On the D/L – Gotham

Nov 18, 2014 | Posted by in TV

Season 1 Episode 9 – “Harvey Dent”

Gotham introduces future Two Face Harvey Dent (Nicholas D’Agosto) who has his own methods for dealing with the criminal element of Gotham City.

It’s interesting how an episode called “Harvey Dent” has almost nothing to do with the character it’s named after. He’s in the episode sure but with only a handful of scenes he is far from the central focus. I’m also getting really tired of Gotham persistently winking at the audience with references to what the characters will become. In case you hadn’t guess Harvey spends most of his screen time flipping a coin or making gambling references. There’s even a reference to a different side of him when he gets almost psychotically angry at the slightest provocation. Between him and Edward Nygma there’s absolutely no subtlety to the foreshadowing. I’m not entirely sure how well the actor did considering how poorly Dent was written.


Harvey Dent shows off his two headed coin

Harvey’s presence allows the plot to to move to a villain named Dick Lovecraft that hasn’t been mentioned before. Apparently he’s a major player in the criminal underworld and Harvey Dent has been trying to take him down for quite some time. Lovecraft adds another suspect to the Wayne murder plot but there’s really nothing to him considering he has his first appearance here. Where has been been with the bubbling crime war that has been established thus far?

The villain of the week plot returns with some mad bomber who was put away before the show began. I guess the mentioned history is supposed to make up for the fact that he’s boring now. This story didn’t do an awful lot for me but it’s clearly just a catalyst to set up the Arkham story. He’s the first of the insane inhabitants of Blackgate prison to be transferred to Arkham and it’s mentioned that Arkham is going to be an Asylum again. It’s all fine to use the bomber to set this up but it doesn’t really excuse how uninteresting it was or how non threatening he was.

Even the usually intriguing Penguin felt awkward this week. At some point that we haven’t seen he has decided to investigate Liza. I get that he’s probably smart enough to have figured this out on his own and that we don’t really need to see him discovering this but it still felt really off on the whole. Even the music suggested something comedic where the dialogue and performances brought to mind a sinister blackmail scenario. This show really needs to pick a tone and stick to it.


Bruce Wayne meets Selina Kyle

Surprisingly I thought the Bruce/Alfred scenes were the strongest part of the episode. Bruce and Alfred have taken Selina Kyle in to give her a safe place to hide before she has to appear as a witness and Alfred is averse to having her in the house due to not trusting her. The most interesting thing about these scenes was Bruce and Selina’s interactions. The seeds of an attraction have been dropped and giving Bruce someone to talk to who is around his age is a good idea for his character. There’s something about the dialogue that makes it seem like children would never talk like that but the actors did well enough to not make that a problem.

Interacting with Selina gave Bruce a renewed perspective on his life and ultimately his future mission as Batman. Through Selina he starts to learn what it will really take to survive in Gotham though she doesn’t know how ruthless and uncompromising he was last week when he beating a classmate using his father’s watch in place of brass knuckles. There’s still plenty Bruce and Selina don’t know about one another but so far their relationship is an interesting one.

  • 4/10
    Harvey Dent - 4/10


A completely underwhelming episode with such a ham fisted introduction to Harvey Dent. His appearance is just another example of this show’s inability to showcase anything resembling subtlety when it comes to future Batman references.

The villain of the week plot was really boring and didn’t do anything unique or interesting. Ultimately this plot is designed to set up a larger plot but there’s no excuse for letting the quality slip so much here. This show has done so poorly with their one shot villains thus far but this was the worst yet.

Some ground was made up by the Bruce and Alfred parts of the plot where they take in Selina Kyle. I liked seeing Bruce talk to someone his own age and the perspective she gave him of how things really are in Gotham is a significant one. Unfortunately this really wasn’t enough to lift the episode into being average.

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