Gotham: Season 1 Episode 9 "Harvey Dent" (REVIEW)

written by Omar Castillon (@omar_castillon)

With a flip of a coin and wink to the law, Harvey Dent finally makes his debut on Gotham. Not only was he charismatic, but also kind of a crazy guy to handle. More on that a bit later; in the mean time, we also get a little bit more back story to Selina Kyle aka “Cat” as she interacts with Bruce Wayne and Alfred. One thing I can say is that the crime of the week so to speak is a bit weak and yet it speaks volumes to the future of what is to come in Arkham Asylum.

Let’s start with Harvey Dent (or at least whatever we can) and say that Nicholas D’Agosto does an ok job taking over as Dent. Of course he is preceded by Billy Dee Williams, Tommy Lee Jones and Aaron Eckhart which by the way Eckhart gave the live action Harvey Dent a little more justice (pun intended) to the character. Gotham’s Dent seems a bit more arrogant. Sure a hotshot lawyer can be arrogant, but this went a little over the top. This can be seen when he interacts with a character we have never seen before in the series before by the name Dick Lovecraft. The subplot in particular is slightly wasted since there is no real connection with the two characters fighting (with words) towards each other. Maybe in next week’s episode there will be a little more back story for Lovecraft. As is though, it’s not a good selling point. Dent does serve a small purpose in the form of working out the “paper work” so that Selina Kyle can stay safe at Wayne manor.

Speaking of Wayne manor, Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle finally meet. At first she is the typical rebellious type towards both Bruce and Alfred. There is some form of distrust when Bruce brings up her parents. Here is where dialogue is important to nail when it comes to kids/teens. The conversation both Bruce and Selina have is UNBEARABLE! It touched on the typical broken home child tropes such as “my mom is famous” or “she is actually a secret agent.” No Cat you were abandoned on the streets of Gotham because A) She had a drug problem B) She couldn’t support you or C) She didn’t want you. Whatever the real reason, this was a mixed reaction of how the two characters interacted. It was nice seeing both of them sort of bond, but to listen to it was just dreadful.

Moving on to the crime story of the week, yeah, it wasn’t the greatest choice but it wasn’t wasted. Ian Hargrove, an expert bomb maker, is being transferred away from Blackgate Prison. Russians kidnap him and use him for strategic attacks against Falcone’s money. Gordon and Bullock fight the bad guys and attempt to save Hargrove. Long story short, the events that proceed after everything that happens with Hargrove lead to Arkham Asylum’s fate.

I’ll just flat out and say it; this was the second weakest episode of the season. The Balloonman was pretty lame, but this was just weak overall. Sure there was some progress and a little bit of character development, but it was just a jumbled mess of having to introduce Harvey Dent and then pile on Selina Kyle on top of Fish Mooney stealing her own money (I think). It was not even the most entertaining television. I’m not sure what happened in the writing process but it’s as if they downgraded the quality compared to the previous couple of episodes. I’d say watch the episode with your brain half checked out the door. If you can power through the episode just for the bigger picture plot points, then next week’s episode will be a possible improvement compared to this episode. Also FYI Barbara Kean is the Lori (Walking Dead) of Gotham. Thought I would get that out of the way.