Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Gotham Ep. 9 "Harvey Dent" Review

Gotham Ep. 9 “Harvey Dent” Review
By Rob Jefchak

I don’t know what it is about “Gotham” episodes being titled after famous characters but apparently every time this show does it; the character in the title almost has zero screen time or anything important to actually do. Both “Selena Kyle” and “Penguin’s Umbrella” sound like the episode would naturally be about those 2 individuals and while “Umbrella” definitely was more on Penguin than most, tonight’s episode once again gives us titular misdirection and once again…it’s an unfortunate disappointment. 

After securing Selena Kyle’s information, Gordon puts her up as a guest at Bruce Wayne’s mansion while he uses her eye witness information to aid in his case against finding the real murder of Tom and Martha Wayne. Montoya brings in a trustworthy lawyer by the name of Harvey Dent (Nicholas D’Agosto), Dent plans to use the threat of a witness to shake out the real killer and also some other high ranking criminals he’s after. Meanwhile, a bomber is broken out of prison and used to attack Falcone’s businesses and Penguin discovers and confronts Fish Mooney’s “secret weapon” against Falcone. 

You know, I can’t help but wonder if the show got rid of these trivial “criminal of the week” formula; the show could actually focus on the people we all thought the series would be focusing on in the first place. This episode at least finally gave us a lot more foreshadowing elements with multiple characters; certainly more so than just a throw away referential line. We got to see Riddler flashing his smarts around, Selena and Bruce’s flirting, Bruce learning how to be strong and of course; Dent’s future as a facially fried head case. 

Having Harvey appear for a whopping 10 minutes in an episode named after him is insultingly stupid; this is worsened by the fact that D’Agosto was actually kick ass amazing as his brief stint as the coin flipping icon. We got to see Harvey’s passion, his obsessions and even a crack of his dark side all in the brief time he appeared. I’ve seen D’Agosto before and I at first thought he was too raw to play someone as big and important to the series mythology as Dent, but I was happily proven wrong and I can only hope he continues to appear and unlikely as it may be; see him transform into a full Two-face. 

 Penguin got a little bit of air time this episode but it proves once again how crafty and cunning this little creep can be; even though we already knew that before. The bomber story was as boring as the office fight club one so I’m not gonna bother talking about it OR the fact that Barbra and Gordon’s relationship has returned to Soap Opera drama status….again. Selena and Bruce’s scenes together were by far the biggest highlight in the entire episode. For the first time in either characters histories (past and present media included) we got to see them as children; happy, curious, awkward and playful. 

Seeing Alfred having fun with his young friend and allowing him to feel like a child again was a heartwarming and welcomed sight. With the continual rise of mob wars brewing between Falcone and Maroni, it almost seems odd how very quiet this episode was regarding the status of these two criminal combatants. I’m not sure where things are heading or how everything is going to be tied up for this season; this according to the commercials, everything is ending next week. 

No matter how late in the game it is, I’m glad we got to see Dent, Nygma, Kyle and Bruce finally getting some exposure and opportunities to let their inner hero/villain traits out to play. Penguin’s gotten plenty of air time since the beginning and with the end crawling closer, late development is better than no development at all. Aside from the dead on arrival bomber story and Gordon’s overly dramatic relationship with Barbra, I liked everything about this episode and it leaves me wanting more of the same. 

That’s the word that echoed throughout this episode for me: more, more and more.