Gotham: Review: Series 1 Episode 9: Harvey Dent

Gotham 1.9Jim is persuaded to let up and coming counsellor Harvey Dent assist with his quest to find the Waynes’ killer…

Let’s get it out of the way straightaway: Nicholas D’Agosto, for me, nails this early version of Harvey Dent in his moderately brief appearance in this episode – given it’s titled after him, I really did expect him to be the A plot rather than adding to the B. The moment when his darker side surfaces during the scene with Lovecraft was one of the rare times I’ve jumped at something on screen this season, and assuming that the producers do play the long game with him – and don’t allow Two-Face to appear too quickly – he’s a strong addition to the show.

This is an episode that caters more to my preferences for this series, concentrating on the gang element rather than the potential superheroics: Penguin continues his divide and conquer policy (and is getting progressively more and more like the Danny DeVito incarnation than ever), while Fish’s manipulations are getting increasingly devious. The bomb plot allows Gordon and Bullock to function like proper detectives, even if Jim can’t keep his mouth shut in front of the Mayor (with unintended consequences, albeit ones necessary in terms of the series’ fiction).

There’s also some proper development for Bruce Wayne, and the chance – at long last – to see him as an ordinary boy. Putting Selina Kyle into the Wayne Manor may play all sorts of games with comic book continuity (as if this series wasn’t doing so anyway!) but it brings out new sides to Bruce, with both David Mazouz and Camren Bicondova giving some of their best performances (bar one very stilted scene), as does Sean Pertwee as Alfred.

The plotline with Barbara, though, and the constant appearances of Ed Nygma feel as if they’re not going anywhere yet – these need sorting before they become irritating rather than just annoying.

Verdict: It seems as if the producers are starting to find the balance between a Gotham Boardwalk Empire and a pre-Batman series – just in time for the break! 8/10

Paul Simpson


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