Gotham is literally becoming a show that introduces Batman-lore characters almost every episode. The trick becomes making them feel not only intricate to the plot (Bullock, Gordon, Penguin, Falcone), but not feel shoehorned in for no apparent reason (Nygma, Ivy Pepper). Tonight’s episode introduced a key figure from the Batman universe into the fold, Harvey Dent. Sadly, his introduction, though important to the overall season story, lacked the impact meant to make him stand out.
Which is funny, because the episode was titled “Harvey Dent”.
Now to be fair, Dent’s involvement really did push forward the story of the season, aka the Wayne murders, by showing that their could’ve been a third party wanting them dead. His eagerness and willingness to go to great lengths to put said individual behind bars was truly like the Harvey Dent we all know, love, and eventually sympathize with. However, his scenes were really short, and it’s yet to be seen just how much of presence he’ll have on the show long-term at this point.
The true main case this week was a bomber who escaped from…Blackgate! I honestly can’t remember if Blackgate was mentioned before in Gotham, but it’s mentioned now, so I care. It was nice that the “villain” wasn’t another psycho like we saw in “Arkham”. Instead, he was a guy who needed help, but couldn’t get it for one reason or another. It’s important to shake things up.
Though slighly lackluster, the end result proved noteworthy as the whole operation was an attempt by Fish to usurp Falcone’s reign. One that shows she’s stepping ever closer to taking over.
The other main story was the “first time” meeting of Bruce and Selina, who is now living at Wayne Manor until the Wayne’s killer is caught. This is brilliant move, but one that should be tread upon lightly. True, Bruce and Selina have a relationship further on in their lives in the comics and shows/movies, and it’s fun to see that possible spark developed here. Especially with how Selina witnessed her parents murder. However, going to far to fast might prove detrimental to the series. Puppy love is fine right now, but they should be cautious.
I will say this though, the scenes with the two were both awkward and fun, and by awkward I mean in the good way. They’re two opposites, and thus have different views of the world. It was nice to see that fact come to life, and I hope that it will continue going forward. Also that “fight” scene was nice, as we don’t get to see either be like the children they’re supposed to be.
There were other short stories that honestly didn’t add up to much this episode. Penguin found out about Fish’s mole, Riddler continued to be annoying (sigh…), and the final scene with Barbara was unbelievably frustrating. Not only did it not make sense, it came out of nowhere, and thus lost all impact it was meant to have. That last scene is what I hate in TV shows, scenes that are meant to get us talking…but end up getting us talking for the wrong reasons. Many a fan, including myself at times, do not like Barbara, this scene will not help with that.
In the end, “Harvey Dent” was a decent episode that add some depth to the overarching story, but little else. There were some good character moments, but it just didn’t feel up to snuff with what Gotham has done before. Next week marks the fall finale for the show, hopefully it’ll end with a bang.