Gotham: 109 “Harvey Dent” Review
Reviewed by Mark McCullough.
Having now found a firm footing, Gotham has established itself a wealth of strong characters and several seeds sown for potential storylines. This week’s episode takes things one-step further moving characters from their comfort zones story-wise and forming new connections between them. Furthermore there is the addition of a complete new layer to Gotham with the introduction of a character that holds more power than any of the families we have met so far. In fact it appears that he is the equal of the stature the Wayne’s held.
One of the focal points for the narrative this week was the new relationship forming between Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle. Selina’s encounter with the Gotham Police Department in the cliff hanger to the previous episode leaves Gordon in a tricky position. He needs to keep her safe to protect her knowledge of the real identity of the Wayne’s killer. To do this he takes her to Wayne Manor to live with Bruce and Alfred until he can find somewhere safe for her. This facilitates interaction between the two child actors within the show.
At first their friendship is unlikely as they are almost polar opposites and this does lead to some confrontation and some funny reactions from Alfred. However the pair’s relationship takes a turn for the better as they bond over perhaps the only thing they have in common. Even at this it is interesting to see their differing approaches to this as one of them is accepting of the fact, but the other dresses it up in fanciful ideas. The scenes between the two are actually quite emotional particularly the final one which adds a light hearted aspect to a series which has been dark and gritty for the most part.
The story of the week is a complex one which involves both the Gotham Police Department and the mob families. The story starts with the transport of a prisoner from prison to a mental facility, however the transport van is ambushed the officers killed and the prisoner is taken. It transpires that he is a bombs expert and was taken by the Russian mobs who have now got involved with the business of the families in lieu of Nikolai’s. Caught up in the plots between Fish and Falcone the Russians are manipulated into delivering a strike that could have lasting repercussions on this particular storyline. At this point it is not clear who will benefit from it the most. Not surprisingly Cobblepot also has a role to play in the mob events as he furthers his investigation into Fish leaving someone in a very difficult situation.
Gordon is particularly busy this week, not only does he have to deal with Selina and the case, but he also encounters well known Batman character Harvey Dent for the first time. Harvey’s trademark coin toss makes a welcome appearance too in his first scene. Working together Jim and Harvey agree to target the real culprit behind the Wayne murders, someone Dent believes to be Dick Lovecraft, the aforementioned individual who is equal in stature to the Wayne’s. I can’t say much more than that at this stage without spoiling the episode. To compound Jim’s day he learns that Barbara has left him, sadly this is not the end of his misery as there is more bad news to come before the end of the episode.
Another week another strong outing from Gotham which not only builds on what we already have, but adds some new layers to make us question what we know and to keep us on our toes. The individual case of the week was also one of the strongest offered so far, possibly due to how the mob storyline was integrated into it. Any early season worries have long since been forgotten, and the show is really pushing forwards. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us next week.