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Review: Gotham: Harvey Dent


gotham-ep109scn1015230hires2jpg-e14c57Following Selina Kyle’s return at the end of last week’s episode, “Harvey Dent” begins with Jim Gordon returning home with Selina Kyle. Gordon discovers that Barbara has left a note saying she is leaving Gotham for while, and a sketch artist arrives to listen to Selina’s description of the man who shot the Waynes.

 

Gordon then takes the sketch and Selina to Wayne Manor. The plan is to keep her there for her safety while the investigation continues. Alfred is against the idea, but Bruce Wayne insists she stays. During her stay at Wayne Manor, Alfred gets annoyed with her antics, and glimpses are shown of what the future holds for Batman and Catwoman.

 

Gordon, Montoya, and Allen meet with new Assistant District Attorney Harvey Dent (Nicholas D’Agosto) and his double-headed coin about the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Dent theorizes that the Wayne murder was ordered by Dick Lovecraft (Al Sapienza), a wealthy Gotham businessman, and proposes to let word leak that the District Attorney’s office has an eyewitness that can link Lovecraft to the Wayne murders. While being interrogated by Dent, Lovecraft calls him a fool, causing Dent to snap. “Don’t you threaten me; I will rip you open,” he roars at Lovecraft before quickly calming down, betraying his double-sided personality that will one day turn him into Two-Face.

 

Meanwhile, Oswald Cobblepot sneaks into Liza’s apartment and goes through her things. He steals a garment and smells her perfume. After narrowly escaping being caught by Liza, Cobblepot goes to Fish’s club and smells her. He discovers Liza and Fish wear the same scent of perfume and deduces Liza is Fish’s spy.

 

Gordon and Harvey Bullock are assigned to investigate Ian Hargrove (Leslie Odom, Jr.), a criminally insane man who was convicted of bombing twelve buildings in Gotham, who was kidnapped during a prisoner transport.. The Russian men who kidnapped him to force him to build bombs for them. His first bomb was used to steal more explosives.

 

This episode is designed to focus around Selina Kyle’s relationship with Bruce Wayne and the introduction of Harvey Dent and his involvement with the Wayne investigation. Both stories are well-told, yet there are distracting elements thrown into the episode.

 

The investigation into the bomber’s kidnapping is an unnecessary inclusion to the plot. The writers do not have to include a crime-of-the-week in every episode, but that is what they did this week. It did lead to the re-opening of Arkham Asylum, but that could have been done with another story in a different episode. More time should have been spent on Bruce, Selina, and Dent.

 

The Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle relationship is a key part of Batman’s story, but this incarnation of their romance feels a bit forced. It is as if the writers think that because two young members of the opposite sex are alone together, a romance must naturally blossom. A little buildup goes a long way. If the bomber storyline is not included, there would be more time to build this relationship.

 

The other relationship facing issues in this episode is the relationship between Barbara Kean and Jim Gordon. Their relationship appeared to be a strong, healthy one in “The Balloonman”, but since that time, it has unceremoniously imploded. The writers are, without justification, destroying a relationship that added a pleasant element to the show. Not everything in this show needs to be a source of tension. Last week, Barbara re-committed herself to Gordon, but left without explanation at the end of the episode. The last scene of this episode reveals that Barbara lied about wanting to work on herself. The truth upstages the entire episode and distracts from the work the writers did with Bruce Wayne, Selina Kyle, and Harvey Dent which was more enjoyable.

 

The final flaw of this week’s episode is a lack of Oswald Cobblepot. The writers and Robin Lord Taylor have been doing wonderful things with this character, but this week, the Penguin was rarely on camera. Taylor’s character has been the catalyst for much of what has happened on Gotham, and it would not be surprising if he wound up being the catalyst behind the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Oswald Cobblepot is the best thing about this show, and this week, the creative team holds that element back.

 

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