Review: Gotham, ‘Harvey Dent’

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Harvey Dent Plot Summary:

Plot: Determined to protect the only witness to the Wayne murders, Gordon (Ben McKenzie) imposes Selina (Camren Bicondova) onto Alfred (Sean Pertwee) to stay at Wayne Manor. Meanwhile, a bomb expert (Leslie Odom Jr.) is broken out of prison, and up to his old tricks as Gordon and Bullock (Donal Logue) are tasked with tracking him down.

While this week was a good episode for the younger Batman characters of Gotham meeting for the first time, the overall story was pretty lacking. Although, that may have been by design, as a new character took center stage.

Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio/FOX
Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio/FOX

Nicholas D’Agosto makes his Gotham debut as young Assistant District Attorney Harvey Dent, one of the few honest lawyers in Gotham City. They definitely picked the right actor as D’Agosto did a great job, and will no doubt make a fine Dent. But much like with Edward Nygma early on, they laid on the Two-Face-isms pretty thick. I’m sure many will complain about the constant lighting that hides half his face, but that didn’t irritate me as much as the incessant coin flipping. What bothered me most though was the dialogue. It was pretty flat, especially in the scene where Dent got angry. D’Agosto’s execution was perfect, I just wish his lines had more meat to them. While this wasn’t a homerun, the character is definitely there, especially in how aggressive a lawyer Dent is. I enjoyed the dynamic between him and Gordon, and I have no doubt I’ll love this character very quickly, just as I did with Nygma.

It was the overall plot that really failed tonight’s episode. The villain of the week was completely forgettable and stock, whereas the others in previous weeks had some real oomph to them, such as in “Spirit of the Goat.” The story ends up having some ties to the ongoing mob war, but it didn’t really progress anything. Oswald (Robin Lord Taylor) learns a revelation about a certain character, and I’m interested to see where that relationship goes, even though Oswald didn’t get a chance to do a whole lot this week. The bomb case didn’t even give much for McKenzie and Logue to work with, although Bullock giving relationship advice to Gordon was pretty funny.

Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio/FOX
Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio/FOX

What really saved this episode though was over at Wayne Manor. I’m sure people are going to hem and haw about Selina Kyle bunking up at the Wayne house as it screws with Batman lore, but get over it. It made complete sense for the plot. Bicondova and David Mazouz were fantastic together, and I guess all the good dialogue went to them tonight. Every time Selina caught Bruce training, whether it be boxing or holding his breath under water, she always had a poignant line for him. That was great. The relationship between Bruce and Alfred also grew stronger. While I absolutely dug last week’s bad ass Alfred, we were also reminded of his gentle father figure side. I didn’t think Bruce Wayne would play much into this series at all, but he’s really becoming one of my favorite elements to the whole show.

The Bruce/Selina/Alfred scenes would have made this another solid Gotham outing, HOWEVER I’d be remiss if I didn’t dock it serious points for the very last shot of the episode. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll have to be vague, but are you kidding me! Really? Come on! Just when I was starting to like both those characters, that happened? This adds absolutely nothing to the show, and is there strictly for shock value. If there’s a good reason for having this plotline, then I’m all for it, but it serves no purpose whatsoever. Thankfully it’s barely a subplot, but it still irked me.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10 (Slightly Better Than ‘Meh’)  

Gotham airs every Monday on FOX.

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Daniel Cohen is the Film Editor for Pop-Break. Aside from reviews, Daniel does a weekly box office predictions column, and also contributes monthly Top Tens and Op-Ed’s on all things film. Daniel is a graduate of Bates College with a degree in English, and also studied Screenwriting at UCLA. He can also be read on www.movieshenanigans.com. His movie crush is Jessica Rabbit. Follow him on Twitter @dcohenwriter.

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Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.