Gotham S1x09 “Harvey Dent”
As it turns out, Harvey Dent is not the last episode before the mid-season break of Gotham, with Lovecraft following up from this week’s episode (this is also the same case with Agents of SHIELD). However, even so, it offered up a fairly decent hour of television, even if no episode of Gotham has yet to match the heights of episode seven just yet.
First off, let’s talk about the Bruce/Selina interactions that played throughout this episode, as it was a big point in favour of the show that they actually worked, with the future Batman and Catwoman being both under the same roof unknowing what they would one day become was handled very well. Even though there were some poor dialogue during their scenes in places, Harvey Dent as a whole made the interactions between the two characters work, and that was mainly again thanks to David Mazouz, who impressed in the role of Bruce Wayne once again. Whilst Bicondova isn’t quite at his level just yet in terms of acting ability, her performance isn’t cringe-worthy either, which is good to see.
There were two new interesting additions to Harvey Dent this week that were handled pretty well. The titular character is a very different change to Aaron Eckhart’s take on Dent, and although there are the blatantly obvious foreshadowing scenes that put the character on the road to becoming Two-Face, with some that worked (the lighting in one scene making one side of Harvey’s face lighter than the other), and some that didn’t (the coin flip at the beginning). However, it served as a pretty solid new entry for Nicholas D’Agosto’s Dent, and he does well with the material available and it’ll be interesting to see where his character goes from here as he looks set up to play quite an important part in next week’s episode, Lovecraft.
Easily the best addition to this week’s Gotham came from Leslie Odom Jr, who played Ian Hargrove. It’s unknown whether he will later become a DC villain further down the line or not, but it was great to see him here after his turn as Peter Collier, leader of Vigilance, in the fantastic Season Three of Person of Interest. He knocked it out of the park with his involvement in the case of the week, and I would welcome a return in the future. With the show setting up the establishment of Arkham Asylum proper at the end of the episode with Hargrove’s arrest, it opens up the potential for another Arkham-centric storyline that could really work.
However, aside from the things mentioned above, there were plenty of flaws in this week’s Gotham, which is frustrating. Again, Barbara Kean feels like the weakest element of the show and the new development with an affair with Major Crimes’ Montoya doesn’t really help matters much. And on top of that, the scenes with Penguin didn’t add much weight to the ongoing storyline, feeling rather weak which is a change from the norm because the Cobblepot scenes have stolen the show in previous episodes.
Even if this episode then, wasn’t the best of the series, it was still at least entertaining to watch for the most part. It set up Harvey Dent’s introduction nicely and the Bruce/Selina scenes were handled better than expected, and hopefully next week’s episode can deliver a mid-season finale that will be capable of matching the quality of Penguin’s Umbrella.