends up sticking with the S.H.I.E.L.D. crew. Coulson then effectively emasculates Brigadier General Glen Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) with a bluff! Good times. Lastly, Coulson’s episodes of alien scribbling have not gone away and he’s actually fighting them, even bending a paper clip into one of the symbols subconsciously, a fact that hasn’t gone unnoticed by himself or May.

My Thoughts: This is how the show is supposed to feel. Crisp and focused, with branching issues popping up, but one storyline running through them. We know that Coulson’s episodes and the obelisk are connected from what Raina was saying, and from the symbols on it that appeared at the end with the mysterious “Doctor” (Kyle Maclachlan, who was announced as Skye’s father, who was mentioned last week by Ward). We know Hydra is still kicking and we know that powered players are going to be a major thing this season, which means hopefully the return of Deathlok at least. What I really liked about this episode was the relationships, whether current or past that were focused on. Hunter’s very close relationship with Izzy Hartley (Lucy Lawless) was at the forefront of all his actions, even his “betrayal.” May and Skye’s relationship was briefly mentioned with Skye wanting to get out and help May. But my favorite was Mack reaching out to Fitz, and “Simmons” actually saying she liked him, basically Fitz’s subconscious letting someone in. The promo for next week sets up some upsetting moments, but we’ll see how they play out. AoS definitely has me hooked without a doubt, and the show seems to be on the right track.

So that’s it for this week. What did you like? What are you looking forward to seeing? And what do you think will happen next? Let the commenting begin!!!