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GOTHAM Doesn’t Blow It Yet

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GOTHAM: Logo.
Episode 109 “Harvey Dent”

[Photos: Jessica Miglio/FOX]

Heads, you win. And plenty of people are using their heads in this episode. Of course, a few are not quite there yet. Plenty of plotting and scheming this week, and it’s consistently the mob plots that resonate better than anything else. But the budding romance between Bruce and Selina seems to be working, too…

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This episode introduces assistant district attorney Harvey Dent, a spit-shined do-gooder who has the full faith and trust of the MCU’s Allen and Montoya. Dent has a plan to use Gordon’s “secret witness” (Selina Kyle) to tie a corrupt business tycoon named Lovecraft (heh) to the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Even if Lovecraft isn’t connected, the story circling about should shake loose someone nervous enough to start talking at an inopportune time.

Mr. Dent also has a bit of a temper…

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… although it doesn’t quite extend to juvenile delinquents so much, as Dent gives a particular youngling a pass with the flip of his coin. It shows the forgiving and even-handed side of Harvey Dent, which stands in marked contrast to his outburst in Lovecraft’s face in his office later. Nicholas D’Agosto (who bears a passing resemblance to the animated version of the character, by the way) brings just the right amount of crazy to Dent. So even though most of the episode he’s just an average joe, you get a hint of what’s in Harvey’s future.

Best line, from Alfred: “Oh, a trustworthy lawyer. In Gotham.”

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Meantime, the juvenile delinquent that interests Gordon is having a vacation at Stately Wayne Manor. Gordon has convinced Bruce and Alfred to let Selina hole up at the mansion as a protective measure, mainly to get her off the streets until he and the MCU can help Dent rattle enough cages to shake some information loose on the Wayne murders. Bruce doesn’t recognize the composite sketch of Joe Chill (and it had better be Joe Chill), but he’s totally on board with the idea of keeping his new kitten at the house.

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Which is something Alfred calls him out on during their sparring match. Bruce, of course, is in total denial, but it’s fun to watch these two kids actually be kids for a change. Given what they have to endure in their lives, it’s nice to see cracks in the stoic armor for the both of them. Just the way Bruce gets flustered at the idea of kissing Selina… this has been missing from this story thread. Bruce needs to be twelve sometimes. And of course he’s going to have a crush on Selina. Who wouldn’t? She’s attractive, she’s dangerous, and she represents a temptation for Bruce — a curiosity about a side of Gotham he doesn’t normally see.

Another side of Gotham: the criminally insane. That phrase actually gets used in this episode, talking about those inmates with mental issues who get locked up with all the rest of the hardened criminals in Blackgate Prison. That includes Ian Hargrove, the bomber with a conscience.

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Hargrove gets busted out on his way from Blackgate to therapy. Picked up by some of Nikolai’s Russians under instructions from Fish, he’s tasked with working up bombs to steal bigger bombs. Hargrove isn’t too thrilled to be making bombs that kill people, so he leaves a clue in one bomb in the hopes that GCPD will find him. Through the diligent work of one Ed Nygma — and with a compliment from Bullock, no less! — they find Hargrove just as the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!

The ultimate goal is to use a specialized explosive to bust into the old Gotham Armory, which is now being used to store a lot of Carmine Falcone’s money. And for Fish, it’s not about stealing the money; it’s about making sure Falcone no longer has that money available to him. Which why she has Butch blow up the truck the Russians are using to transport the money.

Ultimately, Hargrove makes it out, and he’s among those “criminally insane” who get relocated to Arkham Asylum. Mayor James has decided that the refurbished asylum will be used to house and treat the criminals. And the ones coming off the bus don’t look like the later-generation “criminally insane” that will eventually populate the asylum. Now, it’s only a matter of time before Dr. Harleen Quinzel shows up, maybe?

Fish’s other project — Liza and her spying on Falcone — gets a little hiccup when Oswald shows up in Liza’s apartment. He’s basically putting her on notice that he’s aware of her assignment from Fish. He tells her to keep doing what she’s doing. Is he planning something? Because it seems like he’s planning something. And we know that Oswald is cunning and manipulative. So yeah, he’s planning something.

And for those who are still emotionally invested in Barbara Kean (probably not very many people, at this point), her being in Montoya’s bed only shows that Gotham‘s writers figured out that the “Barbara and Montoya had a thing” element is the only way they can use her in the show. Which is bad. This makes Barbara a one-note character. And ultimately, that could hurt the show.

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[Show Web Site at FOX]     [Previous Recap: 108 “The Mask”]

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Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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