"Harvey Dent" (S1/E9)
Author: Richard Church (Follow @RICHARDCHURCH16)
November 19, 2014
EPISODE INFO: "Harvey Dent" was written by Ken Woodruff and directed by Karen Gaviola. It originally aired on the FOX television network on November 17, 2014. It is based on "Batman" characters owned and published by DC Comics.
MAIN CAST: Ben McKenzie as Detective James Gordon, Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock, Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney, Sean Pertwee as Alfred, Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin, Erin Richards as Barbara Kean, David Mazouz as Bruce Wayne, Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle/the future Catwoman, Zabryna Guevara as Captain Sarah Essen, Cory Michael Smith as Edward Nygma/the future Riddler, Victoria Cartagena as Renee Montoya, Andrew Stewart Jones as Crispus Allen, John Doman as Carmine Falcone
GUEST CAST: Richard Kind as Mayor James, Drew Powell as Butch Gilzean, Mackenzie Leigh as Liza, Nicholas D’Agosto as Harvey Dent, Leslie Odom Jr. as Ian Hargrove, and Luke Forbes as John Hargrove
PREVIOUS EPISODE: S1/E8"The Mask" Review by Richard Church (11.11.14)
SYNOPSIS: Trying to close the Wayne murder case, a young Harvey Dent (guest star Nicholas D’ Agosto) encourages Gordon to team up with Mayor James (guest star Richard Kind). Meanwhile, Penguin makes contact with Mooney’s secret weapon, Liza (guest star Mackenzie Leigh).
This week’s latest GOTHAM, titled “Harvey Dent” saw some interesting plot points followed up on with an intriguing case of the week, but it was slightly hindered by more of the same hurdles GOTHAM has had since the beginning. Gordon and Bullock worked to catch a bomber who was broken out of Blackgate Prison while Bruce and Alfred entertained a new guest in the manor and Gordon made an ally with a certain coin-flipping lawyer.
The cases of the week have been improving lately and this one stood out for a couple different reasons. Firstly, it was interesting to see the bomber was actually broken out and held against his will, going so far as to provide a clue as to his whereabouts in one of his bombs. All the previous culprits have been downright villainous so it was refreshing to see one who was not directly responsible for their crimes and sympathetic to viewers. It also helps when that man is played by guest star Leslie Odom Jr., who did a phenomenal job in the previous season of PERSON OF INTEREST. Secondly, this case tied with Fish Mooney’s private war with Falcone as it was revealed she hired the prison breakers in an attempt to hurt Falcone’s business. It hasn’t been often Gordon and Bullock’s random cases link up with any of the mobsters so this twist was a very good way of connecting them to the growing tension between Gotham City’s mob leaders.
Viewers were also introduced to Assistant District Attorney Harvey Dent, played by Nicholas D’Agosto. Dent was shown as one of the other few good people of Gotham, wanting to help Gordon and those like him in their quest to save the city. D’Agosto was good in the role, presenting a charming, though possibly naive and overconfident, Harvey Dent. Dent’s got some anger issues though, a not so subtle hint of his future. However, unlike many of GOTHAM’s other “subtle” hints, this one worked fairly well.
On the other side of the show, Selina “Cat” Kyle became interesting for the first time as she finally interacted one-on-one with Bruce. Their scenes were funny and engaging. It was easy to laugh as she questioned Bruce’s very strange tests and habits. There was some bad dialogue between them here and there, but overall David Mazouz and Camren Bicondova’s chemistry was undeniable, as was Alfred’s surprise and joy at seeing Bruce act like a normal ten year old for once.
Some stray thoughts...
* Edward Nygma continues to be one of the weakest elements of the show. His bit about video games came out of nowhere. It’s as if the writers and Cory Michael Smith have only watched Frank Gorshin and turned that up by 10. As BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES and ZERO YEAR have proven, you can have a Riddler that is not constantly over the top and crazy. It’s not even that he’s too quirky either, it’s also because he’s primarily used as exposition to get Gordon and Bullock from points A to B.
* For the first time, The Penguin’s scenes were not the most memorable parts of the episode!
* For an episode named after him, Harvey Dent didn’t appear much. This is the second time this has happened after episode two’s “Selina Kyle.”
* Barbara Keen is the weakest element on and probably the most unlikeable character of the show. She leaves Gordon because she can’t deal with his work, yet hooks back up with her ex who is not only in the same profession, but dealing with the exact same case as Gordon is!
Richard Church is an aspiring writer for short stories, novels and screenplays.
He is also an avid fan of the superhero genre.
Follow him on Twitter @RICHARDCHURCH16.
GOTHAM airs Mondays at 7PM CT/8PM ET on FOX.
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