Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My Review of Gotham's 1x09: "Harvey Dent"

Written by Ken Woodruff
Directed by Karen Gaviola

Harvey (to Lovecraft): “Don’t you ever threaten me. I will rip you open. It’s good to see you, Dick.”

To get the obvious criticism out of the way first – slow down with the Rogue Gallery members, show and focus on the ones you introduced earlier. On the other hand, this was a fairly enjoyable debut for Harvey Dent.

I kind of get the impression that Nicholas D’Agosto will be vying to play the role in a manner both similar to Aaron Eckhart’s portrayal in The Dark Knight and even Richard Moll’s version in Batman: The Animated Series and for now, that works fine enough but I do hope he injects his own identity as well.

I liked that Harvey already has both Montoya and Allen as allies and I also liked the beginnings of what could be a rather interesting friendship between him and James Gordon as well. However what I really liked was the glimmer of Dent’s darker side when he came face to face with corrupt billionaire, Dick Lovecraft and lost his cool.

Unfortunately for Harvey his whole plan to get Lovecraft is flawed. Not only did his whole witness threat do nothing to put the fear of God into Lovecraft but he very well put Selina and Bruce in direct danger, judging by the trailer for the next episode. Even Gordon didn’t seem that much on board with his overall plan to expose Lovecraft for the corrupt git he is.

While the obvious symbols to Harvey’s future fate were a little over the top (the coin tossing, shading half his face in darkness etc), it is nice to have someone other than Gordon want to do the right thing by Gotham. It’s just that we know Harvey is doomed and his volatile will eventually be his own undoing but as introduction episodes go, this was a nice enough one for him.

Keeping with Gordon for a minute – the angst with Barbara was boring to watch but I did like that he palmed Selina off to Bruce and Alfred and both him and Bullock stopping an unwilling bomber turned out to be more interesting than expected. As for Barbara renewing her relationship with Renee – I knew it was going to happen eventually but it did seem a tad rushed though. I’m hoping though that perhaps this might finally help flesh the character out better though.

As for the Bruce and Selina – I think I can safely say they were the highlight of the episode. I don’t want to start any Batman/Catwoman shipping stuff, but both David Mazouz and Camren Bicondova did well in this episode as the two of them seemed to enjoy each other’s company, learn more about the other and engage in a food fight.

Even by the end of this episode, Alfred went from desperately wanting to get rid of Selina to being delighted that her presence was able to bring Bruce out of his shell. I don’t know if it was the right time to have these two interact with each other so early in the show’s life but it’s hard to deny that they were essentially the best part of the episode.

Also in “Harvey Dent”

Selina’s still using that cat nickname. I kind of wish the writers would drop it though.

Harvey (to Gordon): “Teenagers, they nearly always pick heads. I don’t know why. Two headed coin.”

Oswald quickly figured out that Liza was working for Fish and threatened her to keep doing it. If I were Liza, I’d be fleeing the city by now.

Gordon: “You like to bet a lot.”
Harvey: “What have we got to lose?”

Selina: “Your house makes noise.”
Bruce: “It’s old.”

This was another good episode for Edward Nygma – he got to lament about video games, figured out an important piece about Ian Hargrove (the unwilling bomber of the episode) and even got a thank you from Bullock. That last bit shocked me.

Fish (to Oswald): “I’m starting to think you enjoy being hurt.”

Selina: “You move quiet.”
Bruce: “So do you.”

Fish’s whole bomb plot with Ian and the Russian mobsters, it had it’s moments but if she doesn’t watch herself, Falcone will do her in before we even get to the finale.

Selina (to Bruce): “You’re a nice kid. Five minutes on the streets and you’d be mincemeat and holding your breath won’t do a damn thing.”

Chronology: From where “The Mask” more or less left off.

I think this episode could’ve been a little better than it was but as an introduction, “Harvey Dent” was a solid episode nonetheless though. I do like that things with the Wayne murders are progressing again and the Bruce and Selina scenes were definitely a highlight too but when it comes to future villains, the show does need to slow down a bit though.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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