Food Fight! | Gotham “Harvey Dent” Review
Gotham’s latest episode, “Harvey Dent”, was pretty strong, but it could have been far better by making one minor change. This whole thing with the Gotham showrunners titling episodes with titular characters that are only on the periphery of the episode is maddening. One can’t simply title an episode with the name of such an important character in the Batman Universe and only have him in a couple, pretty menial scenes. But, after getting the sour taste out of your mouth, the episode was actually good.
Up to this point, Bruce Wayne was completely void of any emotion other than revenge. He was really robotic in his overall demeanor, sans a few scenes with Alfred. But, this episode showed off some much needed character from Master Bruce, and it came way of the very emotionally guarded Selina Kyle. At the beginning of the episode, Jim Gordon needed somewhere to keep Kyle because she was the only one that witnessed the Waynes being murdered. So naturally, he chooses Wayne manor as her place of safety, due to all of the moles in GCPD and well, everywhere else in Gotham.
Her stay provided a stark adjustment for both Alfred and and Bruce. Alfred, being used to a very regimented rule structure, was met with Selina’s pretty rude attitude throughout. But, while Alfred met her attitude with one of his own, Bruce stepped in and explained that, whether they like it or not, she is their guest. It’s nice to see Bruce so level-headed as a child, clearly a lead-in to his altruism in his future crime fighting endeavors. The most impactful scene between Bruce and Selina was when they were eating, and Selina threw bread in Bruce’s face and dared him to try to hit her back. He missed, on the first throw anyway. This quickly escalated, as most food fights do, and turned into an all-out baguette brawl. It was nice to see an unrestrained Bruce actually being a kid. His pursuit of finding his parents’ killers and his inability to stay in school really hampered his ability to make friends, and you never get to see that child-like joy. The fun appeared to come to an end when Alfred walked by, but he knew that this was the first time Bruce was not hell-bent on his quest to find his parents’ killers and the first time he probably ever saw Bruce doing kid things.
The great interactions between Alfred, Bruce and Selina were juxtaposed with a very weak showing of Harvey Dent. With him being the title, you’d suspect that Dent would have some important scenes and really anchor the episode. Unfortunately, we got a few scenes with him flipping a coin. Yes, it was a nice little tease, similar to Selina Kyle’s episode, but I expected to see more Harvey Dent in the thick of things instead of seemingly meaningless banter. Most of his scenes were lacking, but I loved the scenes with him facing off with Lovecraft. Dent was conducting an interrogation of sorts and had a sudden outburst. The anger in his demeanor and his voice were great, and his actions totally caught me off guard. It was a great scene for two-face Harvey Dent.
It’s rare that we get all the way here and not mention the villain of the week, the reasoning is because it wasn’t that exciting. A patient of Blackgate was being manipulated into bombing certain locations, the final one being Falcone’s vault. Of course, the plan is foiled due to some nice work by Nygma, and the patient was returned to the newly acquired Arkham Asylum for some proper treatment. But, while the villain was lackluster, the orchestrator of the whole thing was the staple. Fish Moony has been having some iffy episodes, but this one was definitely on the good side. She was the one that was pulling the strings on the Falcone bank heist and only cared about hitting him where it hurts. Her having a scene with Cobblepot also didn’t hurt, as their scenes always have an immense amount of uneasiness applied to them.
Cue Cobblepot. He also didn’t have many scenes, as no one did in this episode, but his confrontation with Liza was great. There’s nothing like being the person on the outside looking in, knowing that Cobblepot is allied with Flacone and everyone else being clueless is wonderful. At one point Liza says she’s going to call Falcone and Cobblepot quips, “oh, let’s just do that.” Easily the best thing about Gotham, once again.
This episode was a great setup for the episodes to come. We were finally given a glimpse into the child-side of Bruce Wayne and a nice spread of screen time amongst all characters in the episode. But, having the title of the episode be Harvey Dent, kind of throws you for a loop once you realize he doesn’t have a ton impactful scenes. Overall, the show is doing a decent job of creating a nice overarching plot at the expense of the monster-of-the-week vibe of which the show began. Oh and that whole Barbara melodrama is hardly worth a line, but here it is anyway.
+ Interaction between Bruce, Alfred and Selina was great
+ Finally nice seeing another side of Bruce
+ Good amount of screen time for all characters
– Pretty weak villain
– So much built up anticipation for the Dent reveal kind of fell flat