Gotham Review: “Harvey Dent”

Harvey Dent

– Spoiler Review –

In a way, the episode “Harvey Dent” is much like the titular character’s alter-ego Two Face, as Gotham’s ugly side shows itself too strongly, despite having an entertaining case for Gordon and Bullock and some fun interactions between Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne.

Ending Gotham TV Show Reviews (9/26/15)

I probably should’ve done this more formally back when I called it quits with the show after its umpteenth break during the first season, but I won’t be reviewing this series anymore. I had been holding out hope the show would get better for the second season and the creative team behind it were saying all the right things, but the S2 premiere was just more of the same. Sure, there’s some promise for better things ahead in it so I’ll be tuning in, but this is more in regards to my own personal time constraints and my sanity. Sorry and thanks for checking out Mynock Manor for details on Gotham and I seriously hope the show hits its stride soon. We still have plenty of content on the site so browse around before heading somewhere else!

Harvey DentWell, I called Barbara going to Montoya last week, but this action completely undoes her note to Gordon. Now she just seems like a jerk, since she couldn’t be strong for Gordon and stay in their place, but can hide out in some hotel and be with an old flame. When we first heard the note’s contents, I was beginning to think the show’s creators were going to try to redeem the misguided things they’ve had Barbara do so far, as the note states she’s admitting her mistakes and lack of strength all of a sudden; But when they revealed she’d begun sleeping with Montoya again, it ruined my hopes of that happening.

Nygma has been slightly, but bearably irritating so far, but this week finally pushed his characterization and my frustration to their limits. Gotham has had a nasty habit of hammering the nail on the head, and they haven’t let up with Nygma yet. But to play on the stereotype that people who play video games are shut ins and weirdos is just unacceptable at this point with Nygma…there’s been more than enough evidence he’s a shut in and a weirdo from all his other various idiosyncrasies; in fact his lines are completely ignored by the other characters and serve nothing other than to build his already weird character as well…weird.

Harvey DentOn top of that moment, there’s the scene of him answering trivia question on a radio show before the respondent can guess them. Yes, he’s eventually becoming the Riddler, yes he’s good at trivia, yes he’s weird, but he always has been this way since we first met him on the show. Gotham hasn’t given him any development, instead just a lot of winking and nodding about who he’ll become. What would’ve been more interesting is developing Nygma as someone who wasn’t always like this, but slowly and eventually gets to that point through things he sees on the job or other events to fill in some backstory. Instead, Gotham just drops us off in the middle of his development, having already morphed into his oddities and just on the edge of becoming the Riddler, where there’s no real room to do anything with his character besides point out how odd he is.

Harvey DentThis issue extends to Harvey Dent, which is surprising considering this is the first time we meet him on the show and already he’s possibly at his middle point too. While I’ll let the use of light to show Dent with, you guessed it, two faces slide since it’s his first episode, it won’t be welcomed if used again. But having him go off on a Mr. Lovecraft, in the fashion befitting Two Face, not Dent, was surprising. Then he goes and lies to Gordon about his conversation, saying Lovecraft was afraid of his story about the witness. In reality, Lovecraft was scared of Dent for going off on him, not for any witness threats. Or does Dent really believe it worked? Or did it really work, as I may have read the scene wrong? Either way, he’s already on the cusp of becoming Two Face, if he’s letting his anger out and lying to people. I would’ve thought we’d start with him being a face for good and doing everything right, but out of the gate he’s past that already. Just like Nygma, there’s seemingly little to no room for development because Dent’s already where he needs to be to become Two Face.

I wish I understood why the show was doing this with its characters. Instead of giving them chances to develop, they are stuck in this position and Gotham just wants to spend the time before they become recognizable villains just winking and nodding and hammering nails on our heads about it all. Add Barbara’s all over the place behavior and this is all making it hard to watch the show, to be honest. The way they can pull off having these characters on the cusp is to turn them into their supervillian personalities and make them Gordon’s enemies first, Batman’s second before the season is over.

That all being said, at least the other aspects of this episode were decent: the case of the week was a little different and the interactions between Selina and Bruce were much better than expected. Having our bomb maker be just a misunderstood mental patient was a nice mix-up, as lately they’ve all just been straight up bad guys. And it turns out Mooney has already started to use that ledger Liza copied for her to her advantage, by using the bomb maker to break into a hidden vault of Falcone’s, which added another nice layer to the case.

Harvey DentSelina being shacked up at Wayne Manor really brought out some great acting from both David Mazouz and Camren Bicondova, as their best acting yet comes from their scenes together here. They’ve been a little odd in scenes against older characters, but they seemed and felt comfortable in their roles when together. Their interplay with Alfred made this plot thread the most entertaining of the evening.

But Penguin’s detective skills were quite the stretch. Just because Liza was using lilac smelling perfume and so was Mooney does not mean they were working together, as literally any other woman could’ve been using the same perfume. All I can do is shrug at this development. At least Robin Lord Taylor makes these scenes fun.

Harvey Dent

JOKER WATCH:

So again there were gals dressed suspiciously like how Harley Quinn dresses in a background scene at Mooney’s place. That’s about it, unfortunately.

Here are a few other things:

  • Harvey Dent is played by a mostly newcomer Nick D’Agosto, who just so happens to have graduated from Marquette University in my hometown of Milwaukee, WI. Kind of neat to see someone from around these parts making it big and congrats to him.
  • Dick Lovecraft is at the least a homage to H.P. Lovecraft, a horror writer where Batman owes the name Arkham from. But to suddenly add another villain, especially one not in the comics before, is getting a little ridiculous.
  • It almost feels like putting people in Arkham was Gordon’s fault, as he pushed the mayor’s buttons again.
  • Oh, and using the stereotypical crutch about video games and psychos is further a bad idea because look at how successful and renowned the Arkham series has become…and how much better it handles all it’s villains and story. Just saying, don’t knock it if it’s doing things better than you are.

 

Harvey Dent

Gotham’s penchant for lacking subtlety and following too many characters are becoming grating as the show continues, and the proto-villains are making me wish for the characters just to become the villains they ought to be instead of all the winking and nodding. Unfortunately, it might be a long while before they do, and with the case-of-the-weeks and other somewhat developed characters just holding viewers attentions, Gotham is running towards a wall it might not be able to climb. It has the right ingredients, it’s just not mixing them in together correctly.

+ Harvey Dent

+ Selina and Bruce

+ Supposed bad guy isn’t really a bad guy

 Barbara’s downward spiral

 Edward Nygma…WE GET IT ALREADY

 Penguin’s detective skills

Ryan is Mynock Manor’s Head Butler. You can follow him on Twitter @BrushYourTeeth. You can follow the website @MynockManor.

GOTHAM REVIEWS:
S1, Ep. 12: “What the Little Bird Told Him
S1, Ep. 11: “Rogues’ Gallery
S1, Ep. 10: “Lovecraft
S1, Ep. 8: “The Mask
S1, Ep. 7: “Penguin’s Umbrella
S1, Ep. 6: “Spirit of the Goat
S1, Ep. 5: “Viper
S1, Ep. 4: “Arkham
S1, Ep. 3: “The Balloonman
S1, Ep. 2: “Selina Kyle
S1, Ep. 1: “Pilot

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