Gotham Officially Turns Selina Kyle Into Catwoman
Gotham season 5 finally transformed Selina Kyle into Catwoman in its second episode, "Tresspassers". It's been a long, strange trip for the citizens of FOX's Gotham, a project which at first seemed like a fairly straightforward prequel to the Batman mythology fans know and love, but ended up being much more of its own creative beast. Over the course of its four prior seasons, Gotham gleefully avoided simply retelling established character journeys, reinventing the backstories of nearly every major hero and villain.
When Gotham began, it's unlikely many would have predicted a plot arc involving The Penguin falling in love with The Riddler, but not only did it happen, many fans embraced the idea. It's also doubtful most viewers predicted early on that Barbara Kean would evolve from Jim Gordon's fairly bland girlfriend into one of the most entertaining thorns in the side of the iconic law enforcer. Gotham also managed to turn a negative into a positive, using the fact that Warner Bros. wouldn't let them depict the Joker by name to create the similar, but still unique characters of Jerome and Jeremiah Valeksa.
One of the most important characters on Gotham since its debut has been Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova), although she's more often been depicted as a friend to Bruce Wayne than an enemy. Selina retained her basic background as a talented thief, but usually seems to find herself conflicted between the sides of good and evil, especially when Bruce is involved. On the newest episode of Gotham though, it looks like the switch has finally been flipped, and Selina has transformed fully into Catwoman. Ironically, it's actually Bruce that facilitates the change, due to his unwillingness to leave Selina in the paralyzed state she ended up in after being shot by Jeremiah near the end of Gotham season 4. Unfortunately, he makes the mistake of going to Poison Ivy for a cure.
During last week's Gotham season 5 premiere - titled "Year Zero" - Bruce was told that only someone called "The Witch," would have the power to heal Selina's condition. This week, Bruce came to find out that said person was, in fact, Selina's old friend Ivy Pepper, now long since fully evolved into Poison Ivy. Ivy points Bruce to a mystical seed capable of helping Selina, but warns that with the seed "the darker angels of our nature are unlocked and set free." Bruce doesn't heed the warning, returning to Selina with the seed. She consumes it, at first experiencing a negative reaction, before being seen walking around later. While she insists to Bruce she's never felt better, something has clearly changed in Selina, as her eyes become bright green and cat-like.
Longtime Batman comic readers will remember that Catwoman's traditional origin is just that she's an extremely skilled cat burglar, hence the cat motif. Gotham has given Selina a decidedly supernatural origin, one which is likely to remind some of the Tim Burton film Batman Returns, although Gotham's version is at least somewhat more plausible within the context of the show. In Batman Returns, Selina is murdered, before inexplicably coming back to life after being crowded around by a group of stray cats. At least Gotham tried to provide an actual explanation. Going forward, one wonders if Selina will now be free of her conscience, and fully villainous.
Gotham season 5 airs Thursdays on FOX.