With previous episode ‘The Mask’ (reviewed here) ‘Gotham’ dipped in to some of the deeper Batman lore by introducing Tommy Elliot and Richard Sionis as supporting characters in it’s story of the week. This week ‘Gotham’ goes one step further by introducing a hugely popular character from the comics and even naming the episode after him.
‘Harvey Dent’ marks the first appearance of Nicholas D’Agosto as the titular Harvey who, at this stage, is already an Assistant District Attorney. For his first appearance the eager ADA works alongside Gordon under the belief that Gotham tycoon Dick Lovecraft is behind the Wayne murders in a story which bleeds in to the mid-season finale next week.
D’Agosto looks ridiculously young but plays a convincing Harvey throughout. His addition to the series is a little controversial given that Harvey and Bruce should be of similar age but there’s a legitimacy in the change here as a young Harvey and Gordon make a good pairing and his characterisation fits in perfectly with the atmosphere of the show.
We’ll have to see how the story plays out in next weeks second part but on first impressions D’Agosto could make a great addition to the cast if made a series regular.
‘Harvey Dent’ is one of the more solidly crafted episodes of ‘Gotham’ once again showing how the series can balance multiple storylines well without neglecting any of its better characters. There’s storylines for all in this episode and so it’s pretty packed from start to finish.
First up: Selena and Bruce. Holed up in Wayne manor the pair of teens don’t have a lot to do other than talking and being kids but it’s nice to see Bruce lightening up a little bit. As the viewer we know his ultimate destiny and the darkness that comes with it so to see glimpses of a younger, brighter Bruce make for an interesting distraction from the status quo. The promo for next week shows there’s some action taking place at the manor so sadly the new found level of fun won’t last long.
Pairing the two characters obviously sparks controversy amongst fans who strongly believe that the characters should meet until later in life but I, for one, find it interesting to see how younger and more undeveloped versions of the characters interact.
Next up: Fish Mooney & the mob. This week Fish is feeling like things are going her way. Liza is well ensconced at the Falcone house and she is able to manipulate the Russians in to making a move against Falcone. Fish is becoming a go-to character on ‘Gotham’ now, I’ve said before about my hesitation to embrace an original character being brought in to such an established franchise but she continues to be a major player in ‘Gotham’ and despite the extremeness of her character she makes for compelling viewing.
Lastly is our deer friend Oswald. This week Penguin is using his detective skills and is able to out Liza as one of Fish Mooney’s moles within the Falcone crowd. His appearance is a little fleeting but is as always a highlight of the episode. He’s continuing to manoeuvre himself in to a position of power and where much of the show remains a mystery it’s clear where the development of his character is headed.
Even with all of this there’s still a villain-of-the-week storyline to contend with. A bomber is kidnapped by the Russian mob and brought in to the plan to bring down Falcone. As always with ‘Gotham’ it all ties in.
Another very famous character from the Batman universe also makes an appearance in this episode… Arkham.
The downbeat ending to this first part of the story brings an announcement from the Mayor that Arkham manor will be re-opened as a home for the criminally insane thus pushing ‘Gotham’ one step closer to the inception of Batman.
‘Harvey Dent’ is a great opening gambit in a two part mid-season finale. I hope high hopes for a closing chapter which will leave fans hanging on for more over the Christmas period.